Do you believe in God?
- Suhavi Dhillon
This question is one we ask and get asked so often, though, I think we forget that there is no right or wrong answer to this question.
In recent years, as people dare to question the existence of this deity, as they become more secure to be able to question the alleged creator of all, there has been an increase in the number of atheists in existence. Surveys conducted in America have concluded that the percentage of atheists has increased to 4% in 2018-2019 as compared to the 2% in 2009.
Atheism is not questioning whether God exists, rather, it is the rejection of His existence. As a 16 year old living with easy access to social media and in turn, having exposure to new theories, perspectives and constant interaction with other teenagers, I’ve spoken to a fair share of people that proudly label themselves as atheists.
I still remember how weird it felt the first time someone said to me, "No, I don’t believe in God", it challenged everything I’d ever known.
I recognize now that that was the point but still-it was almost incomprehensible to me that we were even allowed to question what I thought was a fact.
That is where the problem lies, values are often forced upon others because we can’t bear the thought of someone disagreeing with us. It’s instinct to protect our own thoughts and opinions, reflex to fight back when challenged and stubbornness that keeps us from keeping an open mind.
This, undoubtedly, goes to both sides of the arguments.
To this day, there is no physical evidence that proves the existence of God. It is only human then, to be suspicious. For some people religion becomes a trap, they are obligated to put up a front in the name of God, even though their values might not line up to said God’s. Being an atheist does not make a person immoral, does not mean that they are the anti-christ reincarnated, they are people entitled to their own views. Belief cannot be imposed onto anyone. Even if it could be, I do not think God would appreciate His followers brainwashing and ostracising people in His name.
A lot of these atheists question that if there truly is a God out there, why does evil exist? Why do innocent people get hurt? Why does world hunger exist? The list goes on, but you get the gist. While others argue that simply because God created humans does not mean He is responsible for their actions, similar to how the mother of a murderer is not guilty of a crime simply for birthing a child.
A lot of people carry out heinous crimes in the name of God, I do not think though that he, The Almighty, would condone that. Would God discriminate amongst His own children? Is He not supposed to be the creator of all? Would He then still differentiate between us? His love is unconditional, we say, then punish those that do not meet what is our standard of acceptable.
Do you truly deserve God’s love, if you use His name as a justification of misdemeanour?
It’s not to say only atheists are scorned upon. I’ve seen more than one or two or a dozen kids scoff at their parents and relatives for worshipping God, which is so hypocritical to me. Why complain about your parents not taking your opinions seriously when you can’t respect theirs either? Why are you so insecure in your own convictions?
It’s also very funny to me when people say they’re atheists with the pride of an olympic champion, it’s kind of like saying, my favourite colour is red, acting like it’s an achievement and getting angry if other people like other colours. I’ve seen a lot of people having a superiority complex about being atheists and it always fills me up with so much second-hand embarrassment.
If God gives people strength, if God helps people feel heard and cared for and if God gives people purpose to live, then who is anyone to shame a religious person for believing in God? What right does anyone have to mock the strength of so many people?
It is easy to invalidate a believer's argument by saying, believing in god is rejecting science, when even The Big Bang Theory is just that- a theory.
Everyone has a different perception of God’s existence - or lack thereof - which are shaped by every individual's own experiences. Conflicts over this will amount to nothing if both sides do not respect each other or keep an open mind.
Illustrated by Avani Gupta
I find myself mostly agnostic, I’ll turn on the news and look at the sorry state of our world and the number of people suffering due to the global pandemic and I’ll think, there is no way a God exists and He’s letting this happen, but other times, when I find myself in pain and struggling, praying calms me down. I think as life goes on and I grow older, facing the real world, I’ll be able to answer myself better when I ask, do you believe in God?