As much as I don’t like to talk about faith and religion, it’s pretty difficult to say anything about ‘why we are here’ without at least considering it. So, although I might talk about faith etc I really don’t want to use the word ‘god’ (big G or little g, your choice) since as soon as I mention that word, your preconceived ideas about what ‘god’ is come into play and affect your opinions. Now, that’s OK by me, it is after all ‘your’ faith, not mine, not anybody elses. You are entitled to believe what you want, or not even. All I ask is that you accept that I’m not trying to talk about your faith, my faith, or anyone elses for that matter. In fact I don’t really care all that much about your religious views since they are after all, yours and not mine. So now we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s continue.
The thing is, if you subscribe to any sort of religion then the chances are that you accept that some ‘thing’ created the universe, the earth, the life upon it yes, even us. And who am I to argue with that. After all it’s about as reasonable as ‘there was this big bang and suddenly there was time and space’. In fact if you think about it, the actual creation bit is not all that different in either version. If you’re not the religious sort then I suppose that you have to subscribe to the ‘big bang’ theory, but then there’s the question of what was there before there was nothing. In either case you have to admit that basically there was nothing and then here we are. The only difference being that in the religious view the ‘here we are’ bit (we being us, the human race) occurred right away whilst with the scientific view, the ‘here we are’ bit took slightly longer to occur. The trouble with the religious view is that it sort of fails to explain basic stuff like the dinosaurs, coal, oil, fossils. You know, all the stuff that occurred before ‘we’ came along. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not dismissing the religious view, just saying that it needs tweaking a little and that’s what I am trying to do here believe it or not, tweak the religious view.
Now here’s the thing. I CAN accept that some ‘creator’ created the universe since the alternative that it just came into being makes about as much sense as spontaneous human combustion. Plus it nicely answers the question of what was there before there was nothing since I suspect that trying to answer THAT question is pretty much impossible, at least for my lifetime. The only thing I differ with from most people is that in my opinion, rather than saying that ‘this is the universe and this is everything that is in it’, the ‘creator’ if you like, set in motion a series of ‘events’ that would result in where we are today.
Now I do have some real evidence to back this idea up. Consider us for example. According to at least my religion, all this is here for us, the human race. Now you see the trouble that I have with that is that well, basically the human race inhabits an insignificant ball of dirt, orbiting a pretty insignificant star in a backwater arm of a minor galaxy somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the universe. In other words, where we are in the universe is not all that special.
Now, if you were creating the home of ‘THE’ most significant (or maybe the only) intelligent life in the universe so that it could worship you, wouldn’t you want to put it somewhere nice? You also have to ask what’s the point of all that other stuff? You know, stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae, to look nice maybe? And why is it all so far away?
In fact if we left it to the ‘religious’ view we’d still be in the middle ages accepting the ‘truth’ that the sun revolves around the earth. The fact is though, that if enough people ‘believe’ something, it becomes the truth regardless of whether it is correct or not. You only have to read a newspaper or watch the news to see ‘popular opinion’ in action. Fiction can become ‘truth’ quite easily so I am not criticizing any religious body here, that behavior is simply a factor of who we are.
The other problem I have with a fixed religious view is the question of intelligence, in particular ours. Why make us intelligent if all you want is for someone to worship you? In fact I’d go so far as to say, based on the mess we are making of this planet through both war and industry, that we are not all that clever but I suspect that’s a different argument for another day, however it does pose the question of why create a race to worship you if that race is likely to destroy itself and the planet you created for it. Hardly seems to make any sense does it?
Free will? At best that’s an individual thing, at worst a cop out to ‘explain’ all the bad stuff!
No, if we are intelligent and you accept that we are here for a reason, then you must also accept that we are intelligent for a reason as well. Our intelligence gives us the ability to reason, to figure things out and to find out how the universe works. In fact you could go so far as to say that the reason for our intelligence is quite literally to find our ‘creator’. Now I’m not saying that we will always make the right choices when applying our intelligence but overall there is a general direction that our knowledge is taking us. For all the bad that goes on in the world, you also have to accept that there’s a lot of good and that overall the human race is (I hope) progressing in a positive direction.