Sunday, July 18, 2010

Defining The Question

I first created my youtube account name, ThatOneQuestion, with a purpose. I didn't really have a good way to express that reason, really, and didn't bother with it until I decided to try and make a "video intro" that explained a little bit about that. So, I've only recently articulated that question into something more meaningful and thought provoking, but I think it does a great job.

"The concept of our world view is founded on the answer we define for one question: What is religion?"

I believe that when you answer that question you will have a deeper understanding of your own concept of religion. That may or may not help you with what you currently believe, but at the very least, that will help you define yourself.

If you find that religion is some kind of truth about reality, then it will take you down a certain group of explanatory terms to define reality.

If you find that religion is something like a psychological aspect to human nature, then that conclusion will similarly guide you down specific paths.


Hello! I've started this blog as a tool for myself to share, examine, and save inspired and detailed discussions and topics for myself in the general category of religion.

I've spent most of the last three years of my religious exploration on youtube-but before you roll your eyes or facepalm yourself, think about it for a moment. Youtube is a global communication tool that connects billions of people in one common point of reference. Just one quick search, and you can find thousands and even millions of people who actually share the same ideas, tastes, desires, etc, that you do. That is something local communities can not offer.

Communication is very important. Its even more important in broadening your own experiences and understanding of things. And as I am expanding into another facet of global communication to "put myself out there" as it were, I am looking forward to seeing what all it can do for my growth as a person and as someone with a few things to say on what I find important.

Personal Story - As It Relates To The Topic

The most significant aspect of my life that has defined who I am, when it comes to religion, is the early passing of my father. As I have very few memories of the man who was my father, I have had to rely on what I have been told. This has presented an interesting problem for me in how to relate to others who have both parents and how that influences their development, but thankfully I've usually had a male father figure around most of the time (grandfather and uncle).

I have been told that my father was devoutly religious. He would read from his particular Christian Bible every morning. I do have early fragmented and fuzzy memories of what I think is Catholic church mass on Sundays, doughnut social events afterwords, but not a great deal more. My father's cancer claimed his life just around the time when the important religious questions should have started to come up. Given the very strong religious conviction of my father, I often wonder how I would view the world now had I been guided by his words. Would I still have rejected the notion of a supreme being? Would I still desire to learn about science, or would I spit on it as "blasphemy" like a fundamentalist and close my mind?

My mother was not as devout as my father, but, from what I can remember, still stands firmly in her beliefs of a divine being. I do get the sense that she, like many moderates I have come to be familiar with, do not accept or even like organize religion. That, however, does not sway her (nor should it) in the reasons she has to or not to believe what she does. While not seemingly religoius at all, a better term to describe my mother would be "spiritual" (and yes, as labels go, this is still fairly useless because it is far too vague-and there is much to be said about social labels some other time). As the calm and cool intellectual influence on my life, I have her to thank for what she has had to teach me.

My brother and I seem to have shared our view of the world since I can remember. Oddly, or not so oddly, the question of religious affiliation never really presented itself to our family because of my father's cancer. That was the focus of our lives for a long time, and thing like religion took a back seat to more practical concerns. In recent years, my brother share occasional jokes about the silly things religious fundamentals tend to do and say.

My uncle and aunt, whom I lived with for a number of years, seemed to have also kept religion at a fair distance. It is because of this continued benign influence from the religious world that has left me to explore it on my own. That freedom has lead me to develop my own concepts of a world view in peace, without harassment and indoctrination from "the home".

So Where Does That Leave Me?

While willing to entertain and seriously consider claims (at least the first time around) in favor of such things, I dont believe gods exist. Through everything that I have read, seen, heard, and experienced, I think the best explanations for religion can be described by human psychology. Intellectual tools, such as defining logical fallacies, have helped me specifically identify why certain aspects of religion have failed to convince me.

The most important thing to me is intellectual honesty. Making claims about one thing or another is perfectly fine, but what matters are the reasons you make those claims; the underlying foundation to a claim will determine everything else about it. In a word: evidence.

I think this should do for a quick introduction. I will enjoy writing more, and I have a great deal to "put out there", if only to read it back to myself and develop those ideas even further. If it can spark some good debate/arguments/flamewars, hey, all the better. Hopefully I can entertain some of you, and intellectually challenge others!