posted on Jul, 27 2013 @ 07:23 PM
To Moderators: This is my first thread on ATS, please move this to the appropriate forum if necessary, thank you in advance.
I shall give some background about myself before I begin. I am a man in his mid-twenties. I was born in South Asia and was raised in a traditional
Hindu home. My family immigrated to Canada during my early childhood. I was deeply religious for approximately the first fifteen years of my life
(with about ten of those years spent in Canada). Suddenly, one day I came to the realization that unbeknownst to me I had now become an atheist. I was
no longer that child who waited until his parents fell asleep, and prayed to God to publically reveal Himself for the betterment of mankind. I was no
longer that innocent kid who wrote down a prayer for world peace and slipped it into a prayer box at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada. I
ceased to be the child who frequently dreamt about God ridding the world of evil, sorrow, and suffering. I don’t know how it happened, much like a
distant memory, my beliefs faded. Slowly but surely I drifted away from God and now find myself to be an atheist, or at the very least, an
Being an atheist, I’ve come across countless individuals who believe that I view them in a condescending manner due to the fact that they believe in
a god. This could not be further from the truth. In all honesty, I envy them. Those fortunate souls capable of wholeheartedly embracing something so
pure; akin to a field blanketed by virgin snow, something unquantifiable; like finding true love, something much greater than one can ever hope to
fathom -- God; it is they who are the envy of my life. I too wish I had something to believe in while enduring the hardships life throws my way. I
long for a beacon of hope that I can grasp onto, both in times of joy and sorrow. I yearn for a light at the end of the tunnel while I struggle with
my arduous journey through this seemingly endless darkness. I desire for a purpose greater than myself. Alas, to no avail. Only insignificance,
meaninglessness and emptiness prevail.
Perhaps the hesitant approach towards the Almighty could be attributed to my science background. A vast majority of my high school and undergraduate
academic career was spent hunched over various scholarly works at the local library. The solitarily north-east corner on the third floor was my
domain; undisturbed, I spent hours at a time immersed in the works of scientific greats: Newton, Einstein, Darwin, Heisenberg, etc. I enjoyed and
delved into all branches of Science; posters of Einstein, Newton and the periodic table adorned my bedroom walls. Monotonously living out a
preordained plan, I majored in Biology, with a minor in Psychology, and now find myself in medical school. Habitually, I find myself reasoning that
the simplest, most elegant answer is often the ‘correct’ solution to a problem. Science has instilled in me to believe in the null hypothesis as
the default, prior to examining all of the evidence. The null hypothesis in this case would state that the universe can exist without the injection of
God into the equation. I truly believe that all of creation could exist without the intervention of an almighty being.
Nevertheless, I don’t find immersion in science as a satisfactory excuse for banishing God from my life; I have many friends in medical school who
are religious. These friends are devout practitioners of their respective religions, while maintaining sound, reasoning, scientific minds and
achieving high grades. They too have learned the same material as me; they too have spent thousands of hours meticulously memorizing the finer points
that science has to offer. Yet, somehow, they are able to put all of that aside and accept God without expressing any cognitive dissonance. Their
ability to seamlessly disconnect the two perplexes me to no bounds. Perhaps I am looking at it too logically; maybe I need to simply “have some
faith”. I am told that religion and science don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Both, prominent scientists and theologians have stated that
religion and science can co-exist. Nonetheless, I am at a loss when attempting to find that elusive equilibrium towards maintaining this delicate
balancing act. The more I ponder it, the more I am affirmed that the contradictions between the two far outweigh any congruencies. I don’t think I
am capable of accepting and internalizing two conflicting viewpoints.
Despite my greatest efforts to try and believe, I can’t cast aside the belief of religion simply being a construct to give people peace of mind. It
gives life meaning, in an otherwise purposeless existence. It eases the mind and soothes the soul by promising an eternal existence once we depart
from this mortal plane, as opposed to unceremoniously becoming rotting, decaying flesh, destined to become worm food, with no greater purpose. Some
may ask, “Is it so bad to find meaning in life?” By no means is that a negative attribute, but I simply cannot accept lying to myself for the sake
of peace of mind. I find myself caught in an internal tug-of-war; I want to believe in a higher power in part due to the hope and positivity that
religion has to offer. On the other hand, I can’t bring myself to do so; it’ll be an admission of yielding to my fears. I look at all of the
suffering in the world; crime, famine, disease and wonder the reason behind it all. It leads me to ultimately question the purpose for the
establishment of the institution I am desperately trying to embrace: was religion merely conjured up to distract us from the pointlessness that is
life? I am at a complete loss. I feel like a wanderer trekking a vast desert in search of a treasure that may not even exist; even upon finding said
treasure, he will forever wonder if it is merely a mirage.
Finally, my intentions for constructing this thread: I understand that one must find God for himself; no one can simply make you believe in a higher
power. Yet, despite all of my internal efforts, I have failed, and now I seek your guidance in my quest to rediscover God. Some may view this as an
attempt to turn to God in a time of need. While I admit that I am going through some difficulties in life at the moment; however, at the same time, I
am aware that these trials and tribulations will too soon pass. Nevertheless, what these trying times have allowed me to do is to self-reflect upon my
years on this planet and explore the dark, hidden crevices of my mind. Upon some soul-searching, I discovered that I want to believe in a power
greater than myself; yet, despite my efforts, I can’t bring myself to do so. I know that I can’t force myself to believe in a god, perhaps I need
to gain greater wisdom through many more years of life experiences before I can sincerely appreciate the intricacies of religion and spirituality. On
the other hand, maybe the rift has manifested itself for too long and all attempts at amendment will be futile.
All in all, I kindly request the members of ATS to provide me with some helpful words of wisdom and/or advice towards seeking out God and embracing
I apologize for the lengthy thread; I found it difficult to adequately express my innermost feelings on this delicate topic without writing in length.
I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read this. Thank you in advance for any input or suggestions that you could provide me. May
you have enduring happiness and health.