I wasn’t raised in a particularly religious household. My father is more or less a deist and takes issue with the theological positions of the more religiously devout. My mother, like myself, was baptized as a Congregationalist Protestant, and holds slightly stronger religious views than my father. Yet, except for a short period during some tough times many years ago, I have never known her to attend church. She’ll give a prayer ever now and then, but no more than that.
I wasn’t raised with any religious guidance and that’s how I live my life today. Day-to-day, I’m an atheist. I don’t live my life in a religious way and see no reason to do so. However, philosophically, I’m an agnostic. I believe that the question of a deity’s existence or non-existence cannot, and may never be proven. It’s this mix of atheism and agnosticism that allows me to believe that both religious and atheist alike should (civilly) debate the issue, based on well thought-out argument. It’s also this mix that makes me believe that both parties should just accept the other’s way of life. Debate on it, sure, but don’t harp on and ridicule people for their belief. This, I believe, is the wrong way to approach things.
I’ve participated in many religion-based debates between atheists and theists. I feel I have at least a basic understanding of the Old Testament and the New Testament, and some of the core principles of Christianity. Yet, my religious education is lacking. This is my own fault; I’ve never read the Bible (though I have a book of stories from it). Well, at least, not cover to cover. This is odd for me since my fascination with religion knows no bounds.
So, I’m remedying this situation. From Amazon today came a copy of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, complete with the Apocrypha (the Deuterocanical Books, including the Books of Maccabee). I know that even a reading of the Bible won’t make me understand all of, say, Catholic or Methodist teachings, but it’s a start. After the Bible, I’ll continue on with the Book of Mormon (a copy is already in my possession). After that will come other scriptural texts.
And no, I don’t intend on seeing my own personal beliefs change. This is academic for me. I wish to understand more about religion, so I’m going straight to the source. My goal is to become as knowledgeable as possible; at least enough to be able to hold up my end in a truly theological debate. Most of what I’ve debated so far has skirted around the edges of hardcore theology. Obviously, such an endeavor to understand religion is the work of a life time.
I have no problem with that.
Which leads me to this blog. It’s been gathering a lot of dust since I joined Poligazette. I had hoped to transform it into discussion of my profession, video, where I’d discuss the latest in the field and give some useful tips on video filming and editing. I still hope to have some of this material here, but it’s been slow to come, seeing as how my first post related to editing was made only late last month. I’d also hoped to showcase other works, such as writings and video material. However, I haven’t done much creative writing as of late (and that which I’ve done I can’t show as it’s for work). I haven’t gotten a copy of Adobe CS4 yet, so video material won’t be here for a while. Eventually, though, I hope to find time to do all this. Whatever I can squeeze in between work and writing about politics, I guess.
Yet, this new project of mine provides a perfect opportunity for re-invigoration of this blog. As I go through my religious studies, I can make some commentary on the text I am currently reading. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to do it. Perhaps once a week, but I’m not going to set a solid goal. I’ll just let them come naturally.
So, on to the studies!