Why do you choose to believe/choose not to believe in God?
(I thought I'd share my own little spiel, as it is only fair. But if you don't really care to know about my life choices, please feel free to skip all the mumbo-jumbo below and go straight to answering my question. I am truly just curious to know others' answers besides the people in my real-world life.)
I am not a Christian. I have actually been studying Wicca for about six months now. It's the religion that has always fascinated me and I truly believe in and understand the concepts. I was raised a Baptist, and up until a couple years ago, I spent my life trying to pretend I believed in this god that I couldn't understand yet I was too afraid of "fire and brimstone" to admit it to myself. One day I just woke up and realized that even if Christian God does exist, fear is not a good enough reason to believe in something. He'll know I only believe out of fear, which is lying to myself and Him. So I finally let myself embrace the fact that I don't believe in Christianity. I just don't believe in a God that wants me to be subserviant to men and wants me to believe gays and Muslims, etc. are going to burn in Hell or that I am a sinner for having sex with my boyfriend I am in love with or all the other rules that I find ridiculous. I may sound biased, but I assure you I am very well-versed in Christianity, unlike many I have encountered who claim they are God's #1 Fan....
A lot of people get really offended that I am so interested in practicing Wicca, even those who claim to be Atheist. Two of my friends had a sort of intervention with me and told me I just need *something* to believe in, so I picked this religion that holds all of my values. Maybe that's true, maybe it isn't. But ever since I was quite young (I'm 21 now... I mean quite young as in like 10, lol.) I have just had this connection to Wicca... and now that I am metaphorically free from my inhibitions, I have chosen to further pursue it, to see if I really want to make it my life's path. I *don't* feel like I NEED something to believe ... I have just chosen something to believe *in*, which I think makes all the difference in the world. I've also been told that if I don't believe in Christian God, I shouldn't believe in the Goddess (a Wiccan deity), because I don't have any proof that Christian God doesn't exist, so how can I possibly believe in some other God? I should either be Christian or Atheist. Ignorant, ignorant, in my opinion. I really and truly believe that whatever is up there in the clouds is the same thing for all religions. The differences are the cultures and the interpretations.
I don't hate God, though, also, which is something I've never understood from the Atheists I've come in contact with. Is it really necessary to say things like "F*** God!!" or to burn Bibles? I try to have respect for all religions. Everyone believes in whatever their religion is for their own reasons... who am I to tell someone they aren't on the right path or my religion is the only One True Way? No one knows these things, which is one of the things that annoyed me about Christianity. But seriously... why do (most) Atheists hold such a grudge? I consider myself an Agnostic, but I still have respect for all.
Songs like "Jesus Take the Wheel" still make me cry.. it's a very emotional song. Lol. I've for some reason had a lot of people knock on my door to ask to pray for my household... I don't mind that. I appreciate that they want to spread positive energy to me. I don't mind at all discussing my beliefs with someone who genuinely wants to know, but I have a huge problem with someone telling me I am stupid and witchcraft is a bunch of bull****, etc. I don't understand why it matters so much, even to people who claim to be open-minded about the world.
If religion is supposed to be all about love and kindness and grasping a better understanding on our existence, then why is everyone so caught up on the fine details? Just exist. Preferrably in peace. Not pieces.