This I Believe

Alex - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on August 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

My name is Alex, I’m a high school senior, and the son of divorced parents. I am a bit of a philosopher; I do spend some time thinking “why are we here?”, and “Is there a God?” In my thoughts, I have found myself torn between two beliefs, each vying for the basis of my spirituality. On the one hand, I have come to the conclusion that God, and religion in general is a simplified way of answering those tantalizing questions with the supernatural, similar to asking how a wizard is able to conjure things from thin air, the answer is simply magic. Magic needs no evidence, proof, or scrutiny, because it is really the question rephrased as an answer. The same goes with my less than saintly appraisal of religion. And with the advent of science and technology such to the point of being able to accomplish “magic,” but also being able to explain it with fact and knowledge, the need for a God and religion is dwindling. On the other hand, I look at some things and see the absolute perfection of the natural world, and I start to wonder…

Another revelation I have stumbled across is what many skeptics use to disprove the existence of a higher being. With the Big Bang theory, the creation of the earth has a lot less fog surrounding it. With the theory of evolution, many religious concepts of the creation of animals were debunked. But again, I look at the perfection of the system, when compared to almost any institution of man, and I think “how could it have happened… just happened?” Then I thought “perhaps there is a God and he/she/it did create all this, including the laws of the natural world, and maybe this entity worked within these rules to create the universe as we know it.” This shifts the story of creation from “magic” to an unlikely possibility and possibilities are infinitely more thought provoking than factual assertions such as: “God created the world in seven days, end of story”

I am torn between these two, because as I look through history, I find so many examples where religion has been the justification of such heinous acts, it almost seems like its not worth it. In a moment of fury and frustration I wished I wasn’t a member of the human race, because I wanted as little in common with Hitler, or Stalin, or members of White supremacist organizations. But soon, like a flipped coin flying through the air, I went from tails to heads, and remembered the moments of divine inspiration. If there was no God, could there be music? What would this world be without Beethoven’s 9th? The Marriage of Figaro? Kind of blue? A love Supreme? Hey Jude? My world’s depth would be so limited; I wouldn’t even be able to realize it.

My spiritual life and beliefs are rather like a coin mid-flip. Until it lands, this inner struggle will continue, and until then I’ll have many a new discovery for myself. But I have my whole life ahead of me, and what’s life without a little drama? (Not too much though, I don’t wish to be a reality TV personality)