I don’t often like to talk about religion. Mainly this is because most of the people I tend to run into either don’t feel strongly about it or they feel so strongly that they have trouble talking about it with anyone who brings up questions.
I don’t know what church I was born into. But by the time I was 5 years old, my family was regularly attending a Presbyterian church. And by the time I was 10 years old, we were members of a Reformed church. And by the time I was 13 years old, we weren’t going to church anymore. Not that we actively turned away from it, but just that we moved 850 miles and never found a new church that my mother felt good about regularly attending. She tried, though. Went to a dozen or more churches and none of them felt “right”.
As I grew older, I occasionally went to church with friends, and I had college classes on religion (I wrote papers on Zoroastrianism and Islam, the Book of Job, and more). I even read the Bible … well, most of it, some parts are so dry I had to skim them to stay awake. But nothing ever fully captured how I felt about the world. There were hints, glimpses, but with every hit there was often a few nearby misses that kept me from believing their particular brand or vision.
If I were to try to describe my view, the best I could do is this: I believe in the inherent “moreness” of things.
A person is not just the sum of their parts – there is something more that makes them who they are. I feel, that if you were to clone a person, that new being would neither be an exact copy of the original nor a soulless monster. From the moment it came into the world it would begin to express itself on the world and to be impressed upon by the world, and simply by being a separate thing, the clone and its original would become different people, similar yet distinct.
And it doesn’t just apply to people. When you build a house, at first it will be little more than cement and lumber and plaster and wiring and plumbing and shingles and so on. But given time the house will become “more”. Even to people who experience the house for the first time will feel the lived in (or abandoned) nature of the structure that exists outside of the materials that make it up. And groups of people take on traits of their own. As do cities. As do states. As do nations. Two corporations that might produce the same goods will feel different when you encounter them. Some of that is marketing, some of that is the people who run it, some of that is history, but all of that sums up to be greater than the physical things that make up and populate and are produced by those companies.
One day, I suspect, people will be able to sense that “moreness” of other worlds, other galaxies.
And in my view, if there is a god, she is just that which is “more” than the sum of everything.