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The President Asks, What If There is No God?

The President Asks, What If There is No God?

In a recent speech, President Rodrigo Duterte raised the question, “What if there is no God?” He asked this in light of criticism of his stance on the war on drugs and the reinstatement of the death penalty, particularly to those who argue that only God can take a person’s life.

As freethinkers and secularists, we applaud the President’s recognition in that speech that not all Filipinos believe in a god. This might be the first nod toward non-believers by any sitting Philippine President in history. He also raised the valid problem of suffering in a world supposedly designed by a benevolent god.

Perhaps the Filipino public might begin to ask themselves that question, “What if there is no God?” How differently would we organize our lives if there were no God? How would our values change as a society? How much importance would we place on social justice in this life, rather than postponing it to a supposed afterlife?

We believe that it is about time that non-believers were recognized as equal citizens in this Catholicism-dominated country. Despite the Constitutionally protected separation of Church and State, too many politicians have used their belief in God to justify their policies, with Senator Manny Pacquiao leading the charge.

However, we also decry the misuse of atheism and agnosticism to promote non sequitur conclusions. President Duterte raised the issue of God because he believed that the death penalty would be his answer to the absence of a god judging the living and the dead.

We disagree that imposing the death penalty follows from the lack of justice in an afterlife. On the contrary, the highly likely execution of innocent citizens would be exponentially more despicable in the absence of an afterlife. There is no undoing the execution of an innocent life. There is no consolation for the wrongfully executed. In the United States, whose system of criminal investigation is already much more advanced and scientific than the Philippines’, an estimated 4% of defendants on death row are still wrongfully convicted.

And even when we are certain of a person’s guilt, the application of the death penalty should take into account its probable disproportionate imposition on the poor since the drug trade is often a refuge for those abandoned by society to fend for themselves. There is also little evidence that the death penalty is an effective deterrent against crime, when it can also serve to escalate and perpetuate the cycle of violence.

If there is no God, if there is no afterlife, justice in this life is of supreme importance. There would be no God to sort out the dead. Only we can provide justice, and there is no justice without due process.

Posted in Advocacy, Featured, Organization, Politics, Religion, Society0 Comments

Saint Teresa of Suffering | FF Podcast

Saint Teresa of Suffering | FF Podcast

This week, we talk about the new Saint Teresa of Calcutta. We discuss some of the myths surrounding her and whether it’s better to let the false idea of her inspire people to do good than to tell people the truth.

Links
http://nouvelles.umontreal.ca/en/article/2013/03/01/mother-teresa-anything-but-a-saint/

Mother Teresa: Blessed Billionaire, Holy Hypocrite


https://www.reddit.com/r/filipinofreethinkers

Posted in Media, Podcast, Religion, Society, Video0 Comments

France Bans Burqinis | FF Podcast

France Bans Burqinis | FF Podcast

This week, we talk about France’s burqini ban. We talk about oppressive rules about women’s clothing and where to strike the balance between freedom of religion and protecting people from coercive religious beliefs.

Posted in Media, Podcast, Religion, Society, Video0 Comments

What’s up with Catholic schools? | FF Podcast

What’s up with Catholic schools? | FF Podcast

It’s back to school this month. This week, we’re talking about Catholic schools and how freethinkers fit in a country that’s dominated by Catholic educational institutions.

Posted in Media, Podcast, Religion, Society, Video1 Comment

Mourning Orlando | FF Podcast

Mourning Orlando | FF Podcast

This week, we have Sharmila Parmanand and Leloy Claudio to talk about the massacre in Orlando that targeted an LGBT club, killing 49 people. We talk about homophobia and how religion and macho society might be its prime drivers.

Posted in Media, Podcast, Religion, Society, Video1 Comment

FF Podcast 105 (Audio): Sex Workers in the Philippines

FF Podcast 105 (Audio): Sex Workers in the Philippines

FF Audio Podcast 105 Sex Workers in the Philippines

This week, researcher Sharmila Parmanand joins us. We talk about sex workers and their strange position in Philippine society as both “victims” and “criminals” in the eyes of the law.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

Posted in Advocacy, audio podcast, Gender Rights, Religion, Society0 Comments

Binay on Secularism, Women’s Rights, and Progressive Issues

Binay on Secularism, Women’s Rights, and Progressive Issues

This week, we have an exclusive interview with presidential candidate and Vice President Jejomar Binay. We ask him about his stances on secularism issues and women’s rights.

Posted in Media, Politics, Religion, Video1 Comment

Iranian Eurotrip! | FF Podcast

Iranian Eurotrip! | FF Podcast

This week, we talk about the Iranian President’s visit to Europe. We compare his reception in Italy versus his cancelled lunch in France. We also talk about double standards for oppressive cultures.

Posted in Podcast, Politics, Religion0 Comments

Does Christian Atheism Make Sense?

Does Christian Atheism Make Sense?

This week, we talk about Christian Atheism. We discuss whether it’s an oxymoron and consider the various ways Christianity has changed with the times.

Posted in Media, Podcast, Religion, Video0 Comments

Paris, Beirut, and Comparing Tragedies | FF Podcast

Paris, Beirut, and Comparing Tragedies | FF Podcast

This week, we talk about the recent Islamist attacks in France and Lebanon. We discuss how people reacted to the tragedies and whether it’s proper to shame people for grieving differently.

Posted in Media, Podcast, Religion, Society, Video0 Comments

FF Podcast 77: Is Marriage Equality Really an LGBT Victory?

FF Podcast 77: Is Marriage Equality Really an LGBT Victory?

Red Tani and sociologist Nicole Curato explore the implications of the recent US Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

Posted in Advocacy, Gender Rights, Media, Podcast, Religion, Society, Video0 Comments

FF Podcast 76: Freethinking in Singapore

FF Podcast 76: Freethinking in Singapore

This week, we head over to Singapore for the Asian Humanism Conference. We ask what it’s like to be a humanist in our neighboring countries.

Posted in Media, Podcast, Religion, Secularism, Society, Video0 Comments

FF Podcast 73: Sexism and Tony Meloto’s GK

FF Podcast 73: Sexism and Tony Meloto’s GK

This week, we talk about Tony Meloto’s controversial speech in Hawaii where he suggested that Filipinas should have babies with white men for the benefit of the country. We also talk about the apparent cult of personality built around Tony Meloto and Gawad Kalinga.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

Posted in Language, Media, Podcast, Religion, Secularism, Society, Video1 Comment

FF Podcast 68 (Audio): Is the Internet Killing Religion?

FF Podcast 68 (Audio): Is the Internet Killing Religion?

FF Podcast 68: Is the Internet Killing Religion?

This week we talk about a study that observes declining religiosity coinciding with increased Internet use.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

Posted in audio podcast, Religion, Secularism0 Comments

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