In the world of
by Victor Destefano
You know, the only
thing that's for sure in this world is that there's a lot we don't know
and probably never will know. Something I saw quite recently reminded me
of the extreme stances people take on issues and this particular issue
may be one of the most important things ever: the notion of God.
Now I'm calling
him/her/it/them 'God' simply because it's the term I'm most familiar
with. Many have other names for what we think of as God. Many also have
different ideas, theories and concepts of what this most majestic entity
really is (or isn't). From an old gray haired, bearded man to a four
armed elephant deity, that ‘BEING’ which we believe created the
world, comes in all types of forms, shapes and colors.
Just as there are
those who believe in God or gods, there are those who simply think that
some natural force created everything in this universe. They think life
was created by an accidental mixture of chemical compounds and
electricity. They believe that human thought is purely a product of our
individual evolution, with some of it being mere by-product as a result
of our ability to keep from being a creature who does nothing but hunt
Both sides have
explanations for nearly everything. The universe was either created by
God or the Big Bang. Life was brought on by the act of God, or like I
said, an accident of nature. Death is either a next step in our
existence or an end which allows another to take our place. From my
point of view, it's hard to fault those of either belief. After all,
they are both as practical and outrageous as the conflicting conviction.
My problem isn't
with the belief in a 'God' or 'gods'. It's not with believing that 'God'
or 'gods' don't exist. My problem is the ignorant stance many take when
they put their belief, or
their theory, on the table. There are plenty of people who believe
strongly in something, but admit they still aren't completely sure and
don't even have the ability to know all the facts. Then there are those
who don't know all the facts, admit that, and still treat their belief
like it's flawless, concrete and any other is simply foolish and
idiotic. Many who believe in a certain faith make excuses for what they
can't explain. 'It's God's plan that I don't know all the answers', they
might say. They may go as far as to say that God will punish those who
question 'him' and his creation. Anything from excuses to scare tactics
are used to combat the fact that not all is explained and understood.
When asked why they
believe in God, someone might say
"I just do, it's a feeling I have. This world is too beautiful and
magnificent to be an accident". While that may not be the best way
to spread a view or idea, you can't really argue with it. On the other
hand though, the explanation and reasoning of
“Because he exists. Because God is God. You can't question
that, it's just how it is'' is, in fact, arguable. To offer a statement
with such conviction while not providing a sliver of evidence to back it
up, is just plain old ignorance at it's worst. Often times, that
ignorant explanation is backed up with threats and insults directed
towards those who have the audacity to question the existence of
God(whichever form or forms the one arguing perceives it as).
Now on the flip
side, there are those who don't believe in a Divine force(or forces)
responsible for creating this world. Again, an equally justified belief
that may be explained by saying ''well, God never spoke to me or anybody
I know. And evolution and the Big Bang have scientific evidence to back
it up. God doesn't". It would be hard to argue with that as well.
For someone seeking scientific evidence to believe, there simply is
There are those who
don't believe in God or a similar entity who also go to the extreme.
They overlook facts and cling to a few staple ideas the same way a
religious nut would. While they can't explain things like 'what was
before the beginning of time' or similar unexplained questions, they
just simply say that all hasn't been figured out yet and it will be
explained flawlessly, without the ridiculous notion of
'God'. These are often the same people who see those with faith
as idiots and half-wits. They regard those who believe in a 'higher
power' as child like people living in a fairy tale world full of winged,
white angels and horned, red devils. It’s easy to laugh as such
As with anything,
the extreme often goes too far, excluding fact or something that, at the
least, is worthy of examining and investigating. A belief of either
extreme is so powerful that reasoning and common sense is, too often
times, thrown out the window.
I saw something
pretty sad a short time ago. A PBS show about the evolution of Dinosaurs
had two scientists debating over the belief that birds came from the
bipedal reptiles. The scientist who opposed that theory just dismissed
all the practical, undisputable evidence without any reasoning. If he
put his hands over his ears and screamed nonsense, it wouldn't have been
any more disgusting. Such an ignorant demonstration from such an
educated, respectable man was shocking.
This is the same
thing. Instead of believing in what you believe due to research and
questioning both sides, many people act on a minimal amount of acquired
information (many times false). They dismiss all other beliefs and
theories as if the information in their heads is the God that they
either believe in or doubt. Minds without compromise, or at the least,
I see today as a
widening of the gap for faith. Faith, for many, is becoming an extreme,
undisputed conviction that requires no further investigation or
analysis. The thought of God, for another expanding group, seems to be
becoming more ridiculous and silly every moment.
I have a belief in
the quest for enlightenment. I understand many may disagree, but I at
least hope you think about it for a good minute or two.
I think that
religious beliefs shouldn't stay 'fixed' or permanent. Far too many
people stick with what they grew up with or with what made sense at a
certain time. I think one's beliefs should be evolving, change with
everything you learn, everything you question.
I personally don't
call myself Catholic, Jewish or Atheist. I just can't. There's too much
with any organized religion or belief that I can't possibly believe in
or agree with. My 'faith' is a big jumbo gumbo of what makes sense and
what could be. I eliminate what I feel couldn't possible be and ponder
just what may be. I don't have a fancy church or temple to go to on the
weekends. I don't have a reputable name to call my faith, but there are
two things I DO have: the beauty of never doubting my beliefs and the
ability to never be justifiably called spiritually ignorant.
I don't suggest you
follow my, or any individuals, system for believing in something. I do,
however, suggest that, when you believe in something very strongly, make
sure that belief comes out of a true weighing of ideas, not bias or
ignorance. I have no idea
if there's a higher power or not. An afterlife or just dirt and worms,
but as far as we know, you only live once. Why spend that one lifetime
believing in something that you believe in simply because your too
stubborn or lazy to take an uncensored look into your own mind?
But as Dennis Millers says, ''that's just my opinion, I could be wrong''.
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