State of Confusion: Aggressive Atheists and Brazen Believers
Aggressive atheists confound me: why would you launch an intellectual war against a God who does not exist? It is the equivalent of going to battle with a little kid to convince them that their imaginary friend does not exist. Logic and science are not going to gain you any ground in a battle with people who believe in something you cannot hear, see, taste, touch, or smell. Furthermore, if God does not exist, then why does He make an aggressive atheist so angry?
Brazen believers are just as perplexing: why is it their mission to have everyone in the world share their faith? Some of them are terrifying in the way they will cram their principles down your throat. Standing on the street corner in front of Planned Parenthood with signs baring pictures of bloody babies is not going to endear the faithless to your cause. Furthermore, why would a brazen believer try so hard to save a soul who has made it clear they do not value your brand of salvation?
Each one of us exists in a reality of our own creation, and to violate another person’s reality by insisting they change what they believe is absurd. You cannot reject the foundation of another person’s life while substituting your own as a better option. People never change what they believe based on another person’s wishes. Each one of us may change only if we wish it for ourselves. Under that compulsion, we become openminded and hungry for a new truth.
Why can’t we have both anyway, faith in a higher power as well as belief in the laws of nature? Some say they cancel one another out, but it seems to me that they complete one another. Faith fills in the gaps left by science, and science sheds light on the mysteries that faith alone cannot resolve. It seems to me that the best way to be an enlightened being is to make room in your life for both. But I understand that it does not work that way for some. Science cannot tolerate that faith will adhere to outrageous beliefs that have been disproved, and faith cannot tolerate that science is sometimes cold, unethical, and inhumane. But it would be nice if we could get everyone on the same page.
My own faith has always been a work in progress made more complicated by the crazed radicals standing on either side of the fence. Any time I get overwhelmed by the dialogue between the warring parties, however, I find myself thinking of Albert Einstein. He is one of the most famous scientists of all time, and yet even in his empirical world there was room of the possibility of a higher power. He flipped back and forth in his spiritual beliefs throughout his life, but he said at one point that the more he engaged in scientific studies, the more he believed there might be a divine hand at work in the universe. Einstein could make room for the truths of science and the possibility of God in his life without telling anyone else what they should believe.
I am not out to tell anyone what to believe, or to change the way in which they choose to express their beliefs. If you cannot help but tell the whole world you hate God, then so be it, and same goes if you cannot help but evangelize every single person you meet. I am writing with the hope that someone else finds it just as crazy as I do so I won’t feel so alone in a world full of people that seem every day more and more divided.
Do you like books that explore the duality of science and faith? Check out Dan Brown’s Origin published in October 2017.