Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Are you there, God?

A few days ago, Mrs. Kennedy posted an entry about a conversation she had with her son. The gist was Jackson was telling kids at school that he didn’t believe in God and how the kids at school reacted. There were several comments made regarding the post, some from fellow atheists with hearty “right ons” and some from those who believe in God, mostly well meaning and trying to explain their views. I felt compelled to leave a brief comment, but really, what can you say to an aetheist to convince them to believe in a being you can’t see?

The more I’ve thought about the topic, and read Mrs. Kennedy’s reply post, the more I wanted to write my own thoughts down, not so much as an argument, or an explanation, but a “here it is post.”

I’ve always had a strong believe in God that was instilled in me by a mother who faithfully went to church when the doors were open throughout my formative years. I never really felt the need to rebel against the church, even when I didn’t go for all those years. It was still there in my head and I knew I would make my way back when I found a place I felt I belonged. I attended a small private Christian school that imbedded the knowledge of the Bible in my head, but without much historical background to substantiate it like my adult self would have liked.

It wasn’t until Larry took me to church for Mother’s Day that I found that. The pastor was conducting a series on The DiVinci Code, like I’m sure most churches were doing with the movie release. He offered intellectually sound evidence to prove the validity of the Bible and the events that are within it. I only remember a couple off the top of my head. One being the meticulous way the scribes would transcribe the ancient texts passed from generation to generation. That even if one comma was out of place, the parchment was burned. Another being the sheer amounts of pieces that remain from these ancient texts. Just for example (and these aren’t accurate numbers) if there was one copy of a Homer text, there were 100 copies of a biblical text. A third proof contained within the Bible itself are the amount of prophecies (over 300) that were given and fullfilled. Not just broad sweeping statements either, but places, people and events. This valid, not just here it is, believe it, was what I needed as an adult and had been craving. Finally, something to go on besides just faith alone.

Aside from the information I’ve gleaned from my pastor since then, there are my other, more personal reasons for believing in God. These are the thoughts that have been going through my mind since reading Fussy’s post. From what I understand, I guess atheists believe we should be good just for the sake of mankind. That to be kind to others is just how we should act. I have a problem with this. Why? Why, if there are no checks and balances other than those on earth, should we be nice to others? Why should we follow the laws?

Let’s see, I guess one could go to jail. But so what? If when you die, there is nothing, what does it matter? You’ll be gone. If there are no spiritual consequences, does it really make that big of an impact on one’s decision making? I guess people could say that those who treat others poorly will lead a life of solitude and misery, but why should that person care? They are doing what they want to do. Why do we feel this need, this inherent need, to treat others with respect?

There’s also the theory of evolution. If we really evolved from an animal, would this moral issue be within us? What would have given us the ability to feel this way? And why aren’t animals still evolving? Why don’t we see a half ape half man? What is the spark within us that makes us different? How could all of this, all that man has accomplished, just happened?

I think it is the Godliness in us that is the difference. The spirit, the soul, the conscience, whatever you want to call it. There is something inside of mankind that makes us different. Don’t you feel it?

Sure we have our shortcomings, that’s called choice, and we do have one. But there is a driving force that separates us from any other species on the planet. If you sit still and are honest with yourself, in that place deep within you, there is something there. Something that you have to admit is bigger than we are.

I don’t really know what else to say without rambling on, but I just needed to get this out. So there it is. I welcome any comments.

1 comment:

Ballpoint Wren said...

Erika, I read her post and the comments that followed, and I thought you made an excellent, nonconfrontational point.

It's her right to raise her children as she believes, and I will fight to defend that right.

But what I wish I'd seen in her post was an emphasis on respecting the beliefs of others. She says "it became necessary to intervene" only when Jackson was telling kids God was stupid. She needs a more proactive approach, rather than a reactive one.

One thing that bugs me in any religion (and I consider atheism a religion) is: teaching your children to expect tolerance for your belief system, but neglecting to teach them how to tolerate another belief system.