It is funny how restricted our existence as a human being is, our abilities, our knowledge, our understanding, all these are extremely limited, yet often we forget these limits and believe we are the most powerful existence alive or believe that what we understand are the only things that exist or that our knowledge about the reality outside of each of us covers 99% of the world that exists outside of ourselves.
I can understand that it is extremely distressing for atheists to live with an awareness of our extreme limits. Imagine you are standing on the edge of a height and close to falling down, without the faintest idea how to rescue yourself. For atheist that moment is like the death itself, yet for believers, that uncomfortable situation is yet God’s plan in their lives, they can just raise their hands and ask Him to rescue them, okay, in case of some religions —or better said due to misuse of some human beings from religious texts— nowadays they should go to a church and pay some fees and make some confessions, but at its core, in the reality of religions, the God is omnipresent, and He is there to guide you, to rescue you, to show you the way, to support you, to get you out of uncomfortable situations.
I have heard this argument from atheist and those who doubt the existence of a higher power lots of times that „oh, yeah, God is only a fictional creature in the minds of people or individuals who are faced with uncomfortable situation(s) to help them emotionally …“ the reality is anything but this. Not that I deny the emotional comfort you feel in your heart in case you trust in God, but the stupidity that comes from believing that such side-result of being a believer is the reason for God’s existence. As said, we often forget that our inside world is not the whole world, that uncomfortableness in our heart is an irrelevant, insignificant matter of a tiny being in a tiny place in the universe called the Earth by the few English-speaking inhabitants of that extremely tiny place. My aim is not to talk about God, the issue that I hope to drive your attention toward it is the plain fact that as soon as we do all our best and end up in a condition where we have no idea what to do anymore, we enter a space of hopelessness, I don’t say so because I assume that there is no solution to our problem out there, but because I assume we didn’t know about it, because if we did, then we had already tried it, and weren’t any more stuck there. But we have all experienced such moments, that friend who never called over the years is accidentally in your town and gives you a tip that leads you to find the solution to your problem … that subject that you never paid attention to, and now you heard something about it from somewhere and it sounds like to be exactly about your condition and perhaps someone who studies that subject will have a solution to your problem.
Constantly in our daily lives we are faced with situations and conditions which we have no ability to solve them on our own, not because of everything but only and only because our knowledge and understanding is unaware of such fields and therefore the solution to our problem is something which is labeled with the term „impossible“ in our language.
I believe there is a fundamental difference in the way life of a believer and an atheist, a side effect of that fundamental difference is in how we prepare ourselves for difficult situations. For an atheist the worse in life is when you don’t know what is going to happen, especially when you seem to be locked in an uncomfortable condition and for a believer such situation is another interaction with the God, because everything is from God, and every prospect and survival is also from His side, so the only possibility for an atheist to live is that such uncomfortable situation won’t exist. But such way of life is extremely against the nature and fundamental features of our existence.
The thing that I would like to talk about it in this article is the development of children. Our whole school system is built entirely upon that fundamentally wrong believe that we have to know the solutions to the problems in advance. Every single education specialist can tell you that the most effective, fun, efficient, fulfilling way of learning is through experiencing and doing something. By experiencing we are exactly in that situation where we are on the edge of our understanding, we are touching the limits of existence, and yet a teacher is that gift from God that can guide you, help you, advise you to move one step forward, to expand our existence a tiny bit more … and in fact that’s how our whole life functions, we are always experiencing different things, and constantly we need help from outside, and in lots of cases we are not even aware that such a help exists, like for most children the world behind the TV doesn’t exist, first after they know about filmmaking that they understand things that they watched weren’t that much real. For sure someone has played those movies but what they did in front of the camera and what that child thought at that moment weren’t the same things.
Our educational system tries its best that our children never face such condition. All people working in the educational system will tell you that they are „preparing these individuals for their future“ which is a nonsense on its own. How do you know about the future? The truth is we can just know about the present, and even then, we have an extremely limited understanding about today’s world, yet we all know that the future is not the same as today, so the desire to prepare children for their future is destined for failure.
Don’t panic. Perhaps the atheist will panic more than the believers, but such a panic is stupid. Once, you were the combination of that egg and sperm who met out of nowhere. You could have been a totally different person if another sperm has reached that egg sooner. You were out of your mother’s belly, with no idea what to do. Yet somebody cared for you, somebody fed you … You did all your best to met your needs, and your best back then was crying, yet the world outside you responded to your needs so amazingly, without you even understanding it. Living an adult life is no different. We must do our best, and the rest is simply not in our hands. Our best, this time, is a tiny bit more sophisticated, sometimes it means planning, preparing, learning, buying resources, building a team, signing a contract or whatever … but at the very end, all that we do is only a tiny fraction of how things work with each other.
What is wrong with the education system is that we believe we understand what that child needs for its future, and we are so blind to the fact that that child is a full functioning being, already created with everything that he or she needs for his or her future, we need to respond to his or her needs, instead of dictating what we believe that child might need, based on our hope to avoid any uncomfortable situation for him or her in the future and then force that child to accept what we dictated him or her as a need.
This amazingly mistaken approach in respect of education which is fundamentally against what the long proved truth —that we best learn through experience— is there, among other reasons, because we are unable to trust in a higher existence that this child is able to care for himself or herself all the way till the end of his or her future by continuing its natural path of development.
It is astonishing how much our educational system is trying to remain blind to the fact that all successful individuals in our education system were driven by their curiosity and that their successes were the result of who they were and in some cases it was an interesting accident that what they needed was exactly what was offered in the school, but there are outstanding individuals whose success were results of education outside of school system.
Just as the last example, imagine we lived in a society were mother believed they should breastfeed their children from 9 to 12 in the morning, that would result in a disaster on infants. Yes, some infants may get used to such practice, but it is the stupidest thing you could do. Infants are able to ask for food when their stomach is empty, how stupid can you be not to realize that children are able to ask you to know more when their brain is empty? Yes, we have the knowledge, we have the books, we have the libraries, we have the laboratories, we have the gyms, if we ever want to do anything reasonable, we should provide access to these facilities and resources and trainers and teachers based on what a child asks from us, and not based on what we consider to be useful for his or her future. This is even sillier that breastfeeding your child from 9 to 12.
I am not claiming that this mistake is only the result of us misunderstanding our place in the world and our inability to trust in the existence of a God, but I believe as long as we don’t do such, we are going to have a long way to realize our mistake, if ever.