• Question: Do you believe in God?

    Asked by natasha to Meeks, Pete, Stephen, Steve, Tom on 24 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Marieke Navin

      Marieke Navin answered on 22 Jun 2010:

      I think that *something* must have caused the Big Bang!

    • Photo: Stephen Curry

      Stephen Curry answered on 22 Jun 2010:

      Hi Natasha,

      I used to but not any more I’m afraid. I was raised as a Catholic and was quite devout as a young man. But I came finally to the conclusion that I wasn’t really having a personal ‘relationship’ with God – to me it seemed like the communication was all one way.

      I know a lot of people feel differently and still have great respect for people with faith. There is an enormous about that is good and humane about the teaching of Christianity – and most other religions that I have come across.

    • Photo: Steve Roser

      Steve Roser answered on 22 Jun 2010:

      I don’t believe in God, but I’m happy that others do (unlike some scientists…!)

    • Photo: Tom Hartley

      Tom Hartley answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Hi Natasha,

      This is such a tricky question to answer in a few words. I don’t believe in God. This is not quite the same (for me) as saying I believe God doesn’t exist. I don’t have any evidence (that I trust) one way or the other. Even though the idea of God is very complicated and hard to believe in, I try to keep an open-mind. There are many things that we don’t understand at all, and many things in science which are very hard to believe (but which seem to be true nonetheless).

      What I don’t like is the idea of faith – that you should believe in something in the absence of any evidence, in the face of contradictory evidence, or maybe sometimes BECAUSE there is no evidence. This doesn’t make sense to me. I can’t imagine why God would give us these brains and the ability to understand things and find out answers, and then expect us to ignore all this and just believe. But I can very easily see that it would be a helpful idea if you were a person who wanted to make people do what you say without thinking for themselves.

      Not all religions expect their adherents to be blindly faithful. I went to a Quaker school – Quakers are a Christian group who broke away from the church because they felt that everyone had “that of God” in them. Because of this belief, they think that anybody can come to their own conclusions about God.

      Religion can be a problem where people in authority use their idea of God to force their views on other people.

      If you want to understand how and why many scientists are sceptical about religious ideas and God, “The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark” by Carl Sagan is a good book to read.