So that you have an idea of where I’m coming from, I’m writing a series of blogs telling the story of my journey with God so far.
I started thinking about ‘big issues’ when I was in my early teens, about 13 or 14. What’s life about? Why are we here? Etc. etc. I decided that the story of Jesus was just as much a fairytale as Father Christmas and Robin Hood. I was interested in science, and thought that the physical world was real, and everything else fiction: entertaining stories, but not real. I thought of myself as an atheist.
A few years later, I started my sixth form studies: biology, physics and chemistry. One of the first things we were taught about was Deviations from the Gas Laws: no real gas obeys the gas laws.
I felt that I had to rethink my whole philosophy! Science as I was taught to O level seemed to be a body of facts to be learnt. For A level, we began to learn that science is a process. Observations are made, theories formed, experiments done to test the theories, new observations, theories amended, more experiments… and so it goes on.
I got to thinking about fish – how they sense the presence of objects by changes in pressure detected by their lateral line. And dogs – their world consists of smells and sounds; sight is not as important to them as it is to us.
The world of fish and dogs must be very different from the one we experience – yet it’s all the same world.
Gradually I decided that there was room for god/God in my picture of the universe. I now thought of myself as an agnostic.
My thoughts stayed much the same until I went to university. What happened next is for another post…
By the way: one of my frustrations with Richard Dawkins is that his thinking seems be stuck where mine was in my mid-teens. I’ve moved on, and can’t take much of what he writes very seriously. I was quite disappointed when I read ‘The God Delusion’ – I had expected better than that from a professor of biology.