Yay! Guest post time! Just a quick note from me; the author of this rather intriguing post is my dear friend Fraser. We met about two years ago, working in the same department store in neighbouring departments (lol what a well-worded sentence) and yeah, he’s a lovely guy and a wonderful friend. He doesn’t have a twitter or anything I can make a fancy hyperlink for (sadly) but please, read on!
“Just as the soul fills the body, so God fills the world. Just as the soul bears the body, so God endures the world. Just as the soul sees but is not seen, so God sees but is not seen. Just as the soul feeds the body, so God gives food to the world.”
– Marcus Cicero
I grew up in a world that was full of Christianity. My parents, their parents, and their parents all attend and attended church on a regular basis. Christianity formed the basis of my two primary/high schools. However, it created just as much conflict as it did resolution. Not only with other people but also within myself; for the ever auguring question, religion or science, has haunted my thoughts for years, and I feel that this struggle will most likely exist until I myself cease to exist.
I grew up with the impression that religion and science were incomparable. They were separate entities that were not to be confused nor compared. At first, I believed that it was possible to compare them and that surely debate would finally find a ‘winner’; however, I quickly began to realize that it was impossible to compare the two. Some people spend their entire lives attempting to solve this question while others simply seek to find peace by selecting the one that best suits their needs and mentalities. I believe that I fall into the second category of people.
We begin with one of the greatest questions ever posed: why do we choose to believe in a religion or ideology? Feasibly, nobody will ever be able to answer this question, but I certainly have my own opinions on the topic. I believe that people choose to believe because it gives their lives meaning. It gives them a set of ‘guidelines’ to live by, such as the Ten Commandments that outline how their lives should work. It gives morals and ethics, and allows many people to distinguish between right and wrong. Most importantly, believing gives people hope; and hope is possibly the greatest mental power. Believing gives hope that there is a reason for our existence, and that we are all working our way towards heaven or other nirvana. I believe that religion does not exist to prove a point, or to provide any factual evidence.
The pursuit of happiness is also an important factor when looking at the perceived differences between religion and science. Can we truly be happy while believing in either? I often find that it is easier to be happy when believing in science. Although it is constantly changing and being revised, it provides a definite answer. I can feel happy and safe knowing that almost every question posed has an eventual answer. However, is it easy to find happiness in something that may be destroyed after or within my lifetime? The scientist does not define “truth” by what it is, but rather by taking away the attributes which truth is not. In this manner, the definition of truth is always changing and never confirmed. The theologian, on the other hand, defines truth as that which is printed in the Bible or others, that which comes from the mouth of God Himself (although personally I believe that if there IS a god, she would have to be a woman, but that’s another paper topic). Truth is absolute, definitive, unchanging and final in the theologian’s eyes.
Throwing ourselves into religion does, however, become an extremely difficult task for us to undertake. Religion makes it problematic for us to make an informed decision; we feel guilty about sinning and this often tears me down after I have committed an ‘evil’ act. It is human instinct to want to need factual evidence to believe in something. Evidence forms the imperative basis of modern society; laws, courts, police forces and the legal system could not function without it. How are we to believe in religion when there is no cold, hard evidence?
Seemingly, the best option is to turn to science. Science offers simple, irrefutable evidence that provides the ‘how’ behind our existence. However, it does not offer an answer to the ‘why’. This is perhaps the reason that I think about this issue so much. The thought of death, and the eternal peace that follows, is a terrifying concept, and one that I wish to never face. I do, of course, know that it is impossible to escape.
I think that it is this; the dread of the unknown, that creates the comparison between religion and science. We are all searching for our own meaning, our own purpose that often we forget that the only reason the two properly exist is to deliver meaning, hope and joy.
Many thanks to the creator of this blog for allowing and welcoming me to write my own and the very first guest blog post for ‘Well, this is nice’. I have greatly enjoyed the process and by completing this post I feel that I have almost ‘filled a hole’ within my mind that has been annoying me for quite some time. Have an excellent day as you ponder the meaning of life.