Is there a god?

Jake - Plano, Texas
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Is there a God? I can’t tell. Nobody can. But some people cling faithfully to their religion. I think it would be nice to always have someone to tell anything to (God). And it would be nice to know that there’s someone always watching over you, that somebody’s going to make sure everything turns out okay. But I just can’t quite believe that.

I wouldn’t truly call myself an atheist, because I’m not sure that there isn’t a God. I don’t believe in God, and I don’t believe in a God-based religion. But, in the back of my head, I still find myself hoping for things to turn out a certain way, which is normal of course, but it makes me think. Where are these hopes being directed? Am I simply telling myself what I want to happen, or am I subconsciously praying? I’m not quite sure. Whenever I write “God,” I capitalize it, is that a subconscious of me saying I believe by showing respect towards the name? I can’t tell.

I was/am raised in a Jewish home. I go to synagogue regularly on Sundays, and I attend services for major holidays. I had my bar mitzvah when I turned 13, and I participate when I go to services. But if I had the choice, I don’t think I would go to temple at all anymore. My dad makes me go; he says it’s a good thing to do, and that it’s okay even if I don’t believe in God. My dad says that it’s important to belong to a community, which I understand. I have no problem attending Sunday school. I actually find religion quite interesting.

Like the author of the essay I chose, I’m at an age where I’m a bit confused about my own views on religion. In an age where so many terrible things happen every day. There’s genocide in Darfur, suicide bombing in the Middle East, war in Iraq, poverty all over the world, and those are only the obvious issues. If there’s a God, how can there be so many problems? People of religious persuasion answer this question in varying ways.

Some say that they’re the work of the devil. If there is a devil causing these problems, why doesn’t God get rid of the devil? They answer by saying that he’s too powerful. That contradicts God-based religion in general, which includes an all-powerful being above others. Hence, God should be powerful to rid existence of anything, including a devil.

Some say God makes problems so that we can learn from them. Why do we need to learn? If God can do anything, he can make a perfect world. Why do we live in such a messed-up world then? Why, in the bible, does God need to punish certain people? If he was perfect, he would have made perfect people. Many reply to that statement by saying that if we were perfect, God wouldn’t be special. But at the same time, they say God is beyond perfect. Religion is full of contradictions.

I think people cling to religion, because they need comfort. Everybody has problems, and they seek comfort. But not all problems can be solved or helped by things on this world. So people invented something else… the ultimate idea to seek when in need of comfort. People created God. By doing so, they solved so many of their own problems.

Where do we come from? God. Why do we act the way we do? God wants us to. Why do certain events happen? Because God wanted them to. Why do we have a sense of morality? Because God gave us rules of living. Why are we above all animals? God created us in his divine image.

I think I have sufficiently shown how people would benefit from the existence of a higher being. If there isn’t a God, none of the questions in the previous paragraph can be answered to our knowledge. As people, we seek to answer questions, and for those we can’t answer…we created God.

In writing this essay, I have allowed myself to explore my beliefs, or lack thereof, even deeper. I do not think there is a God. But there is no way to be sure, and there never will be. The question of God’s existence can only be answered by personal interpretation and spiritual exploration. You may be a firm believer in God. I do not doubt that God exists for you. God only exists based upon what you believe. Me? I have no God.