|From Boğaziçi, Asia, New Year|
When I stopped believing in God, many of my believing friends thought that there were only bad reasons for not believing in God, that people who don't believe in God don't believe because they are dishonest and biased. These friends had different theories as to why I doubted. Some thought that I was confused and going through a phase and figuring things out, but, at this point, my doubt doesn't look like a mere phase. Some thought I just didn't have enough information, but I've read stacks of books. Some thought it was in response to some suffering that I'd experienced that I was blaming God for, but I can imagine a good God that allows hangnails and horrible professors to exist (I have a big imagination).
This is doubly painful. I feel pain because I want God to be real but he doesn't seem real. Hurt is piled on top of that when my believing friends think that I don't believe in God because, at my core, I don't want to.
One reason why people don't believe in God is because people are small, in a petty sort of way. Another reason is that God is big, in a perplexing sort of way.
Five words into the Bible, 'In the beginning, God created', good theologians give up theology as a job and become truck drivers or moms or professors. If God is perfect, why did he create something imperfect? If God is perfect, why would he create anything at all? Christianity teaches that creation is under God and in God, but it is not God, and that's a flat logical contradiction. It's not a seeming paradox, such that if we attain some sort of heavenly enlightenment, the doctrine of creation will make logical sense; we might believe it more easily with more enlightenment, but it won't ever make sense.
For things that are very impossible, very strong evidence of very impossible things is required. I need more than second-hand stories about someone thinking that God told them something or cancer going into remission or a bag of groceries being left on a doorstep in a time of need. These things might be unlikely, but God existing is less likely, if we're talking about the sort of God that's worth believing in at all.