Fitting the Holes of Theory and Faith
Since the dawn of human awareness, we have wondered how we have come to exist and for what purpose, yet no theory thus far has even been agreed upon, let alone proven. Philosophers, theologians, and scientists have argued back and forth about our origin for centuries, producing copious quantities of literature, and it continues to this day. The justification for my beliefs on the issue which am to present here may simply come to be seen as another log to throw on the growing stack, but I am inclined to think that it will have new merit since I will be attempting to appeal to both believers in faith, and to those who feel that Darwin said it all.
I must begin by stating the simple truth that the majority of people in America to date have little to no religious beliefs or practices, and there are reasons for it. First, the infestation of media in our culture has led to extremely distorted yet widely held stereo types of every kind of religion which keep people from finding any reason to investigate the true details of any particular one for themselves. This effects a second and more important reason which is that public schools are required to teach the theory of evolution-the theory which many believe rules out any possibility of religion. With our countries separation of church and state, religion is a touchy subject commonly avoided by teachers, and at the same time young influential students are taught that evolution is the way things happened. So we end up with some confused and many convinced that there is no room for religion in the modern context because it cannot coexist with the theory of evolution.
My first point is to argue the contrary; religion can coexist with evolution. A recent study done into the actual evidence which supports the theory shows that though the theory of evolution does show trends in evolutionary stages, at the present time there are no known fossil records which can connect any one major stage directly to another. Also the amount of change between these major stages would have required far more time then was possible and the amount of fossils present should be plentiful for not just one transition, but all of them, however none have been found. The findings for this study were taken only from direct anti-religious evolutionists. It is very apparent that there gapping holes in the theory, something readily admitted by specialists in the field, yet the theory continues to be taught as though the holes have already been filled. There are two possibilities for the missing evidence: either none of it has been found yet but it will be someday, or it doesn’t exist. Whether or not the evidence will turn up or if it has been destroyed, we may never know, but the presence of holes in the theory does leave room for the possibility of religion, and that is all I need to continue.
In order for me to address my next point, I must answer the all too common question proposed by a people submerged in political correctness and consumerism. When confronted about having to pick one religion above another, most ask, “how can you decide that one religion is more right than another if none of them have more proof than any other.” Historical relics aside, I think it would be reasonable to assume that a creator would make a way for the beings created to maximize their health and overall enjoyment of life, and would keep the beings from harm. There has been research into the effects of various religions on the health of its believers and the category found to have the most favorable results were those which focused on one God, with certain Christian faiths topping the list. Of those studied, Christians exhibited low levels of stress and related illness, a better ability to cope with stress, lower instances of drug abuse and suicide, greater sexual satisfaction, high levels of contentment and general happiness, and were found to be successful and active in the community. As Pastor Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church said, “if all those effects were promised by the use of a pill, people would be lined up out the door to buy it.” The attitude which is developed as a result of having these particular beliefs and following the methods for living tucked in the pages of the bible do give these results of improved living, and since the bible is said to be the word of the creator, it seems to make sense that they would.
Some may still argue that it’s a waste of time to believe in something if it turns out that we are just worm meat or ashes after we die. To this I would ask, is it really a waste of time? The commitment needed to pursue such beliefs is far less than the average stereotype would have you believe. Also, since no one can know for sure in this life, we are condemned to choose to believe in anything we want, so why not believe in something with the most beneficial impacts on your immediate life since that is what truly concerns us at the moment. True or not, you end up in the best possible condition.
Next, I must discuss the bible. There are many misconceptions about the book which is said to be the word of God, mostly a result of the easily acceptable stereotypes and the fact that few who criticize it have read it. The main problem here is the attempt to fit the bible’s story of creation with pieces of the evolution theory. Some would say that the exact meanings and uses of the words in the bible are inaccurate in describing anything like evolution, but I disagree. We must not forget that God hasn’t allegedly spoken to us humans in thousands of years (for reasons we shouldn’t think ourselves capable of speculating). The people who were spoken to then did not have much of a scientific outlook on things so I think it is highly likely that God put things into terms that his people would understand at the time with the possibility of shifting interpretations through changing times. Until God speaks again, we are forced to go off of what we have, and even then, we must take into account the document we are dealing with. It is thousands of years old; much of its earlier history in times when record keeping was far from accurate. Also, it’s been translated through handfuls of languages, some so rare that only a few scholars at the Vatican can still decipher them and it would be foolish to not realize that they may alter facts and keep secrets to defend the power they have. The point is that we may not know the book like we think we do.
There are so many issues that go along with deciding to be Christian that I would like to address but it would take far too many pages. There is the age old logic problem which goes off the premise that God is all knowing, all loving, and all powerful. From there it asks things such as: if God is all loving then why is there suffering; if he can’t stop it then he’s not all powerful; if he doesn’t want to stop it then he is not all loving, etc. I think that it is a mistake to think of answering this in any simple way, and it may not even be possible for us to know, but we must go off of what we’re given. I think the answer lies in what we perceive as free will. Then there is the issue of what it takes to get into heaven and how some believe that all of the rituals must be partaken in, while others believe that just admitting your belief in Gods existence grants your way. We are forced to wonder more into Gods motives but the point is that we are supposed to question and not just accept the ideas that come our way. No one should fear finding the truth, no matter what truth turns out to be.
Without getting into too much detail, I would like to part with this: there have been things from the past that are difficult to deny, and there will be things in the future that will be impossible not to take into account, but at all times we must go with everything we have and try to make it all fit together. It may turn out that we were wrong and have ended up with a mere stack off papers, but we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.