HOW DO I MAKE SENSE OF THE UNIVERSE AND THE NATURAL WORLD?
- What caused the Big Bang?
- Assuming the Big Bang occurred, how did it eventually create such complex human beings as we are?
- As humans are meant to have evolved by natural selection through survival of the fittest, surely morality should just be about helping the fittest to survive? Why care for the weak and vulnerable if survival is all that matters?
- Why do people want to go to Mars and spend so much money with rockets which damage the planet when we have a lovely planet here if we could only fix it? Surely this would be easier than fixing Mars?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN?
- What is real? I’m not sure I know. They used to say photographs cannot lie but that is wrong. Is reality just what we see around us?
- I used to love rainbows. They seemed full of mystery. Then my teacher explained they are just sunlight passing through rain and they can be explained away by science. I feel I have lost something but I am not sure what?
- Did human beings make up maths?
- Greta Thunberg seems to be wonderful and to want to protect our planet but no adults take much notice of her. Why won’t they listen?
- The world seems a terribly cruel place. Baby birds keep being killed by other creatures and human beings suffer from terrible diseases like Covid. Why? What is the point of all the suffering and
- Why is it wrong to eat horses and not sheep or cows?
- Why do we find snow, clouds, small animals and flowers in spring beautiful?
- There are billions of galaxies and billions of stars in each galaxy. If God created the world for human beings could it have been done rather more simply?
- What is a human being? Is there a separate soul and what evidence is there for this? Surely the brain can explain everything about a human being without the need for a soul.
- What is the point of being alive?
- If we are just advanced animals what is the point of life, school, exams or anything? It all seems futile?
- What does it mean to be happy? I’m not sure I know.
- Why are people so concerned with fashions and the labels on clothes?
- Given how many relationships fail, isn’t it better to avoid trusting anyone as then you won’t be hurt?
- Does the idea of seeking truth any longer makes sense? Everyone seems to have their own truths and we are told that we must respect everyone’s views no matter what they are?
- If we are going to have children should we not genetically engineer them to minimise disease, mental illness and other problems?
- One of our relatives said that we are simply advanced animals with no meaning or purpose in our lives. He told us about Elon Musk and his efforts to implant chips in our brains and said that this may be the next step in evolution. I don’t like this idea but can see the sense in what he is saying and I don’t know how to reply.
HOW DO I MAKE SENSE OF RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE WIDER COMMUNITY?
- My sister and I raised £1695 for the Salvation Army by organising a charity event in our school because we were so worried about the number of children who don’t have Christmas presents or even food. Why do most adults not care or do anything?
- If the aim of life to be happy should we not put old people out of their misery if they are in pain and want to die?
- Cars rust and get old. Why do adults get so excited buying a new one?
- Most British prime ministers and even the Archbishop of Canterbury went to the same very expensive school whilst my parents can only send us to a state school with big class sizes. Is this fair or right?
- We did a school project on the Victorians including Victorian gaols and I visited a Victorian prison. We look back now and think how terribly the Victorians treated their prisoners but I wonder
whether our children will look back on today and wonder the same about today’s prisons? I am not sure what people today think prisons are for?
- Why do people spend so much time watching football, cooking and gardening programmes on television when they could be out doing something?
- Why does the news spend so much time on politics and why do adults get so angry with people who disagree with them about politics?
- Why do countries create conflict and war when the power of the leaders disappears when they die?
HOW DO I MAKE SENSE OF PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS?
- What is love? Pop singers sing about love but as most relationships fail is it just attraction for breeding purposes like the pheasants, cows and sheep where we live?
- What is the point of an expensive wedding when so many marriages fail?
- What is the point of a funeral service? They cost a lot.
HOW DO I MAKE SENSE OF RELIGION?
- The dinosaurs existed long before humans so how can the Bible be true as this does not fit with the Creation stories?
- How can God be a God of love when Jesus said many people would suffer terribly in hell? Would you make your children suffer like that if they did wrong?
- The three Magi gave baby Jesus gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh but we are told these point to things that had not yet happened such as Jesus death so surely the stories can’t be true as they would not have known what was going to happen.
- Jesus said that no one should call anyone good except for God and this seems to mean that Jesus was not the same as God? Did Jesus believe in the Trinity?
- Jesus said not to worry about food, drink or clothing but some mothers cannot afford to feed their children and schools are having to provide breakfasts for hungry children. We have loads of food banks and old people have to choose between eating and heating. How can it be that they should not worry about these things as well as the environment even if they don’t affect us?
- Is it a coincidence that all major Christian events are on a Sunday or are they all made up?
- Would Jesus want expensive cathedrals, bishops in robes etc. Would that be what he would want?
- The Bible is a mixture of stories how are we meant to know which are true and which are made up stories to make a point?
- One of our teachers said the story of Job was about God having a bet with Satan and killing his family and animals and torturing him. If a human being did this he would be put in prison for life. How does this make any sense?
- In Islam the prophet was allowed by God to have 12 wives and married one of them when she was 9 years old. He was meant to be the perfect human being so was this right?
- What is the point of baptism? Hitler was baptised so does this mean he will go to heaven (if this exists)?
- If God is not an old man with a white beard as the paintings show then what is God?
- Isn’t religion just a matter of being conditioned by your parents?
- In our school we are told how many Jews were tortured and killed by the Nazis. How can Jews believe in God if he allowed this to happen when he promised to look after them?
- At our school we performed a short version of Macbeth and we also acted out part of Oliver Twist. At first I thought these were true stories and only later discovered they were made up. Why don’t we think that religious stories such as those about Jesus or other religious figures are also made up by their followers? How can anyone actually know what they said (even if they existed)?
- Buddhism seems to be very sensible as it seems to focus more on how one lives and less on beliefs – why do beliefs matters so much? Surely how one lives is what is important?
- When people die their bodies rot or are burnt. How can there be a life after death if this is the case as our brains will no longer exist and so all our memories will be gone? Scientists have found
no evidence at all for the existence of a separate soul.
HOW DO I MAKE SENSE OF LIVING THE RELIGIOUS LIFE?
- Jesus told the story of Dives and Lazarus yet many people who go to Church are wealthy compared to people who are very poor so how can they call themselves Christians?
- The early Christians shared everything and no-one was in need yet many Christians are incredibly wealthy and the poor starve. How does this make any sense?
- St. Francis called for people to live simply and Pope Francis has done the same but few people take any notice in the wealthy world. Are they still Christians if they are selfish and spend their
money on themselves and possessions?
- When Jesus was being nailed to the Cross he asked God to forgive the soldiers as they did not know what they were doing. How then can God send anyone to hell as most people who do wrong also don’t know what they are doing?
- If you just have to obey God could you not be just like a robot and not be free at all?