Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I am having such a difficult time in finding some of our readings interesting. Instead, I just find them extremely boring and very hard to get through sometimes. For example, the article about etic and emic. Oh my gosh! Boring. Personally, I find that the first-person accounts of religious experiences are a lot more engaging, compelling, and just easier to read. I find the narratives told exactly from the eyes of the beholder to be much more valuable for myself personally because I find that I learn more. I mean, fact is great and all, but I don't believe that just reading informative pieces will actually help people, especially myself, to understand religion. Facts don't explain a person's desire to practice a religion and they certainly don't explain what a person, who says he or she had been "saved," experienced internally when it comes to their thoughts and emotions. I mean, how can pure fact explain what a person needs to do, say, feel, experience, etc. in order for them to actually feel God, know Him, and want Him in their lives? This is where I believe the personal accounts come into play and where they can help people answer these questions or at least get on the right path to answering them. Like for me personally, I think the main reason I don't practice a religion or have any desire to do so is because I have for so long not lead a religious life at all. I mean, why don't I have a desire to be an active part of a religion? Is there something wrong with me? What do I need to do or feel inside myself in order to desire a religious life? All of these questions, I think, can be addressed by reading the religious experiences of other people to examine what they themselves were feeling internally at the moment they experienced this wonderful feeling. I believe that no fact or research or theory can help people (me) address this conflict. Fact does not address personal emotions, thoughts, or beliefs because every one person is different. In my opinion, fact can not explain that special feeling inside that people, who do lead religious lives, experience on a daily basis; it just can't describe that one tiny moment in someone's life that he or she realizes that they will have a boundless faith and love for God. Only the person's own retelling of that account can express what they were feeling, which in the end determines if one person will lead a religious life and another choose a life without religion completely. I have chosen through my own desires, emotions, feelings, and thoughts that I will not be a part of a religion; other people I know who do practice a religion chose to do so. Why? Why not me?

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