“Theism versus Non-Theism. The choice has been presented to us as saved versus damned, holy versus heathen. But when I talk to thoughtful theists, I encounter not a polarity but a spectrum.” – Ursula Goodenough
Okay, so, was reading that book the Divine Nature (err, The Sacred Depths of Nature) and came to this part where Ursula is talking about Theism vs. Nontheism and she says that “The choice has been presented to us as saved versus damned, holy versus heathen…” but when she is talking to thoughtful theists, she “encounters not a polarity but a spectrum.” This for me is, I think describes a lot of how I’ve felt in regards to whether or not I’m a Christian, or an atheist; there’s no either/or, rather it’s a spectrum. I oscillate and change positions (especially in this season of my life) on this “spectrum,” Ursula describes. Also, I wonder if for me, this “allusion” of God, that I’m willing to (oddly) admit is a [likely] figmentation of my imagination, if I’ve created this not only for the management of my terror death (and inexistence, in the Evangelical/”Left Behind” way), but also in the more progressive way that I’m terrified of living in a “hell” in this current life, terrified of wasting it, of not being successful, always being alone, never having a family… so, naturally (maybe?) as a result, I cling to, and white knuckle, this absurd belief in a deity that might unconditionally love me, forgive me, despite all the fucked up shit I’ve done, or that’s been done/told to me… It’s delusional yes? But, it’s comforting, and a socially accepted delusion (that ironically, if I didn’t believe in this delusion I’d be even more ostracized and alienated. But again, it’s a spectrum (I think). What if right now I just didn’t have the privilege to let go of god. I have to lie to myself to make it through this season of “hell”?
I think that for many of us, belief in the divine is a psychological necessity that is what we use and refer to as a means to cope with the intolerable anxiety that comes with life and our given mortality.