In my experience with people who are either atheists or, for whatever reason, who choose not to believe in the existence of God or a higher power beyond themselves, there seems to be a huge misconception. Some tend to think that believers in God lack intelligence and cling to religion for some innate need to believe in something greater than themselves. Though this feeling may be shared by many who believe in God or a higher force, it is not the main reason for believing. There have been several intelligent people, Albert Einstein for one, before us to believe in this God and for good reason. Some of them find that nature and the intricate inner workings of organisms as small as bacteria and as large as human beings are too perfectly designed for there not to be a Creator of everything. For these intelligent beings, God is all around us in everything we see on a daily basis from each other’s smiles to a leaf falling from a tree and a flower in full bloom.
But to one who does not believe, for whatever reason – usually because of some form of hurt or pain experienced with inexplicable cause(s) – this world must be a dark and lonely vast array of human beings just living for the moment, without delayed gratification, thinking they know everything there is to know about this world, this universe, and this monotonous existence. What hope is there of human beings alone left to fend for themselves – to each his/her own? What of spirituality? What of the human soul? Do we just live today with enough to get by until our eyelids close to open again in the morning to a sunrise that never fails to show? How can anyone settle for this kind of life? How can someone have so much faith in humanity and not an ounce of faith in God?
Some of them refuse to be “hypocrites” by nature and find that religious “rules” are totally against human nature and, therefore, make no sense to follow. To this, my reply is simple. If you believe in the Christian God, you know that He appeared in human form – in the form of His son – to tell us not to get caught up in the details of rules, but to live together in peace and harmony with pure love in our hearts and a brain to exercise common sense.
It is important, in my opinion, to question why we hold our beliefs and to know exactly what they mean to us. It’s just as important as examining our values and traditions to take note of their meaning in our life as well. Blind faith can be a dangerous thing as history has taught us with famous dictators and so forth. But asking questions – especially “why” – leads to a stronger and healthier faith ultimately. So no matter what you believe in or don’t, before you criticize anyone for their beliefs or lack thereof you should ask yourself what exactly it is that you believe and why. Please realize that belief is a choice and if you have the freedom to believe whatever you do, others have the same freedom as well.