by Andrew Ryan Duckworth
Being a Deist is never easy. In fact, in a lot of ways, I wish I could be an Atheist. However, I find that the science world has much more to explain before I drop the idea of a deity. That isn’t to say it won’t happen at some point. Deists are never understood. Both the Theists and the Atheists will throw us hell (although the Theist will do so quite literally). But one thing that I can’t do is place my trust in a book written by numerous authors, with many contradictions, that also seeks to place very human qualities on a deity. Although I have asked myself the question of why anyone would trust in a scientifically outdated book. It is nights like tonight (well, I should say morning, as it is now 3:53 a.m. as I’m writing this) that I reflect on the beliefs I once held, out of my loneliness, out of my quest to find some sort of purpose to everything, including myself.
I can certainly sympathize with the Theist on many things. For example, that need for someone to be there, although we can’t see them, hear them, just that need for something other than yourself. It’s always nice to feel like when the party is over, when everyone has gone home, when you’re still awake and can’t sleep, when you’re in times of turmoil and distress that there might be someone to turn to. That thought, the thought that there might be someone looking out for us, is a thought that, on occasion, I would much like to believe.
Of course, there is always that idea that an afterlife would be nice. After all, who really just wants to die and that’s it? Nothing more? Of course, in my idea of an afterlife, there would definitely need to be a never ending supply of rum and parliament cigarettes, along with those willing to engage in good conversation. And I definitely don’t want to know everything! That’s one thing that I have a lot of problems with, especially with the Christian idea of an afterlife (that all will be revealed). I don’t want everything revealed! I would still want to be able to think for myself and wonder about things. I would still want to be able to hold rational arguments with people. Perhaps the afterlife could have a whole other list of problems to be solved through reason… But I still want my rum and cigarettes, thank you! The reason I don’t believe in an afterlife is quite simple. There’s no reason it would benefit whatever created everything through natural processes. But I can understand why a person would want to believe in an afterlife.
And then there is always the hope that those who have passed on we would be able to meet once again. Who wouldn’t want this? There are so many things that I never got to discuss with my grandmother before she passed, so many things that I wish I had asked about family history, about her life growing up. I miss her and my grandfather so terribly from time to time. We all approach those doors of death on a road that we can only take alone. It’s behind the doors that is the great mystery. What awaits behind the doors? Is it a place of awe and wonder? Or is it eternal blackness, over, done, going back to a state of nothing? Those are questions that still cross my mind occasionally, relics of my days as a Theist I suppose.
However, with our advances in modern science, we have explanations for the things that man constructed the idea of ‘God’ around. I couldn’t possibly go back to putting my faith in a book, even if I desperately wanted to. No, instead, it’s a lonely road to those doors of death for me. But there are still things to look forward to in this life. I wouldn’t be able to survive without my friends who mean more to me than anything. And then, of course, I must have those long conversations that cause me to question the world around me even further with friends who keep an open mind and also like to question the world around them.
But time is constantly slipping away. And although I can certainly sympathize with the Theist on many things, I can never be a Theist myself. We can only watch the clock, watch time tick away and hope that there’s still that bit of time left that we need to do all of the things we wish to do. It’s now 4:24 a.m. as I type. I can only hope that I can have another day in the closest thing to paradise I’ll ever have, another day to see my friends, another day to hold spirited debates, another day to sip on a glass of rum and smoke either a cigarette or a good cigar as I read, write, or engage in deep philosophical conversations. And I sincerely hope that I never find the answers I’m looking for in life. Thinking about the possibilities is much more enjoyable.