There is one question at the root of my motivation for sharing IGITY with the world. Without this motivation, these ideas may have never been conceived and my life would (most likely) significantly lack substance. These ideas have changed not only the way that I think, but also the way that I act. The fateful question which continues to drive the development of this philosophy in my life is simply this: Why?
I have known the answer since before I first coined the concept back in 2006. At that time I was 22, fresh out of college with a BS in Geology, and coming on 10 years as a self-proclaimed atheist. I had not always thought this way; in fact, I was ‘saved’ at a church lock-in during 7th grade, right as my uncertainty was culminating. But at this time I respected the people in my life who did believe in God, and while I was skeptical I knew that there had to be some truth to an idea that the majority of the world accepts.
And so, I have sought to relate the two fundamental systems of belief, atheism and theism, rather than call attention to their discrepancies. While they arrive at two completely different conclusions about the world around us, I find that the paths each side takes to get to these conclusions do not necessarily need to stray from each other.
There is an inherent sense of goodness within humans that can get distorted by life experiences and influence of the people that you interact with the most. Being selfish, disrespectful, and bigoted is all too often rewarded in today’s society, in lieu of loving and helping one another and working towards a collective state of understanding. Most of the atheists that I know aren’t heathens, and most of the deists that I know are likewise good people, too. Ultimately it is not a person’s belief system which dictates the way that they behave, but rather their nature and their nurture.
Based on these thoughts, it is no wonder that humanity continues down a spiraling path of destruction as more and more people emulate the behaviors that they are inundated with. The sad state of reality is that the people with all of the power and wealth are often the worst offenders and serve as terrible role models. They are manipulative with their power and attempt to divide politics into two neat boxes that can then be controlled. As a society, we do not have to emulate these behaviors and follow in the same footsteps. This is a pivotal point in time and collectively we have strength to impose direction on the way things progress.
A person’s religion and beliefs are an important part of who they are and I am not out to change that. I only wish to unite all faiths (or lack thereof) under a common goal: to respect our planet and all that inhabit it. By doing this, we can start to navigate a better future for the world. It cannot be done without making a conscious effort to live a more altruistic life. Are you up for the challenge?