What I Believe
“Probably all organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. There is grandeur in this view of life that… from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” -Charles Darwin
I have never been that sure of anything to do with God or our place in the Universe. I am captivated by the considerations that revolve around these issues though. Recently I watched Matt Lauer interviewing a Rabbi and a Minister about faith. They both agreed on one aspect that caused me a lot of thought – Doubt is not the enemy of faith but rather faith cannot exist without doubt. Faith without doubt is devotion to dogma, not faith.
It is probably a strange juxtaposition but I am often compelled to think of the soul searching that Darwin did regarding his faith. He was a Christian himself and his discoveries troubled him so much that he put off releasing On the Origin of Species (1859) for a long, long time.
It is often said that we cannot know the mind of God. It is also said that God works in mysterious ways. I have embraced these sayings as support for the concept that nothing about evolution diminishes the idea of God. Who are we to say that it is not part of His design?
When I broach this subject with friends of mine who feel comfortable within the literal words of their religious texts I am often given quotes from the King James version of the Bible, or English translations of the Quran or even Talmudic verses that they believe dispute the folly of man’s inquiries into unraveling the miracles of God. Forgive me here, for I truly mean no disrespect, but it seems that these people are trying to hold onto the magic of their deity creating the cosmos in six days while not recognizing the miracle of creation even if He set these events in motion 6 Billion years ago with a spark or a breath to begin the cascade of wonder that is our Universe.
There is a term, Word Restering; The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as, someone who goes to scripture and pulls out the meanings that they want to suit their lifestyle rather than adapting their lifestyle to the way the scripture reads -> Someone who takes the reading they prefer rather than the reading that is actually meant.
This, I believe, would be better employed to honor our Christian faith or the Way of Islam or the Covenant between God and Abraham or even the scientific method if it focused more on those things that were inclusive to all of us rather than exclusive to any one belief.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.