Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why am I an Atheist?

"Toby, why are you an atheist?,"

"What happened to you?"

People wonder. These questions I often encounter when people find out that I am an atheist.

I dodge such questions most of the time. I know they don't really care why. Well, most of them. They might just be surprised to know one existing in this conservative Catholic-dominated country. Or maybe, they have stereotypes in their minds.

"I guess this person has a terrible problem that he interpreted as a way God abandons him."


"Well, he thinks too much. Besides, he is intelligent. Too much of brain cells will make you insane."

These things I read in their eyes. These conclusions are implanted in their brains long before they know an atheist. I do nothing but smile. They might hear my words but not listen. And besides, most people make conclusions before listening to explanations.

But seriously, why?

This time, I'll tell everyone why.

I became an atheist because of my love for humanity.

"Huh? What are you talking about?", your eyes contracted as you read.

It is my love for humanity.

To be a member of any religion has several implications in the way you view others. In my case, I was a Catholic. I used to believe that I am on the side of truth. That, things are judged according to the acts before the intention. That, the substance of Christ is present in the accidents of bread. That, the body has a soul that is destined to be in union with the creator.

I am not to write things to disprove God's existence. 'Cause such arguments are nothing when aimed at faith. For faith knows no arguments.

But here I am now to write what religious beliefs imply to the way one views humanity.

As a Catholic, we were taught that Jesus is God. Well, that's not a problem. So how can we reconcile this with other peoples of different walks of faith? Well, the Catholic Church has become more tolerant since the 2nd Vatican Council. (They lost political and economic power, so they are now compromising.) The Church tells us that God has several ways to save. That, in other things, God saves. But, he does it through Jesus Christ.

So it's not a problem. We include the rest of humanity in our common love.

But, at some time, I thought that when we include the rest but still believe that it's "Jesus" who does the saving, we are still narcissistic in the way we think. It's like telling people, "We love you Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, for we are all God's people, but Jesus is God and he loves you no matter what you believe."

Sweet isn't it? Lets put it in another way, what will you feel if Hindus will tell you, "We love you Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, for we are all God's people, but Vishnu is the care taker and he loves you no matter what you believe."?

Can you see the implication, that liberal and moderate forms of the religions are still not universal in this sense

It is that simple. God loves you no matter what. But it is my Jesus Christ, not the rest.

Some might say, well, God might have entered the world in different forms. Brahma, Yahweh and Allah are one being in different locations. I find this thought uncomfortable. For Christians used to kill the people of Allah in Christ's name. And Muslims are now killing the children of Christ in Allah's name. And Jews, had no doubt tortured other races and had been tortured by Nazis because of their love for Yahweh.

My friends. I hope you will contemplate on this thoughts, not necessarily to be an atheist, but rather, to know what love for humanity is all about. It's not that you love people but implying that they are wrong by believing you are right. It is about loving people by admitting that you might be wrong just as they might be wrong and accepting that faith is not universal and thus, you cannot claim absolute truth.

Greetings to People of all Walks of Life. This is Toby the Atheist, sharing my ideas.