I had a conversation in which the other person, in an effort to offer assurance, told me to remember that I was put here for a purpose. Told me to remember that I am special. Told me to consider all the plants and animals and how much thought went into creating this. Soon after that, I had to interject and reveal that I am not a believer. There was a pause.
Humans consider themselves an intelligent life form. What makes us intelligent has everything to do with our brains. Neurology is the study of the brain and it is a rapidly developing field of study, as we still do not completely understand how it works. The fact is, however, that it can be studied because there is a science to how it works–concrete concepts, processes, chemical activity that can be seen and measured. We understand that every thought, movement and vital function is initiated by our brains. A fetus develops a brain within the first 3 weeks of gestation. The brain develops from cells- the smallest life form, and atoms- the smallest particle of matter, which have electrical charges. So, God thought of atoms, assigned electrical charges and then initiated the elaborate process of combining atoms to make molecules, then various molecules to make cells, then various cells to make tissues and then tissues to make the brain organ. So if God created our brains, which we rely on to formulate thought, how did he choose the material? If God created our brains, what is his brain made of? How does his brain work? If God thought of and then created the universe and everything in it, then his brain precedes the universe. If he created atoms and cells, etc. the question remains, who created him ( I say him because it’s not relevant whether God has a gender; that again, is a point of disconcertion since gender is a function of reproduction)? That the concept is so complex and continues to elude our understanding, is more reason not to believe that it’s a simple as: God. This is to say that it took thousands of years for Man to learn that we exist on a planet that revolves around a star that is part of a galaxy that is part of one of many universes. Surely, it can’t be so simple as: God. From the study of science we learned the laws of the universe: gravity, energy, inertia, centrifugal force, et al; science explains cause and effect. In our lives we constantly witness causal relationships and patterns. Understanding the laws of the universe brings order to chaos and clarity to confusion.
To credit God is to deny the laws of nature. It is to say that a woman really CAN become pregnant from immaculate conception. If God is in control, what’s the deal with in vitro fertilization? Are we creating people that God doesn’t want to exist or does he not mind, since he gave us the brains to discover the procedure? And when the procedure doesn’t take, is it because he thinks that reproductive clinics could use more money and that people desperate for a child can afford to pay? Is this to suggest that cells become people because God initiates fertilization and cell division? When people are born with deficits, deformities and congenital disorders, does that mean God was having a bad day?
I was put here [on Earth] because my parents had sex and my mother became pregnant and decided not to abort. There was no immaculate conception or stork. There was, however, an exchange of bodily fluids contained in the reproductive organs, secreted for the purpose of reproduction. I am born no more special than any of the other 7 billion people that roam the Earth; special is highly subjective. And in what regard am I special? Do I have a talent that no one on Earth possesses? Is special no longer a superlative? If everyone is special, who is not special–what is the point of reference? Are we all winners? If everyone is a winner, then there was no competition, because to compete is to compare and rank. There is, of course, functionality in believing that oneself is special or telling yourself that you are a winner, no matter what. Stephen Hawking is special. Martin Luther King was special. Mother Theresa was special. Gandhi was special. Even Hitler was special. Everyone can’t be special. To be special you have to do special things.
If God wanted me to fulfill a purpose, why didn’t I get a heads up? Why keep me guessing, risking me dying before the purpose is met? If I purchase or create something for a purpose, then I will use it for that purpose– otherwise it is a waste of time or money. If I build a house, it is either to live in or to profit from. If I buy a car, it is to drive. I can think of some people that wasted their lives being non productive and making poor decisions or that were simply horrible human beings; was that their purpose? That would mean that omniscient God created all the injustices in the history of humanity; but of course, we conveniently draw the line. God wanted Beyoncé (she’s one of those that always thanks God for her success) to be a major celebrity but did not want the tsunami of 2004–but then again, natural disasters are a “sign of the times(end of days)”. God wanted the United States to be a WASP nation (In God We Trust) but he did not want slavery or the massacre of the natives.
Someone did think of all this. A lot of people thought of all this. A lot of people have thought about all the wonder in the universe from atoms to black holes to amoebas. People continue to think of all this. People think. Dark matter and dark energy do not think. Atoms and elements do not think. They exist, they interact and they conduct themselves according to the laws of the universe.