Egg and Sperm

This time Aston Paiva writes a love letter to Lingswaran Singh. This article a response piece to Ling’s “Republic of God” that was inspired by Aston’s “Twilight of the Gods.” It’s not so confusing once you start reading, really.

egg-and-sperm

Dear Lingswaran,

At the outset, let me say that I think you may have been a little hasty in putting together those haphazard series of sentences in your response.

Had you taken a little time to appreciate my writing and in particular paid some attention to the last two paragraphs, you’d come to realise that my piece wasn’t really about atheism but more so a call to return to rationality, reason and intellectualism as a means to solve Man’s own alienation from himself; embracing the values espoused during the Enlightenment. One could call it Humanism, if one desperately desires to put a name to it.

I must also say, neither was my piece about Religion. It has got nothing to do with Religion at all. The commentators in that post who had referred to Religion in their comments have not grasped the spirit of what I had written. Read it again. There are adherents to certain religions that do not hold a belief in God – Buddhists and Jains come to mind immediately.

Twilight of the Gods

I can see how you, Lingswaran, may have gotten my piece confused as an advertisement for atheism but I assure you, that, it is not. I am not arguing for the nonexistence of God in order to refute the beliefs of others. Unless engaged to do so, I am not interested to do that and quite frankly, it is not of my concern.

What is of my concern is Why is there a need for Man to believe in God?” That is the central question. Out of that comes two further questions -

(i)“What do you really feel like, inside, when you contemplate the prospect of there being no God?” and

(ii)“What would it be like to lead a life where you believed in yourself and those around you to create change in the world?”

Unfortunately, we either haven’t answered these questions or we simply refuse to. Unless and until we do, we will continue to hinder ourselves from fully experiencing the world around us; to accept both the beauty and the distaste that Nature has to offer.

The sense of morose I feel when I hear about a natural disaster that has hit a nation, the awe I succumb to when I see a peacock unfurl its feathers, the utter bewilderment that I’m struck with when I look at the night sky by the ocean, the heartache of watching someone dying of cancer and the intensity of being in the embrace of a loved one. These are really what makes Human life so special; that interrelationship between the world outside of us and the sensations we feel when perceiving it. We certainly don’t need a God for any of that.

With God, Man has lost that spark; to be curious, to question, to want to know why, to ponder, to think, to contemplate, to reason, to look within himself, to look outside himself, to dream and pursue, to envision and plan, to be courageous and bold.

With God, we devalue who we are and who we can be because everything that we do is meaningless as it is either “out of our hands” or it is “meant to be“; futile, mediocre, and banal reasons to justify Man’s existence which reeks of folly, fear and insecurity. This is not who I am, this is not who I want to be and this is certainly not the Mankind I want to be a part of.

So no, my piece was not about atheism. My piece was about asking people to look into themselves and ask themselves who they really are; to question their existence, their purpose for existing, their goals, dreams, desires, their sexuality, their morality, their hopes and fears, their joys and sorrows – how everything can be just as they want it to be if not better without the need to rely on superstitious nonsense like “God.”

Atheism

Now on Atheism. Let’s define the word “Atheism” liberally for a minute. Let’s say in a population of 100 people, 99 people believed in Humpty Dumpty as their “Creator” while 1 person believed in Mother Goose. Wouldn’t it be correct to say that that 1 person would be an atheist in respect of Humpty Dumpty? He doesn’t believe Humpty Dumpty to be the “Creator.”

Working on that definition, every Muslim would be an atheist with respect to Brahman and all Hindus would be an atheist with respect to Ahura Mazda.

What is my point? Well, let’s not get so carried away in our belief in God that we forget that we are in many ways an atheist to the beliefs of another.

A Belief

The next meandering mindless point you make can be found in the last paragraph: that what I have expressed is a “belief.”

Not at all Sir! A “belief” calls for the suspension of proof and evidence. On the contrary, I say that everything must be subjected to the rigors of scientific inquiry and observation.

I am not interested in making up fanciful stories about the creation of life on Earth. I find “fairytales” painfully revolting in trying to explain the origin of life on this planet. I am instead interested to know about Abiogenesis, Evolution and Natural Selection as the spark and engine behind Life.

I care not about intellect-insulting creation myths; of an old man inventing the Universe in 6 days and resting on the 7th. I want to know about the Big Bang Theory, String Theory, Newtonian Physics and Quantum Physics. It is within this realm that the real answers pertaining to our Universe lies.

Oh and one more thing…

archery

Arrogance

Often times, I hear people read my writings on this subject matter and call me arrogant. It is laughable indeed. I am not being arrogant at all. I am in fact being as humble and as truthful as I can in showing how Humans have erred and what we can do to better ourselves.

On the contrary, I don’t claim to know who created the Universe, the 99 names of God, who was the first man on the Earth, who he had sex with, what is a sin, why are we such sinners, who is a sinner, where do we go to after we die, what is the afterlife, the amount of virgins waiting for us in the afterlife, who I was in my past life, who I will be in my next life, a path to salvation, the word of God, takdir Tuhan, where your grandmother is now that she’s dead, how God expects us; to treat women and homosexuals, to dress, to slaughter an animal, to treat a Jew, to sodomise a baboon or to fondle a goat’s testicles.

The online Oxford Dictionary defines “Arrogant” as:

having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities

Really, need I ask. . . who is really the arrogant one here?


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Posts by Aston Paiva

Posted on 22 October 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

Read more articles posted by Aston Paiva.

Read this first: LB Terms of Use

9 Responses to Egg and Sperm

  1. Awesome article , I am going to spend more time researching this subject

  2. Cosmo

    Witch Doctor, Al Alim, Andy Teoh: the trio just can't handle it; a reasoned rebuttal to Aston's questions. Hence, all they can throw out is a dung pile of cosmological and teological claptrap – introspection is faith, god as truth, god is republic, yada, yada – none of which would make any sense if you'd press it. Get a life Witch.

  3. Pingback: The Glory of God | LoyarBurok

  4. Lucida

    Hello Guys and Gals,

    This is a good debate. Thought I’ll just add my 2 cents.

    I’ve read all 3 pieces and most of the comments and I don’t think this is as black & white as people think it is.

    Aston’s writing is very grey as he doesn’t talk about himself because I don’t think both E&S and TOTG is about his beliefs compared to what Lingswaran’s ROG is. Even Andy who commented above notices this.

    What is bugging Aston here is the social and personal effects in people believing in God. He doesn’t think it is a good thing. That’s why he asks us those questions. He wants us to know how we feel like if we don’t believe in God, why do we feel like that and what is the harm in just believing in ourself?

    I don’t think that is arrogant. I think he is being very very optimistic about us and being very passionate about it in his writing. Maybe he has seen a lot of good nature in people and wants us to focus on that. I agree with Aston there.

    As for Lingswaran, I think he means well but he makes the error that Aston was warning against in E&S and TOTG about looking at God for the answers.

    If we know the Truth, why do we need to call God the Truth? There’s already a word for something, why must we replace it for the word ‘God’? Why can’t we just be happy about what we already know about the world? If we don’t know about something, why can’t we look for the answers?

    Anyways, just my 2 cents. Keep it up guys and gals.

  5. Witch Doctor

    It seems like a traditional case of bigotry. Aston is being defensive apparently for no particular reason, perhaps just for the sake of defending his writings. LS's response echoed what i personally felt. If at all it seems like Aston is the one who has been a little hasty in putting this up.

    When i read the twilight of God, i felt the same arrogance LS's wrote about in The Republic of God. Not so much about Aston, but more about human beings. Aston must be one of those i'm always right and you cant prove me wrong bigots. LS's writings was actually out of the box in reinterpreting what Aston wrote. I am somewhat religious,and The Republic of God actually encouraged me to re-read Twilight of Gods with an open mind.

    LS actually tapped into the right aspects by convincing believers that Aston was actually making sense, and not the usual "sinner to be burnt in you know where". End of the day The Republic of God gave spirit to the empty Twilight of Gods. Egg and sperm like a bewildering beast tore the Republic of God into nothings.

    I must agree with Andy Teoh, Aston's ability to sound humble whilst accusing others of being arrogant is a rarity these days. As for LS, The Republic of God reminds me of Animal Farm by George Orwell. Lastly i don't think LS made a "meandering mindless point", he did not assert Aston to have a belief in the first place. LS seems to creatively draw up an aspect of Almighty God, God as the unknown, God as the truth, qualities which not only makes great sense to believers, but also something to ponder upon.

    With Egg and Sperm, it only shows that Aston just as the arrogance emitted in Twilight of God, is self-centered. The Republic of God was merely concentrating on the good that The Twilight of God has to offer rather then concentrating on "the no need for a God" element. However arrogance sees not the good intention. That arrogance has blinded Aston to the good intent of The Republic of God, hence he comes out hard on LS, trashing,crushing and ridiculing The Republic of God.

    I believe Aston would not budge from admitting any of this, arrogance is hard to kill, more so when it comes with the ability to appear humble whilst accusing others of being arrogant. Aston could have taken The Republic of God as a compromise between the two pieces of literature. To me, Aston appears to be a non religious bigot, no difference from any religious bigotry. Aston's believe in himself has blinded him from the good that the two writings could have cultivated. Now imagine if every national leader was like Aston.

  6. munirah

    I believe that I can believe in Allah and at the same time have 'that spark; to be curious, to question, to want to know why, to ponder, to think, to contemplate, to reason, to look within himself, to look outside himself, to dream and pursue, to envision and plan, to be courageous and bold.'

    And I simply believe, I just am – 'With God, VALUE who I am and who I can be because everything that I do is NOT meaningless as it is either “out of our hands” or it is “meant to be“; these two facts can only be proven futile & wrong & banal if human beings can break free from our existing limitations – such as not being able to go without food/sleep/oxygen or break free from gravity. If there is no God, and all we are are just a coincidental tragedy – why is there 'design' – why do realms and parameters and conditions and patterns exist?

    'Belief' can be based on facts & rigorous scientific evaluations too. You just choose what to believe & what not to.

    oh Aston, how i wish i can read your love letter to yourself :)

  7. Lingswaran Singh

    The most meaningful love letter i have ever received. I'm blessed…

    Dear Aston. A few things :-

    1. My response was in no way to counter whatever you have said. It's merely a monologue inspired by your piece. Look man your love letter is nice, but smacking me by saying things like "haphazard series of sentences in your response." aint cool man…

    and you say "Had you taken a little time to appreciate my writing and in particular paid some attention to the last two paragraphs, you’d come to realise that my piece wasn’t really about atheism…" Dude i wrote a response, a whole response after thinking deeply, tormenting with my faculty of thoughts and feeling about you wrote and you assume i have not appreciated your writing?. Okay…

    …so a call to return to rationality, reason and intellectualism as a means to solve Man’s own alienation from himself; embracing the values espoused during the Enlightenment. … Dude I'm not going to say you didn't read my piece or that you didn't appreciate it, i clearly see you appreciate my views, thank you. If you care to re-read my few last paragraphs you would realize that i was backing exactly what you pointed out. Why do you see my piece as being hostile? It was a support piece, something to compliment your piece man.

    2. ((So no, my piece was not about atheism. My piece was about asking people to look into themselves and ask themselves who they really are;)) absolutely man, and your piece worked… my republic is a written testament of that… Your piece made me look into myself, and ask who i really am… And this is me, a person who believes in God, even so if there no such God, then reality is what makes God. The truth, thats why i told myself your making sense and there is nothing to fear.

    3. I hope you don't think that i'm accusing you of being arrogant, or an Atheist… Yes i did depict that in my first two para's. However as i explored further i reasoned with myself and tried to understand your points. In the end, i concluded that even an Atheist is still within my paradigm of belief.

    4. I didn't dismiss anything you said, neither did i say what your piece was about. I merely said that to my view it was an atheistic piece, and i felt it was arrogant (before i reasoned with myself).

    5. AFTER i reasoned with myself, it dawned upon on me that your speaking the truth. As a Deist, i just saw another aspect of God in your writing. God is truth, and i believe, with all due respect that you stand for that. This "Truth", can be discovered by mean of science and logic.

    5. I clearly understand your torment man, “Why is there a need for Man to believe in God?”. Yea, and i think that's a brilliant thing to ponder on.

    6. On arrogance, dude i said your like a Boddisatva of our time man. I was definitely not playing the arrogance card. If at all, my piece was sincere salutation to you man. Im disapointed that you failed to see that. In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is either an enlightened existence or an enlightenment-being or, Another term is "wisdom-being." It is anyone who, motivated by great compassion. I ended my piece by expounding your not arrogant man.

    7. I nearly forgot, dude that 1 % ain't Atheist dude… they believe in Mother Goose. Atheism is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Mother Goose is a deity.

    8. Al Alim on top gasped exactly what i was trying to say. I admit, my writing could use more clearity. But i didnt want to compromise my style of writing, im sure some people find garbage artistic. ;)

    9. Again i thank you for the love letter, it has inspired me with much wisdom.Thank you.

  8. al alim

    Ashton

    Your prose betrays your true believe in God!

    I read your original piece and Lingswaran's counterpiece. Introspection is a reflection of faith. If you have faith in yourself, then that faith should translate into a true understanding of nature and God.

    It is wrong to state the Buddha never believed in God or the All Pervading One. He said know yourself and the world around you and you will be part of it all with true understanding.

    That is precisely what you are stating. Know yourself and your limitations. That should imbue you with self confidence and faith in your own reality. It should then lead to a knowlegde of the true state of nature.

    I believe. I am tiny part of God. We all are.

  9. Andy Teoh

    Your ability to sound humble whilst accusing others of being arrogant is a rarity these days. I applaud you for that.

    Thank you for the piece. It's good read. I've further questions though, and if you may answer, I'll be more than grateful.

    1. Do you believe in God (whatever God it is)? (as in, God's existence, rather than the 'need' to have a God). Although you did not say this outright, it does appear that you are leaning more to the belief that there is no God / that God is imaginary and serves no purpose / its better to believe in yourself. For semantics' purposes, just so that I cover all aspects of the question and avoid you avoiding them, allow me to also put in alternatives such as "Is there a God?" , "What is your God?", "Do you believe in religion" and "Have you ever had/ still have a religion that you believe in?". My apologies for being somewhat anal, as I wanted to capture the spirit (no pun intended) of the question (the central theme being to see your views and belief/ non belief of God/ religion). I dont think there is a question of right to this or that or no religion, so I don't think you'll need to address that. If you choose to answer those questions separately, I'll be more than delighted to hear from you.

    2. It'll be good if you can give your basis as to the above as well.

    3. Matters of religion can be personal, hence if you choose to ignore/ not to answer the questions posed, I understand.

    Thank you for your time.