This blog is dedicated to the concept, Intentional Living. Of course, since this a personal blog, I am sharing my personal views on this. There are multiple takes and flavors of Intentional Living.
No Formalized Religion
I am not affiliated with the “Intentional Living” organization; it appears they are a Christian church. I am also not associated with any other Christian dogma or churches. My philosophy of living and what I am dubbing ‘Intentional Living’ has nothing to do with God or any formal religion. Intentional Living is a way of life and for some people that may include their “god”. My explanations are without judgment.
Do good without God
It’s probably impossible for me to write about religion, especially going sans formalized religion, without someone having an “Othering” opinion. You can judge me for not having your religion or any religion, but that is exactly what I am speaking. Religion could include some concepts of intentional living, but that is not my approach.
The synopsis is an intentional life that doesn’t require any religion. I do not practice formalized religion. I do however believe that in order to be a good person, we must respect each other. My intention is set on being a good person, and that is how I try to live my life.
Humanist fits as a definition; this is believing all humans deserve to be treated respectfully and with dignity. You could consider this the Golden Rule of treating others the way you want to be treated.
If you also live your life working hard every day to treat others with respect, you know how difficult it is to treat people respectfully when they act so awfully. Just look at the World around you and try to ignore the horrible crap that human beings are doing. It is amazing how ill we have become as a Species. We treat each other so dreadfully!
It may have been true for many many years, but why is it so that people are so terrible to other human beings?! Respecting human beings and their autonomy is an essential aspect of my intentional life. This has to be a choice that you intentionally set because it is increasingly hard to love your neighbor when your neighbor doesn’t care if you die.
Religion does not fit into my idea of living an intentional life. The exact opposite is true. Religions, particularly those that are organized to follow set paths, pit individuals against each other. You witness individuals become part of this way of believing that they are more moral than others and make themselves the judge of how other people live their lives with the preface of godliness. That is not saying that all people, or all religious people, or people that have religion in their lives are this way. I know that is not true, just as all blanket statements are wrong, because they legitimize our prejudices and create stereotypes.
I choose to live an intentional life free from organized religion because
I am free.
My mind is free.
Science is real.
There are many things we don’t know yet.
I believe in a different kind of magic.
There are a lot of good books.
God is everything and nothing.
God is not a man.
Maybe intentional living is my religion? Some people will say it’s fine if you don’t go to church. Of course, then they will go on to tell you about how you should (or they do) believe in God even though you (or they) don’t attend church services. This is not intended to tell you that you are bad or wrong, but to let you know how this presents to me, that this is still a judgment that there has to be a god, and a judgment that you aren’t okay with me or anyone else that would say they don’t believe in god.
Being a good person does not have to be driven by religion. Every day we face choices that can lead us to live an intentional life. We can wake up in the morning and decide that it is most important to put a smile on and be nice. Religion doesn’t make me do this. Living an intentional life, where we take responsibility for our actions and seek to improve the lives around us, is the path that I seek.