Philosophical Notions

My Two Cents on that Age-old Debate

Something I don’t understand is that people are so dead set on convincing everybody else they are right. It’s not just religious people; it’s the non-religious people too. Think about how much time is wasted on trying to prove or disprove the existence of God. The thing is, God is the epitome of something that doesn’t need human approval or confirmation. So why does that argument matter so much to us? If you don’t want to believe in God, that makes me sad, but hey, it’s your soul and your life. Conversely, you might say to me, “I’m sorry you feel the need to devote so much time and energy to some old superstition, but hey, it’s your life.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for evangelism in its proper place. There have been several times in my life where people I know have approached me and said, “You’re a very spiritual person. Mind if I ask you some questions?” I love talking about my faith like that. Not only does it let me share my beliefs, but it helps me solidify what it is I actually believe by forcing me to articulate it and challenging me with questions I can’t always answer. That, to me, is what evangelism should be: the quiet, engaging discussion of faith and exchange of ideas among friends or people who are questioning. There’s really no sense in these TV preachers, or the people who stand on apple crates in the middle of a college campus shouting at the students and telling me I’m going to hell because I’m wearing pants while I’m a woman.

(Yes, that happened. I asked the man if it was safe to wear pants during the times I was not being a woman, but that just made him mad at me. I still don’t have an answer, so I’m just going to assume wearing pants while pretending to be a man is totally fine by him.)

The point I’m getting at is it’s really pretty irrelevant to debate this idea, if you think about it. Our confirmation or disproval is not going to change the being of God one bit. Indeed, a central part of most any religion is the need for faith. Even if we were to scientifically prove the existence of God, then we would be robbing ourselves of our ability to have faith in something we cannot see or fully understand.

Sometimes I imagine God sitting up in Heaven, watching all this, and saying, “I gave you such a great inquiring mind, and here you are putzing around trying to decide if I’m real, or even if you’re real. Don’t you realize you could’ve cured cancer by now?”

Seriously. Imagine if we could take all the fervor and time spent on these Science vs. Religion debates and channel that into something a little more productive, like medicine, clean energy, world hunger, what have you. We probably would have, and still could, advance a lot further as a race.

Personally, I don’t see why Science and Religion have to be enemies. I tend to think of them like rival siblings; they both come from the same family, but they’re so busy fighting with each other they can never take a minute to let go of their grudges and acknowledge that the other one is probably just as right as they are. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t God exist and do His work through scientific means? (or at least what we perceive as scientific?) Why can’t the Big Bang have happened while God was starting and overseeing it? Why can’t there be some measure of evolution with God as the directing force behind it?

Similarly, I don’t think there is a particular “right” religion. Personally, I think there is one God, or higher being or power, or whatever you want to call it, and all the world’s religions are basically worshiping the same thing, just calling it by a different name, and following it in different ways. For me, I quite like the idea of Christianity because of the presence of Christ, but that’s a whole other discussion in itself.

I refuse to believe that everything happened by sheer chance. Our world, our universe, is simply too beautifully and efficiently designed to be an accident. I mean, my luck stinks. If I wash my car, it will rain within a few hours. If I buy a Big Gulp on a road trip, I will spill it in the car, no matter how many precautions I take and extra strong cupholder contraptions I buy. I’ve never even been able to win a free small fry from McDonald’s, even though the odds were like 1 in 3. If my existence were all based on odds and coincidence, with my luck, I’d have been born some horrible mutant and never survived past third grade. The simple fact that I am here, whole and happy, is proof enough for me that there is a God.

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