On religion/spirituality

On the ”about me” sections of my Twitter and Instagram pages, I describe myself as follows: Cultural Jew, semi-practicing Buddhist, hopeless humanist, reluctant agnostic, unflinching liberal, inept occasional guitar player, bookworm, yearning traveler

I always like to refer to that description because it forced me to summarize myself with a limited set of characters.

I don’t adhere to any kind of organized belief system. I do identify myself as a cultural Jew. What does this mean? I grew up in a family of non-practicing Jews and more than anything else, and because Jews and Judaism can be classified as ”a people” and ”an extremely old tradition and set of values” next to merely a monotheistic religion, I have grown very attached to this part of my upbringing. I am agnostic, which means I do not actively believe that anything is known or can be known of the existence of God. I am a strong believer, however, in the fact that in Judaism – believing in God is optional. How I interpret it (because that’s how it works – whether you like it or not), is that this traditional backbone provides a spiritual framework for me. Is it better than any other? No! If I had grown up Muslim, I’d have probably chosen to continue being a cultural Muslim. The thing with Judaism is that it’s MINE. Consider it more like a strong cultural identity than anything else. It doesn’t define all of me but it’s an important part of my heritage.

I am completely, 100% aware of the fact that, purely based on logic, any religious scholar would lose in a debate with a devout atheist. But if I’m absolutely certain of one thing, it’s of the fact that we’re not always looking or even should be looking for logic. If you spend your whole life trying to understand your fellow human being by purely and solely applying logic to each moral or practical dilemma, you’ll soon be left clueless and very frustrated. There’s a big part of ourselves and others we can’t even begin to understand. I don’t claim any kind of God is the answer because that is very dangerous and I do believe we need to extend our logic and knowledge for as much as possible. What I do mean is that I’m trying to be forgiving and even loving of this big part of us that is irrational and abstract.

I won’t ever condone someone forcing their religion or any kind of belief on me.

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