If there was no money, there would be religion

Faith and Religion: Questions of Faith

"If God did not exist, one would have to invent him," wrote the enlightener Voltaire. What an ambiguous message to our epoch: do we need an almighty one in the age of individualism, who sets rules and gives comfort and warmth? Or is God still just a mere invention? Six people and a very personal belief - three have it, three don't

The lower franc Norbert Walter, 63, is the chief economist of the Deutsche Bank Group. In the “Federation of Catholic

Entrepreneur “he advocates Christian values.

"Belief in God gives security in a world in which so much is trampled underfoot. It gives the certainty that human dignity is not an option. Of course, one sometimes doubts whether God exists; me too. Then it is important that people accompany one on the way to God, that there is a community that supports one in faith. I don't know how one can find a firm faith without responsible parents and educators, without a church at all. To Christian values ​​- the Economic reason is not unchristian, and the church must also generate returns in order to have enough funds for its tasks.

My life experience tells me: Yes, every person does something good for himself if he is a believer. I always go to mass on Sundays, also on vacation and on business trips. And I would prefer to baptize the unbaptized children of my godchild in secret - because I am concerned that they will otherwise lack an important blessing. They are too dear to me for that.

I am anything but an aggressive missionary. For me, religion is the mandate for tolerance. It is precisely as a believer that one has a duty to be curious about other religions. I confess with all my heart to ecumenism, that is, to dialogue between religions. But if someone says: 'It's enough for me to believe in something transcendent', that doesn't convince me as a way of life. I respect a committed atheist more than the many lukewarms who say they believe in God without doing anything tangible. "

The Islamic scholar and teacher Lamya Kaddor, 30, teaches Islamic studies at a secondary school in Dinslaken-Lohberg. For this she is attacked by radical Muslims and critics of Islam alike.

"For me, faith is a support in life. It gives me inner warmth - the well-being of having been created by a Creator, with whom one can make direct contact through prayer. As a Muslim, I am convinced of that. Of course, I also have doubts whether there is God. I just don't know - I can't know and I'm not looking for this security either. I just believe in it.

For me, belief is a kind of medicine: some people may need it more than others. Some probably don't need anything; still others get sick from an "overdose".

I see myself as a liberal believer, so I don't put my truth above that of other people. I leave everyone what they need and I am the last one who can decide how others achieve their salvation. If you want to live as a devout Muslim in the 21st century, you have to be tolerant. "

The physicist and philosopher Gerhard Vollmer, 64, professor of philosophy in Braunschweig, is involved in the religion-critical "Giordano Bruno Foundation".

"An agnostic leaves open whether there is a God - he considers it undecidable. An atheist, on the other hand, completely denies the existence of anything divine - I do. Because statements about existence such as' There is a God '' have a special property: they cannot be refute, but prove by a single convincing example. But if we are to believe everything that cannot be refuted, we can also believe in unicorns. That is why we ask someone who makes a statement of existence that claims to be truth to prove it too But I have not yet seen proof of the existence of God! If someone thinks they have had a supernatural experience, that may be convincing for themselves. But how are others supposed to understand such a thing?

The God hypothesis not only seems superfluous to me, but often also harmful. Many people fear punishment. And it gives some the chance to demand obedience or money for alleged salvation. As an atheist, I am not exposed to this fear and these demands. I trust in my own stamina: Because I am an athlete, I know that you can overcome many obstacles with your own strength. "

Mina Ahadi, 56, is chairwoman of the “Central Council of Ex-Muslims” in Cologne, which campaigns for human rights and atheism. In 1990 she fled Iran from political persecution. Today she receives numerous death threats and therefore often only dares to go public with bodyguards.

"In my parents' house in the Iranian city of Abhar, the Muslim faith played a major role: It was a familiar, patriarchal set of rules. As a child, for example, during the fasting month of Ramadan, I had to get up at night to eat I was over nine years old and I was very scared because of all these rules that Allah is supposed to have promulgated, because if you don't accept the rules you will go to hell, they said.

As a teenager I started to think about my rights. That was the beginning of a critical examination of the religions - a long and painful process. Finally, I decided for myself: 'I am no longer a Muslim, I have no faith.' Since then I have felt free. To me, being an atheist means: there is no afterlife, there is no God. You have to know for yourself what is right and what is wrong, you cannot rely on a God. Instead of faith, trust in human rights gives strength.

Today I am sure that religions are a business, an industry. They are instruments of oppression. Humanity would live better if they did not believe in a god. That's why I want a world without religion. "

The architect Juval Porat, 30, was born in Israel and attended a Jewish Orthodox school there. Today he studies at the Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, the only German training center for rabbis and Jewish cantors.

“You don't find faith by looking at the world. You can't say: 'Wow, this flower is beautiful, so there has to be a God.' Trusting rules. In the past I sometimes felt God was unjust. Then, for example, I ate a doner kebab to break Jewish dietary rules - like a disobedient child who is angry with his father. Today I know that the messages and ritual commandments of Judaism have at least one meaning: They hold our community together. My claim is what is called in Hebrew 'Tikkun Olam' - the goal to make the world a better place. Because I am convinced that every human can bring something divine into the world when he turns to God. I am not saying that you have to be Jewish for that. What is important is that you are good. That you try to un d to actively improve one's environment. "

Renée Schroeder, 55, Professor of Biochemistry in Vienna, researches ribonucleic acids (RNA) - a group of molecules that is involved in the conversion of genetic information in all living things.

"Even as a child I had an aversion to God. I didn't like him, found him stupid, unjust and vicious. It all started at the Catholic girls' school: the priest there claimed that God intended two things for us - to have children or to have children To go to the monastery. An almighty one who is supposed to determine everything is an unbelievable burden! Fortunately I soon found out that he does not exist. That was salvation! Nevertheless, as a scientist I am fascinated by the question of what the 'will to live' Why, for example, do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics? What causes them to? I assume that only chemical processes are the cause; laws of nature that we just haven't understood yet. We don't know any signs that there is something divine behind them. Ob but it would be better for people not to have any religions? I don't know. Religions are very successful in a certain way: through dogma n they create stability. You don't have that if, like me, you only trust knowledge that could be wrong tomorrow. "