Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Atheists Creed

I wrote the following letter to a girl lamenting the loss of someone very dear to her. She is a borderline agnostic and, being lesbian, was also suffering from the bigotry of society. I wrote this letter to her because, as an atheist, I felt I am receiving identical treatment from the same god-fearing society.

I had a similar problem when I first became an atheist. Previously, everything I did was guided by what I believe God wanted. I have to behave like this because God wants us to behave like this. I did not necessarily agree with many of God's regulations and standards (eg. proscriptions against pre-marital sex, stem-cell research, etc.) but I did make it a point to try and follow them as my soul will pay the price for my perfidy in this world.

Immediately after I became an atheist, it was a very trying period for me. There is no God, therefore there is no soul, and therefore there is no eternal punishment. We are alone in this universe. There is no meaning to life, life just is. What is my purpose in life then?

I pondered long and hard about my previous actions and attitudes. I asked myself questions:

  1. If there is no God, then what is the point of following Church laws?
  2. If there is no life after life, what am I going to do with the life I am living now?
  3. Was I a good neighbor because I feared the wrath of God?
  4. If the entire world is atheist, would it be a pleasant place to live in?

After weeks of thinking and weeks of sleepless nights I arrived at the conclusion that

God does not exist, therefore I shall not follow the laws of God.

But ...

  • My country exists, therefore I shall follow the laws of my country.
  • Society exists, therefore I shall be a decent and honest member of society.
  • My fellowmen exist therefore I shall live my life beside my fellowmen.
  • My family exists, therefore I shall be loyal to my family.
  • I exist, therefore I shall be true to myself.

I rose from that paradox that is theophobia "fear of God" and became a changed man. I have unshackled myself from superstition and hatred. Hatred? Yes hatred, because was it not God or His Church that taught that the enemies of God must be hated? Was it not the church that hurls epithets against those who do not believe in God and does not follow his laws?

The irony is, I think I became a much more decent member of society as an atheist than when I was a religious man.

As an atheist,

  • I give to charity because there is no God who shall take care of my fellowman. Isn't it therefore imperative upon me, a supposedly decent member of society, to provide this succor?
  • I do not agree with the beliefs of the Mormons but I do admire their sacrifice and their dedication. Who am I to say that one belief is better than another? As a decent member of society, shouldn't I be tolerant of different beliefs for as long as they don't break any laws?

The Roman Catholic Church seeks to impose its will upon civil society conveniently forgetting that there is separation of church and state. Why should a group of contented and wealthy celibates seek to dictate how society should act? Why should we listen to the dictates of a group that is holding up an ancient and barbaric book (the bible) as the standard of decency? Was Solomon, with his wives and concubines, a decent man? When Solomon proposed to cut a baby into two so that two women shall have a piece of the disputed, was he being wise or barbaric?

You are in the same situation. You are confused because your beliefs do not agree with the beliefs of the majority of society. You know you will be judged. I know I will be judged too.

What did I do? I didn't care. I did not shout my atheism from the rooftops because shouting from the rooftops will not do me any good other than making my throat sore. But I no longer cared for what others think. I only asked myself whether I am breaking the laws of the society I lived in. I only asked myself whether what I shall do shall do someone harm. Thankfully, I discovered Robert Green Ingersoll during this time and I said, "Finally, a humanist thinker I can agree with."

We live in a society. Whether we like it or not, it just is. There is nothing that can be done about it. God did not put us here, biology and chance did. Society may be crazy and it may be foolish, but it is a human society and humans were made to be social animals.

No longer care how other people shall judge you because their judgements don't matter. For as long as you strive to be an honest and decent member of society, then the judgement of a few matters not. What only matters is whether, near the end of your life, you can lie down in bed, think about the years of your life and say with satisfaction: I have lived a wonderful life.


Blogger Euri said...

Oops, I didn't realize that my guest book has a bug. Sorry. XD

What did you say again?

7:36 PM  
Blogger rapiddownloadsquad said...

Your blog is a source of strength

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe in God; I believe in humans

1:16 AM  

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