Religion has never been a driving force of my life, so I never put much thought into it until recently, when I realised I’ve basically been an atheist all my life.
It’s interesting that my “default” as a human being was to not believe in any higher powers, as I hadn’t been brought up that way—but a few years ago I started to want to believe. I’m fascinated by religion, both organised and individual belief systems, mostly because I’m fascinated by how we’ve tried to explain our world and our existence for as long as we’ve existed. It’s part of our history and our story as human beings, and there’s an endlessly alluring power and mystery about it, which I wanted to be a part of.
Then, I discovered science. Richard Feynman once said that “Nature’s imagination is so much greater than man’s”, and I don’t want to call science my religion, but it definitely invokes in me that same sense of awe that others find in religion—just the idea that there’s something greater than us, something infinitely beautiful that led to the creation of such complex molecular machines, something we might never understand.
The difference, though, is that science tries to understand—it doesn’t shrink with the fear that the universe is incomprehensible; it interrogates it. It has the courage to admit that it doesn’t have all the answers, but also the courage to put itself forward to study this remarkable world—and the most attractive thing about science is that it produces evidence to back up its claims.
For me, beauty comes from truth. That’s why I’m an atheist.