Do you believe in God?
(I realize that's a personal question, but it's also a rhetorical one... you're in cyberspace, it's not like I'm expecting an answer!)
(It's that simple, and that complicated).
I've never had a spiritual encounter. God has never spoken to me. And yet, I believe.
I have been reading a few books lately where faith is a central theme, almost even a main character, and it's been making me think a lot about religion. I would like to synthesize why I believe, and what I believe in. I don't know. It's hard to pinpoint. After years of Catholic school, and even more years of attending Catholic mass, I certainly know what I'm supposed to believe in.
Among many other things, I am supposed to believe that Catholics are the only ones that go to Heaven. (That all Jews, Muslims, Lutherans, etc... everyone else goes to Hell). I'm supposed to believe in going to Church every Sunday, in being completely, totally, always against abortion, homosexuals, and birth control.
But what you are supposed to believe in, and what you do believe in are two very different things.
I believe in God (but in the spirit of honesty, when I am being completely honest I will say that it is hard for me to wrap my head around this being who decided in 7 days to create a world like we know it. I want to believe in all of the details surrounding believing in God, but I do struggle to accept it all). I believe that going to Church is great... and I do go, when I want to. I believe that Heaven is full of good people, good Catholics, good Jews, good Muslims, and (OMG) even good Lutherans. I believe in birth control, and a woman's right to choose, and, well, I think you know where I stand on "the gays".
But more then all of that? I believe in loving each other. In treating each other the way we want to be treated. In seeing the good, and trying as hard as you can in forgiving the bad. I know it isn't easy, and I definitely struggle every. single. day. (Just ask Scott when I've snapped at him for the 3rd time 6 hours). But I believe that these are the things that really matter.
To me, that is enough. And I like to think that my God agrees.
Unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is meaningless.