Does man find religion or does religion find man?
In a world where God appears to have given up the driving seat and opted instead to sit in the back staring out of the window and listening to Metallica on his iPod, I wonder what place religion has in modern society.
At a time where people are more likely to worship at the altar of St Tesco than visit a church of any denomination, religion has become more or less defunct. People don't feel the need to put their faith in a deity because they have faith in themselves or in science, leaving no room for what may or may not be a fairy tale created by those with power to keep the uneducated masses in fear and therefore under control.
For my own part I've questioned the existence of a higher power a number of times but have never found anything convincing enough to actually have faith. Faith is unquestioning, but I have lots of questions that remain unanswered.
Scientists expound the concept of creation through the big bang theory which in some ways I can see - enough evidence has been presented to suggest that it's true. However, as I see it nothing comes from nothing, so if there was this enormous explosion who lit the blue touchpaper? That makes it one-all between God and science.
Scientists also put the writings of Charles Darwin on a pedestal, saying that all life evolved from amoebas or whatever, but I fail to see a proper explanation of diversity. If man evolved from apes, why do we still have apes? Diversity in humans ranges from rocket scientists at the top of the food chain all the way down to bottom feeders like traffic wardens with no physical difference between them, only a desire to make the world a better place by the higher echelons and an equal desire to anger and persecute other humans at the other end of the spectrum. What did Darwin have to say about that? No idea, but the Bible says God gave man free will, which on one hand explains everything and on the other hand sounds like an enormous get-out clause.
I tried to find religion. For a while a few years ago I was searching for greater meaning and attended church every Sunday hoping to be struck with some kind of theological lightning bolt; a moment of clarity and a sense of purpose. But it didn't come and I was left feeling empty and confused, so I gave up trying.
To date the only thing that has made sense to me is Buddhism, which given that it's a religion with no deity kinda says something.
I know there are deeply religious individuals who have had a life-changing experience that set them on the path to belief, and to them I say 'good for you'. In many ways I wish I could be in that position, but I'm not.
For all we know this could be some giant sadistic cosmic experiment where someone has put man on this planet just to see what happens. There may be something to this. Every creature on earth has it's own place and it's own role to play. A cow eats grass, shits a lot and makes other cows. That's what they do and they never wonder what else they could do instead to make their day more interesting. A spider is programmed to spin a web, catch flies and eat them. At no point has a spider decided to invent a radio to relieve the boredom between lunch and dinner.
Humans however have never sat still and been happy with their lot since time began. Man has constantly striven to improve life and make himself happier and yet we're still bloody miserable, still killing each other (usually in the name of religion), and still haven't had an era of fashion that hasn't been looked back on twenty years later without shame and embarrassment. The point here is that we don't belong here. We don't fit in.
So what to make of all this? Well, anything that has the power to create the universe is way too vast for the human mind to fully comprehend, therefore any religion or scientist that claims to hold the answer to life is clearly deluded.
In which case I'll keep calm and carry on (as the slogan on every other coffee mug proclaims) and hold on to the vague hope that even if I don't ever find an answer, I'll at least reach the point where I couldn't care less one way or the other.