I am a born and raised Roman Catholic who, until very recently, has been very proud and fervent in my faith in God. In modern culture, religion as a whole has been under much scrutiny from individuals who claim to fight in the name of science, intelligence, or whatever other causes they deem to be incompatible with the belief in a Greater Being. I have been criticized for believing in what cannot be proven and have had my longstanding beliefs called “mysticism” or “tired mythology”. In this day and age, many individuals have turned their back on notions such as “God” and “providence” in order to follow a new messiah in the form of “science” but I simply do not understand why science must be so spontaneous. Why can’t anatomy and biology have been guided by a greater power? Why must the religious be seen as mystics who do not accept modern ideas?
I believe that theism is fully compatible with the field of science. As an individual who believes in both evolution, and accepts Jesus Christ as my savior, I am baffled when I come across those who use science in order to negate the teachings of religion. Yes, it is a fact that I cannot prove the existence of God but the fact remains that if I were able to do this, “faith” would have no place in religion. Faith, or “belief that is not based on proof” is one of the foundations of Christianity as a whole. Therefore, asking me to prove the existence of God is in itself an oxymoron. It is impossible to prove the immaterial! I cannot prove the existence of a non-physical entity just the same as no one can disprove it. Is it not possible that a greater being has been the guiding force behind evolution? As I venture further and further into the field of science I find it increasingly more difficult to believe that spontaneity was the driving force behind the creation of the earth. I have always enjoyed the analogy of the watch sitting by itself in the middle of the woods. Surely this watch which works with such perfect precision must have had a creator. The chances of something as complicated as the human body or even a single cell being the result of spontaneous creation are utterly baffling. However, despite my beliefs I do not feel threatened by differences in opinion. I respect that some individuals believe the universe was created by science and science alone just the same as I respect those who firmly believe that God created the world in seven days. It is individualism that makes the world so fascinating, yet hostile simultaneously.
My greatest hope is for peaceful co-existence between theists and atheists which I am well aware isn’t a truly unique or original notion. I would love nothing more than to have civil and respectful dialogues with those of different beliefs and to have tolerance on both sides of the spectrum but the naivety of that desire is painfully apparent, even to myself.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.