I thought it was time to introduce myself. I joined this site a few weeks ago and have been lurking around a few of the different groups getting a feel for the place.
What I discovered is that I hope there is room for me on this site.
I am a married professional guy in my late 30's living in Melbourne Australia. My wife and 3 kids live with me in the average suburban house in an exceedingly average area and live an exceedingly average lifestyle. I dotn say average in a negative way, I think my life is great.. i just wanted to paint the picture.
I was raised Catholic and received Education at Private Catholic schools. I was even an Altar boy at St Patricks cathedral in Melbourne. My parents and siblings (for the most part) are devout, if not strictly so, believers and attend chrurch every weekend.
The problem with me was it never quiet felt right. I went through the motions and in my mid-teens I tried to make more sense of it all and tried to devote myself. I even joined the "new" local youthgroup that had started. I didnt know or realise it at first but it was formed by a young evagelical Catholic couple who had jsut moved to the area.
They where nice enough people and really sincerely believed in what they taught, but it all seemed rather staged to me and in the end I only hung around for a couple of hot girls.
I think the final straw was one night where the leader was talkign about his experience of talking in tongues. When asked about it he immediatly set out to prove that he could do it. Amazingly enough after a few minutes he was babbling incohretnly. Miracles on tap eh?
I have spoken about that to explain some of my history and experiences and to show where I am coming from.
I am here on this site because of the following things;
1) I believe organised religion is at the heart of most of the world problems.
Fair enough, a simple staement which I dont think will get many arguments here. I do not think however this is the case merely because they are religions, but because they are a convenient vehicle for people to excercise power and influence. I do not think religion, or a belief in God per se is a bad thing. Rather it is what people do with those beliefs that can be very very wrong.
2) I believe in Evil.
It exists. It is a function of the human psyche and it must be fought against. For some the way to do this is through a Theistic belief system and that is great, unless as above that system is hijacked by those who are evil.
For me however the way to do it is to recognise it and try to work against it
3) I believe in the power of a universal human conscience.
This is where I start to question whether I belong in this website. I think I fit more squarely in the Agnostic camp. I cannot know either way whether there is or is not a god. All I know is that trying to argue either way is futile. I prefer to spend my time trying to do the right thing as I see it in this world is going to be better for everyone my influence reaches, and maybe further.
With these three things in mind I'd like to get responses from anyone who cares. I love a good argument and am happy to try and defend any and all or of my statemnt untill such time as someone can prove to me otherwise.
As a parting thought I'd like to ad dmy favourite quote...
"Avoid those who say they have the answer. Seek out those who are trying to understand the question" - Billy Connolly
I found your post quite interesting because I was brought up Roman Catholic too. I went through the entire indoctrination mill from kindergarten through high school. I began to have strong doubts about Christianity in general when I had to start reading the bible, a book I soon began to regard as largely fictional and whose morality was highly questionable. I didn't need Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins to point out to me that the biblical Yahweh was no better than Hitler.
Please visit the chat room, if you haven't done so already. I'm usually there during the evenings (EST).