A Case For Religion: From A Non-Believer!

By: Luc

March 27, 2016


I was born and raised Catholic. When I was ten years old, I believed in heaven, I feared hell and I went to church every Sunday. As a child, my father once told me: “No matter what you decide to become (even if it’s being a Janitor), make sure to always strive to be the best.” I have used this philosophy my entire life. Everything I have attempted to do, I’ve tried to do it to the best of my ability. Religion was no exception.

In my pursuit to become the best Christian I could be, I asked questions. Questions such as: What happens if you’re a Hindu? Do you not go to heaven, even if you’re a good person? Why would God put us on earth to “test us” even though is omnipotent? Who created God? Where is heaven? I had so many questions, but so few satisfactory answers. I talked to my parents, to friends, to siblings, even members of the clergy. Ultimately, the one answer I got over and over again was: Because God/the Bible said so. That answer was not enough for me. I don’t know whether it’s my upbringing or some inherited traits, but I have never been one to follow anything blindly. I have no problem following. I just have to know and understand exactly what I am following. So, I started drifting away from religion. First, I stopped going to church. Then I stopped praying. Finally, I stopped stopped following the rules. At that time, I still called myself Catholic when asked. Then, I referred to myself as an agnostic/atheist. Finally, I began despising religions and the concept behind them. I even went as far as looking down on some religious people. I often thought to myself: How can they believe such non-sense? As I was drifting away from religion, I discovered science. I delved deep into physics, chemistry, biology and even psychology (which I studied in college). Science was AWESOME. Science dealt with facts. Science made sense. Science didn’t tell you to believe in something just because someone said so. Science encourages you to question everything. I loved it. I still do. Science was perfect. Until it wasn’t. See, about five hundred years ago, many scientists believed the earth was flat. Over a hundred years ago, scientists thought the atom was the smallest particle of matter.  The point is science too, has its limitations. No matter what we do, our knowledge of the universe will always be as good as the tools we use to observe it. Furthermore, studying psychology brought me face to face with evil. At school, I learned about the many unethical studies conducted in the name of science. In some studies, animals were physically tortured. In others, humans were psychologically tortured. All of this was done for the sake of acquiring more knowledge. The two limitations above lead me to question my relationship with science. In the process, I began re-evaluating my relationship with religion. I asked myself what the point of religion was. It was evident to me that the purpose of religion wasn’t to explain how our universe works. Then, it hit me! I realized that science and religion weren’t so different after all. I just had to find out what made religion important. I needed to know what the purpose of religions was. I found it! Below are four reasons I’m making a case for religion today. It’s what I discovered while re-evaluating my relationship with science (and religion).

VALUES

Religions can teach us great values. Many of which can help us be better people. The catholic religion for example, teaches values such as hard work, determination, & faith. I for example, use values I acquired from my early christian faith. It doesn’t end there. Most religions share common values. The purpose of these values is to help us be better humans. Whether you’re Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, religions are all about being kind, being respectful, being honest, loving one another, being generous etc….

TIMELESS VALUES

Everyone knows that the only constant in the universe is change. We’ve evolved greatly since the stone ages. Today, we can travel from North America to Europe in a few hours. We can instantly communicate with loved ones thousands of miles away. Fewer people know that certain things don’t change. Most religious values have remained the same over the years. The bible for example was written thousands of years ago. We need kindness, generosity, love, hope, faith, today, as much as we needed them thousands of years ago. We’ll more than likely need those values thousands, or even millions of years from now. These values never go out of style.

SCIENCE VS RELIGION

One of the biggest issues I had with religion was that I did not know its purpose. The role of science is to explain how our world works. The role of government is to protect its citizens. The role of the media is to report stories. When it came to religion, I was always at confused. I could never quite figure out what its role was. Then, I stumble upon a quote that changed it all for me. The quote was from Jeremy England. England is considered by many to be the next Charles Darwin. In short, England said that science helps us acquire information, religion tells us what we should do with that information. That’s when I finally understood. I realized then, that religion and science were not mutually exclusive. They both served a specific purpose. As I said before, religions aren’t perfect. Sometimes, religious fanatics misinterpret religious teachings. When that happens, they commit heinous crimes. However, governments aren’t perfect either. Sometimes, governments fail in trying to protect their citizens. Sometimes, the media doesn’t report stories accurately. No matter what industry you’re in, no matter what you do, people make mistakes. The government should not be done away with each time they fail to protect their citizens. The media should not be done away with every time the don’t report a story accurately. Religion should not go away each time it fails to serve its role. I am not quite ready to take that leap of faith, and go back to practicing Catholicism or any other religions. Religion can help many people. I’m not one of those. At least not now at this point of my life. I already believe in kindness, hard work, determination and other such values that helps us be better people. Religion would only add all the rules and traditions to my life at this point. I’m not a huge fan of traditions. In this beautiful soul-searching journey I call life, maybe one day I’ll practice religion again. For now, I’ll continue to practice kindness, respect, honesty, & love towards others. That, is my religion. Someone once said: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will fight to the death for the your right to say it”. I agree with the idea behind the statement. As humans, we don’t always have to agree with one another. I still disagree with many religious ideologies, but I will defend people’s right to follow their religions, for all the reasons listed above.

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