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Does It Matter Whether There Is a God?
Just about everyone has an opinion about God. Not everyone has an opinion about every matter of politics, nor does everyone have an opinion on the next color Dennis Rodman should dye his hair. And there are even those who will assert that they have no opinion on God--that they have no care about the subject. This is not true. The staunch evolutionist might say that spirituality is a myth of man's naive mind. But even this staunch evolutionist is capable, in the back of his mind, of asking, "But what if there is a God?" On the other side of the coin, the religious extremist might confidently state that he has no opinion about God because God is absolute fact, with no room for our varying perceptions or skepticism. But in the back of his mind, he too is capable of asking, "But what if I'm wrong?"
In the same way, everyone is affected by the question of whether God exists. Of course, there are countless religions and faiths in existence that rely on the assumption or belief that their God or gods or other spiritual superiors are indeed real. Similarly, it has been pointed out, and rightly so, that atheism is a faith unto itself. It is faith that there is not a God. So whether they acknowledge it or not, whether they agree with it or not, everyone is affected by the question of spiritual truthfulness.
We can illustrate this with hypothetical examples. Suppose that no god exists--that the only thing that exists is the material, natural world in which we live and to which we are subjected. In this case, it could well be said that billions of religious people down through the ages, and alive today, have wasted innumerable hours in prayer, worship and study of their theology. These same people would have also squandered unfathomable amounts of money and resources on maintaining and growing their religious system, and needlessly sacrificed many lives given in martyrdom and warfare for their beliefs.
Now suppose that the God of the Bible exists. If this were true, then the atheists - even those who assert that they don't care about spirituality--would be eternally affected in the punishment that the Bible says they would receive. Their denial of the relevancy of the issue in this life would not protect them from the consequences of their actions if they turn out to be wrong.
And let's not think the agnostics can get away from this one just because they don't claim to have an opinion or belief at all. In the case of the God of the Bible, they too would be without excuse and subject to the same outcome as the atheists. It even matters whether the religious folks have the "right" God or not. The Allah of Islam, for example, does not tolerate faith in Christ as the Messiah, while the Bible has Jesus on record declaring that he is the only way to heaven.
So what is a truth seeker to do? With all this uncertainty and the seemingly endless range of possibilities, combined with the dire consequences often prescribed for those who settle on the wrong conclusion, it is enough to leave anyone feeling empty and hopeless. Is it possible to know what is right? And is it feasible to think that the answer could be clear enough not only to "put stock" in, but also to convince others of?
As a matter of fact, this is exactly the case. Since we are thinking, logical, rational people, we are capable of considering viewpoints and weighing them in light of evidence and knowledge. This happens every day in courts of law around the world. Accusations and defenses are presented, evidence is considered and weighed, testimony is given, and verdicts are reached. And, in reference to the discussion above, consequences are handed down.
So I invite you to plunge into the study of God's existence. The articles on this website are a great start. Approach this subject with seriousness and honesty. After all, if there is no God, you might decide you can use your time in a better way than in following a religion. But in the same way, there are consequences if there is a God and you do not follow him. The best part, however, is that you do not have to live your life in uncertainty. You can investigate for yourself and be confident in what you find. I dare you to try.