When I first decided I was no longer going to believe there is or ever was a God, I still held on firmly to my moral beliefs. I felt that there must be some bigger reason to believe certain things were good and others bad.
I still believe this, but as I travel down this road, determining what is right and wrong becomes harder when I don't have, "because God says so" to fall back on. There is no black and white. Even in religions there really is no black and white, but believers like to think there is. In the Bible there are so many conflicting doctrines and commandments.
So, I am faced with figuring out for myself, what is the basis of my morality? At this point, for me, it comes down to suffering. I am not sure yet where this will lead, but it is where I am today. I do fear falling off the deep end and losing grasp of what is real and good.
As a conservative Christian, I used to believe very clearly that all killing of a human between conception and natural death was evil. This did give me pause even then. For example, having worked at a very nice nursing home, there was so much suffering and unnecessary pain and prolongation of life. Many people had horrible bed sores, were lonely, couldn't eat, talk, move. This was at a very good facility. I don't want to even imagine the situation at poor or understaffed places. It made me wonder. Is it really good to keep these people alive with such low quality of life and intense suffering?
As a conservative Catholic, I was persuaded to believe that all contraception was evil. If someone was going to have sex, then they should be open to the natural consequences. Ugh, thinking of that now makes me think of a comparison like: if a person is going to eat vegetables then it is evil to wash them because that is their natural state coming from the earth. It really makes no sense.
But, I fell for it. I now have had 6 children in 9 years. My husband and I are very unstable. My mental health has been stretched to the limits, not to mention my body. The pain and suffering of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, late nights, diapers, education, health, psychology of the children and parents all added up to nothing when compared to "GOD'S WILL." If having children can be this difficult for me, a person who had a decent upbringing, college degree, and whose husband makes enough money to be ok, then how much harder must it be for poor, under educated, or even mentally or physically impaired.
It seems so incredibly irresponsible now. But, that is what it comes down to when we abandon our reason to faith.
Why is this so important to me right now? Because I just ended a pregnancy. I will blog about that next.