I choose to keep believing
Good morning Mr. Atheist, I understand your questions about God, our existence, science and all of the related complexities. I too have many questions so let’s begin with one of my questions. How do you think we got here? Was it a colossal cosmic accident or is there some plan, design or purpose behind our existence? Ok, you don’t know, but you suspect that the prevailing theory of a giant “bang” began the events that lead us to where we are today. So, in essence we are here by cosmic accident and there is no pre-ordained purpose for our existence.
I am not going to argue with you on that point although I have a different view, but I have another question. If we are here by cosmic accident, who is right and who is wrong, and what rules should we live by? If there is no ultimate arbitrator then I would assume that we are not accountable to anyone which means that the rules we make are based upon current opinion, force of autocratic power or democratic vote. Either one man who has an army behind him tells us what the rules are, or we vote on the rules and whatever the majority votes on establishes the rules.
So, you don’t agree. You say that there are some things inherent in us that define what is right and wrong, but if we are cosmic accidents is anything really inherent or does each of us have to figure out life and sometimes we discover similarities in our experience and we conclude that our similarities mean something is inherent. If nothing is inherent, then it means we discover things and draw conclusions based upon what our individual experiences are.
If that’s the case why is it that all civilizations look for “God” without knowing each other or having a pre-existing cross reference? Just a question, I am not providing answers at this point.
You don’t disagree, but you say religion is so flawed and scientifically unreliable that no one religion can give us a true answer. You say that there are natural conflicts between religions which causes us to be confused about not only is there a God, but which one of the gods is the real god, or are all talking about the same god in different ways? I don’t disagree with you on this point either – religion can be confusing.
Religion is confusing and there are multiple religions and theories, but does that confirm that we are a cosmic accident, or does it mean that we just do not know definitively one way or another? You insist you are certain there is no possibility of God, so who or what determines how we should live?
Is it nature?
Is it public opinion?
Is it science?
You say science is the most reliable thing. So, we should have “faith” in science. If we can do a study and enough scientists agree, then do we govern our lives by it?
The dictionary definition of science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. To me, it is discovering what already exists and how things work. But can science help us with meaning? If we are cosmic accidents, is there a single meaning, or are there multiple meanings? If science is the answer, then people who subscribe to the science theory should be obviously superior in their way of life and results because they have been able to prove what is right and wrong and how we should live. I forgot science does not create anything – it examines what is here and establishes how it functions.
Mr. Atheist, I cannot fault you for doubting the existence of God, and if it makes sense to you, it makes sense to you. No one is required to believe in God because we are all individuals who make our decision from our knowledge base. You choose not to, based upon your knowledge and experience. I choose to believe because it makes sense to me. I am not comfortable with the idea that I am a cosmic accident and belief in God has dramatically changed my life. I can’t speak for others, just myself and the many others who have had a similar experience. So, we just have a different view. You don’t think what I believe makes sense, and I don’t think what you believe makes sense, so we go our separate ways.
I saw a protracted statement from an atheist who used a litany of profanity to rail against God and make his point. If you subscribe to a belief system, do you have to be profane against the thing you don’t believe? Shouldn’t your atheism produce someone who is superior to the ignorant people who believe in God? Shouldn’t others be able to look at you and your character and conclude that atheism is good and produces better people?
If we are cosmic accidents, and there is no specific meaning or purpose to life, if I have found something that gives me meaning, purpose and optimized living should I give it up for something like atheism that promises me nothing better? Since there is no scientific experiment that either proves or disproves God, why should I give up on something that works for me? I choose to keep believing because of what my belief has done for me, so I appreciate your time and your theory and scientific proof. Proof for me is much more than a theory, it is who I am and what I have become.
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.