Life did not hand me any lemons today, but it did hand me a pie crust. Well, more accurately, I had some crust left over from the pumpkin pies I made the other day. The recipe I used for the crusts actually made enough for two covered pies, but since I don't cover pumpkin pies, I had enough crust left for another two pies (or a covered one). While we were out shopping today, I mentioned to atara that I was thinking of using the rest of the pie crust when we got home, and I asked if she had any requests. She thought about it for a moment and then mentioned that she had some apple pie filling in the freezer that was left over from some pies she made earlier.
So here is my leftovers pie, made from spare crust and filling. The pie is not cooked quite as dark as it looks in the picture.
A few weeks ago, one of the members at our church did a guest stint at the pulpit. He is a retired history professor, and a very engaging speaker, so atara and I make a point to attend when we know that he will be speaking. What he tends to deliver at the pulpit more closely resemble dissertations than sermons. His latest thesis was on the topic of atheism, and more specifically, that people tend to be rather targeted in their atheism.
Most people who identify as atheists tend to mean it fairly specifically to the Abrahamic religions, while giving very little thought to their feelings toward Zeus, or Ganesha, Gaia, or any of the pantheon of local, native religions. He confessed that he does not believe in the god of Abraham, but he knows too little about many of the other religions to pass judgement on them. It is always possible that there is an obscure religion out there that presents a compelling case for the existence of its deity with a solid body of proof to back it.
Then he back-pedalled a bit and said something that struck a personal chord with me because it reflects my own feelings.
I am paraphrasing him a bit because he said it more eloquently than I can remember it now. "If I am being completely honest with myself then I must self-identify as an agnostic, rather than as an atheist. It is not that I believe in the Abrahamic gods, but I lack the conviction of faith to be a pure atheist."
I have felt that way for some time now. I do not believe in the god of the major religions. I find them to be logically inconsistent, relying far too strongly on their followers to suspend their critical thinking for unquestioning credulity in order to function. At the same time, while the object of their faith cannot be proven, neither can it be entirely disproved either.
So in the end, I lack the evidence to believe, but I lack the faith to completely disbelieve. I am, therefore, not an atheist, but an agnostic.