Most of us have, at one time or the other, wondered about the existence of God. I did too, and this while I was in an autorickshaw on the way to college. A little pondering and methinks I’ve kind of got it.
God is a lack of information. You see, dear reader, you’ll find yourself taking the name of God most often when there is not enough information for you to confidently predict something. Examples, the outcome of a closely matched game, a big job interview, when you intend to propose a relationship to someone and you’re not sure how they’ll react, and so on and so forth.
Most of the Roman and Greek gods were the gods of something that wasn’t predictable. The god of war, of love, of agriculture, etc. I’m sure the same holds true for the others too. In case of the one-god religions, there was a SPOC (Em Bee A m/).
Now how did I stumble upon this little epiphany? I remembered that whenever I was in an aircraft and it was taking off, I could see people join their hands, close their eyes and mumble. Yet, no one ever does that when a train starts its journey. In the latter, the passengers are busy waving goodbye or chatting or arranging their stuff. Why does this happen? Because the variables in aircraft travel are far more than in train travel.
To validate my hypothesis, I did a quick dipstick survey of some friends and that confirmed it; they usually say a quick prayer when commencing air travel but never so when on rail. Another way to look at it is, a lot of the olden gods were about weather. Taking a personal example, Indian agricultural communities almost always have a prayer which is specially said for rain. However, that’s hardly ever used now. These days, you just switch on the TV and watch the weather forecasts.
Now, as we are able to gather and interpret increasing amounts of information in the world around us, will the usage of “God” reduce? Almost certainly. Will the usage of “God” come to a stop? No. There’s still way too much incomprehensible information floating around and some stuff just cannot be conclusively proven, like life-after-death.
This brings me to another point, should you trust/believe in God? One side of me says don’t rely too much on it. A strong “faith in God” means you might not have the incentive to control those variables of your life which you could if you tried hard enough, and which could lead to a much better standard of living for you.
The other side of me says you should, because believing that a greater force has your welfare in mind and is coordinating things so that life turns out well for you means you experience greater satisfaction with whatever you have, and worry less about the future.
Putting these two together, I’d say if you’re the ambitious kinds, say a quick prayer in the morning and then go out and get stuff done. If you’re just looking to be happy and are not really interested in the rat race, then yes, you should go to mountains, try meditation, maybe join the local chapter of your chosen religion and so on and so forth.
Edit: Greater minds have already covered the issue.
See http://biologos.org/questions/god-of-the-gaps and the image below.