I'm not completely sure if atheist is the way I describe myself. It would likely be more along the lines of a Teacup Agnostic. But if you say that to people, they just stare at you blankly.
I don't believe there is a god. For me it defies logic. I also do not deny it's possible one exists. It seems highly unlikely. It seems no more likely than the existence of Zeus, Loki, Vishnu, or any other number of gods that have been worshipped.
Having said that, I have always been fascinated by mythologies. Whether they were a part of one of the big religions or a more obscure pagan belief system, the metaphors and archetypes (The term coined by Jung) are to me a fascinating exploration of humankind's psyche. (Although usually only from the male perspective).
The other aspect of religion that interests me is the moral aspects. I do not believe religion holds a monopoly on morality. I think a person who needs religion to tell them that they shouldn't kill people has some serious issues that religion is not going to fix.
But I see good moral lessons with scripture. I also see scripture more related to maintaining authority and subduing unrest amongst the population. I see long dead principles that have no place in modern society. This is were the pope comes into my discussion.
This is hardly the first time that I have heard a pope say something that moved me, but never to this level. Usually in my lifetime, speeches given by a Pope have concerned reinforcing religious dogma with little to no thought as to what the negative consequences in modern society would be.
Speaking out against contraception in countries riddled by overpopulation and std's seems not just wrongheaded, but actually cruel. This based on writings from close to 2000 years ago when population growth could only be viewed as a good thing.
This speech by our current Pope though is something very different. Not only is it kind and compassionate. It is well thought out. It seems to create a bridge between the spiritual and the philosophical in a way that I have only heard in current times by the Dalai Lama.
It gives me a great deal of hope for the future to hear a leader, followed by so many, that not only truly addresses the horrific inequality that exists in the world today, but that also is not afraid to point the finger at what, and who is responsible for the inequity.
With 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world, many of whom are wealthy and powerful, a spiritual leader that could actually give them pause to question their current actions, Pope Francis could actually be a real driving force in positive change in the world today.
Don't get me wrong, I don't plan to become a Catholic or start believing in god. Whoever said the Bible is the greatest story ever told must not have read anything by Chuck Palahniuk. But if Pope Francis continues forward with actions that match his words, I would happily call myself a supporter if not a follower of the Catholic Church.
Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:34 PM PT: Well, I've only written a few diaries on Daily Kos, and this one has by far been the most commented on and the most recommended which I thank everyone for.
I'm not sure if the large amount of views it received was due to the diary itself, or the level of passion that people feel for the subject.
The comments yielded a large amount of discourse from people who have extremely varied viewpoints. Most of that discourse was extremely civil and well thought out. Of course there were some who were less civil, and could have easily by some received the label of "troll" which is a term I don't like to throw around lightly, but sometimes just seems the only good description.
Overall I was extremely interested with people's thoughts, their passion, and their ability to listen to others viewpoints.
I have not been with Daily Kos for long, but have often thought that the diaries themselves are educationally second to what can be found in the comment section.
I'd like to thank all that took part in that discourse.