In my last post I mentioned how I am reading the book, When Things Fall Apart, and how I am keeping a skeptical outlook as I read it. Well, I just got to a part of the book where I found a passage that makes me feel much more accepting about what the author has to say. Here is the passage that really grabbed me:
The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God. It is an issue that applies to everyone, including both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. It means thinking there’s always going to be a babysitter available when we need one. We all are inclined to abdicate our responsibilities and delegate our authority to something outside ourselves. Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.
The idea that theism is a crutch that we feel we need is a beautifully simple way to explain why I am not a theist. It is totally senseable and practical. In her view of non-theism there is no need for a deity because the concept of a diety is an illusion created by our need to not want to feel alone. Even more importantly, this idea of non-theism requires the rejection of even the need for a diety because it shows that this need is purely psychological and emotional and has no connection with the real world we live in.
I am sure I will have more to say on this subject once I am done reading the book and have given it substantial thought.