Evolving Faith {part 3}: The One With the A Word

Today I’m writing more about my journey from—to describe it simply—Default Christianity to Question-Filled Agnosticism. I’m sharing this personal evolution as it happens, even though I don’t feel like I have a firm grasp on it yet. So, forgive me if I contradict myself a wee bit . . . it’s kind of my thing.

{If you’re curious you can click here to read part one and part two.}

Most of you know that we homeschool our kids. One of the things I love most about this is being able to investigate topics that wouldn’t normally be covered {at all, or in as much detail} in most 2nd and 4th grade public school classrooms. We’ve done tons of reading on evolutionary biology. We’re learning Spanish. We’re diving into the world of Greek mythology. And we regularly study and talk about different faiths around the globe.

I honestly believe everyone should take some time to study world religions, mythology, creation stories, and folk tales. It is beyond eye-opening to watch the similarities unfold. From the proclaimed deities and religious figures, to the nearly identical tales being told by different cultures, to the overwhelming sameness of the core principles outlined in the various writings—seeing the connected threads in these “unique” religions is definitely an enlightening experience.

Especially if you’ve spent most of your life entrenched in just one of the infinite possibilities of explaining the seemingly unexplainable.

Personally, the more I read and explore the more organized religion turns me off, although I still participate in one willingly. {That paradox is probably best left for another post, though.} To think that any one person or group or belief system has figured out the only true way and that everything else is a myth is foolish at best.

That said, however, I can’t help but appreciate the food for thought and life lessons these stories offer.

We’ve enjoyed learning about well-known figures like Buddha, Muhammad, and Jesus. We’ve read the ten commandments, the five pillars, and the four noble truths. We’ve re-discovered the same folk tales over and over again from different cultural perspectives. {Did you really think Noah was the only flood myth?} We’ve explored several of the dozens of creation stories.

So this is how we approach religious studies in our home {and homeschool}. We look at what we can glean from the interesting stories. We filter through our love of science and skepticism. And we remain open to learning more. Yet, when it comes right down to it, there isn’t any part of what we’ve studied that rings more “true” than another. It’s like a giant, interweaved fictional story that gives people peace in different ways. And there’s nothing wrong with that, per se. But just because a lot of people believe it doesn’t make it fact.

If I had to put a label on it, I would still consider myself agnostic—in the sense that I do not claim absolute faith nor complete disbelief—yet I find myself leaning further toward atheism. 

And to be perfectly honest it makes me a little woozy to say that out loud. Because it’s not at all where I thought I would end up.

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