Confessions of an Atheist

To believe or not to believe?

Source: http://bit.ly/pz39KF

I am an atheist. I don’t believe in god. But don’t fret because I’m not the devil and I’m not about to pollute your mind with heresies. You don’t have to pity me as well because I am doing fine; thank you for your concern. However, if you have thoughts of impaling me, stoning me, or are imagining me burning in hell, I hope that you would find the kindness in you to erase them because that is just plain rude.

You see, I don’t believe in god because I don’t know how to.

Surely, I can’t just pick one religion and go along with its message of salvation, what about other religions? I can’t follow every religion known to man as well, for I’d be a very confused person. And I am not that arrogant to think that I am intelligent enough to tell with certainty, which religion is truer than others. While I can choose to go with the majority, but then again, despite being an atheist, I am still affiliated with a religion in official registry; so statistics do lie, don’t they?

But of course not knowing which religion is the word of god does not an atheist make. I am an atheist because I know that there is no god, just as much as you know that there is a god; and you can’t make me believe, just as I can’t make you into a non-believer. You can force me to submit, but that is not faith, now is it?

If you are worried that tolerance for people like me will result in the degradation of morality, I’m afraid that your concerns are misplaced. Atheists are not people who leave religion out of disappointment or angst; we are atheists because we know there is no god. People who are angry or disappointed with god are not atheist because you can’t be angry at something that does not exist, that’s just silly.

But in case you wonder, I do have a set of morality, but not all of which corresponds with prevailing social norms. For example, I think it is immoral to question what consenting adults do in their bedroom; On the contrary, I do think that civil disobedience is not only a right, but a moral imperative if lex is void of jus.

Most atheists that I know are people of principles; you have to be if you want to call yourself an atheist. Whilst I can’t speak for all, I can speak for myself – that I am a responsible, law abiding citizen; I care for my parents and love my country; I would not do onto others what I would not want done to myself; I have made mistakes and will continue to as long as I live, but I do try to recognize my mistakes and when I do, I have regretted and learnt from them.

But I am writing this not only as a confession, but also as a plea for empathy for believers.

You see, I’ve come to realize that it is rather odd being an atheist. Think about it, we define ourselves by what we are not, not by what we are! It is like saying I’m a non-coffee drinker, I’m a non-smoker or I’m a non-Malaysian. There’s just too much negativity built into the concept of atheism, can we really blame people when they shun us?

As such, what do we stand for? Is it truly our desire to see every individual on earth turn from their faith? I personally find it too great a responsibility to turn a person away from his/her religion, as the resulting product of faithlessness can range from great enlightenment to grave disaster. On top of that, the emotional costs in ‘preaching’ atheism are often too much to pay for our ‘perceived gain’. In ‘preaching’ atheism, you uproot a person’s believe system that has been nurtured since young, you are shattering their truth, their foundation all in the name of what? Our version of truth?

Surely you can see that a generous amount of grief, distress, animosity, even hate would result from such an endeavour. And how many of us can engage in intellectual debates without emotional attachment? And when emotions are involved, what are we, atheists reduced to even if we manage to silence our opponents with pure logic – belittling their intelligence, knowledge and exposure?

What joy has ever come from ridiculing your ‘inferior’? What dignity has ever come from insulting your ‘defeated foes’? No, only regret and remorse awaits in hindsight.

And if we pride ourselves of our rationality, then it must be evident that the human condition necessitates truth to be subjective. The human mind is so infinitely powerful that each of us creates for ourselves separate truths and realities; we create in our minds more universe than the dimensions of the multiverse could ever contain. Such is the beauty of the human condition.

However, this infinitely powerful mind is also potentially nihilistic, as it can entertain thoughts beyond the basal instincts of most of our animal brethren. As such, our mind is capable of producing great acts of altruism, but at the same time; it can be an agent of destruction, bringing pain and suffering for no apparent reason at all.

As such, emotional enlightenment and self-actualization is part and parcel of the human condition. It is a human reality to want, to need and to seek spiritual enlightenment.

To those who believe: Just because we take different paths to god does not mean your path is better than mine does it?

To atheists: A little white lie doesn’t hurt anyone does it?

It is only when we wear our truths on our sleeves like a Nazi wear his Swastika armband that we commit the greatest act of arrogance, blinding us from the myriad of truths, the beauty of diversity and individuality so fundamental to our human condition.

So what would atheists stand for if we were to redefine atheism in the positive sense? For a start, let’s look at what binds us together. For one, we pride ourselves of our rationality and we ‘preach’ rational thought because we care for the well-being of our fellow human kind. We are acutely aware of the differences between impossibility, possibility and probability and we do not waste our intellect grappling the impossible and the improbable. Instead, we promote universal humanistic values that matter to our brief grip on consciousness. We are also aware of our mortality, that there’s only non-existence before and after this consciousness.

http://bit.ly/rpYkOb

For an atheist, there’s no salvation and no second chance, every action matters and cannot be undone. Have you contributed to promoting positive humanistic values today?

He is an Atheist, and these are his confessions.

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Lua Bo Feng MR – the master of mind-buggery, students call him. The only skill he has is the subtle art of taking a thought and ripping it to shreds with logic, candour, and precision. He likes to think that he is born to be a LoyarBurokker because LoyarBurok (LB) is a subset of Lua Bo Feng (LBF), and since he started teaching, Lua Bo Feng has devolved into his primal avatar – the orang utan, a close relative of the chimp(s) at LoyarBurok. By the way, MR stands for mind rapist.

Posted on 3 October 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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131 Responses to Confessions of an Atheist

  1. grazzhood

    We're are human and with all our limited capability, senses and thought .. you do not "know that there is no God" . The best that you can do do is to say I don't know.

  2. imerule

    It's funny how people can write long sentences to prove that God is real. Yet it all originated from the same source a single book for each religion. Let's start from the beginning, suppose that the books of each religion (ie Al-Quran, Bible) never existed. Where would your oh so intelligent quotes come from. How can you prove of the existence of God with words of your own and not from a metaphoric story. Speaking of metaphoric stories here's one

    There was a believer and an atheist
    (B=Believer A=athiest)

    B: Why can't you believe in the existence of God.
    A: Because you cannot prove the existence of God.
    B: *Starts quoting from a book of religion on believing*
    A: Okay, so now I see. God is like a Unicorn?
    B: YOU IDIOT! How can you compare god to a fairytale creature.
    A: But Unicorns are not fairytale creatures.
    B: Of course it is. It's just some made-up character from some kids' book.
    A: So, you should not believe on something that is made-up from a book.
    B: Exactly.
    A: But another man wrote it himself and he claimed it was all true.
    B: So you're just going to believe something written on a book just because the writer of the book claims it's true?
    A: Yes. I even saw one myself.
    B: That's ridiculous and full of lies, you didn't see a unicorn! IT DOESN'T EXIST REMEMBER?
    A: So, I should not believe on things written from books.
    B: Yes.
    A: And I should not believe on things written on books just because the writer claims it is true?
    B: Yes!
    A: And because no one have seen this unicorn, it doesn't exist?
    B: YES MY FRIEND! You are beginning to think like a real human being.
    A: You, my friend, is a genius!

  3. siti habibah

    Quran: Surah Al-Baqara
    O mankind! worship your Lord, Who hath created you and those before you, so that ye may be protected people. (21)

    Surah Al-Araf
    Already have We urged unto hell many of the jinn and humankind, having hearts wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. These are as the cattle – nay, but they are worse! These are the neglectful.

    Surah Al-Mulk
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Blessed is He in Whose hand is the Sovereignty, and, He is Able to do all things. (1) Who hath created life and death that He may try you which of you is best in conduct; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving, (2) Who hath created seven heavens in harmony. Thou (Muhammad) canst see no fault in the Beneficent One's creation; then look again: Canst thou see any rifts? (3) Then look again and yet again, thy sight will return unto thee weakened and made dim. (4) And verily We have beautified the world's heaven with lamps, and We have made them missiles for the devils, and for them We have prepared the doom of flame. (5) And for those who disbelieve in their Lord there is the doom of hell, a hapless journey's end! (6) When they are flung therein they hear its roaring as it boileth up, (7) As it would burst with rage. Whenever a (fresh) host is flung therein the wardens thereof ask them: Came there unto you no warner? (8) They say: Yea, verily, a warner came unto us; but we denied and said: Allah hath naught revealed; ye are in naught but a great error. (9) And they say: Had we been wont to listen or have sense, we had not been among the dwellers in the flames. (10) So they acknowledge their sins; but far removed (from mercy) are the dwellers in the flames. (11) Lo! those who fear their Lord in secret, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward. (12) And keep your opinion secret or proclaim it, lo! He is Knower of all that is in the breasts (of men). (13) Should He not know what He created? And He is the Subtile, the Aware. (14) He it is Who hath made the earth subservient unto you, so Walk in the paths thereof and eat of His providence. And unto Him will be the resurrection (of the dead).

  4. siti habibah

    Do you have the logic to say that something or all the complex creatures plants, animals, and ourselves, all exist evolutionarily.
    Do you have the logic to say that we humans, originated from the intercourse between our mother and father, developed in her womb, without any control, and maker?

    if we say something far2 less complicated, e.g. a kicthen knife, a chair in our study room, or table or anything just appear out of thin air, people will say you are crazy, and will be sent to tanjung rambutan, or tampoi, but you are saying all the complexity of nature, earth, sun, the universe, all happened evolutionary????

  5. arah

    WE HAVE CREATED HUMAN BEINGS FROM ALAKA (A LEECH-LIKE SUBSTANCE) which we have come to know recently. The QURAN speaks about the embryological stages in SURAH MUMINUM C 23 V 12 TO 14. You can go on talking about the scientific point there are more than thousands of verses in the QURAN which speaks about science. After every scientific facts you ask the question, who could have mention that in the QURAN? The only reply the atheist can give you is the creator, the cherisher, the manufacturer, the inventor, the producer. This creator, this manufacturer, this producer, this inventor we Muslim call HIM as ALLAH. That's the reason Francis Bacon, very famous philosopher said 'little knowledge of science takes you away from AL MIGHTY GOD. In-depth knowledge of science makes you a believer in GOD. That's the reason today scientists are not eliminating GOD. The illuminating the models of GOD 'LA I LAHA ILLAL LAH''.

    If you don't believe there is Almighty Creator to manage the Universe, don't worry every one of us will die and surely we have to be answerable for the brain provide by HIM to us for another long lasting journey

  6. arah

    Today's science tell us that it is the mountains which prevent the earth from shaking which is mentioning in the QURAN 1400 years ago in the SURAH NABA C 78 V 6 and 7. The QURAN speaks about BIOLOGY that WE HAVE CREATED EVERY LIVING CREATURES FROM WATER. EVERY LIVING THINGS. IN SURAH AMBIA C 21 V 30. QURAN mention this 1400 years ago. The QURAN speaks about ZOOLOGY about the life-span of the spiders in SURAH ANKABURT C 29 V 41. About the ants in SURAH AL NAMAL C 27 V 17 to 18. About the bees in SURAH NAHL C 16 V 68-69. The QURAN speaks about EMBRYOLOGY in SURAH ALAQ C 96 V 1-2 .

  7. arah

    continue
    So my job, half my job is done. So I have only to prove "ILLAL LAH" which I shall do Insha Allah. Most of the atheists we realize have become atheist because they believe in science and technologies. These people think that science advance so much, we don't require scriptures, we don't require religions etc. The first question I ask to atheist is…. Suppose there is an equipment, there is a machinery, which no one in the world had ever seen before is brought in front of you, is brought in front of an atheist and if we ask the question that who will be the first person, who will be able to tell you the mechanism of this machinery of this object. What can be his reply?

    • arah

      Continue

      The reply of the atheist will give you is the first person who will tell you the mechanism is the manufacturer, some may say the creator, some may say the inventor, and some may say the producer whatever they say is somewhat similar. Either they say the creator, manufacture, the producer, the inventor it will be somewhat similar just keep it up in the back of your mind. Then ask him next question. How did our universe come into an existence? So the atheist will tell us the initially there was a primary Nebula. Then there was a Bib Bang. There was a secondary separation which gives rise to galaxy, the sun, the moon and the earth on which we live. This we call as a Big Bang. When did you come to know about this creation of the universe? So atheist will tell you about 30, 40 years back the scientists discovered this. You ask him a question. What you are talking about the Big Bang is already mention in the QURAN, in SURAH AMBIA C 21 V

      • arah

        30'We say ??? Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder?'. What you are talking about the Big Bang is already mention in the QURAN 1400 years ago. Who could have mention that? So the atheist may say " May be its a fluke "No problem. Don't argue with him. You continue. The light of the moon is it its own light or reflected light? The atheist will tell us the previously we thought the moon has it's own light. Recently we have come to know in science recently 300years back, 200 years back we have come to know that the light of the moon is not its own light but a reflected light. The QURAN mention 1400 years ago.

        • arah

          Continue

          In SURAH FURQAN C 25 V 61 Blessed is He who placed constellations in the skies, and placed therein a Lamp (a sun having its own light) and a Moon (having a reflected light or a borrow light). The Arabic words use for moon-light in the QURAN is "Munir" or "Nur" meaning reflected light or a borrowed light. Who could have mention that in the QURAN 1400 years ago that the light of the moon is not it's own light but a reflected light which we have come to know recently. Then the atheist may say" Your PROPHET MOHAMAD (PBUH) may be he was intelligent man." Don't argue with him. by Zakir Naik

  8. arah

    This atheist is thinking. His father, his parents may be religious but he doesn't believe in the God which his parents worship. The reason I congratulate him is because he has said the first part of the Islamic shahadah, Islamic creed "LA ILA HA" "There is no God". The only thing I have to do is "ILLA LLAH" 'BUT ALLAH' which I shall do insha Allah. Half my job is done. To the other non-Muslims, first I have to prove to him is that the God you worshiping is a wrong god, the false god and then I have to prove him to ALLAH (swt). Here half my job is done. He is already said first part of the Islamic shahadah "LA ILA HA".

  9. arah

    You are an atheist- CONGRATULATION!!!!

    It is remembered as earlier that the master key is; SURAH IMRAN C 3 V 64 WE say '??????????? ?????? ????????? ????????? ????????? ???????????? COME TO COMMON TERMS AS BETWEEN US AND YOU '. Now one may ask what is the common term of atheist, what common term can Muslim have an atheist but yet I call it the master key. The first thing I do when I meet an atheist is I congratulate him. I congratulate him because he says he does not believe in God. The reason I congratulate him is, all the other human beings most of them they are blindly following their parents. The Christian, he is Christian because his father is a Christian. The person is a Hindu because his father is a Hindu. Most of the Muslims are Muslims because fathers are Muslims.

  10. agnostictheist

    Actually, I am NOT an atheist NOT because I KNOW there is a God, but because I BELIEVE there is a God.

    To make a claim that there is or isn't something is very different from believing that there is or isn't something.

    So do you KNOW for sure that there is a God or do you just believe so?

  11. naim

    as a point to ponder just visit zakir naik as he could explain and compare inter religion's faith and godism

  12. SwordOfDamocles

    @LBF
    I wish I could be as open and frank as you. I am a Malay atheist, but a cultural Muslim (in the same manner as the atheist Richard Dawkins is a cultural Christian). Friends and family see me as ostensibly Muslim, but the obligatory rituals that I perform are not genuine. You may brand me a fake Muslim, and I whole-heartedly agree. I AM a fake Muslim. But to openly admit to being a non-believer is to confess to apostasy, and apostasy is a crime in the eyes of the Muslim jurist. No, I cannot come out of the closet, at least not while I'm living in this country. So I will continue to pretend, and look with some envy at people who can tell all and sundry that they are atheists.

  13. siewchin

    We all equate religion with the belief of a supreme being.
    Bo Feng actually does have a belief – he believes in himself.
    Reason and logic is scientific.
    And science can be substantiated – we have journeyed to the moon, mars and even beyond.
    It has been said the one true substance that evolved from any religion is an argument :)

  14. Charles Leviathan

    Dear Bo Feng

    I apologise for intruding with a second comment. It's just that this topic of atheism is so close to my heart that I feel compelled to discuss it. Plus you have so graciously descended into the comments section for debate and it is difficult to resist engaging a fine mind such as yours on a grand topic such as the Lord.

    Please don't get me wrong, I am not out to curb your enthusiasm or trifle your astute observations and arguments. Quite the contrary, I am hoping to inspire you further with inspirational thoughts that have crossed my mind since engaging your essay and comments section.

    As you would have no doubt realised, the atheists consist of the "cream of our crop", the finest minds with the sincerest motives and the the strength of character to be honest. An atheist is a powerful ball of energy that has the potential to change the universe. But only if that ball of energy engages the universe upon the universe's own terms.

    Does an atheist actually consummate his deconstruction of the falsehoods that he has been conditioned with by rallying under the banner of "atheism"? By rallying under a new banner of "atheism" after abandoning the banner of his previous "religion", the atheist actually reverts to his previous status quo. The "new religion" of atheism. As the sage Bob Marley says, it's an ism-schism game.

    It's a bit like Christ telling Jews to be better humans but others hijacking what he said to create the new banner of Christianity. Apply same formula to other "messiahs", before and after.

    Why do atheists waste their valuable insight into reason&logic by parking themselves under a new banner of "religion" albeit one that calls itself "irreligious"? Wouldn't that insight have a powerful transformative energy if it is applied towards injecting reason&logic into discourse on religion and god? Wouldn't it be better if that atheist submerges himself into the structure of his "previous religion" and persuades his fellow man to engage in reason&logic when exploring divinity? Wouldn't it be better if the atheist acknowledges the divinity of complexity instead of asserting that complexity is proof of the lack of divinity?

    He may then find it easier to forgive himself even if he cannot forget his wrongs. That self forgiveness by itself is another powerful boost to the already super nova energy of the "atheist" soul. It is divine to forgive others, but it is infinitely more divine to forgive oneself.

    There is divinity in reason&logic. But that divinity is suppressed when reason&logic is pitched as the antithesis of divinity.

    Listen to your heart. It can change the universe.

    • Hann

      Dear Charles,

      I know of no atheist that has ever advocated the categorisation of atheism as a "religion". By its very definition couched in negative terms ie "the absence of", the word 'atheist' excludes itself as being a religion from the start. It's like saying "I'm a non-smoker", but by virtue of me saying that, I have joined the ranks of the smokers…

      The banner of atheism is of course a media construct. Famous atheists have existed throughout the centuries, as have disbelievers, agnostics, free-thinkers, heathen, blasphemers and the rest. Don't let the media's coverage of the Big 4 – Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris – fool you into thinking that there's a new atheist religion on the horizon. They are just more vocal than the rest of us.

      Perhaps I have misunderstood your use of the word "divinity", because I find nothing divine in reason and logic. I find a uniquely human precept, because I have found God and other supernatural beings to be neither reasonable nor logical.

      I beg you to believe me when I say that atheists HAVE tried to "persuade his fellow man to engage in reason&logic when exploring divinity" and applied themselves towards "injecting reason&logic into discourse on religion and god". Unfortunately after the application of reason and logic to religion, god and divinity, many people have found that the latter don't stand up too well to the rigours of the former. And hence have pissed off a lot of other people by saying so.

      We do not need forgiveness for ourselves. We make no apologies for attempting to apply reason, logic, science, rationality to such questions, and hence seek no forgiveness.

      • Charles Leviathan

        Dear Hann

        I like the analogy you used – smoker and non-smoker. Perhaps I could make my point by tweaking your analogy. Its more like breather and non-breather. You can imagine how silly it sounds for someone to say “I am a non-breather”.

        Why is breathing a more accurate analogy? To borrow the words of my new found soul friend Bo Feng “As such, emotional enlightenment and self-actualization is part and parcel of the human condition. It is a human reality to want, to need and to seek spiritual enlightenment.”

        Just because atheists don’t ADVOCATE the categorization of atheism as a religion, does not mean that they don’t invite such a categorization. Like I quoted, it’s an ism-schism game. The moment you play the game of ism, you create the schism. It is no shock that atheists are often labelled “elitist” when they play the game of ism-schism but shout out “But we are different! We are not like YOU”

        It’s like the analogy you used – atheists thinking they are “non-smokers” and therefore better than the other “smokers”, when in fact they are “breathers” laughably insisting that they are “non-breathers”. It is no shock too that after descending into the ism-schism game, they establish churches, ordination and other trappings of religion. It’s just a natural consequence, that’s all.

        Since you find nothing divine about reason&logic and find it to be a uniquely human precept, I suggest you have a chat with the conscious chimpanzees or even Koko the reading gorilla. Perhaps you will realise that reason&logic is not an exclusively human precept.

        I guess we can deduce why you refuse to continue engaging the theists on reason&logic – you tried but failed. So you cower under the banner of atheism and say – “ok, you’re a smoker and I am a non-smoker. So we don’t need to talk about the reason&logic behind smoking because you smoke and therefore are illogical!” OK lah my friend, if that’s the attitude you choose..

        My comment about self forgiveness is related to Bo Feng’s reply to Josie. You have taken it out of context so I don’t think I need say more.

    • lbf

      Dear Charles,

      This issue of 'branding' 'ism-schism' crossed my mine yesterday as I received a tweet about atheists burning down churches in America.

      I have to say, the rise in atheism scares me. You see, I never believed in god as far back as my memory goes. I chose to call myself an atheist not because i want to belong to a group, but because it is the closest word in the English language that describe my thoughts on religion and spirituality.

      But you're right, once we 'brand' ourselves, we get sucked into the normative standards of the 'brand'. and then the 'we' versus 'them' mentality rears its ugly head.

      I am promoting positive actions for atheist because i have a result oriented personality. I need to make a decision, even if the decision is 'I don't know'

      There are brief moments when I can accept things for what they are, and just admire the complexity of the universe and breathe in the energy of the cosmos. But these are brief moments when the artist in me surface (generally after a very tired week)

      Come morning, the decision maker in me takes over again.

      Isnt it a beauty of the universe that one species can produce infinitely differing thoughts and it is our differences that makes life on earth heaven?

      • Hann

        Dear LBF,

        I believe this is erroneous. Atheists do not burn down churches, criminals do. Muslims do not blow up twin towers, criminals do. Catholics do not rape children, paedophiles (and yes, criminals) do. you're absolutely right when you say "once we brand ourselves, we get sucked into the normative standards of the brand", which is why I'm surprised when you so readily buy into "atheism" as a brand, and make exactly the same mistake as other people when they brand themselves and other people as Muslim and non-Muslim, as Christian and non-Christian etc.

        There is no "rise in atheism". There is no atheism as a brand. There is no Atheist Manifesto, no Atheist cell groups, no Atheist radio stations. As an atheist I find it offensive that such media attention has arisen around the so-called Big 4 (*puke*) – a media constructed term in itself. The point of atheism is to apply scientific, evidential and logical processes to all facets of our life. The point of atheism is to not accept revealed wisdom as wisdom. The point of atheism is to think for yourself.

        Religion, and whether there is a God or not, is a very small part of my daily pondering. As of course it should. Why should I spend much time on a subject I believe does not exist and has no part to play in the affairs of people in the world?

        Atheism is deeply personal, it is an intellectual exercise as much as it sets our way of looking at life and the world. Other than that, you'd be hard pressed to find two atheists who thought and behaved exactly alike. Funnily enough, I would not make the mistake of assuming all Muslims, Christians, Jews, Malays, Chinese etc thought or behaved alike.

        So, I wish to reiterate, in the strongest terms possible, that there is no such thing as atheism as a religion, atheism as a brand, atheism as a concerted movement, atheists taking over Parliament/Congress/Bukit Jalil sports school/your local kedai runcit.

        • lbf

          Dear Hann,

          Thank you for pointing out my error. Indeed, "atheist do not burn down churches, criminals do." Similarly, Muslims do not fly planes into twin towers, terrorists/criminals do. Your deductive methods are more refined than mine.

          As this is getting rather fun, please allow me to further deconstruct the the above proposition, just for moot –

          imagine, if our cultural zeitgeist in the future is to demonise religious practice, and the laws reflected this hatred by actively condoning acts that desecrate religious places, as such, atheists that burn down churches would not be 'criminals' as criminality is a social construct.

          How far should we deconstruct? as i suppose the ultimate deconstruction would be 'homo sapiens/complex organism burning down buildings', but such a sentence carry almost no meaning in our reality(s). What are your thoughts on this? I've hit a brick wall in my train of thoughts.

          Thanks

      • Charles Leviathan

        Hahaha Bo Feng! Atheists burning down churches! Not yet my friend. We will need a few more generations of atheists saying mass at atheist church before the burning of other churches begin.

        I love you Bo Feng. I love you because you engage in reason&logic, the language of the Lord. And when you do so, things become clearer. To yourself, most importantly. Look at what happened – you first called yourself "atheist" meaning that you KNOW there is no god. After some reason&logic, it appears that you really meant – I don't KNOW whether there is a god. The next step is to think about whether you "don't know but BELIEVE that there is a god" and the next step after that is "why do I believe there is a god" and the final step is "shoot, what does god mean?"

        That is the essence of my point – instead of rushing the gun and saying "There is no god", why don't you take some time out to contemplate "What is god?" Your answer whether there is a god or not depends heavily on what "god" means. If "god" means "an old man with a white beard sitting on a mountain" then you would say "no, I don't believe". But if "god" means "the unity of the entire of existence and non-existence", then perhaps, maybe just perhaps, you may say "yes, I believe".

        I don't want to leave you hanging without further reading so allow me to make some recommendations – if you are a Hindu, read the Advaita writings of modern sages residing in the west who write in English. I personally like Ram Tzu cos he's just so damned hilarious. If you are a Christian, read the plethora of progressive Christian writings on the internet. If you are a Muslim, read works by Muslims who believe in civil liberties. If you are into New Age, read someone like Eckhart Tolle. All these people sing the same song albeit using different words.

        Life on earth is sustainable because of the existence of diversity. However, if you want to talk about heaven on earth, that happens when diversity engages itself, like what we are doing now. Conversely, hell on earth is when diversity refuses to engage and is shut up or shut down.

        To echo Carl Sagan, the beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, it is the way those atoms are arranged. My friend, even the physicists have become mystics. Why don't you follow?

        P.S. I have a sneaky suspicion that you are actually a theist who is trying to give atheists some direction in their thinking as they wallow in the void of deconstruction. Or shall I say "positive actions for atheists". hehehe. You da man la Bo Feng, you da man..

  15. TKH

    Hi All,

    Whether you believe in GOD or not will be reviewed when you are at you last breath before you leave this world. By then, it will be too la when you know the truth ….. cheers !

  16. Josie Goh Mui Tiow

    It’s heartening to note that you are honest with yourself- that you don’t know how to believe in God.

    If you could absolutely prove the existence of God, then the word "faith" would be meaningless. We cannot claim to know everything. Only God who is all-knowing, knows everything including us and, our name.

    As Christians we believe that God comprises God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, three in one.
    Theological discussion on Jesus as man and God is not intended here as this can be sourced from the various Christian websites. Suffice to say that Jesus says anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. .. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves (John 14:9-11) and before Abraham was, I am. The greatest miracle is Jesus’ own resurrection which has never been seen duplicated. He is here to change to lives.

    Among the many notable writers is Josh McDowell whose book, “Evidence that demands a Verdict” is worth reading. Josh whose father was a drunkard, mother died of heart-brokenness and sister died of suicide, wanted to refute God. However through evidences gathered in his study to refute God, his opinion not only changed but he gave his life to Jesus. Josh was then reconciled with his drunkard father who accepted Christ. Josh’s father told him that the God who changed Josh who hated his father could change him he would accept Christ. Josh’s father did not take a single drop of alcohol after his decision to accept Christ. He, however, died from years of abuse of alcoholism. Miracles of changed lives are the greatest testimonies of the living God.

    It is not intended here to prove the existence of God. Suffice to say that there are many websites which you can access that will refute atheism’s usual contentions. Among which is http://www.doesgodexist.org/Courses/2009-Course/L….

    The apostles met their resurrected master, Jesus after the third day. He was with them for forty days giving convincing proofs that he was alive. Saul, (Greek name), a Pharisee too had a direct confrontation with the risen Christ. Saul totally changed and became a most influential servant of Christ, not a persecutor. Paul (Roman name of Saul) contended that at that particular time he was in. there were five hundred of them alive then who could testify to Jesus’ resurrection.

    You mention that “For an atheist, there’s no salvation and no second chance, every action matters and cannot be undone.” If I understand you well, if there is no salvation, no God, is there a need to be concerned with second chance? Is there a need to be concerned with every action matters? In short, is there a need to be concerned with accountability?

    Do you agree that we all need not only second chance but many chances at times. You admit that you made mistakes. We all made mistakes in life. Mistakes can take the form of sinful thoughts and words, not necessarily deeds. Therefore, no one can claim to be perfectly right all the time in God’s sight. It is for that reason that Christians are called to judge themselves before we are being judged. We have good news for you. Truth be told, we are all basically sinners. Jesus is love. And He knows the number of hairs in our head and our name. He is gracious and forgives us when we repent.

    God’s word in the Bible is that He loves us and has given us His Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. So Bo Feng, you are welcome to read the Word of God, the Bible which is now readily accessible online, among the many is Biblos.com.

    • lbf

      Dear Josie,

      Thank you for your thoughts and your links, and for the fact that you start your comment with honesty, I think we have something in common, that we place honesty high on our list of virtues.

      Im also happy that you found your calling and took the time to share it with me, that kind of effort comes from the heart of a person who is honest with her/himself.

      You are correct in your interpretation of the fact that atheists do not have a god to be accounted for. But not having a god to account to does not mean no accountability.

      I cannot speak for all atheist. But for me, I have to account to my own conscience. I find it easy to forgive and forget others, but i find it difficult to forgive myself and I never forget my wrongs. As such, I answer to my conscience.

      • Hann

        Dear Josie,

        You're of course making the assumption that all humans need to operate by accountability. I suppose that tells us more about your opinion of humanity than anything else.

        A humanist's position is of course simpler. We don't do good deeds to win a place at Christ's table in the kingdom of heaven. We just…do them for the simple reason that it's good to do them. And we sin because we sometimes go astray, as humans do, because none of us are sinless, none of us are all-knowing or all-powerful. We are just…human. Accountable to human and societal norms, to its laws and culture and behaviours.

  17. Non sequitur

    Good article, and I respect your belief system (as atheism is still a belief – that there is no God).

    I’m an athiestic agnostic, which is more about belief systems in general rather than whether or not there’s a deity, I’m agnostic in the sense that no belief system can provide incontravertable proof for the presence or non-presence of a god, and the athiestic twist is because while I cannot emphatically deny the existence of a god, the evidence tends to point in that direction.

    Anyway you don’t need religion to have a good moral compass. There’s a saying… morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told, whereas religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right.

  18. Ern Nian

    Words from an agnostics atheist : I care not what your religion is, I care only for your rights enshrined in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.

  19. kucingkurapan

    I will just let Loyarburok believe what he believes in or not believe in. I don't want to take any chances when I die. There is nothing to lose in being a believer, but what if it is true that we have souls, then the non-believers simply can't do anything by then, it would be too late. Many have found God because they sincerely want to, but some people can justify that there is no God, but this is just justification. My basic point to highlight here is that this world is not just. Many things are not fair. People kill each other. All these happened simply because this is earth and not the hereafter where we will all be judged for everything we do, undo or did not do. The hereafter will be the place where things will be fair for all. To comprehend God with our small minds is simply too much. Yet it is more easier to just have faith.

    • lbf

      Indeed, kuchingkurapan,

      Our mind is a product of our environment, as such, to comprehend the concept of god might actually be an impossibility.

      Ive spoken to a lot of atheist about this issue, but none has given me a satisfactory answer.

      As such, my humble opinion is that if god exist, and indeed he is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, he would not care whether i believe in him, and faith would be irrelevant. What would be relevant is how I have lived my life and whether i have tried my best to do the best i could with my human limitations.

      Some have argued that believing is safer than not. Again, (subject to my human limitations) a person who choose to believe due to 'insurance' might just anger god more than a person who doesnt believe. But then again, to read emotions into the concept of 'god' is just humanising 'him'.

      • Pei

        I concur with your last bit about believing as 'insurance'. I don't have a religion to preach myself but even I know that believing 'just in case' or 'because there's nothing to lose' is not really believing. Real belief is when you know there is everything to lose e.g. a place in heaven, afterlife, reprieve from hell etc.

        As for kuchingkurapan's last sentence, that it is easier to have faith, I will have to strongly disagree. It is one of the hardest things I have ever known.

        • lbf

          insightful Pei, I suppose the ease of which faith comes is subjective in itself. some find it natural to believe, others impossible.

          • Hann

            This is Russell's wager, where he argues that it is provisionally better to believe in God than not, because the consequences of being wrong are worse than being right.

            In which case, I would ask, what if your God is the wrong one. What makes you so sure it's Allah or God or Thor or Skippy the Kangaroo? It's a terrible, utilitarian argument for the belief in God.

            At the risk of anthropomorphising God ("do not presume to know the mind of God?"), I'd like to think that he'd prefer honest disbelief than toadying belief.

          • Hann

            Ooops, Pascal's Wager rather, and Russell's response to him. Good old Bertrand would never forgive me…now to atone for my sins by re-reading "Why I Am Not a Christian" by the halitosis-afflicted mathematician…

        • Pijal

          I also disagree of what kucing commented.. sorry to say this his comment only create more confusion to people like u.. i want to introduce u guys to a new way of life in islam.. but dont get me wrong.. i didnt meant to force you.. its your choice of what u want to believe.. but clearly i cant leave u guys out while i get all the greatness in islam

          Have u wonder, y we exist in this world in the first place only to die in the end? Believing is just the beginning but is most important.. its like u want to travel by car, u start ur car engine first.. if u didnt start, how to drive?.. then the ibadah is like the travel.. ibadah means doing what god (Allah) told u to do and abandon what He told u to abandon.. we've been created just to worship Allah.. but worship doesnt mean u put ur face to the ground 24/7.. it means, what ever u do is only in the name of Allah.. I invite u to study about God in islam way, then u'll understand.. there a a lot of vids in youtube talking about the truth of islam and most of them are from the west (especially USA) like suhaib webb, bilal philips, the deen show.. if u're free please go take a look.. insyaAllah ur heart will be open by Allah.. peace and blessing be upon u dear friend :)

  20. layman

    Even devil believes in GOD :P

  21. surfophile

    Hahaha…This is fun. Assume GOD/Creator exist.

    Let's talk about factory chickens that chefs coat with layers of flavors to entice us to buy and eat. Were not those chickens – of the same size, weight, shape and colors created by factory owners and housed in terrible conditions? Were those chickens aware, the day before the slaughter , of its creator's "sinister" intention and the reason for the action? If the chickens were, they obviously could only protest with chicken language. The creator was not listening. There was nothing the chickens could do to prevent death. Prior to death, there was force feeding and there was overcrowding, jostling, injury, pain, sorrow, sadness, worries and uncertainties maybe, with very sparse intermittent happiness, joy and pleasure slotted in between. Would you, if you were a factory chicken, remain loyal to your creator? Of course not. You would protest and if able to, will want to prevent birth of your specie or continuation of your specie lineage. So, it isn't wrong for humans to begin a global protest against god/creator by not encouraging birth for the birth and death cycle is littered with too much miseries that are not man made but conditioned to exist for some reasons and the reasons cannot be good for the very reason that if it is for goodness, the the litters of miseries that had be-felt the chickens will not exist in our birth and death cycle. Think about this. Whether you are poor or rich or have abundance in life, the same basic miseries will be felt by all of you. The sparse intermittent alternative good feel that one can obtained from creature comforts is merely temporary ( once you have adapted to its existence, there is no more joy) and is an enticement to perpetuate our life as part of the grand design. I always wonder why I am created to want sex without protection. Is it because "someone" wants to encourage proliferation that will provide the young muscles to speed up things to achieve the objectives of the grand design. I wouldn't mind if my creator offers better out -of- this world remunerations during the process of work and my existence now and not, a promise of vague reward only after I have died

  22. Vincenzo

    Has anybody seen a ghost / spirit before? Can anyone explain why these phenomena exist / happen? People tell me that there is no God but no one can explain to me why Ghosts exist.

    Well, I have seen some in my lifetime. Believe me, when you have visual contact with the supernatural, you will believe that God exists. … no need for God to show himself to you. It will be too late then.

  23. VeraYPL

    Hey, i like ur article, especially the 1st paragraph! I’m with u!!
    My ‘religion’ is not about faith or God, its about the Way of becoming a better person, base one conduct on virtue, be guided by benevolence in living, and always respect others..
    Always learn from mistake and always improve oneself.

    Dear Princip, to Atheist, its not because all living being created by a single being, its because of evolution.. which explained by the scientist..
    Cheers

  24. atheist malay

    I'm a Creationist. I believe Man created God.

  25. princ

    Quote: "You see, I don’t believe in god because I don’t know how to."

    Let' me share with you something that will make you ponder. Our human face has 2 eyes on each side with a nose in the middle. The mouth is at the lower part of the face with ears on each side. Animals (e.g. cows, dogs, cats), insects, fish all have the same facial features and location. Do you ever see e.g. dogs whereby their eyes is in the lower part of the face? The human body has a heart on the left side and a liver on the right, followed by a stomach, kidney and intestines and each have its own functions. Animals, insects or fish all have similar features and location. What is the probability that all these creatures mentioned above are all created by chance or created by a single Being? Secondly, man has sperm and woman has eggs. If man and woman are created by chance, what are the probability that female egg requires the exact match of the male sperm to fertilise and create a new human being? Animals also requires the same opposite and perfect match in order to procreate! The chances they arfe created by chance and so happens that have the perfect match for the opposite sex? Thirdly, look at the eyes of a tiger, lion, dog and our human eyes. Are they not having the same external and internal construction? What about their heart, liver, stomach, kidneys and intestines with the same construction, functions and same locations? After reading through and reflecting on the above, would it point to the fact that all these are created by a single Being?

    • lbf

      Dear princ,

      The fact that all creatures have similarities point only to the fact that we are all related, to say that something creates us is jumping the logic for quite a few yards.

      I suppose your argument is the 'watchmaker analogy' as in complex organism could not have arise our of pure chance. Try to google 'watchmaker analogy' or wiki it.

      But i respectfully disagree with your argument

      • Hann

        Dear princ,

        As LBF correctly points out, your conclusions are similar to the watchmaker analogy – if you're unfamiliar with this analogy, it's as follows: you stumble upon a perfectly working watch of great and delicate complexity in the middle of a field in a deserted island. You immediately come to the conclusion that there must be a watchmaker who placed the watch there.

        The analogy fails on many grounds. For one, it is a simple "god of the gaps" argument – we don't know why or how, therefore God. We didn't know how thunder worked, therefore it was the crash of the gods fighting. We didn't know storms or typhoons, therefore it was the wrath of gods. The plague struck without warning, therefore God. As our knowledge increases and the gaps decrease, our resort to God as an explanation decreases.

        The "complexity" of life is explainable without resort to God. Instead of thinking of our complex ecosystems as a "watch", imagine it as a ledge halfway up a mountain. Looking up at it, it's a sheer leap to that ledge from the ground. But go around the back of the mountain, and you find a series of stairs that lead up to that ledge.

        Life developed organically, haphazardly. There is no evidence of any design in our bodies. In fact, if our bodies were designed, our Creator did a pretty crap job. We still have spinal problems because we are meant to be on fours, not on twos. Our eyes are complicated, sure, but intensely inefficient. Our optic nerve and our brain had to develop to process the upside down image that hits our retinas. Our babies are helpless for years, unlike other mammals who can walk after a few hours, because of our increased brain size which makes it harder to pass through the birth canal and thus have to be delivered earlier.

        I can point to many other "failed" species, extinct and living today, that show that intelligent design by a Creator is pretty much a non-starter in any discussion of natural history.

        Life developed organically and haphazardly because through random mutation and natural selection, a pretty eclectic set of organisms including ourselves inhabit the earth today. What about the 99% of other species that have gone extinct because their genes were inadequate to cope with their surroundings? Did God mean them to die? Were they failed experiments? Or is there a simpler answer, that they could not evolve in time to keep the species going?

        Lastly I want you to answer a question. The need for a "God" to have created such complexity doesn't solve anything. Because I will ask you who created the Creator. And who created the creator of the Creator. It's an infinite regression from which there is no escape. Using God as an answer to "how life came about" answers precisely 0% of the question.

        • lbf

          Its like reading Richard Dawkins all over again

        • Pijal

          Dear Hann,

          I think I'm quite understand what are u trying to explain.. well, first of all, the atheists can't be blamed 100% of what they believe, because the atheist didnt even get a chance to know The God. Firstly, I'm a muslim, and from what I read, you just received a lot of misconception about god. Let me start my argument from one of the verse in Al-Quran:

          "Allah! There is no god but He – the Living, The Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him Nor Sleep. His are all things In the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede In His presence except As he permitteth? He knoweth What (appeareth to His creatures As) Before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they compass Aught of his knowledge Except as He willeth. His throne doth extend Over the heavens And on earth, and He feeleth No fatigue in guarding And preserving them, For He is the Most High. The Supreme (in glory)."
          [Surah al-Baqarah 2: 255]

          Unless you can prove this verse tell the lies, then it is legit. I'd say ur mind has been brainwashed by the myth of god/demi gods in greek, norse, buddhist and so on.. thunder doesn't mean that god is angry.. god doesn't need to show to us that He is angry, y should he? thunder is there for a reason.. Im sorry as im not that good in science. About the watchman anology, isnt that true? that watch must have the creator, if not how the hell the watch is existed there? evolve itself from sand? sounds like pokemon to me.. if u think our creation, animal creation is a crap design, then think again y our eyes at the top of our body? y not at the leg? y asked, who created the creator.. the answer is easy.. "GOD was not created" because if something is created, then he was not GOD … this statement exactly matches the following statement:
          "EARLY" is not preceded by anything else, as if something is preceded by another, he is not EARLY or can not be called EARLY..

          Lastly, i suggest instead of being ignorance, I invite u to study about God in Islam way, what Al-Quran tells.. it worth a try right.. if u dont know how to believe, try study in islam way.. good luck my friend :D

    • phang

      wow, you've just written a whole bunch of meaningless rhetoric. incredible.

  26. Pastafarianist

    I strongly believe that our universe is created by a flying spaghetti monster with 2 meat balls on its body. Can you jesusnist, buddhists and muhammadists disprove this? Ramen!

    • Good day reddit alien. :)

    • LM

      To be honest, Pastafarianist, I cannot prove that the universe is NOT created by a flying spaghetti monster with 2 meat balls on its body! In fact, it is a fallacy to say that something does not exist just because you can't prove it does. Some things are beyond proof, and some things are just not proven yet :) So, yes, Pastafarianist, I, a Jesusnist, greet the god in you.

      (I quoted you and replied to you as part of one of the comments above this, but I thought I should reply to you directly too)

  27. JIG

    By the last comment [email protected]… we are already being ourselves – humans! Like it not, we live only on Earth (unless you are capable of migrating to Mars). We have one home (?), one chance so stay focused. FOCUSED on what?
    I really wished there is no God. Then all of us can do as we like (so long we don't push each other, press each other, jostle each other, choke each other.. to non-existence).. but then, the NGO's human too, so are the environmentalists.
    Now look here, we don't mention about God, as we are supposed to be atheists… but then you know what, the existence of humans, good atheists crowded out lower levels of life, and now even tigers complain about humans jostling their species out of their living space. Then tigers become (hu) man-eaters.

    Then there are humans so focused and bent on living happy. Make lots of money, enjoy. No.. nothing wrong being filthy rich. Nothing wrong with lots of exchange power. After all, we are good humans who just focus on our own good living.
    Do good? It's your right. You choose, you are already good, for you don't disturb other humans. Do wrong? It is your choice, too. But don't you impose that on me. I stay focused to do what i can and what i think. Let others more capable do what is wrong. Then what about humans who can't do good or bad ……get so confused. Alas, they are the ones who can
    not stay focus. They finally scream "Aarrrgh..! I wish there is a God.."

    You see my friend, our reasoning, human reasoning, is always a circle. (This is how I understand it).

    Like many of the foregoing opinion contributors, I am not able to bring in God's view, because, he must be there, and I must admit, I for one is not able to understand His understanding. There are laws in this human existence, but we don't recognize the law giver.

    • Very true, I wish there is a God then all the problems of humanity can be resolved. When I was growing up, I searched for god, I was eager to be baptised, my dad stopped me and said not to readily accept one religion without understanding others, so he sent me to weekend school, buddhism, islamic studies and my god-parents brought me to church. I became a free-thinker, an agnostic and finally after finishing school and understanding the basics of science, I became an atheist. I did not find answers in religion only old questions, I found answers in science which revealed new questions to me.

      Morality is not from religion, I don't need to spend time on this. Sam Haris has devoted his life for this. Go buy his books.

      Reading history shows that the abuse of religion has lead to many hundreds of years of "righteous" killing and torture.

      Religion is personal, keep it close to your hearts and far from your head, ears and mouth.

      "Stay Focused" – on living in harmony and in being empathetic.

  28. atheist malay

    If you're muslim you might be intrested (lol) to read this.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19390943/1/Introduction

  29. zark

    By strict definition, an atheist fits exactly the profile of a human being who have been successfully led astray by satan as was promised to the Creator before he was cast down to earth. In response, the Creator allowed the accursed satan to go about misleading humans on earth up to an appointed time, except those which the Creator Himself chooses to protect. Hence, the Creator chooses those he wants to protect and abandons those whom he allows to be led astray. But it gets more interesting after the end of the appointed time, whereby those who the Creator protected will be placed on high couches where rivers flow underneath, whereas those who belong to satan will share the same fate as the accursed one and burn for eternity.

    Therefore, nothing will move your staunch atheistic stance except the Creator himself. So, should you remain to be unfaithful to the One who created everything then that is also His choice, not yours.

    So my dear fellow, with all due respect, I do feel very sorry for you for obviously the Creator has thus far not looked upon you with any favours. But don’t fret, there’s still time as the appointed hour has yet to arrive.

    All I can say to you is this: All the things that we have created has a specific purpose to serve us in some way. And it’s the same with us mortal beings, we also have a purpose to serve our Creator.

    As a Believer, I trust my job here is done. The rest is up to you to seek forgiveness, and if you try hard enough, maybe He will forgive you, for indeed He is the Most Merciful, Most Forgiving.

    • Daryl

      Its so funny to think that the Creator as an unmerciful being that punish everyone that does not follow his rule. Its as if that the Creator is a dictator of the world… I believe that religion is a moral compass that society had brought upon themselves. I also believe that the person without any religion also has a set of values that he/she follows. Therefore, in simplicity please do not condone the atheist just because you say your religion says so

      • grazzhood

        Why it is funny…If you are a manufacturer you wouldn't want a defected product to be sold on the market… you throw them away or send them to be recycle… what.. you think that we are so great that we are indispensable?

    • Chris

      I see you're a strong believer of Calvinism. You speak like a Calvinist, however you fail to follow through on the essence of it. Do you not pray to the Lord of the Harvest to bring the harvest in ? Although God is the Lord of the Harvest, He still wants you to pray to Him to bring the harvest in. Do remember to pray because it might be the Creator's will that your prayer would be the instrument of someone's salvation.

    • phang

      and here comes the crazies. how are u any different from a jihadist?

  30. For those who feel insulted that atheists do not believe in an existence of a super natural being – I find it interesting that no thought was given by the individual about the lack of belief in other gods from other religion. In many cases, the atheists just believe in one less god than a typical theist. Note that one's belief is private and personal and more importantly IRRELEVANT. What a person believes in does not affect his/her rights as a human being. What a person believe in must not be used to judge another being.

    When asked, we have the right to tell our story and if you like it, listen and if you do not, go somewhere else. Atheists are rarely polarised. We have nothing to defend. We live by social norms and social guidelines and are guided by humanistic values. I do not speak for all atheists here, I believe that being an atheist have made me truly less biased in my views of people. I do not see people being less or more than "perfect" due to their physical differences or their mental uniqueness. I see them as individuals.

    What is REAL? I must say that the only thing I can tell you about what is real is our MINDS. Our cognitive abilities which are influenced by hormones and chemicals tell us what is real and what is not. May I interest you in another perception, that we are just a bunch of noisy apes trying to figure out the world we live in.

    Some of these apes are happy with that they've found, some are constantly seeking answers to questions and are never satisfied with the answers. Because these apes are social creatures, they will try to influence every other ape that their discovery is the truth, that their perception is the truth.

    For those happy with what they have, continue to be happy. We atheist will continue tinkering away because, for us, the truth is out there and the answer cannot be "just because". Finally, it's all irrelevant to the big picture. Whether there's a god or not will not help us solve world earthquakes, typhoons, hunger or poverty or over-population. Be a human, not a christian, muslim, hindu, buddhist, bahai, agnostic or atheist OR whatever we wish to call ourselves today. WE ONLY HAVE ONE EARTH, ONE HOME, ONE CHANCE so STAY FOCUSED.

    • PlanetApe

      Thank you, sir. You made my day.
      From one ape to the other.
      By the way, lbf threw it up when the ceiling fan was spinning. I've to ask lbf if he aped it from apanama who did a Classico recently.
      I apologise for my insentivity here when most of you guys cracked your heads and whipped up such knowledgeable arguments.

    • lbf

      Dear maybl8r99,

      Thank you for emphasising the point Ive been trying to put through in this article. tracking the comments made me see the confrontational side of human beings ive gravely underestimated.

      However, Ive also noticed that the comments in this threads are relatively moderate when compared to other threads dealing with similar topics.

      I suppose in not taking sides, we set the yardstick as middle as we can, steering the direction of the dialogue towards reasons and rationality. Ultimately, what matters most is peace of the mind.

  31. HonestyBestPolicy

    At first glance this article seems reasonable, logical, and sensible, but is it? It assumes that God is unknowable or God does not exist, and that those who believe in God is believing in an illusion (because they cannot prove God's existence). The same applies to the concept of heaven and hell, for there are no such places. They, like God, are not real and therefore exist only in our imagination. The writer considers this view as superior to the other point of view that God exists. He believes this is logical and sensible and tries to convince others of its truth. He said, "if you have thoughts of imagining me burning in hell, I hope that you would find the kindness in you to erase them because that is just plain rude" (in other words, your truth is NOT his truth, and please don't try even to bother to tell him about your truth, but it's all right for him to tell you of his truth).

    He is so cocksure about being right that he further said: "And how many of us can engage in intellectual debates without emotional attachment? And when emotions are involved, what are we, atheists reduced to even if we manage to silence our opponents with pure logic – belittling their intelligence, knowledge and exposure? What joy has ever come from ridiculing your ‘inferior’? What dignity has ever come from insulting your ‘defeated foes’? No, only regret and remorse awaits in hindsight." (He assumes an air of superiority and false humility by down talking to believers with his condescension).

    So what is the truth? Who is right–the atheist or the believer? Well, it all boils down to WHAT IS REAL? Is God real? Is heaven and hell real? To a person who has seen God, of course, the writer is talking nonsense because he based his arguments on the assumption that God does not exist. Similarly, to a person who has been to heaven or hell, again he is talking nonsense because he has been to the place and seen its reality. But then, the writer would say: How can that be? It is not possible, God does not exist, neither do heaven or hell!!! Show me…

    Unfortunately, the person who has seen God or been to heaven or hell cannot take him there because it is not something within his control. It is a privilege that only God can grant, and to get that privilege, he must pray and ask God for it. But he can't pray because to him God does not exist and is an illusion (he states that clearly in his by-line—"Pray For Me, Why You Can, I Cannot"). Now, he is stuck because he won't or can't pray, and he won't listen too (because he disbelieves the person who has been there and seen it all). So we go back to square one: WHAT IS REAL? But He won't pray and he won't listen (and in fact he considers it rude for you to even suggest such to him). So how?

    May I ask him one thing here. If he will not listen to believers, would he listen to other atheists? Atheists who have seen the other side? Atheists who have seen THE REALITY? May I suggest that he listens to them. If he will, then there might just be a small window for him to discover the reality that he so cocksure condemn. So if he will listen to other atheists, then let me introduce him to five of them. Here in this Youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJo9Bizuufw (part 1 of 9 parts), he can listen to what they have to tell him about their experiences. Remember, they were atheists, just like him, until they experienced what they experienced and seen what they saw in reality. After their separate individual experiences, the subliminal is no longer the subliminal any more but became real. This youtube video was made by a renown cardiologist and author Dr Maurice Rawlings. It is food for his thought. Sometimes it pays to listen to what others know that you don't—the five atheists in the video were allowed to return back to earth to share their experiences. While watching the video, note the expression in their faces, their humility, and their demeanor. May I send him the blessing of the One whom he thinks does not exist, namely God.

    • lbf

      Dear HonestyBestPolicy,

      Thank you for your comment as it is rare to have a believer pour the essence of his belief out to an atheist. Like I said, truth to me is what you will it to be. As such, I respect your belief and am happy that you are happy with your belief.

      Nonetheless, this article was not about whether God exist or not, and I am not trying to convert anyone in or out of any belief system. The message is about what atheist can do, to channel their energy towards a positive cause.

      If I offended your belief, I apologize for it.

      • HonestyBestPolicy

        Dear LBF,
        You have not offended me, and I am impressed with your civility.
        What I am trying to share with you is for you to take a look at the video I recommend.
        Have you seen and listened to the testimonies of the five atheists?
        Please, understand that I am not trying to preach to you. I am merely drawing your attention to a video.
        If you don't want to watch it, it is OK, fine. I respect your view.
        But there may be other facts which you are not aware of, which the five atheists were similarly not aware of until they personally experienced them. Why not hear them out?
        I hope you are not offended by my suggestion.

        • Mum

          Dear HBP sir, before the singular God, my forefathers were praying to the Thunder God and the Lightning gods. Now, I don't pray to those gods. All the humanities aside, science is still at the infantile stage. One day science will explain your YouTube story.

        • Hann

          Dear HBP,

          Bringing anecdotal evidence into a theological debate like this is pretty pointless. For one, you don't have to pull up youtube videos of ex-atheists, why not go straight to Saul/Paul from the Bible? I hope that when you understand that we try not to use anecdotal "evidence" – which is what the Bible is, in essence – but would prefer to use reasoning, logic, and empirical evidence to derive whatever version of "Truth" is appropriate, then maybe you can appreciate the atheist position better. Otherwise, for every ex-atheist you bring up, I'm sure someone can pull up any number of videos of ex-Christians, ex-Muslims and ex-whatever. I don't mean to be offensive, but anecdotal evidence brings us no closer to the heart of the matter.

          For what it's worth – and I can't speak for LBF – I don't think his tone is one of "superiority" or "false humility", nor do I believe he is talking down to anyone. In fact, what I believe he is saying is that no matter how long and hard we argue about this, we achieve nothing – because a priori we are coming from different positions. Atheists want to use established rhetorical and logical techniques in such a debate, while the theists wish to quote scripture and revealed wisdom in the debate. These two approaches are fundamentally different, and hence, is impossible to arrive in the middle. Sort of like our bridges to Singapore.

          Of course, I leave it to LBF to correct me if I've misunderstood his views.

          • lbf

            Dear Hann,

            As much as I write this article for theists and atheists, I am also writing to myself. I am human and I err, often. I have engaged in many a debates trying to prove 'im right'. As such I write from experience when i talk about the 'emotional costs' of proving one's ground.

            The message of the article is of inner peace and actions of a person who is honest with him/herself. To channel the found peace to do good, to provide for society constructively. As such, I am happy that have appreciated my non-partisan stance.

    • phang

      i;m just gonna go ahead and ask the obvious question: have u seen god, heaven and hell? if you have, i don't know need you to take me there, just tell me how he looks like and what's in heaven and what's in hell. if you haven't, then you cannot attest to the statement "the person who has seen god or been to heaven or hell cannot take him there because it is not something within his control." because how could you possibly stand by that statement if you have no means of verifying the truth of it? from the book? written by human hands? made cocksure by human hubris?

      you say you believe in an almighty god that perpetuates the universe and this being is not within our control to understand. then why are you insulting that god by acting like you do? what makes you so cocksure that you know what god is all about? simply because you believe? simple because you believe god has spoken to you?

      religion was written in a time when people are cocksure in their belief that the world is flat. and how has that panned out?

      such human hubris.

  32. Sam Singh

    There is no god…………I'm with you !

    • kucingkurapan

      Are you that Sam Singh who no more commenting on FMT? You are a.k.a Hantu Singh don't you?

  33. KHS

    Speaking as an ex-catholic and AOG member… I've stopped believing in God a few years ago and I'm now 57 years old. Normally, old people get more religious but I am the exception to the rule. Here are a few reasons, facts and rationale why there's no God.
    (1) Planet Earth is 3.5 billion years old. Read carefully and then calculate from the bible… Earth is about 6500 years old.
    (2) See the documentary by Richard Dawkins' Age Of Reason – The God Delusion
    (3) Read or see the documentary derived from Charles Darwins' book, On the Origin of Species evolution by
    natural selection.
    (4) Prof Stephen Hawking publicly declared that there's no God.
    (5) According to the late Carl Sagan, we are all star dust. We are the product of the Big Bang.
    Having said all that, what made that "singularity" that went BIG BANG is still unexplained. But, hey, scientist had already gone back about 13.5 billion years to prove the Big Bang. So, it's good enough for me.

    Last but not least, let's assume that there's a God. The bible says that we are all God's children. Being a parent, I'd NEVER allow my children to kill each other. I know, I know… there'll be some that say that Abraham was ordered by God to sacrifice his son. But, but, but…. it's only a book, without proof!!! Go read both the old and new Testament and also all the writings by the various writers e.g. Mathew, Corinthians, etc. Did Jesus carried the cross before being crucified? Some say yes and some say no. Aiyah…. too much contradiction and confusion.

    Bottomline: If you believe in God and you are happy, so am I. To each his/her own.

    • Chris

      I think you have a very shallow understanding on the chapter Genesis on how the world was formed. Just reading the first point that you brought up about the Earth being 3.5 billions years old and only 6 million years old in the Bible already tells me that you have not thoroughly did your homework on the subject matter.

      You are assuming that Earth was made the day God decided to say "Let there be light .." in the Bible, which is wrong.

      "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. " Genesis 1:1-2

      Earth was already created long before God decided to say "Let there be light etc" in the next verse. Look at the context, in the BEGINNING God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth WAS (The word was in Greek is actually BECAME) was formless and empty. In other words, the earth BECAME formless and empty. Which then brings you to verse 2.

      "3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day."

      So after the Earth became formless and empty over a long period of time, God decided to say the magic words at last. "Let there be light." and that is the first day that you started counting from. You failed to see the time manifested between verse 1 and 2. So science and the Bible is still in harmony my friend.

      One might ask, WHERE DO YOU FIT THE DINOSAURS IN ? Dinosaurs are supposed to be billions of years old through carbon dating. How can dinosaurs be billions of years old when the earth is only 6 million years old ? The answer is IN BETWEEN verse 1 and 2.

      "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (The answer is right between here.) 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. " Genesis 1:1-2

      So my friend, the Bible and science has always been in harmony and complementing in each other. The problem with us humans is that anything that we cannot understand we deem it impossible and non existent. But, the word "God" itself is something we're not suppose to understand because we just can't. Our human mind is so limited, who are WE to try understand GOD?

      • right, and it took god billions of years to finally decide that there should be light. take away 6500 years from 3.5 billions and you will see my point ~ that according to you, earth was left formless and empty for a lot longer than it was given light until today. it just doesnt make any sense at all.

      • phang

        right. take everything in the book again and argue from there.

        human hubris "explaining" the universe. that isn't genesis according to god, that's genesis according to you.

  34. steven

    i think that's a great statement you have there brother. i'm a believer, i'm a christian, and i used to be an atheist just like most of you guys here. i don't think i will be able to convince any of you to be convert or to believe in God, but heed this my friends here. i am not here to preach here yet or share any scriptures until you are ready.

    i understand how illogical to believe that there is an invisible man up in the sky that loves us so much but still send his own Son to die for guilty people and created hell for those who oppose him to burn there forever eternally. i understand how unconvincing that most miracles are explained either scientifically or reasoned as luck.

    i was one of the believers back in the past.

    now, you don't have to do this, but if you're an atheist who believes in scientific explanations, try this :

    take a rock, and throw it into the sky. now what had you observed, what had you witnessed.
    a rock flew by?

    did u notice that the rock cut thru the sky?

    what i hope you could wonder is that the act of the rock cutting thru the sky is illogical to be explained as the sky is merely a poetic word for our higher atmospheric layer away from earth which is permeable by most minute particles needless to say a rock of the size you could throw up. but tell me did the rock cut thru the sky. that is faith, not just what we make on mind, but it happens; we know it is true even if we can't explain it.

    christianity is not a religion by the way, it is a relationship with God. and we could all believe that whatever that we do or whatever that happens is by our or the surroundings' action, the influences connection. at one point i too believe that maybe God just really don't exist enough as how we define, or God is just a controlled apparatus to control weak people as you name them. there are no buts to these statements that it is truth if God doesn't exist, but these statements doesn't prove God doesn't exist. it may sound pathetic, but link it to the rock-throwing activity i mentioned just now.

    the rock flew over, it explains the whole phenomena that our force exert upon the rock and at a certain velocity and angle it was projected with a movement that we could say it "flew".
    but does all these explanations had falsified that the rock did cut thru the sky..?

    i'm a physics student, i'm a psychology student, and i believe i questions as much as every atheist and every chin-scrubbing-head-scratching-believers questioned about God's existence before, but today i'm back to God.

    today as i post this i have an intention to give you an option to look at the whole "God" topic in such a way that you view it with a clear and neutral stand. take a look at our culture today, it is by nature that we all wants to be conformed of our actions or thoughts, and when we don't have that we start to be individualistic [ that is behaving without requiring the conformity of others ]. and for those who are conformed they blend into the collectivistic culture, always moving towards a social standard.

    i want just you and me, to be individualistic for just one moment, not influenced by anything and let go of every single stand that we may hold on or faith that we believe in. now tell me, God does not exist, and tell me that the Big Bang happened a bazillion years ago and soon our Earth will one day be destroyed and another Big Bang comes and everything just repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat infinitively. If you could take that fact into your heart and mind to your everyday, i salute for your greatness in mind and heart for how much human had evolved, but if you can't, email me at [email protected] and i will bring you relieve.

    p/s i'm not sure which God is true enough, but i believe the only one up there that i love. =]

    • steven

      typo " i wasN'T one of the believers in the past "

      • siewchin

        Hi Steven – so what caused you to change from a non-believer to a believer, and an absolute one too :)

        "There are no atheists in fox-holes."

        • Adrian

          "There are no atheists in fox-holes."

          I'm sorry but atheists have always been around in the military and in dangerous situations. http://www.militaryatheists.org/expaif.html

          During WW1, the atheist soldiers who did not wish to attend sermons before battles were forced to clean the lavatories. Talk about double standards.

          • siewchin

            errrr Adrian – that was only an idiom lol….
            it kinda means when we are faced with a life-threatening situation (like jumped into a hole where the fox is), we will tend to pray when all else fails. :)

            and i think we do tend to call out to a god when either at death's door, or seriously sick or in pain.
            sometimes in ecstacy too. LOL.

          • Emalina B

            nope,not true. towards the end of his life, Carl Sagan still did not believe in the existence of a higher being. Atheist in foxholes do not pray before going into battle. In fact, a statement from an atheist who was in Afghanistan (he's American) sounded something like this, "I don't pray,my friends,they're religious,they pray before they fight,but I dont. We all know that the only people we're going to trust,to believe in, out there is everyone else in this team, cause we're the ones responsible if they live or die"
            paraphrased,of course,because i forgot the exact words he used.

    • Adrian

      I'm sorry Steven but you arguments are mostly appeals to nature and argument by ignorance; you can't believe that big bang happened, therefore God exist.
      Please draw a correlation between the incomprehensibility of the Big Bang Theory (to you) and the relation to the Christian God.

      No matter how often believers want to point that Christianity is not a religion, it fact is, it is one. You have rituals that importance are placed, such as baptism, marriage and weekly visits to church. Not to mention a set of values and tenants that gives meaning to a believer. That is all, by definition, a religion.

    • phang

      a preacher who denies preaching but preaches nonetheless.

  35. i & i

    Preacher man don't tell me
    Heaven is under the earth
    I know you don't know
    What life is really worth
    It's not all that glitters is gold
    Half the story has never been told
    So now you see the light
    Stand up for your rights
    Most people think
    Great good will come from the skies
    Take away everything
    And make everybody feel high
    But if you know what life is worth
    You would look for yours on earth
    And now you've seen the light
    You stand up for your rights
    We're sick and tired of your ism-schism game
    To die and go to heaven in Jesus' name
    We know and understand
    Almighty God is a living man
    You can fool some people sometimes
    But you can't fool all the people all the time
    And now we've seen the light (What you gonna do)
    We gonna stand up for our rights

    by the great BOB MARLEY.song:get up stand up

  36. zul

    feng, hahaha bro. religious ants are comming to having some atheism sweet. dn be worry bro.

    they cant proof their god. cz they wil try to make some logical noise. where they dnt know no1 can proof god by logic. its jz a faith, wt we make on mind.

  37. Papaseed

    This is an interesting article. It goes to show that what is important is how we conduct ourselves with people around us.

    I'm a Muslim, but unlike other Muslims I believe that all humans, regardless of race or creed or religion, are equal. I'm not going to preach anything here. All I'm going to say is not all believers, Muslim or otherwise, think less of people who simply don't believe in God.

    I view those who subscribe to a thinking different from mine as fellow human.

    • Teoh Han Hui

      Yeah. What's important is that we're all human, none superior to the other. This point is often lost to some too blinded by their beliefs (whatever they may be).

  38. MagicRoss7

    An interesting point of view,

    Unlike the many who choose not to believe in God, but express their unbelief by harassing and hurting the feelings of others (particularly on YouTube comments), you have instead decided to take the peaceful approach.

    As a Christian, I have nothing against people who do not wish to believe in God, because after all, I consider all people as part of the Family of God =) but I will remain in the belief that God does exist, He loves you, and will accept you into his eternal Kingdom…. but, the choice is yours and yours alone top believe (John 3:16).

    I can only hope and pray that God shall touch your heart in a way no words can describe =)

    God bless you!!!

    Ross Stephenson

    ~magician for all occasions~

    • Adrian

      And in the next passage,
      Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:18).

      Dear sir, if atheists are not to believe, what does God mean in "condemning" people. What would he mean by that if he is of infinite love.

  39. Nickyee

    Almost 2000 years ago, Paul wrote "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." (1 Cor 1:21-25)

    • Adrian

      @Nickyee

      Sorry, but quoting the Bible is like quoting passages from Star Trek to Star Wars fans.
      There is no impact whatsoever.
      Provide historical backings that the passage is true, then we can move on from there.

    • phang

      what if Paul wasn't real at all and just a make believe? you've never consider that have you?

      you presuppose that a tome written, revised, used and modified by human hands to be the source of all truth.

      what manner of human hubris makes you think that the almighty god that you believe is so easily dismantled and explained by stories, quotes and anecdotes written and thought about from human minds?

    • arah

      Why there are people who believed the teaching Paul or Saul the murderer? He was a liar and Anti Chirst!

    • arah

      Jesus clearly mentioned in the bible These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.(Matthew 10:5).

      Then Jesus said to the woman, "I was sent only to help God's lost sheep–the people of Israel.".(Matthew 15:24).

      My dear Nickyee
      Are you the sons of Jacob and the lost sheep of Israel?

  40. surfophile

    GOD was created by ancient politicians as an apparatus / conceptual tool to control the masses. Whether this was done to encourage orderly/organized living or merely to gain power, I do not know. It worked and other groups began to copy its use. New GODS appear. Soon, there were sub-GODS. Then, serious competition appeared. So, began the fight that my apparatus/conceptual tool of control is better than yours….hahahaha.

    • tan

      I disagree. God was created as a subset to religion which had arise from humans attempting to understand their surroundings. Gods appeared as mankind tried understanding natural phenomena and thus assigned Gods/sub-Gods to explain each occurrence or a single mighty one who governs all creation and happenings. Whether that religion is true or not is up to the believer.
      Conceptualization of religion occurred much later on as those ancient "leaders" named themselves gods to control their God-fearing society
      Or modified that religion for their personal whims and gains while deeming themselves messengers of God

      There was no "serious competition either" but merely a believe in ones religion and disbelieve in others, not one religion is better that the rest be the religion true or as you say "a conceptual tool of control"

      But the truth is:

      I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.- Mahatma Gandhi

      this refers to all, even atheists for the betterment of mankind. for is it not the belief in disbelief of an atheist a religion itself (well thats what i think anyway)

  41. Antares

    Sorry, LoyarBurok's comment server doesn't accept embedded links, so here is the link that didn't appear in my comment: http://youtu.be/jDLMPIEjwCY

    • lbf

      Dear Antares,

      Its such a pleasure to see you here, as I've been an avid follower of your blog for a couple of years now.

      I could not have agreed more with what you said about the limitations of language, as our brain structure makes inherent distinction between music and language. The ability to treat both as one is something I could only imagine.

  42. Antares

    Good work, LBF. After researching and pondering ontological questions for 45 years, I am now neither a deist nor an atheist. Many arguments lead to cross purposes because of semantic differences – so a great deal of importance must be placed on terminology. The wider one's vocabulary, for example, the more precisely one is theoretically able to articulate one's experience of the world. However, there are ways of considering the form and essence of reality without getting bogged down in semantic quagmires. It's natural that humans have emotional, sentimental attachments to terminologies passed down from previous generations – but if we wish to witness a grand unified field of intelligence, consciousness and wisdom, we would be well advised to approach the subject non-verbally, using the universal principles of music, mathematics and synergetic-energetic (sacred) geometry. I found an excellent introduction to this endlessly fascinating subject on YouTube.

    • Gdc

      Bravo to you and lbf. Charles brings us round in circles with his semantics. And shall I exclaim " Oh God, or equally correct Oh Science, we are going round in circles. " Hmm…both are right? No?

  43. Bravo! As a fellow Malaysian atheist, I thank you for this article.

  44. Charles Leviathan

    That’s right. The first step is to deconstruct the faulty notions of god you have been conditioned to know. That is why the process requires you to think in the negative, ie. a-theist. Because it is a process of deconstruction.

    Many get lost upon the deconstruction phase and end up wearing their atheism like a swastika on their arm. They think they are standing for some-thing but forget that they are standing for no-thing. Because the concept of deconstruction is to negate and not to create.

    Now that you have deconstructed those faulty notions, you need to move to the next phase – reconstruction.

    You may think there is nothing to reconstruct. This is merely a hangover from your deconstruction phase. Don’t allow the premise that “all truth is subjective” to keep your head in a tailspin. That proposition is useful only to understand that “all perspectives of truth are subjective”.

    Consider this – The statement that “there is no truth” cannot be true because… jeng jeng jeng… there IS no truth. Hence the tailspin.

    Your connection with God has begun. It starts from the proposition that “There is Truth”.

    Reconstruct you concept of Truth. Reconstruct your concept of God.

    Stop defining yourself in the negative.

    Redefine the positive.

    Jah Bless!

    P.S. As you would have realized in your deconstruction, religion is about man. Not about God. I hope you now realize that “a-theism” is also about man, not about God.

    • lbf

      Dear Charles Leviathan,

      Thank you for contextualising my article and your insight. You have a far superior intellect than i am ready to grapple at my current level of development. Following your context, I suppose I am barely out of my deconstruction phase.

      However, I do have a question, isnt the proposition of 'there is truth' a presumption in itself? As such, to presume that all perceptions of truth(s) will eventually lead to a universal truth is presuming an outcome before establishing the premise?

      Hope the question make sense. Thanks in advance for your consideration

      • Charles Leviathan

        Bo Feng

        You can call me Charles. We are familiar though we not know each other because we worship reason&logic. You call it no-god and I call it yes-god, that’s the only subtle difference.

        You see what the both of us are doing here? Sharing perspectives of the Truth. How do we share perspectives of that which does not exist?

        No, I made no mention of “eventually” nor “universal truth”. Neither are we presuming anything.

        We are merely engaging in it. Truth. Which allows this communication to happen. 

        Oh my friend, you are ready to grapple with it, you are ready to grapple with it all. For you are right, truth does not “exist”. It is merely the meeting point of the question and the answer. But a point where two things meet does indeed “exist”, although it would not exist without the existence of the two things. 

        If you want to start about “universal truth” then there is no use talking. Heed the star man and feel the music. If you are lucky, you might briefly, for a fleeting moment, synchronize. And feel the  bliss of the Celestial Music. Then, you will know of the yes-god, just like now you know of the no-god. That subtle difference is everything. It is the way out of the tailspin. 

        The band still plays, even if you refuse to play a single chord. But you chose to strike a few with your keyboard. And I chose to add a chord or two. Because we worship reason&logic, we are playing the same song. 

        Jamming, in the name of the Lord. 

    • Hann

      Dear Charles,

      Define Truth then. The Word of God? I think it's intellectually dishonest to throw paradoxes and strawmen around willy-nilly without defining what you mean by the Truth.

      Perhaps you're referring to absolute Truth (God) vs relative truth (Man). In which case I'd argue that the Word of God presents more contradictions and moral dilemmas than Man was ever capable of – which I suppose may be argued as proof of His divinity.

      • Charles Leviathan

        I was referring to Truth vs perspectives of Truth.

        As I said Hann, if you want to talk about "universal truth", there is no use talking. Feel the the music. It is not just a random configuration of chords, that's why it is called music. Feel it and allow it to move you.

        There are both theists and atheists who search for the cut and dry. They forget to feel the music. Feel it my friend, feel it..

  45. Sam

    “I know that there is no god……..and you can’t make me believe……that is not faith, now is it?”

    Spot-on, LBF! Contrary to what the modern-day “church” passes off as “christianity”, the Bible records that Jesus Christ clearly taught that
    belief(faith) is a blessing that originates not from oneself but from the One True Sovereign GOD. Not all who profess to know GOD really know Him, hence the various dogmas that conflict with the teaching of Jesus. Only those who are blessed by this gift of “believing” are the ones who truly believe in GOD in a relationship, and nothing can ever make them disbelieve.

    Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ detailed it out this way:

    “Those GOD foreknew, He also predestined, called, justified and glorified…..” Letter to the Christians in Rome Chapter 8 verses 29-30.

    Do check out my story on this matter here: http://vildness.blogspot.com/2010/07/tale-of-2-princes-part-1_9415.html

  46. sam

    Well written my friend. I am a Catholic and I respect your stand. All that matters is you live by your conscience. Honestly, I have seen better atheists than those who believe in God. Some atheists have strong moral character and principles.
    God Bless you and he will also give you salvation because you don't know Him but he knows you.

    • jessie

      "I have seen better atheists than those who believe in God."
      Dear brother Sam, rewards as a true believer is not measured in this world but in the next. Most if not all the Saints live in poverty during their lifetime. Dear atheists, by the time you realised there is God i hope it is not too late for you..GB

      • Adrian

        @Jessie

        I hope that is not a threat of hell.

      • phang

        what is the point of worrying what comes after when you're ignoring that homeless person you pass by everyday on the streets?

        what is the point of worrying about hell when we create daily hells with our excessive capitalism and ignorance to those in need?

        what is the point of worrying about an afterlife, when you've never really lived at all.

        • jessie

          because life afterlife is far-far more important than life of this world. but to gain eternal life you must be a faithful believer of Christ because He is the only way to eternal life and to the Father, no other way!. A true faithful believer means you have to follow what Christ has taught us. a true Christian wouldn't ignore a homeless… God bless and God save

  47. Fathima Idris

    A believer is one who believes in God. Believes that all of us are not only a material self but have a soul and are accountable for our deeds.

    An atheist/humanist identification of themselves is that of having rational thought and to some seeing themselves as ethical beings. To me they are an elitist band.

    Not all of us are rational beings, I would suggest that there are many who are illogical and irrational. Can they be considered humanist? What about a child with cerebral palsy or is autistic? Can they ever achieve to be an atheist/humanist without the prized rationality?

    What about a brilliant humanist scientist who ends up suffering from Alzheimer's disease and is no longer rational. Will he still be considered an atheist/humanist. To a believing person this would not be a problem because a person is not just the material self and there is a place for the wretched of the earth.

    But this would not be the case in the atheist's world.

    • lbf

      I suppose the answer to your question is that atheism is a state of mind, just as believing is a state of mind. Our mental reality changes with experience, knowledge, wisdom and i suppose, disabilities as well.

      As such, a child born with cerebral palsy would not be an atheist because his/her thoughts might not formulate the necessary thought process to understand the existence/non existence of god.

      Similarly, to call a child with cerebral palsy a 'christian' or a 'muslim' would be imposing standards of a person who can process such concepts onto a person that cannot or more importantly, need not!

      This all raises a more important question than whether a child with cerebral palsy is an atheist or a theist. To me, a child with cerebral palsy is an unfortunate child, just as a brilliant humanist with Alzheimer is an unfortunate adult. The question is, how can we help them.

      That is the humanist message in being an atheist i suppose

    • Mad Scientist

      "A believer is one who believes in God. Believes that all of us are not only a material self but have a soul and are accountable for our deeds."

      This is religious definition of a believer, an already skewed definition.

      A believer is a person who believes in something. Anything.
      Atheists are believers. They believe there is no God. And this believe can be very strong.
      And it is because there is no God, that we need to use whatever faculty and means we have for our own survival.
      And the survival of Nature, as we are all connected.

      This self consciousness of reality is a religion by itself. A believe in the God of no-god.
      Religious people can identify this. But they do not understand how come these athiest conclude there is no god.
      I ask however, that isn't it plain obvious that there isn't one around at all ?

      At this point the religious person will collapse, the athiest willl wonder what good is religion if it makes a person collapses.And he is right.

      I am however, not an athiest. Neither am i a religous person. I am a spiritual person. My God however, makes laws and principles that operate automatically without failure, without us having no need to do anything much. Indeed, religious people often only mess things up in this world, and plead that they do good. Pah !

      Religious people think athiests have no concern for the wretched. This is not entirely true. Athiests can be very spiritual indeed. If a brilliant person is no longer such due to illness, it serves as a great reminder to athiests to discover why, and what possibilies exist to improve the condition, and will therefore continue efforts to revive or assist this person even until after death. Religious people however, tends to seek divine help or intervention. While the sick is sick, they are elsewhere praying. As if their prayers will be of tremendous help.

      • GDC

        With due respect, there is no need to delve into all the definitions and analyses. It will come to no end. Man made god, period. If you insist then, my god is a female whom all would recognise and would acknowledge as mother. She is mother nature and she doesn't even needed to be spelled with a capital letter.

    • S_C

      If a child was born autistic, how is it possible for he/she to worship a religion? Won't god just throw every non-believer into hell? How do you expect this helpless child to pray and worship god every day? What is the point of god creating him/her in the first place? What has he/she done to deserve this? And to think your god is fair and ''loving''… pfff… Have you seen the world lately? The sufferings, poverty…

      Haven't you ever think more rationally? The proof of this 'god' is backed by only one book. If I give someone a Harry Potter book to read and believe, wouldn't it be just the same? I bet that person would be hooked on that HP book from the first minute. Because it would seem nice if ''that world'' really existed. Thus giving that person an urge to believe it. Most of you believers have been brainwashed since young.. And i don't blame you. I am hugely sympathetic that you were brought up this way.

  48. LM

    I am a Catholic, but I admire you taking a stand that is powered by logic and reasoning. Far too many people let emotions govern discourse, and far too little are people of principle.

    To those who believe: The mind is a terrible thing to waste. It's probably not very godly to squander such a precious gift.

    To atheists:
    I once read a story –
    An atheist asked a priest, "How can you believe in god? We can't see him, hear him, or touch him. Therefore, there is no god."
    The priest smiled and replied, "That's interesting. Do you believe you have a brain?"
    "Of course."
    "Ah, but can you see, hear, or touch it?"

    Like opposable thumbs, logic and faith are very essential part of humanity. Cheers to that.

    • freeyellowman

      With respect LM…. that analogy is faulty. One can indeed see and touch a brain. It's science. What you may have meant though, instead of "brain", is "mind" or "consciousness". But then again a chimpanzee has been proven to be "conscious" of itself too. So that analogy fails somewhat as well.

      I believe that all religions should spend their effort on, is not preaching, but rather looking inside themselves and coming up with an explanation of the unavoidably obvious objective of religions, which is to control human interaction and society. I believe each religion had its roots in humans attempting to restrain/control conflicts in human society.

      Possibly by answering this question we are all lead to, for lack of a better word, a universal religion. Not one where a supreme being is at the center, but one where human interaction is the center. Human interactions after all are currently the root of all problems in the world.

      To believe that their is a supreme being, where as humans we can "sin", and then blame it on human weakness, and seek forgiveness — and then go on to repeat…. without society facing and actually solving the interaction problems at a human level, is a lie to ourselves. Religions serve their own self-interest in perpetuating this lie.

      • LM

        Yes, perhaps the right word is "consciousness". But the analogy made sense to me because it is true, I can see and touch A brain, but it's not mine. It proves that the brain-owner has one, but it doesn't prove that I do. For all I know, it could be a slightly sentient cabbage in my skull. The scientists can show me pictures of my own brain, and scientific reports detailing that I do have a brain, but to me, that isn't very different from a priest showing me pictures of God and telling me God exists because the Bible says so. I wasn't there when they carried out brain experiments, and I can't even tell which button from which when they do brain tests on me. I rely on what they tell me. Do I need them to cut my head open so that I can touch and see my squishy grey matter? No, I don't. Because I believe I have one, and I believe in these scientists. My point is this – belief is not defined by what you belief, it is defined by its willingness to. Atheists and people with religions sought to differentiate themselves from one another, when in my opinion, they are more similar than different. Atheists believe that there is no God, and they claim their believes are backed by science and its findings. People with religion believe there is God, and they claim their beliefs are backed by faith and miracles. Ultimately, it boils down to the act of believing in sources which we are often not directly associated with – many atheists may not have met these scientists, or have carried out studies about the truth of universe by themselves. Many religious people did not personally receive miracles, but heard about it, read about it. Do these discredit the atheists and the religious people's beliefs? No, I do not think so. What is belief anyway, when you get right down to it? Perhaps, seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing.

        That said, I agree that human interaction and its conflict is a major contributor towards the problem in our world. I also wonder if instead of supreme being and humanity being mutually exclusive, it is possible for both to be in the center of this, for lack of a better word, universal religion. Or maybe, there is a simpler word – acceptance. For the atheists and the religious to accept one another, to realise that they are more similar than different, and allow each to his or her own logic and faith.

        I would also like to mention that a lot of atheists mentioned "proof" when they question God's existence. I'd like to draw your attention to Pastafarianist's comment way below: "I strongly believe that our universe is created by a flying spaghetti monster with 2 meat balls on its body. Can you jesusnist, buddhists and muhammadists disprove this? Ramen!"

        I find that really funny, actually. To be honest, Pastafarianist, I cannot prove that the universe is NOT created by a flying spaghetti monster with 2 meat balls on its body! In fact, it is a fallacy to say that something does not exist just because you can't prove it does. Some things are beyond proof, and some things are just not proven yet :) So, yes, Pastafarianist, I greet the god in you.

        • phang

          there is little point in debating about something that can neither be proven nor disproved. belief is a choice, not universal truth. and religion is a social-political power tool, not the representative of a higher being. the very notion that a higher being beyond our understanding can be understood by reading and interpreting a tome that has been written and revised countless times by human hands, and adhering stringently to ideas, social rules, concepts and thoughts created by human minds in the name of the divine is inherently contradicting.

          if a higher being perpetuates the universe and is beyond human understanding, how can we possibly argue that religion, any religion, possess the authority to be its representative when it is run by the very humans who do not and will never understand it.

          there is a difference between spirituality and religion, between having faith and being religious. most religious people do not understand this. and most people think that they are one and the same.

    • VeraYPL

      Dear LM, Yup, to believer, you may not see, hear or touch God, but still believe the existence of God.. which is due to belief..
      To Atheist, ya, they believe they have brain but not God, it is because when you open up your head skull, you can actually see, hear or touch your own brain.. which is due to logic (science)..
      Cheers..

    • it is a as simple as this ~ the brain can be scientifically proven to exist, god cannot, no matter how hard you try. comparing god with human brain is very weird.

      some ppl claim to have seen/heard/been touched by god, so how do you reconcile that with ur analogy that the brain cannot be seen and touched and heard?

    • S_C

      The brain has been scientifically proven to exists and is ever present. God however, hasn't been scientifically proven, the only evidence coming from a book which was written some 5000 years ago, and is inconsistent in its preachings.

      Therefore, I suggest you look into atheism. :)

  49. cheong sai fah

    It is unusual to read someone writing an article explaining the reasons why he is an atheist. congrations. I too am an atheist. Apart from what you have written, there are innumerable reasons why belief in god is suspect apart one based on faith. For some of my Christian friends who try to convert me to their cause, I have pointed out four reasons why I think that I don't have a soul. Hence salvation is irrelevant to me. I am an atheist also because you simply can't ignore all that science has uncovered and explained especially over the 50 years. How can one ignore the Big Bang and the subsequent 13.7 billion years that allowed the Universe to evolve to an extent that we have eventually a habitable earth. And the million years of evolution from simple life forms to what exists today. Creationism just does not make sense today and cannot stand critical examination.

    • lbf

      Despite know quite a number of atheist/humanist out there, our number is still small enough for me to get the tingle when seeing a fellow brethren.

      While there are many reasons for people to be atheist, there are equally many reasons for people to be a believer. My article seeks not to convert in or out of any belief system, but merely to educated believers and non believers alike on the subjectivity of perceived truth and the beauty of the universe in all its relativity

    • MrA

      No one, even to the religious ones, can they explain the workings of nature. Humans are such inferior creatures and aren't made to understand the mechanics or science of the mysteries of nature. You may argue that salvation is irrelevant to you but I can assure you that you will continue to be baffled by whatever questions that are hogging your brain cells until you humble yourself to believe in God.

      "..The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the person that makes himself humble like this child." Matthew 18:2-4

      Lastly, it's better to die believing that there is a God when in fact there isn't one, than, to die not believing in his presence, when in fact there is definitely one.

      • a point to ponder

        just to leave something to ponder about regarding the below notion:
        “Lastly, it’s better to die believing that there is a God when in fact there isn’t one, than, to die not believing in his presence, when in fact there is definitely one.”

        i find it to be a fallacy that if it turns out that there isn’t a god, the believers necessarily does not end up any worse off. my basis is that our believe(s) in life, especially those that we hold dear to, does/do very much determine the content of our lives, if it were to be measured at the end of it (as to align with your existance of the judgement of “better/not better” etc)

        if anything, i find this notion, if shared, and i suspect that most would be inclined to, by the majority of humanbeing, explains the intrisic need of some to believe in (a) god, for insurance… you know… in case…

        don’t get me wrong, i do not doubt there certainly are genuine believers out there. just an observation to share with respect the notion as i read it, hope i’ve put it across objectively enough.

        cheers~

      • Adrian

        @MrA
        You are assuming that humans will never discover the mysteries of the universe, which is a huge assumption that you have made.
        For decades, human understanding of science has exploded and we are reaching into a realm of untold possibilities because of the advancement of science. Now, we can replace faulty human organs and even restore vision to the blind with medical technologies.

        Yes, at this point we may not know everything of the universe, but who is to say we won't. The sciences that we have learnt thus far is not automatically discredited because "we may never know the mysteries of the universe". Move with the times, our thinking has to be directed ahead and not being sentimental about ancient teachings that we don't dare to replace.

        Lastly, the Pascal's Wager is moot. If you want to play "safe", you'd better believe in every single God out there to cover all sides as insurance. Aren't you scared to go to an Islamic hell ? or a reborned as a lower being in Buddhist theology? Of course, not. Because you are already in a preset position that you believe that you are right. Plus, Pascal's Wager assumes that God loves a person who is just trying to cover himself by falsely believing. That goes against most theology I know.

        Yes, we don't know most of the universe now, but that does not mean we never will. The science that we have learnt so far are beneficial to humans whether you like it or not. Our mindset has to move accordinly

    • arah

      The warner !!!!
      “Those who reject this reminder (i.e. the Qur’an) when it comes to them … It is indeed a sublime book; no falsehood can ever touch it openly or in a stealthy manner. It is bestowed from on high by One who is wise, worthy of praise. Nothing is being said to you other than what was said to the messengers sent before your time.

      Your Lord is the Lord of forgiveness, but He also inflicts painful punishment.

      Say: “This is guidance and healing for all those who believe; but as for the unbelievers: there is deafness in their ears, and they are blind to it.” They are, as it were, being called to from too far away. (Verses 41-44)