Wednesday, October 15, 2008

When you get older...

I've been mulling on this one for a while now, but I don't think that I have a lot to say about it. So, considering that I'm feeling a bit pressed for time tonight, I'm going to go with it.

A few times, I've had people who are about a generation older than me tell me that I'll "see things differently" when I get older. What are they talking about? My disbelief in God. Apparently, when you start getting closer to the Grim Reaper, you start thinking that maybe that there is some higher power out there. Or more likely, you start HOPING that there's some higher power out there.

I could be wrong, and I've been wrong before, but I don't necessarily buy it. For one, there are plenty of senior citizens who are atheists. I read an article in my local paper about an atheist/agnostic group at the local retirement community. I'm sure that they're all as old if not much older than the people who told me that I'd see things differently when I got older. (Perhaps I will change my mind when I hit my fifties, but then I'll change back when I hit my seventies.)

Also, and I just know how my mind works here - I'm not the kind of person who'll believe something just because I want it to be true. When I look back on when I finally started to admit to myself that I was an atheist, it took a long time because I wanted God to be real. But ultimately, I'm just not the kind of person who can believe in something just because it makes me feel good. Wishing that something was true doesn't make it any more true, ya know.

I guess what's hard for theists to understand is that there really are people out there who honestly don't believe. I mean, I can't go back to believing in God for the same reason that I can't go back to believing in Santa Claus. At least, I'd need to hear something different than the same arguments that theists give me over and over again. You know, the arguments that I used to use myself back when I argued with atheists. I can't go back again and start saying all that stuff that I realized was insensible and illogical. I mean, you'd believe in Santa Claus if you actually had some proof, right? So would I - and that's how I feel about God. Show me the proof.


Ingrid said...

Lance, I don't think people necessarily think about God when they say you'll see things differently when you are older. Just think, do you still feel the same way about certain things as you did when you were, like 10? If you don't change, you don't grow. I believe that we stay basically the same but change our views on things as we get older because, hopefully, we have experienced some intense moments that made us see more. Many things that used to rattle me don't touch me anymore, that comes with age. You'll understand when you get older.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

But that's exactly what I was referring to - conversations about the existence of God and how I might think differently about his existence when I get older. That happens, and that is what they mean.

Ingrid said...

I didn't realize that you only talked about your belief in God, how that might change. When you have an experience where you feel forsaken by everybody and you feel the presence of God in your worst moment, and you just know he is there to stand by you, maybe then you change your thinking. Of course you can say "it's all in your head", because you haven't personally felt it. I have.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

See, this is what I'm talking about.

You say that I haven't personally felt it. Are you forgetting that I spent most of my life believing in God? Did you not read my post where I wrote about how I felt that Jesus was with me when I was in the hospital?

I have had those feelings, and I have concluded that they were all in my head. It's pretty disingenuous of you to tell me what I've felt.

Ingrid said...

Well, your faith left and mine stayed. I guess there's the difference.