(Commentary by Madeira Desouza of Las Vegas)
My point of view is that we humans all express a very clear need to believe. To go through this challenging life without having something to which we humans could eagerly invest our beliefs to help us makes sense of the challenging life would be impossible for most people.
But, why do so many of us humans believe in one form or another of a Higher Power or Supreme Being or Creator?
I created an image entitled “The One True Blue God” as a fictional character in my science fiction time travel series, Baja Clavius. I was being sarcastic, of course, in choosing that name for the fictional character. But, anyone anywhere can very easily find a scientist or science fiction writer out there somewhere who admits that they do not believe in God.
I was born and raised within strict Roman Catholic Church dogmas during a long-ago era when authority figures I respected told me that the Church of Rome was “the one true church” above all others. That, of course, meant that Judaism and Islam were out of luck because they’re both illegitimate religions along with all those who embrace Christianity but who are not Roman Catholic Christians.
Perhaps we live in more enlightened times today. Who would dare claim “the one true church” phrase to characterize their particular chosen belief system in the present day? As an adult, I ended up not believing in God—at least I cannot believe, as tens of millions of my fellow humans on this planet believe, in that masculine, strong and interventionist deity out there somewhere in the skies or clouds or heaven above.
Influenced by Rome
Part of the influential lessons that came to me from having been within a Roman Catholic Church education from first grade through twelfth was that I studied all I could find about Rome, itself. On the one hand, Rome is an ancient city. Yet, there is so much more than merely being “the eternal city.” Roman civilization stands today as hugely important in the history of how our planet got to be what it is in the 21st century.
When you are born and raised within the Roman Catholic Church education system, you study ancient Rome and the leaders of that era. So it was that I learned the tantalizing proposition that it was Roman who invented the concept of Jesus Christ to control the minds of people. See for yourself here: Roman invention of Christ.
Science fiction writers such as Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) created stories about human civilization built upon the existence of multiple Roman gods of ancient times. Moore, like other science fiction writers such as myself, has embraced the perspective that God was created by humans and not the other way around like so many of our fellow human beings believe today.
If you actually invest the time and energy to study ancient Rome, you will discover many political reasons why leaders of that era felt they needed to create the Son of God to suit their strictly human needs of their empire.
What Shall ‘Replace’ a Belief in God?
I have no idea what (if anything) should replace what I see as a misguided belief in that masculine, strong and interventionist deity out there somewhere in the skies or clouds or heaven above. But, it is a completely accurate interpretation of history to conclude that violence and death over the centuries came to be because of one religion or another. As one way of expressing my concern that we humans need to focus upon the problem of violence that is based upon religion, in 2016 I created imagery of zealots cutting off the heads of their captives thought to be nonbelievers.
John Lennon, a famous musician from England who was shot dead in New York City, wrote these words that I suggest are at least worth thinking about from time to time: “Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too.”