With an inquisitive eye my colleague lifted the book I was holding in my hand “The God Delusion.” He read the title in a questioning tone and I began to explain the book’s purpose as stated by the author, Richard Dawkins, which is to prove that God does not exist. “You’re going to hell” he replied in joking manner. Though I knew it was a joke, I couldn’t help but to remind myself that there are many people in this world who would condemn the reading of such a book as a sign of their commitment to god. To me there is no breach of such loyalty created by my journey to further understand the existence of a supreme being from multiple points of view, nor is there the slightest morsel of abomination in questioning the validity, accuracy and intentions of religion. Perhaps the act in the immediately previous complete sentence was too subtle so let me make it clear that I am drawing a distinction between god and religion. As it currently stands, and I can’t imagine what would cause a change in this status quo, I believe in god. What I don’t feel comfortable accepting whole-heartedly without question, is religion. It’s not my concern with the existence of religion, it exists and it’s not going away, but what does concern me is the purpose and intention behind religion. More specifically is the notion, promoted by many religions, that we should believe what we are told and never raise questions which doesn’t sit well with me.
It’s not simply intellectual curiosity that drives my inquisitiveness, but if anyone anywhere believes in a higher power/supreme-being, I feel that it is inherently the duty of such people to seek a comprehensive understanding of that higher power which requires us to ask questions and to expose the doubts we have about the words of our fallible fellows. There are not answers to everything and there are many things in this world we may never fully understand. When we accept the answers we are given by those who claim to have a better understanding of the ambiguities of life, love and faith, we may actually be stopping short of finding a truth that continues to exist but will never be accessed if we stop raising questions.