Deity remains strong. Believing in a god makes for balance in lifestyle, societal belonging and liberation of the mind for many. In light of the core of belief, I find that persuasion, or personal selling that is, towards belief should be prohibited – as belief should derive from one’s actual mind. There is no value to be found in precomposed truth, that requires a mind on its own.

Do you have sins? It is a question that has been raised to me a lot of times. According to Dictionary, a sin is any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense. Even though humans are seemingly very intelligent and responsible, I do believe that everyone has sins. Hence, “do you have sins” automatically appeals as rhetoric to me.

Still, many people feel an urge to express their beliefs. And that I am totally fine with. Nothing more important for oneself to express freedom of speech, as we should praise our liberty. However, it does get a little itchy when people refer to a god, in expressing their beliefs. I mean, what does a god really have to do with whatever you believe? Even deeper: how can one know that a god is the perfect being in power, wisdom and goodness with an infinite mind – as proposed by Merriam-Webster? Relying on a voice that is not yours, even though you feel like it represents yours, is ethically wrong. One should think for oneself.

That is exactly what I will continue doing. Think for myself. I have the remarkable talent to always get approached by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Once I was walking solo in my home city, a man reached out for me. He asked me the sin-question, to which I replied “yes, like we all do.” He seemed glad I agreed. “Good, because it is true”, he continued, “and everybody must realize that. Do you believe in God?” I shook my head no, and that was just enough to get him started.

“Let me tell you something. I have had encounters with drugs, alcohol, prostitution and violence. It ruined me. But then I saw the light and I found God. Look at me now!” One can tell that he was quite an extraordinary appearance. “And you need God too”, he pointed out. As I looked him in the eyes, I said: “I am glad you found your way to the light, but to be very honest, I don’t have those problems myself. In fact, I live a very blessed life.” Obviously, I could expect his counter-response: “But you still have sins! And the door to God is still open!” “Well, if such a life-twisting event would occur and I would be strangled by my sins, I at least know that the door to God is open. By then, I will commit myself to the belief, if that is needed to become my trusted self again”, I said. “That will be too late!” – “Why?” The man’s eyes enlarged as he whooped: “Because you will be dead!”

At that point, I told him everything. I told him that one does not need a book written by people, nor a chapel or church to be able to believe. I told him that I wondered where God has been for all loving people who have lost family due to illness, war or other factors. I told him that self-reflection is an ongoing journey that helps me to discover how I can improve myself. Finally, I told him that I find it wrong that religion gets advertised and sold on the streets like this. Important to realize that belief should derive from oneself – and one’s deepest personal conviction – as no precomposed truth carries the realest value. That is still to be found in one’s mind. Not surprisingly, this killed the conversation. For many Jehovah’s Witnesses, the same scenario accounts. After I mention my arguments, I offer to proceed with the discussion. Just as in regular street marketing, it involves denial of a product or service that is being offered. In my attempt to discover the motives for believers, I am genuinely interested in the origin of their belief. Sadly, I get head-turned on the regular, and remain stranded clueless.

Conclusively, everybody has sins, and that is completely fine. People, in contrary to a god, are no perfect beings. It is therefore logical that people make mistakes – some of which that may be regretted deeply. More importantly, focus on how to cope with mistakes and regrets. Seek for a lifestyle that makes one feel blessed, belonging and beloved.