In response to T.J. Foster’s Nov. 22 letter to the editor on why he converted to atheism, I offer there is a much bigger world out there.
I was the average Catholic raised in the 1950s and ‘60s, attending local Catholic schools. I even went to a Jesuit college. Like many in college, I challenged my Catholic faith while taking many required classes in theology and philosophy in addition to a normal major curriculum. I searched mightily for God in my science as well as theology and philosophy, all most rigorous.
I came to a few positive conclusions. God was real, as there was just way too much evidence, even just looking in the physical world. There is creation, there is beauty, there is love, there is history and much more. There is also evil and cruelty and injustice we have to live with. You cannot judge something as good and ignore that there must also be something bad.
I concluded through my studies, however, you could neither prove nor disprove the existence of God through science and reasoning.
You could, however, see the hand of God in his magnificent creation. You cannot define (limit) God, but you can discern many attributes. His most precious creations we know of are our fellow humans.
Maybe God made a mistake by giving us free will. With that he showed his great love and trust by giving us the freedom to make our own decisions. We all make these decisions whether we realize it or not. We do this daily with our every choice and action. We also seem to have a tremendous ability to make decisions subconsciously, then develop the supporting reasons. However, we should be careful to not blame others for our faith or lack. In order to find, we must be willing to search. We should also be careful to not simply trust our gut, as it is obvious many of us are wrong using that approach. So, like the prodigal son and his father, God gives us our freedom to leave and then the freedom to return. Like the prodigal son, many both leave and return. Each of us has that choice.
One could argue without free will and choice, there is neither good nor evil. Otherwise we are automatons and the world just happens. We would have no personal identity, no freedom, no responsibility or no personal growth.
We are seldom long satisfied with comforts and pleasures. In a sense, the happiness we often seek is most fleeting. Joy in the Lord is eternal. So I turn to the Lord and my life makes sense. I enjoy comforts when they happen. My pain has meaning. My soul is peaceful. My joy is being attracted to the eternal God. I do not have to be successful or rich. It takes acceptance and some effort on my part, but I am at one with my creator and savior. Once understanding the reality that there is a God, my best path to him is through Christ. Christ founded a church to lead us on our journeys. As the Bible says in the simplest terms, God is love.
So I would encourage T.J. Foster to look further. With religion and politics, many seem to find what we want to find and stop. It is still our personal responsibility to seek further. Our eternal future depends on it.