Having done my schooling in a system where religion and prayer was about an-hour on an average a day probably played a major part in my turning agnostic at a very young age. I just could not understand the point of something so personal being forcibly being imposed on anyone.
As I grew up, particularly as an adolescent, my agnosticism took on a much more intolerant turn. It was not enough that I was an agnostic, and that people recognized that as a part of me, but now I had to forcibly tell people how stupid they were to be religious.
Somewhere after my mid-30s, thankfully, that intolerance has gone away. I’m still an agnostic, but I do see the point about faith and religion and the role it plays in the life of others. Life, when you distill it down the raw basics, is too scary in how little control it offers. It does help to have that little framework on your side that keeps you going.
In the scale of just humanity, one life is pretty irrelevant. Nearly 150,000 die every day around the world. That is your odds for being alive every single day and there is nothing on earth that can give you a 100% guarantee that you’ll be alive tomorrow. That kind of uncertainty is difficult for almost everyone to live with.
We thrive in our certainties. That whatever we own is ours. That our physical, mental abilities are things we somehow deserve or have somehow earned. Our civilization will fall apart if people stop identifying with all of that. Even though, there is a case to be made that the same thing also leads to a lot of our problems.
Regardless, the thing I have come to understand is that we all have our framework of choice to deal with this uncertainty and we should probably respect another person’s choice in the matter too, as long as they don’t impose it on anyone.