California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Hannah, who is undecided on a focus of study and who lives in El Cajon, outside the E Building at Cuyamaca College on November 19, 2019.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Hannah: No. When I was younger I used to go to church with my family but we don’t do that anymore. After we moved here from Fresno we didn’t really go looking for churches to attend. My parents have Christian ideologies but I wouldn’t say I share the same ideologies as them. Like I don’t believe the concept of how there’s a higher power than us. When I was little I believed a little bit. I believed in God. I used to pray because my parents would tell me, “Oh, He will protect you if you believe in Him.” And when things got scary for me, I would pray to Him, but I can’t really pinpoint when I stopped believing. I just did. I felt like maybe the connection wasn’t as strong as I got older. I think my parents know I don’t believe anymore. I haven’t flat out told them that I don’t. I respect their belief and I don’t really want to tell them that “Oh, God’s not real. I don’t believe in this.” If they believe, that’s great. I just don’t feel like I connect with their belief.
How do you think the world came to be?
Hannah: I believe in evolution. That’s what I resonate with more, rather than that we were all made from a god. I don’t have a theory for where original matter came from. It’s really complicated.
If someone who believes in God asked you why you don’t believe in God, what would you say?
Hannah: I’m happy that they could find something to believe in, but I personally haven’t seen or felt any signs of a god really being there. I don’t feel as strongly as faithful as they do.
What would you say to this argument: Every time we see writing or architecture or other ordered things, we recognize that someone with intelligence made it. There are some ordered things, though, that are eternal and we only discover, like the Pythagorean Theorem (that the squares on two sides of a right triangle equal the square on the hypotenuse) – doesn’t that show that an eternal being with intelligence made it?
Hannah: It could be possible because there’s no real way of figuring it out. The theory of evolution could be just as possible as there being a God or a higher power. Because there is no really hundred percent way of telling, in my opinion. Anything’s possible.
Do you think society is more catered to Christians and those who believe in God?
Hannah: I don’t feel like that at all. Maybe if it’s meant to be catered, like an event for let’s say Christians. Okay, that’s a thing and that’s normal there’s specifically oriented events for everything. But I would say the government, of course they’re not pushing their religious beliefs on us but maybe there are politicians who have a religious belief and use that as a root of their cause. But other than that I don’t.
How do you decide what’s good and what’s bad?
Hannah: That’s kind of difficult. I just feel like it’s a sense based off of the things happening around me and evaluating things based off what feels wrong. Or just something where I get uncomfortable or something inside me makes me feel like, oh, that’s not right. Or like, oh, maybe I should do that, maybe that’s okay. Also, the input of other people too, that really influences my moral evaluation of things.
What do you think it would take to make you believe again?
Hannah: Maybe if I actually dedicated myself to the religion. If I went to church, maybe focused on studying the Bible a little bit. I would probably have gotten into Christianity or whatever religion that my parents are.
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