[quote=UKStudent]But there are a numebr of other Gods… It’s all confusing!
You are asking questions at several levels. Is there a God? Is He a personal God? Are there more than one God? Is Christianity valid? Is the Catholic faith right for you? Each of these could take volumes to comment on, so I’ll stick primarily with the first two for the simple reason that if you cannot believe in a God who loves you personally, you won’t find answers to the subsequent questions.
Is there a God? Well, when one looks at the universe, only three possibilities for its existence come to mind. It was created by an intelligent Being(s). Matter and/or energy have always existed with no beginning. Matter and/or energy came from nothing. All three possibilities require a form of “faith” in something beyond our understanding. Therefore, we cannot rely entirely on our intellect for even the basis of our belief system, because all are based on some kind of “faith.”
I find it rather funny that we attribute so much significance to our own “belief” in something, as though my believing something makes it so. If God does not exist, then all my fervent desiring will not create Him and I will simply die and cease to exist. However, if God does exist, then all the disbelief in the world will not make Him go away and those who die in unbelief will have to face the consequences, whatever those may be. This alone is reason enough to give the possibility a fair trial. I give you credit for your openness and that of looking4truth. This desire, I believe, is a gift from God Himself and evidence to support an affirmative answer to the second question.
A fellow countryman and former atheist/Oxford professor who became one of the greatest Christian apologists (forgive my presumptions if you are familiar with him and his writings) made many superior points relative to the existence of God and His being a personal God. You should read Lewis’ books “Mere Christianity” and “The Problem of Pain”, among others.
One of my favorite arguments that Lewis put forth as evidence of God as an Almightly, Loving Father is that we have deep desires and needs, or appetites, such as hunger, thirst, sexual drive, and emotional needs for belonging, companionship and security. All of these “appetites” correspond to something that will satisfy them, which makes sense from a purely scientific and non-theistic perspective.
However, we also have this deep need or desire for eternity and even for God (though some might not recognize God as the object of this need at first). This deep desire would certainly not be satisfied by us simply living forever here on earth. Most people would not take much comfort in that.
So, simple immortality would not satisfy this need. Then, why does it exist if God does not exist? Why would we have a need that has no hope of fulfillment? It has no evolutionary purpose. In fact, from an evolutionary point of view, it would be more useful for us to willingly succomb to death as a natural part of our existance.
But, what if there is a Creator who not only created all the universe, but created you, just like you are, and placed inside you a seed of desire for Him so that you would seek Him out? What if this Creator is a loving Father who was willing to do anything, except violate your free will, to convince you to seek Him and choose Him? What if He came here Himself in the Person of His Son to show you the way?
I propose that this is such Good News that it is worth considering, seriously considering. Don’t worry about how you currently think on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, etc. Opinions are of little consequence and should not prevent you from moving towards God. Besides, opinions change and if what we Catholics believe is all true, and you come to believe it yourself, then you will likely be glad to change something as simple as an opinion to have Eternity.
There is hope.