From the perspective of Gary Watkins, 57, an entrepreneur from Perth in Western Australia
Do you believe people arrived in their present form on Earth?
That’s a difficult one; I’ve never considered it. I’m not a philosopher. I’m pretty open-minded, but I don’t actually have any real belief in that subject. I do believe there is a power source, called God, and that we derived from organisms – somehow we were created by something or someone who created the organisms that led to human beings.
Do you think a supernatural force or being guided our evolution or not?
Yes – I’m not fully convinced – but probably, yes.
Does it trouble you that we descended from apes?
No. I don’t see a problem with that; it doesn’t bother me.
What does it mean to be human?
To be alive, to be, probably, the most intelligent being on the plant. It’s probably a privilege.
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 have an opinion about that. I’m not a philosopher.
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 know. Good questions. Some people say there’s a reason for it, but I don’t know.
Do you think the chaos and trouble caused by people, including wars, is the product of a Devil-derived evil or purely free will?
I think there are bad humans and there are good humans. I don’t know why the bad went to bad.
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?
There is probably more intelligent life 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’m not religious. In my view no one knows the answers.
Given your belief in the non-existence of a God – which itself is a belief system, or religion – what’s your take on the origin and continuation of mankind? Can it have a purpose?
I’m not sure. This is probably the first time I have spoken about religion and the possibility of an afterlife.
What’s the wonder of being alive?
If you could ask god a question and have a direct answer, what would you ask?