California Catholic Daily reporter, Mary Rose, visits a California college each week and asks students about God, good, and evil. Interview with Johnny, who is studying music, near the recital hall at Chabot College in Hayward on January 27, 2020.

Do you consider yourself religious?

Johnny: No. My family is, but I just don’t really find an interest in it. I’ve gone to church before. 

Do you believe in any sort of higher power?

Johnny: I actually kind of ask myself that a lot. Because it is strange when things do happen, like fate, I guess you could say, but I guess I believe in just the universe. Things happen and whether they’re good or bad, you just have to flow with it and make the best of it. But I do get the uses of religion, like it gives people something to hold onto, something to structure their life to make them a better person or whatever goals they’re searching for.

You don’t know if there’s a God?

Johnny: Yeah it’s really impossible to know with a lot of things. Right now I don’t think I’m in any hurry to find out. It’s one of those things you’re not really sure and you probably will never be sure. it works for some and for others it really doesn’t. 

How do you decide what’s good and what’s bad?

Johnny: That’s actually a really good question. I don’t know. I guess it all depends on the morals of the person, what they think is good or bad. Personally, for me, I know when I’m doing good or bad, like holding the door for somebody, being polite, or just overall being friendly to people, not having some secondary secret agenda of hurting them or something.

Do you believe in objective good and evil?

Johnny: I say no. Because everybody views things differently, I can’t really be sure how everybody feels about a certain subject or topic. You have to hope that everyone is not some crazy serial killer.

What if a serial killer thinks what they’re doing is fine?

Johnny: Then they’re good, yeah.

How do you decide whether abortion is a good thing or a bad thing?

Johnny: That’s really hard. It is a really weird topic to get into, especially for me since I’m a man. I would probably look more towards who’s actually affected by it and what their needs are for getting that abortion in the first place. It’s odd to discuss.

What if someone said, “absolutely we should look at the people involved and there’s always a baby involved”?

Johnny: Yeah what about the baby? What do they want?

If someone asked you who Jesus is what would you say?

Johnny: I guess from what I know, I would have to say he is the son of God. That’s what I know. I would say Christians believe that, but I think Jesus was more of just generally a prophet of his time, just a leader. Because was he a real person? I think there’s been a lot of speculation about that, whether or not he was real. If he was, I would say, “oh yes, he was some prophet or religious leader.”

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Johnny: I’ve always been kind of going back and forth on that. Because when I was younger I always thought, oh yeah, when my older family members are gone, they’re still here, they’re just in their afterlife. They’re just waiting for the rest of us to come meet them. But, as I got older and became more intrigued by science, I started to think of it as how, when we’re dead, our brains just stop functioning, like an infinite sleep. So that’s my current standing on that. I feel like when we are gone, we’re gone personally, but I guess our impact on the people around us is still around so that can kind of count as our afterlife.

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