Fence-sitting

Last weekend, my blog went from it’s usual and pathetic 10-20 hits, thanks mainly to supportive friends and family, to over 23,000. I have found this to be quite overwhelming, and it’s been very hard to post after such a success.

I mean, where do I start? I interviewed the total spunkrat and uber-legend, Facebook God. How do I top that?

I suppose the only thing that might come close would be if Obama walked in my front door and said, “Hi Belinda, I have so much cool stuff to talk to you about. Let’s sit down and chat over a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit.”

“Sure, Barack. Do you like Tim Tams? You don’t? Right. Get the fuck out of my house. Now.”

I think you can gauge the depth of the problem here. So I thought I would discuss what many people brought up with me in the comments.

Agnosticism. Or, as I like to call it, fence-sitting.

To me, fence-sitting is sensible. Christianity and Atheism are scarily similar – one side of the fence believe in God, the other side do not. But to my mind, the non-belief in God (Atheism) is a belief system, especially because they are starting to behave like organised religions, i.e. meeting together to discuss their beliefs, go to conventions about non-belief, and talk to other non-believers about their non-belief.

Get my drift?

I don’t dare presume to know if there is a God or not. I can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God, so I prefer to ignore both sides and get on with the job of living.

Many moons ago I was a born-again Christian. I know I definitely felt something when I ‘found God’, but I cannot say if that was wishful thinking (as Atheists would suggest) or if it really was the hand of God (as Christians would suggest). But I fell out with the church and organised religion, mainly because I never felt like I fit in in the first place. Lesbians and gay people are friggin’ wonderful, and women are fabulous. But I kept being told that non-heterosexuals were an abomination, and that women were second to men. So I fucked that shit off. And it has shaped my current thoughts on the matter (plus my slight antagonism towards Chrisitians, which is something I am trying to get past).

I read and I discussed. I finally came to my own conclusions, personal though they are.

Do you know that feeling you get when you go to see your favourite rock band? There are 20,000 of you in the arena, and as one entity you are loving this band. There is a feeling in the air, an electricity; it’s so real, you could almost reach out and touch it. And that, my friends, is where I think energy is. (Some may call this God. I don’t.) Within the mass-consciousness is an amazing energy. With this energy, we can change, and indeed have changed, the world. This energy is a gathering of our auras; a collection of our emotions and feelings. It is extremely powerful, and it has overthrown goverments and forced incredible social change.

WE are the power, the collective power. And we together form that energy when we stand as one. When we are too disparate, we end up with the governments we deserve, the wars we allow the powers-that-be to wage, and all the horrors that are performed in the name of God.

So yeah, I’m a fence sitter. I can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God, nor whether or not He/She/It lies in the energy of our mass-consciousness (it’s only a theory).

While the rest of the world battle each other over ‘right’ versus ‘wrong’, I sit on the fence, chewing a blade of grass, and think. I look to the corners of the earth and see the beauty – the oyster grey-blue of the mountains in the distance, the birds darting from tree to tree, and the butterflies fluttering through the wildflowers.

I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, and inhale the fresh, clear air oh-so-deeply, and I am grateful that I am here, on this planet, in this moment. The existence or non-existence of God is irrelevant. Life is beautiful, and we should simply live it, enjoy it, savour it, languish in it.

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28 thoughts on “Fence-sitting

  1. You may not realize it, but there is no fence. Either you feel belief – or not. How do you see a fence there? If you feel a little belief, you are already over the fence. At the core, that’s what atheism is, the lack of belief. Nothing more. It’s not about knowing that there is no god or proving it. It’s only about not believing. You either do or you don’t.

    But just for the record: I can also not disprove or prove invisible, flying pink unicorns, but as long as no one shows me any evidence for them (for example, unicorn dung on the roof), I will assume they don’t exist. That’s the rational default position. Yes, it’s possible that they exist, but that’s goes without saying (and is true for an infinite number of things, because we can think of all sorts of non-falsifiable nonsense), but doesn’t influence our lives and the fact that starting to act like they did (by leaving unicorn food outside, for example) is not very rational.

    • I completely disagree (in a nice, internetty kinda way). If you’re unsure about something, then you’re neither one nor the other. Consider it a bit from Column A and a little bit from Column B… I suppose that equation must equal Columnoscopy!

      I digress.

      I am ambivalent about aliens. I can neither prove nor disprove their existence, yet it wouldn’t surprise me if they turned up on the doorstep one day aka Mars Attacks. Or E.T. Who the hell knows? Until that day, I will sit on the fence, and consider them as a possibility, nothing more.

      I have not seen fairies, but I believe their existence more than that of an omnipotent being in the sky. 🙂 But that’s because they’re cute and awesome.

      • Yes, you are unsure about aliens. But you do BELIEVE that they are there? You cannot believe “a little”. Either you do or not. You may consider both things possible, their existence and their non-existence, sure, but do you feel inside you the belief that they exist? It’s not about knowledge (yes, you are agnostic, I understand that, I am too, so what?). It’s about your belief and that belief is not connected to your knowledge. You can be theist and agnostic. Or atheist and agnostic.

      • What Atomic Mutant is saying is that agnosticism is not the fence. It’s not a position on god. It’s a position concerning knowledge, and that position can inform a god belief, but it is not one itself. Of course, it’s not the slightest bit unusual for people to treat it as one, which leads to many headaches. A way to test your situation can be to say to yourself, “I have no reason to believe in a god, but…” and if you can’t fill in anything after the but, then you are an atheist.

        To run with your alien analogy, you say that, while you cannot prove or disprove their existence, you wouldn’t be surprised to discover them. Would you not be surprised because you know that, in such a large universe, aliens are a near certainty? So you do believe in aliens, but you willing to admit that you haven’t got the information to prove it. This is analogous to being an agnostic theist.

      • According to the urban dictionary:

        “Unlike atheists, an agnostic uses a more scientific approach to their belief system. An agnostic knows that just because there is no physical proof of the existence of a higher being, it dose not automatically mean that one does not exist. An agnostic views an atheist on the same plane as a religious zealot.”

        Ergo, I am an agnostic. Ta da. Subject closed. 😛

      • Ig At, when I wrote about Facebook God, I got a lot of comments about atheism and agnosticism, so I decided to write more about my opinion (and it is simply that, mind you!) in an attempt to clarify the whole thing.

        Instead, I have muddied the waters.

        Maybe it’s the terms that are the issue. Perhaps it is our modern-day societal interpretation of the labels pertaining to belief, lack of belief or being unsure of either that is the problem here.

        I am not claiming anything other than being a fence-sitter who will not commit to either side of the debate.

        I think it’s time for a change of topic, because we could discuss this in circles for the rest of eternity. And frankly, I’d rather spend my time on the planet doing interesting things like eating chocolate, drinking red wine, having beautiful sex, and dancing under the moon with the pixies.

      • While I certainly don’t think it’s necessary to go in circles to resolve this, I’m all in favor of pursuing chocolate, wine, and sex instead. No dancing though. I’m a terrible dancer.

      • I think I’m getting hung up on the “either you feel belief or not”. My interpretation of “fence-sitting” is not at all black and white. It’s more like being open to the possibility of belief–just because you are open to it, doesn’t necessarily mean you believe it. I have to say I’m a little shocked by the urban dictionary saying agnostics view atheists as religious zealots. I think that is just as bad as saying all Christian’s are religious zealots. Jeezy Creezy-that ain’t right. I understand “belief” is the term used to distinguish between atheism, agnosticism and Christianity. However, Christianity to me isn’t about me believing there is a God, it’s about having faith. And that is an entirely different ball of wax (BTW why would anyone ever have a ball of wax?).

  2. Amen, sister! I found you through Facebook God, but I’m staying since I think your writing is clever and has just the right amount of snarky attitude.

    but….what the hell are Tim Tams?

  3. You’ll find that most atheists are what you think of as agnostic, and will say so if asked directly. Your post contains a common misunderstanding about the nature of atheism, and that is that it literally means “without a god belief”. What you think of as atheists are actually anti-theists, which believe the opposite of theism – that there is no god.

    I’ll agree with you that some people can find god in what you describe as mass consciousness, losing themselves to the mob, but as a counterpoint, I’ll mention that some will find him in solitude. Meditating, fasting, and prayer are also paths to a connection. It may just come down to the difference between being an introvert or an extrovert. I would guess that you’re an extrovert.

  4. Pingback: This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (Part One) | fojap

  5. Hi Groovie Chick. Nice name. Lol! I came across this while going through Fb God’s pages. Cool blog you have running!

    I’m also an agnostic yet I don’t consider myself a fence-sitter. I see this as a legitimate religious stance. I lean more towards the atheist side of things as I don’t believe in any of the thousands of deities that humans have created since we first tried to understand how the world around us works. But I don’t discount that perhaps some Force out there exists. I’m not sitting on a fence.

    You say that atheists are starting to behave like organised religion? Well…here’s my opinion on that matter. Firstly I’d like to say I don’t belong to any religious/non-religious organization or attend such meetings…until last month when I went to an atheist convention. It was my first such event since I left my lifelong Christian life. Anyway, back to my point. I see religious gatherings and ceremonies as a social thing. I see a bunch of Catholics meeting for mass once a week, the same way as a group of friends who attend an NBA basketball game whenever their team is in town, or English sports fans who buy season tickets to a football (I mean soccer, lol) match. And this is no different than a bunch of friends who meet at a bar once a month for some drinks. Humans are social animals and have the need to belong, and be part of a group. The way atheists and agnostics are treated in the real world also means we need to meet each other, encourage one another and maybe even date. I’ve met women who refuse to give me a chance simply because I don’t believe the way they do. The atheist convention I attended was awesome! We shared our different stories and how we got to disbelieving. I made some friends too. The internet should not be the only place where we meet like-minded people. I live in a country where 80% of the population identify themselves as Christians. Us agnostics and atheists make up around 1% of the population. So I at least understand why it can be comforting to meet like-minded people. It’s important to talk to others about our experiences. Christianity was my entire life and I got shunned, lost job opportunities and friends all because I stopped believing in their deity. So by all means, I think nonbelievers should discuss their nonbelief.

    Life is indeed too beautiful to let the existence of gods or It/their qualities take centre-stage. There’s be less wars and less killing.

    • The meeting of people is where the energy starts, and that is why (mostly through fear and guilt) Christianity has become so powerful. But in recent times, because of the strength of science, we have been questioning the whole deal, and now our uniting energy is changing. Unfortunately, we seem to love waging wars in the name of God.

      I’m sure that God, if it does exist, must really fucking hate that.

      • I agree with you. I guess if less young people attend church, that will equate to less hatred and less wars… Since they won’t have leaders telling them how their god is the one true god and that others are going to hell or deserve to be bombed/killed/have their homes destroyed. Less church attendance will be good for us!

        Btw, I read your replies on the other comments, and I’m impressed. You don’t let others define who you are.

  6. BRAVO. Oh I am so proud—this is lovely. I particularly loved the paragraph about the similarities between Christianity and Atheism. Belinda, I truly hope you are picked up and paid for your craft soon. Please know you have one Christian out there praying for that! Peace.

  7. I’m sure God (?) mwould much rather see us putting our energy into helping each other and the earth than waging wards in his/her/its name. 110% sure, in fact!

  8. Pingback: Here there be dragons. | The old man and the internet

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