From the perspective of George Dahm, 39, a journalist from Hamburg, Germany
Do you believe people arrived in their present form on Earth?
I believe in evolution. I think in the whole process there’s something godly there. But I don’t believe in the literal view of seven days’ creations.
So you think a supernatural force or being guided our evolution.
I believe in a supernatural force. I believe in God.
Does it trouble you that we descended from apes?
Not at all. I think evolution is part of being God’s creation. I think we’re part of it, evolution; were integrated in it.
What does it mean to be human?
Living your life in a good way, being good to others and not causing harm to others. Also looking up to each other, being aware of each other. That to me is what being human means.
Philosophers say that human suffering proves the existence of God, that some people must endure enormous tragedy and sadness in order to find their path to God. What do you think?
I don’t believe that God punishes people. I think all the bad things that happen is part of our existence in the world, and we must help each other and become stronger as a result.
What about the Asian tsunami of 2004 that killed around 250,000 people? Where is a god in such a biblical natural disaster?
I don’t think God caused this tsunami as a punishment. It’s a process of nature – if we live near the ocean there is always the potential danger of a tsunami. God is not to blame for that. We live in a world where there’s good and bad.
Do you think the chaos and trouble caused by people, including wars, is the product of a Devil-derived evil or purely free will?
People have the capacity of being evil. I believe there is evil. War is definitely evil.
Why do you think the Universe is such a gigantic place yet the only apparent intelligent life as far as we’ve been able to detect is on Earth?
I’m not sure. But the Universe and its size is beyond comprehension. It’s very likely that there are other intelligent beings out there, though.
Scientists tell us the Universe started off from an incomprehensibly dense dot and exploded into what we see today, and is expanding. In your imagination, what did the cosmos blow up into?
I have no idea, actually. I think it started as absolute blackness but I can’t describe it.
Although impossible now, if a probe could reach the furthest parts of space, at the point where matter was still expanding, and if that probe could jump ahead of the matter, where would it be?
I don’t know. I’ve read research about it. The Universe is so big that there might be a lot of things out there.
Atheists maintain that religion is nothing more than a fairytale and that adherents are deluding themselves. They say there’s no proof of the existence of any controlling entity or creator and that it’s foolish to believe in one. Are they deluding themselves?
I believe in God. Yes, they are.
Does it worry you that you could be wrong, that your presence on Earth might be nothing more than a chance alignment of primordial amino acids and that we are totally alone and when you die, that’s the end of your consciousness?
No, it does not worry me.
What’s the wonder of being alive?
Being able to experience creation and the value of human beings, to experience all the nice and beautiful things Earth offers. But also to experience painful things, suffering, and living through that.