Agnostic Again

I was brought up to believe in a god who was omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent.  In R.E. classes we discussed the holes in this image.  How can a god that is omnipotent and benevolent allow evil in the world?  Either god is all powerful and just doesn’t care about the suffering in this world, or god is good, and just unable to solve the problem of suffering. Or god is omnipotent and benevolent but not omniscient: he/ she doesn’t know about the problems in the world. My teachers said that god is not God if s/he is not all three of those things- that the god we pray to has to have all of those characteristics to qualify as a true deity. I don’t see a solution to this riddle. None of their arguments convinced me.

Last year I was confirmed in the Catholic Church. I didn’t get confirmed as a teenager like most of my friends, because I didn’t believe. Last year, after two hospitalisations, I felt that something positive must be working in my favour: I had survived. It was a tiny miracle.

On Tuesday, at 2a.m. I woke up with a sinking feeling in my heart. I knew suddenly and without a doubt that god does not exist. There is amazing evidence in my life that I am being looked after, and millions of moments I am grateful for. But I realised as I woke that all those moments, all the beauty I see around me, all the good fortune I’ve had- is evidence of nothing but luck.

Billions of people, despite prayer, or faith, or love, are not lucky. Their lives are blighted by poverty, or war, or a million other things. Some of them have unwavering faith in god. Where’s their response? I’m not angry about god: I simply can’t believe anymore. Luck is in my favour. But luck is not something I can, or will, pray to.

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8 thoughts on “Agnostic Again

  1. The idea that “luck,” an abstract and impersonal principle, can be “in favor” of anybody seems to indicate a lingering acceptance of some higher, personal power. You are “grateful” — to whom? No, “luck” is not “in favor” of everybody. There are many really bad things in the world that happen to very many people. But can all the good things, all the beautiful things, all the love and hope and faith, really be the random consequence of “luck”? Does a “luck” that is “good” to many not evince a love and a power that is beyond our understanding (rather than uncaring and impotence)?

    • So much to think about, isn’t it? I will make a poroper reply when in the head-space to get my words round it, just wanted you to know I had read, and appreciated, nad been intrigued by, your comment.

      • Thanks. 🙂 I’m glad it was helpful. To be honest, I never know what to say in these situations — but I know it’s very sad and scary to struggle with faith. If faith is something important to you, I would encourage you not to give up on it. I’ve never found labels like “agnostic” or “atheist” to be very helpful; despite what they claim about themselves, they encourage a conclusion and resolution — while any kind of encounter with the unknown, whether it’s in faith or science, has got to be about searching and not giving up. And I do believe God gives faith to those who seek him.

      • Hi, sorry, it’s taken me ages to reply to you properly! I wanted to wait because your comment was detailed, and interesting, and I wanted to have something to say. Aaaand, now I do. I have been re-shaping my ideas about luck, and god, and the world. and started to think that yes, there is a power beyond my understanding. At the moment, I can’t get my head around the idea of its omnipotence- at the moment, I don’t think it *is* all-powerful and I am trying to persuade myself not to mind that. To believe that something can be loving, and powerful, but not all-powerful, is better than to believe in nothing at all. I’m still struggling quite a bit around belief at the moment. But there are certain things I do believe (and will write about in due course) (in fact right now) and will try to hold on to. Thanks again for your comment.

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