Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Skeptic’s Quest – My Testimony Part 9

A number of years ago my life was like a lot of people today in your country, my country, all over the world. It was described by the philosopher, Thomas Aquinas, who said, “There is within every soul, within every person, a restless thirst for happiness and meaning.” That described my life. I truly wanted to be happy. I wanted to be one of the happiest people in the world. And I can’t see anything wrong with that if my happiness is not at the expense of someone else. But equal to being happy, I wanted the answers to three questions. I struggled to answer these three questions: The first one--“Who am I as a person?” Number two--“Why am I here?” Number three--“Where am I going?” You know most people will not ask themselves those three questions, because they’re afraid of the answers.

Then equal to that, the answers to those three questions, I wanted to be free. I wanted to be the freest individual in the whole world. Now freedom to me is not going out and doing what you want to do. Any idiot could do that. That is why we have police. True freedom, to me, is to have the capacity or the character to do what you know you ought to do. You are truly not free until you can do what you know you ought to do morally. So I started looking for answers.

I was brought up in the state of Michigan--that’s in the north central part of the United States in the state that kind of looks like the hand with a thumb coming out--and was born in Union City, Michigan. Where I was born a lot of people had religion. It was a boring place to live, but I thought, “Well, maybe religion is the answer to these questions and that happiness and that freedom.” So I started to go to church, and I went to church, morning, afternoon, and evening. But I think I must have found the wrong church. In spite of what the pastor said, I still believed in God. And here was my problem--I felt worse in church than I did out of church. On the farm we were brought up to be quite practical, so when something didn’t work, you threw it out. So I threw out religion, because I did not think in any way it affected my life. I turned my back on the church, or at least that church.


Kenny said...

Hi! What is the source for the quote from Thomas Aquinas, “There is within every soul, within every person, a restless thirst for happiness and meaning.”

I've searched the web and Bartlett's Quotations without success. Thanks!

Kenny said...

Thanks again!