I have been a Catholic all my life, but now am starting to question my faith. Not because God hasn’t answered my prayers or anything like that, but because of my interest in Astronomy and science. I have always been puzzled and troubled that it seemed that there was such tension between religion and science. Perhaps it dates back to the arguments about the big bang vs. creationism. Or the subject of Evolution. Or perhaps it dates back to the church insisting that the Sun revolved around the Earth until 1992 when they finally formally changed their position on Gallileo’s work. In any event, I always figured that God made us curious on purpose and that he wanted us to learn and discover as much as we can about the Earth, the Universe and scientific studies in general. I couldn’t understand why the church and scientists couldn’t work together.
However, I recently I read something in a science book which made the reason for this tension clear:
1) Science is based on theories and the proof of those theories.
2) Faith is based on belief without proof.
So, science and faith are in fact opposed to one another. You can’t have a scientific theory based on faith. Nor can you have faith based on proof. Rats.
So back to my question about faith, how do we know a Christian God actually exists? We certainly can’t prove it. Instead we’re told simply to have faith (which I still have, but it’s decreasing day by day). How can you just force yourself to have faith in something that you’re not really sure you believe in?
In the old days, people worshipped things like a rain god or fire god or god of thunder. Now we just laugh and dismiss those as simplistic religions for people who didn’t understand science and thought that you could pray to a rain god to get more rain. But, 1000 years from now, what if people are laughing at us and saying that in fact Christianity is just a simplistic religion for simple minded people? What if Judaism is the real religion? Or Muslim? Or Hindu? Or Buddhist? Aren’t most of us Catholic simply because our parents were Catholic?
Did God really sit back at the beginning and say to himself, “I have decided that I am going to create the universe including the planet Earth. On Earth there will be people, and about a third of them will properly worship me as Christians whereas two thirds of the people will waste their time celebrating other random and non-relevent relgions. Of those who worship me as Christians, those who truly believe and follow my teachings will be blessed and sent to Heaven and those who don’t will be bannished to Hell.” Does this plan really make sense to anyone? Does this really seem like a plan that a loving God would have for the world?
Please help me understand how you maintain your faith. As I mentioned earlier, my faith continues to decline and I would like to find a way to reverse this trend. Thanks.