In the world of
black and white,
there is . . .







Hamburglar's Eye View

He Read/She Read

Rants in E Minor

I'm Rubber, You're Glue...

What Does It All Mean?

Hairy Gravy                         What's The Use Of Getting Sober?

Guest Column









Art Gallery


Original Material








Message Board




email a friend
about us



Hamburglar’s Eye View

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 and gather.

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 none.

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 nonsense.

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, unbiased questioning.

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''.

Copyright©2000 GrayHavenMagazine and Contributors