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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).