Since everyone else is chiming in about religion, I may as well jump on the bandwagon.
I have never been the kind of man to put a lot of stock in "beliefs". Having beliefs, in every sense of the word, leaves little room for the possibilty of the thoughtful exchange of ideas. Beliefs are taken as creed, and in turn, are extraordinarily hard to deviate from in any way. Ideas, however, will always leave room for growth and change.
With that said, I was raised a Catholic and feel that there is something to be said for the fundamentals of Christianty.
People seem to forget so easily that nearly every religion on the face of this planet are intertwined with each other in one way or another. Jesus Christ was Jewish, Catholicism borrowed heavily from Paganism in order to bolster its numbers, the nation of Islam recognizes their father Abraham and the prophet Mohammad.....
The list goes on, really, and the parallels are staggering.
But that isn't really the point, is it? To go on and on about the similarities of various religions would be an exhausting and futile effort ultimately resulting in a big pile of knowledge that few will utilize and many will forget.
Let's take religion out of the picture, for now.
What this leaves us with are people who believe in a higher power and those who don't.
For me, there has always been one thing that has fascinated me to no end:
The innate human desire to be a good person.
Many can argue that the human species is self-destructive at best. We can be such wicked and ugly things, not worthy of any kind of love from a deity. But it seems to me that even with as many societal permutations as there are in this world, each society is built upon a foundation of laws that stress the good in people:
Don't kill your fellow man
Don't deceive others
Don't steal or cheat
Granted, there are those who ignore such simple fundamentals, but it is the overwhelming majority who take it upon themselves to punish these people in one way or another.
For me to try and answer these questions for anybody would be overstepping my boundaries. For me, this insistence on striving for the good in ourselves is almost an affirmation of something greater.... that no matter how bad things can get, there will always be an outpouring of love somewhere.
It is not religion that is at fault for peoples' inability to communicate their thoughts to one another on any meaningful level..... it is single-mindedness. People have become so set in their beliefs, that even if someone were to try and explain their stance on things, it would be taken as an attack on their lifestyle.
While I may be a Catholic, my ideas are Protestant in nature. I see nothing wrong with the idea that God is not only the ultimate Creator, but that he is also the ultimate scientist.
Is it so hard to grasp the idea that God designed Evolution?
Maybe, maybe not. It is not in my position to judge. Perhaps maybe at some point when we take the next step in our evolution we will find the time to sit down together in pursuit of some greater truth.... if we're lucky, we might even find it.
But until then, I'm just going to enjoy this banana.