From the perspective of Rini Widariyanti, 19, a student from East Java

Do you believe people arrived in their present form on Earth?
There was an evolution – not like us straight away.

Do you think a supernatural force has been guiding our evolution?

Does it trouble you that we descended from apes?
No. It is the law of nature; it has been our nature.

What does it mean to you to be human?
An individual who is further developed than any other living being. Animals have desires while humans have ideas so we can create things from nature.

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 believe that to get to God you need to be tested and endure a lot. The bigger the test, the more you get through, the closer you are to God.

What about the Asian tsunami of 2004 that killed around 250,000 people? In your opinion, where is a god in such biblical natural disaster?
God was there. God was showing his power and was giving a reminder that God is here and exists.

Do you think the chaos and trouble caused by people, including wars, is the product of a Devil-derived evil or purely free will?
It’s up to us to choose what we want to do.
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 think there are lots of God’s creations in this Universe.

Scientists say the Universe began life as an incomprehensibly dense dot of matter, then exploded and is expanding. In your imagination, what has the cosmos become and what do you think is our meaning within it?
We are human. We grow, breed. There are lots of people living on Earth. We also create things from nature, study it, develop and grow even more and become intellectuals.

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?
At the furthest dot.

Does it worry you that your presence on Earth might be something 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?
Life does finish individually, as taught by religions. Life is an illusion. One day our consciousness will end.

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?
They are deluding themselves. There is lots of evidence that there is a God.

What’s the wonder of being alive?
Love and compassion.

If you could say something directly to a God and get a direct answer, what would it be?
Dear God, can I go to Heaven with the people I love?


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