I do not believe in god (and so i do not need to capitalise the word :) ).
For me, god is just a comfortable, simple and elusive tale of the mystery of life. Without any disrespect, I will always acknowledge other's beliefs. This does not mean i do not entertain the possibility of a much weirder universe than the one i think i live in. But, the idea of a single entity sparking an entire cosmos into existence to generate humans, feels a bit of a far fetched story than an actual reality. A bit too homo centric. Than again, that the cosmos came from a single explosion also leaves a lot of room to think about the whys, hows and befores. Is this cosmos just a random iteration of matter obeying certain physical blueprints or an intended iteration of matter and substance? Why the universe eventually gave birth to us? Are we just a random and miraculous side effect? Would a potential new big bang be able to generate entirely different physical laws? While i cannot prove god does not exist, i also don't really feel i need it to exist. If anything, at a personal level, god does not add up.
Solved for some but not all, and, certainly not consensuous, this question is of paramount importance when it is framed within the cultural values of a society. Who we are, is a fundamental question to which all cultures have a somewhat, clear answer to. Who we are or the origin story is one of the distinguishable elements of any culture that shapes it's identity and sets it apart it from the culture of other like-looking animals (individuals). Language, songs, stories, poems, rituals, roles to which we are exposed to from our early beginnings are the mediums through which we learn our place in the world. We become educated... and in this process we become vehicles of transmission of these ideas. More or less conscious we choose our choices based on the role we believe we have on the larger frame of our society's story.
In the western world, up to the renaissance, god(s) played a fundamental role in the managing of these stories. However, with the advent of the printing press and therefore the abundance of books, the properties of rational thinking (Reason) arose as the backbone of a much praised cultural framework called science and spite being considered one of the hallmarks of western civilisation back to ancient greece, it was only during the enlightment that science really took hold as a new full set of ideas and stories about our existence in this floating rock. God was in peril. Some declared him/her/it dead.
Now, broadly speaking, in the western world there are currently two main cultural frameworks to explain our existence. One, science, uses rational methods which allow it's knowledge to be constantly revised and updated... or not. What was true scientifically one hundred years ago, may not be true today. These methods removed god from the picture all together, though, it must be stated that even among scientists, which are the embodiment of scientific thought, the idea of god is not entirely dismissed. Even while, if put through the rigorous and objective scientific method the concept of god fails miserably. The other, organised religion, is with good old human god. The method is belief, an extremely powerful and refined system based on dogma. Unquestionable axioms that are to be learned, accepted and repeated as undeniable facts based on nothing else but pure gullibility and tradition. In the form of an elaborate philosophical jiu-jitsu the religious representatives of today, have been able to still grab hold of large chunk of our society's imagination, even while the society as a whole is pushed to ever more scientific, pragmatic and rational ways of living.
I guess that in a way, science was culturally granted the keys to assuring material survival, endurance and wealth, but claiming that humans, the pinnacle of life on earth are a mere happenstance of ever changing matter in a mostly void universe, that, for a human psyche may be too much to take. Too much empty space... too much meaninglessness. Too much of nothing. After all, no matter when, any of us has contemplated the mistery of inhabiting a body. It appears that for many of our fellow humans, for our story to be complete, there must be some sort of supra thread. Maybe because we are the most complex carbon based lifeforms we know, with more neurons than actual stars in the universe, the existence of the universe must in a way have us as one of it's most cherished accomplishments. Either scientifically or religiously, the human species is the natural inheritor of this magical reality. God lovers love to state that without god and soul (an exclusive to homo sapiens), we were just no different than wild animals (as if we were not). In more recent iterations, the DNA structure (a true mystery in itself), is also the proof that god exists. Besides being omnipresent god is also a crafted engineer. On the other hand, it is still quite challenging to consider the existence of animal or plant souls. Again, for some reason, humans are special and that needs a story. There is no human society without an origin story with us at the center. Someone once said that if triangles had a god, it would have three sides.
Life cannot be just an incredibly cryptic and potentially meaningless cosmic joke.
If you are reading this, than you are alive, therefore you know you will die. More conscious or not, we go on with our daily lives, performing our tasks on the assumption that certain gains or outcomes are to be met, achieved or acquired. We work, we sleep, we feed and socialise everyday over a complex net of relations with various degrees of transactions, interactions and expectations. Let's be clear, from wherever we look, living as a human being is quite challenging, frustrating, astonishing and obviously endless other things. Even if we don't know or can't remember to live in other living forms, this thing of breathing, eating, sleeping, loving, dreaming, suffering is in itself a whole universe of non-stoping experiences. We try to elude ourselves with concepts like repeatability but truth is there is no repeatability, there is just this constant morphing through time. This continuous and ever changing of configurations that we know, will one day cease. As social lifeforms it only seems logical that a common story will help us feel part of our group. Our relation with our partners, family, friends and fiends is bathed in the story we tell ourselves. The story of friendship, the story of love, the story of success. As each and everyone lives their lives, we keep adding to the archive of our ever expanding memory, every time we look back there is more to see. And, while the facts do not change, i think we are more and more realising that, many times our storytelling does. We no longer need to be a consistent never changing human unit. The so called, life changing events are essentially moments where we are challenged to question the story we tell ourselves at a very fundamental level. These events show the plasticity of the human mind and it's capacity to reshape it's interpretation of a given moment in time.
We are living stories on a limited journey of love and consciousness. I think that it is this essential need for a story that makes us prone to think of god as cushion for our spiritual life. Yet, remove god from your life, and you, will still be able to love, cherrish and live your story. Few of us can bare the emptiness of eternal oblivion even if it seems irrelevant for the present.
Be dear, now :)