And so, it’s Easter. This is a particular holiday. I was raised a Catholic as most Portuguese, but I haven’t considered myself a Christian for some time. Yes, I was baptized. But no, I don’t believe Jesus Christ was a son of God, nor that he died for our sins, nor that he was reborn. Actually, Easter stories are the ones I used to make most fun of. So Judas was really identified as a traitor at the Last Supper and none of the apostles tried to stop him? Or was it a lucky draw where Judas got the short straw and was instructed to stage the betrayal so Jesus could die a martyr? That’s why he killed himself, right? The narrative of Easter is full of logical holes and I would make fun of it now and then.
But now I celebrate it. Why? Because being with my family and friends and having a meal in peace and happiness is much more important to me than discussing the absurdities of organized religion. I cherish the occasion, not the symbolism.
A long time ago, I had an enlightening conversation with a friend of mine, an Italian philosopher about Faith and Meaning as we walked and drank on the streets and bars of Sarajevo. I’m not sure anymore about what he told me exactly but it’s still very clear in my head what his words meant to me. What I took from that conversation was this: the way we see the Universe and Existence is mostly a question of Aesthetics. Does God exist? Is it a big hoax? Does Nature evolved by itself? Is atheism the answer? There really is no way to prove a thing or another. The Universe is still too immense for us to understand it. So the way to cope with our ignorance is: believing in something. What makes sense to us? Is the Universe more beautiful with a God in it? Or without it?
We try again and again to have intelligent logical conversations about it, but they are, in truth, void conversations. They don’t mean anything. The purest truth is: we don’t know. So being an obstinate atheist is as incongruent as being a religious zealot – at least in logical terms. But let us have another type of conversation. Let’s discuss how we find the Universe beautiful. Accept our ignorance and accept that to someone it makes sense to believe in God and to some others it doesn’t make sense to believe in God. And, as in any conversation on aesthetics, let’s respect the taste of one another. Believing in God or not is, in the end, a matter of taste. Think about it… It can take some time to get to this conclusion. But let’s face it… Do you have a better one?
Okay, I have some misgivings about organized religion, but that’s a whole other conversation I’ll have with you another day.
Today, I’m celebrating Easter. I don’t celebrate it because of Jesus Christ, I celebrate it because my family is together, we are feasting on fresh fish, puddings and sweets, and that’s beautiful enough for me. I celebrate it because I enjoy it. I hope you do to.
Happy Easter, everybody!