Sunday, October 03, 2004

First Unitarian Church

I just got back from church. This is the second Sunday I’ve gone to First Unitarian Church in Louisville, and so far I absolutely love it. This is the first church where I’ve been able to honestly express my beliefs in religious matters and not worry about fitting into some kind of creed or dogma. Not that everyone agrees with what I have to say.

This morning in SMART (Sunday Morning Adult Round Table, the adult “Sunday School”) we were discussing the issue of what Unitarian Universalists believe about life after death. There were a variety of views, though quite a lot of them expressed a belief of some kind of reincarnation. There was a lady who had had a “near death experience” when she was 12 (she is over 70 now). Her husband is a skeptic however. About NDE’s and telepathy and all that, he says “It’s all bunk!” There were also a handful of scientifically minded people, like myself.

Most everyone in the room wrote down their thought on life after death and read them to the group. As I was the first one to express a naturalistic view, it was a bit of an intimidating experience, but I welcomed it. Here is what I wrote:

“I do not believe that an individual’s personality exists any longer after they die. I have a naturalistic point-of-view that is very skeptical of any claims about the supernatural. About the claims of clairvoyance and telepathy and such, I have yet to hear of one that could stand up under the skeptic’s test. I would be happy to change my position if new good evidence could be found.

“Since I don’t believe that out personalities exist after we die, it means that our moments of life are limited [in number] and extremely precious. They must not be wasted.”

It was an interesting experience for me to discuss such a religious and emotionally-charged issue in such a diverse group. It really made me think about what it is that I really believe, though it did not cause me to change my mind. What was really great was how everyone was supportive and respectful, even about the disagreements. We are all just trying to find our way, and that is understood.

I don’t know what I’m going to do yet when my parents come back from their trip—whether I will continue going to the UU church or if I will go back to theirs. Actually, I really think I would prefer staying with the UU’s, but I will have to decide how to break the news to Mom.

1 comment:

Titus Philps said...

Well, that could be true.