I grew up in a Christian family, so this post was conflicting and difficult for me to write. As much as my subconscious is arguing against it, I want to voice my thoughts. Here we go.
In regards to religion, something that supposedly should dictate my lifestyle, I don’t feel as if I’m unreasonable in wanting a little bit of proof. A feeling, a flicker- some sign. What churchgoer hasn’t been taught that God is not expected to show you a sign that he’s there to prove he is? Yet in an entire decade of my faith, I can’t feel anything. No miracles as a result of prayer, no flutter in my chest, nothing. It always confused and frustrated me seeing people at retreat or church adamantly giving their testimonies about God. In all the years that I’ve been “Christian, “I have never felt anything from him. Never. I’ve been on countless retreats and bible study sessions. And more and more, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that he just isn’t here. Maybe religion is something manmade, something to satisfy some poor fool’s insatiable curiosity of the unknown. It must terrify us- that we can genetically engineer plants to be a certain color or size, can create self driving cars, and an interactive robot that can talk (hey, Siri), but we can’t figure out human consciousness or what happens after we die.
To be more rational about it, I believe in evolution. I won’t bore you with the hard science (Richard Dawkins and Matt Ridley, if you’re interested), but throughout history, there has been a constant replacement of supernatural explanations with natural ones. Even outside of Christianity, every religion has been used to explain why. Why does the sun rise? Why are there thunderstorms? Why do we look like our parents? I could go on, but as time passed, many religions have been rewritten or discredited because, frankly, all of these things have perfectly natural explanations, it’s just that humans were simply not advanced enough to find an explanation that satisfied them. So given that this is true, what are the chances that any current “unexplained” phenomenon (ex: the origin of the universe, the soul, human consciousness) will best be explained by the supernatural? Additionally, observe the increasing diminishment of God. Before, we needed him to explain floods. But after figuring out why floods happen, we then needed him to explain sickness and health. And as science advanced, we need him to explain complexities such as the human consciousness. And although we are still very unclear on that, we now know that the psyche can be left to the behavioral neuroscientists. Give or take a few years, we’ll figure it out. So we now need him to explain…what? Humans are naturally inquisitive. Curiosity is a trait that I can confidently say all 7 billion people on this earth share to some extent. Could it be that because we were unable to form explanations that could adequately answer our questions, we formed religion?
Not to mention the inconsistency of world religion. Why is it that Christianity has so many different sects, so many disagreements about what god is, what he does, what he wants from us? Do we even know for sure that God is male? If God was actually real, he’d be a whole lot bigger, a whole lot more powerful, with a whole lot more effect on the world than say, a tree. So why is it that people can see a tree in more or less the same way but can’t see God in a way that’s even remotely the same? Don’t you think it’s because we aren’t perceiving anything that’s real?
Someone talk existentialism to me, talk science and religion to me because tonight…I am so scared of dying. I wonder if anyone thinks about these things, because how complex the world is still amazes me. Sometimes I watch people walking by me and it just hits me: 7 billion people in the world and I’ll never even know most of them. Each person has their own struggles, feelings, thoughts, personality…doesn’t that just kill you? It kills me thinking about how many people I will never have the pleasure of knowing.
I digress. I highly recommend Sharon Moalem’s Survival of the Sickest. After reading it, I was convinced that our world was created with such a creative intelligence that there had to be a supernatural being…which led me to ponder religion and God in the first place. But hey, maybe the simulation hypothesis is true after all, and some being is watching me drive myself crazy overthinking and writing something down in his lab book. Who knows?