I recently sent this response to a reader:
Thanks for your email about doubt, faith, and God (with a smattering of Jesus). Through some stroke of biochemistry, life experience, reading, and thought, I am blessed with an appreciation of life, the souls of others, and happiness. I am content. And although I do take some credit for doing the hard work to get here, I think that the major credit goes to biochemistry. I just happen to be cheerful, interested and eager by nature. And so, while I think that Jesus probably did live, and probably did die believing that he was the son of God, I also recognize that even if there never were any such person -- even if it is all a lie -- it is a worthy and valuable human concoction. While organized religion has inflicted greater harm on humanity and human history than good, still, the principle of the major religions (love), reflects well on humanity and has kindled as a small flame throughout the centuries despite the best efforts of churches and political leaders who claim to be religious to snuff out that light. There probably is no afterlife -- which, if you examine the concept carefully, is a vain and selfish thing to desire, as well as a potent concept in the hands of earthly oppressors -- but even if there is an afterlife, no god of love would punish people or withhold from them any comfort in the afterlife based on something as silly as their religious faith while in imperfect corporeal form. The semantics about people not coming to Jesus are just attempts to blame the victim while fleeing the well-documented concept of the Vengeful God. So, though it may seem like self-evident damnation to you when I say it: I don't need faith, or grace, or Jesus, because I'm already blessed. I understand this life and my place in it, and where I fit in the cosmic scheme. I know that sounds impossible to you, because by your definition, everyone needs Jesus whether they know it or not. But I am, and will, be fine. Have faith.
Left grip is 24 pounds (24, 24, 22), right grip is 65 pounds (64, 65, 65).