Essay, Research Paper: Existence By Atheism

Religion

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Since the dawn of human awareness, we have wondered how we have come to exist
and for what purpose, yet no theory thus far has even been agreed upon, let
alone proven. Philosophers, theologians, and scientists have argued back and
forth about our origin for centuries, producing copious quantities of
literature, and it continues to this day. The justification for my beliefs on
the issue which am to present here may simply come to be seen as another log to
throw on the growing stack, but I am inclined to think that it will have new
merit since I will be attempting to appeal to both believers in faith, and to
those who feel that Darwin said it all. I must begin by stating the simple truth
that the majority of people in America to date have little to no religious
beliefs or practices, and there are reasons for it. First, the infestation of
media in our culture has led to extremely distorted yet widely held stereo types
of every kind of religion which keep people from finding any reason to
investigate the true details of any particular one for themselves. This effects
a second and more important reason which is that public schools are required to
teach the theory of evolution-the theory which many believe rules out any
possibility of religion. With our countries separation of church and state,
religion is a touchy subject commonly avoided by teachers, and at the same time
young influential students are taught that evolution is the way things happened.
So we end up with some confused and many convinced that there is no room for
religion in the modern context because it cannot coexist with the theory of
evolution. My first point is to argue the contrary; religion can coexist with
evolution. A recent study done into the actual evidence which supports the
theory shows that though the theory of evolution does show trends in
evolutionary stages, at the present time there are no known fossil records which
can connect any one major stage directly to another. Also the amount of change
between these major stages would have required far more time then was possible
and the amount of fossils present should be plentiful for not just one
transition, but all of them, however none have been found. The findings for this
study were taken only from direct anti-religious evolutionists. It is very
apparent that there gapping holes in the theory, something readily admitted by
specialists in the field, yet the theory continues to be taught as though the
holes have already been filled. There are two possibilities for the missing
evidence: either none of it has been found yet but it will be someday, or it
doesn't exist. Whether or not the evidence will turn up or if it has been
destroyed, we may never know, but the presence of holes in the theory does leave
room for the possibility of religion, and that is all I need to continue. In
order for me to address my next point, I must answer the all too common question
proposed by a people submerged in political correctness and consumerism. When
confronted about having to pick one religion above another, most ask, "how
can you decide that one religion is more right than another if none of them have
more proof than any other." Historical relics aside, I think it would be
reasonable to assume that a creator would make a way for the beings created to
maximize their health and overall enjoyment of life, and would keep the beings
from harm. There has been research into the effects of various religions on the
health of its believers and the category found to have the most favorable
results were those which focused on one God, with certain Christian faiths
topping the list. Of those studied, Christians exhibited low levels of stress
and related illness, a better ability to cope with stress, lower instances of
drug abuse and suicide, greater sexual satisfaction, high levels of contentment
and general happiness, and were found to be successful and active in the
community. As Pastor Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church said, "if all
those effects were promised by the use of a pill, people would be lined up out
the door to buy it." The attitude which is developed as a result of having
these particular beliefs and following the methods for living tucked in the
pages of the bible do give these results of improved living, and since the bible
is said to be the word of the creator, it seems to make sense that they would.
Some may still argue that it's a waste of time to believe in something if it
turns out that we are just worm meat or ashes after we die. To this I would ask,
is it really a waste of time? The commitment needed to pursue such beliefs is
far less than the average stereotype would have you believe. Also, since no one
can know for sure in this life, we are condemned to choose to believe in
anything we want, so why not believe in something with the most beneficial
impacts on your immediate life since that is what truly concerns us at the
moment. True or not, you end up in the best possible condition. Next, I must
discuss the bible. There are many misconceptions about the book which is said to
be the word of God, mostly a result of the easily acceptable stereotypes and the
fact that few who criticize it have read it. The main problem here is the
attempt to fit the bible's story of creation with pieces of the evolution
theory. Some would say that the exact meanings and uses of the words in the
bible are inaccurate in describing anything like evolution, but I disagree. We
must not forget that God hasn't allegedly spoken to us humans in thousands of
years (for reasons we shouldn't think ourselves capable of speculating). The
people who were spoken to then did not have much of a scientific outlook on
things so I think it is highly likely that God put things into terms that his
people would understand at the time with the possibility of shifting
interpretations through changing times. Until God speaks again, we are forced to
go off of what we have, and even then, we must take into account the document we
are dealing with. It is thousands of years old; much of its earlier history in
times when record keeping was far from accurate. Also, it's been translated
through handfuls of languages, some so rare that only a few scholars at the
Vatican can still decipher them and it would be foolish to not realize that they
may alter facts and keep secrets to defend the power they have. The point is
that we may not know the book like we think we do. There are so many issues that
go along with deciding to be Christian that I would like to address but it would
take far too many pages. There is the age old logic problem which goes off the
premise that God is all knowing, all loving, and all powerful. From there it
asks things such as: if God is all loving then why is there suffering; if he
can't stop it then he's not all powerful; if he doesn't want to stop it then he
is not all loving, etc. I think that it is a mistake to think of answering this
in any simple way, and it may not even be possible for us to know, but we must
go off of what we're given. I think the answer lies in what we perceive as free
will. Then there is the issue of what it takes to get into heaven and how some
believe that all of the rituals must be partaken in, while others believe that
just admitting your belief in Gods existence grants your way. We are forced to
wonder more into Gods motives but the point is that we are supposed to question
and not just accept the ideas that come our way. No one should fear finding the
truth, no matter what truth turns out to be. Without getting into too much
detail, I would like to part with this: there have been things from the past
that are difficult to deny, and there will be things in the future that will be
impossible not to take into account, but at all times we must go with everything
we have and try to make it all fit together. It may turn out that we were wrong
and have ended up with a mere stack off papers, but we have nothing to lose and
everything to gain.
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