Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Questions On God...

While procrastinating at school, I found this article on CNN:

Collins: I'm a scientist; I believe in God

For those of you unwilling to click on the link, Dr. Francis Collins is the head of the human genome project and a devote Christian. I found that I agreed with the first part of the article, mainly the idea of a higher power makes sense to me, just based on what I know about the complex world we live in. It is somewhat mind boggling that life can exist in this universe, especially in such a complex form. The number of things that had to come together to make it all work out is incomprehensible.

The break I see in Collins thought process is where he leaps from a belief in God to Christianity. It is not clear to me how one can pick a particular religion. For me, it seems that a belief in a high power is self-evident, for all time any human that has or will exist could look around the world and come to the conclusion that there is something bigger than them in the world. This is not true of Christianity or any religion for that matter.

Think about it, were the billions of people born before 0 BC not privy to the "correct" faith? What about those who never had the chance of being exposed to this point of view? In undergrad, I had a man from Campus Crusade For Christ talk with me. He was explaining to me that the only way to heaven was through Christ, otherwise you're headed to hell. This made me think heaven was a pretty empty place before the birth of Christ, and things didn't really start filling up until Constantine spread the religion across Europe. Needless to say, his answers to my questions on the subject left something to be desired.

Sometimes, people point the way to Christianity as through the Bible, i.e. it was divinely inspired and all that. All these arguments are flawed, in that you can use them in the exact same manner with the Koran to lead you to Islam or any other religion with a sacred text. How can one choose correctly?

My belief is that the only reasonable view of God is one without a particular religion backing it. This view allows for all who came before us and those that will come after to believe in the same higher power regardless of when or where they have or will be born. I see individual religions as extremely polarizing, just look at the motivation for many of the conflicts of today and in the past! Christian vs Muslim, Sunni vs Shi'ite, Catholic vs Protestant, Judaism vs everyone else, and the list goes on. Take away these polarizing sects and there is nothing to argue about, everyone would believe in the same thing. This seems like the path a higher power would desire. People's beliefs bringing them together, not tearing them apart.

I welcome comments destroying my point of view.


Hermano said...

You're an idiot.

Also, an asshole.

James said...

so I agree with almost everything except that religion causes the wars. they use religions as an excuse, it's really just about land...
but it does fuel hatred when it shouldn't.

Stephen said...

Religion has everything to do with war. A Muslim fundamentalist who blows himself up along with innocent women and children isn't doing it just "for land."

Patrick, a few books you would probably enjoy:
Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time--Marcus Borg
Misquoting Jesus (this is especially good)
The End of Faith--Sam Harris
In my life I've seen how faith can make people hate each other, or even just look down on each other for no REAL reason . . . I need to write my own blog about this.