Tag Archive | "faith"

Killing for Faith


A woman prepares a lethal cocktail of pharmaceuticals. It’s for her partner’s two children. She had been listening to a sermon just the other day about Isaac, Abraham’s son. God tested Abraham and led him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. But this time, God doesn’t call out to stop her as she tries to kill the children.

A two-year old girl is now dead and Kimberly Lucas is facing charges for her murder.

In Lucas’ alleged suicide note found by the police, she referenced the sermon she heard from Pastor Lea Brown, “Lea’s sermon really, really touched me yesterday, but God never told me to stop!”

Kimberly Lucas

Kimberly Lucas

A family friend described her note as “the writing of someone who is really disturbed.” Indeed, other people listened to Lea Brown’s sermon and did not spend the next day trying to reenact the sacrifice of Isaac. Millions of people have read the verses in the Bible without facing any criminal charges.

Clearly, what happened to the two-year-old girl is out of the ordinary. But, why is it?

The other child survived. When the ten-year-old boy woke up from his drug-induced loss of consciousness, he found a locked bathroom. He forced the door open with a knife and found his two year-old sister dead in the bathtub. He tried saving her with CPR.

Lucas’ attorney has suggested that previous traumatic injuries may have led to the mental state that allowed his client to allegedly poison two children and herself.

The prevailing narrative among those affected by this tragedy is that Lucas was not operating like a normal person. However, though what happened may be a rare occurrence, it is not so unthinkable. Parents all over the world have denied their children access to vaccines, operations, and life-saving chemotherapy, all for religious reasons. Lucas was on the extreme, but she at least claims that her reasons were also religious.

Why is it that people immediately conclude that any person who acts violently and attributes their actions to religion is somehow unstable? Yes, in many cases, it is a safe assumption. But it is so only because modern believers have decided that only disturbed people ought to behave with utmost faith.

The Bible clearly shows that God has tested the faith of people with violence. But, in our world, anybody who performs comparable acts of violence are crazy. If an “adulterous” woman is stoned in Pakistan, Muslims in other parts of the world can call it heinous. If an abortion care provider is shot dead in the American South, Christians can call the man a deranged murderer rather than a hero.

These shocking examples of religious adherence should not be shocking at all, if we are to take religious faith on face value. There is a bewildering doublespeak from religious people who condemn certain acts that their religious texts clearly represent, if not out-and-out endorse. What makes their version of their religion not crazy?

If a Christian refuses to stone men who have sex with men, why is he the standard for laudable Christian behavior, when the Bible explicitly commands him to be violent?

The world has civilized religion to a large extent, but it can never let go of their ancient baggage. It’s the Word of God, after all. And, to the degree that believers dwell within modern standards of human decency and deviate from their ancient barbarism, they are considered good human beings.

Rightly so, let us rehabilitate those among us who believe it is right to own other people as property, so long as they are not of our tribe. Rightly so, let us rehabilitate those among us who believe that a woman’s place is to be a baby factory and that they should be denied education, upon pain of death. But, these are views that would merit ostracism, if not execution, had the religions never adapted to modern ethical standards. We live in a world where, largely, it is not the violation of religion that is most considered, but the rights of other persons—rights that we, as a species, agreed upon with our common reason, and not our various faiths.

Of what value is religion, when even believers agree that it is those most faithful to its origins who ought to be ridiculed, condemned, and considered deviants from The Truth?

Image Credit: NBC News

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Why Faith Is Not A Virtue


Brick-Trinity

This article is for those who think that faith is a virtue. I would like to propose that it is not.

Over the centuries, the religious have extolled faith as a virtue, as a valid method of seeing reality, and that idea has taken such a deep root in our culture. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life declares that faith is “trusting God in spite of unanswered questions and unresolved doubts” and this sounds so deep and comforting but it’s really just a another way of saying, “I don’t understand anything that’s happening and I can’t do anything about it but I’m hoping for the best.” What does “trusting God” even mean when people can’t even agree what “God” means?

Peter Boghossian, author of A Manual for Creating Atheists, defines faith as “pretending to know things you don’t know” and that seems like a very flippant way to put it. But if you happen to be a person of faith and are offended by that, my request is that you forgive the offense for a couple of minutes (forgiveness is also a virtue) and think about it.

In all those instances that you claim faith, isn’t it true that those are instances that you don’t really know but instead simply choose to believe? Because if there were proof and evidence in the first place, then you wouldn’t need to invoke faith. You simply point to the evidence. Take gravity, for example. It would be absurd to talk about having faith in gravity because there is overwhelming evidence for it. In other words we know gravity.

However, when we talk about something like Noah’s Ark and the global flood story – even amidst all the evidence and experts’ opinions pointing out its improbability – a sizeable number of people still choose “by faith” to believe that it’s true, even if they don’t really know whether it happened or not. In fact, they refuse to know. They rarely have the drive to do research and read contrary opinions – perhaps they are afraid that their faith may be shaken and they will no longer be on the list of “good and faithful servants” who never gave up their beliefs, who were foolish enough to test their faith. After all, didn’t God say, “Do not put the Lord God to the test (Leviticus 6:16)?”

So think of all the things you accept “by faith” (like the doctrine of the Holy Trinity) and honestly see if it isn’t true that you are simply pretending to know things you don’t really know.

Faith is not a very good way to live. It kills wonder, inquiry and research. It is not a virtue. And nobody really lives by faith all the time in all aspects of life.

Think about this:

If faith is so commendable, why don’t you simply have faith and pray when you get sick? Why do you go to the doctor? Why do you take medicine?

Why do you work hard to earn money to survive and feed your family? Why not have faith that God will provide? Didn’t Jesus say that all you have to do is to “seek his kingdom” and he will provide food, drink and clothing just as he provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:25-33)?

For students, why do you study hard for exams? Why not have enough faith that God will provide the right answers at the right time?

Why do you wash your hands before you eat? Or brush your teeth before you sleep? Why not have faith that God will kill those pesky germs and protect you from disease?

Now, I’m sure you have rational and sensible answers for each of these questions and that’s just the point. If you apply reason and rationality to these aspects of your life, doesn’t it make sense to apply it to ALL aspects of your life?

Why do you use reason for practical living yet cling to faith for aspects of your life that are unsure and unknown? If faith were such a virtue, then you would apply it to every facet of your life, not just as a stopgap to fill in the holes in your knowledge and understanding, which is exactly what primitive people did. When they encountered something they did not understand, they would attribute it to either a god or goddess, spirits, angels or demons.

But it is now the 21st century. Reason, science, and logic have been proven to work time and again. When you build an airplane based on scientific principles, it flies. When you use mathematics to put a satellite in orbit, it stays there. When you put medicine through double-blind placebo-controlled tests, you have better assurance that it will cure what it needs to cure.

Now I will admit that there are still many things we do not understand and many things we do not know – but the proven and tested way to gain more knowledge and understanding is not faith, but by applying reason, science and logic.

That is my Holy Trinity.

Originally published in Sunstar Davao.

This article also appears at Freethinking Me.

Andy Uyboco is the Meetup Director of Filipino Freethinkers Davao Chapter and is inviting Davao residents to join their next meetup on January 25, 2014 (Saturday) at 7:30 PM Cafe Demitasse, F. Torres St., Davao City. You may email him at [email protected].

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FF Podcast (Audio) 008: The Palatino Bill Predicament


In our very professional podcast that is also a video, Red, Pepe and Margie talk about Kabataan Party-List Rep. Mong Palatino’s withdrawal of HB 6330, or the “Religious Freedom in Government Offices Act.”

You may also download the podcast file here.



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Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

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The Beauty of Doubt


Photo by Michael Caven

I grew up in a Christian environment where doubt was hardly encouraged. Faith was a virtue. Doubt was not. The foremost illustration of this is the biblical story of Jesus’ disciple Thomas who claimed not to believe in his resurrection unless he saw his risen body and touched his wounds. When Jesus did appear to him and erase his doubts, Jesus said, “Blessed are you because you see and believe, but more blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.” And from those words sprung up an entire culture of faith, of not seeing yet fervently believing.

The first thirty something years of my life were spent aiming for this kind of faith. The urge to doubt would always be attributed to my human weakness or even to the wiles of the devil. But the deeper I went inside Christianity, the more discordant I would feel. Yes, there was always the heat of the moment in worship, and there were days when I felt that I was indeed in god’s loving arms. But these we’re also peppered by moments of doubt. I would always wonder if answered prayers weren’t just coincidences; if the faith I felt wasn’t just leveled up wishful thinking; or if the feelings I had for god’s presence weren’t just that — feelings.

Then a thought came to me: if I believe that god created me, then he must also be responsible for creating this machinery in me that makes me doubt and think and reason. And since this is so, why should I not then trust this thinking and reasoning of mine? What if all I ever believed in was just other people’s beliefs imposed upon society for generations? What if my doubts were the way to truth even if a lot of people (at least in my circles) didn’t seem to share them? Didn’t Jesus say that the gate was narrow and only a few people ever find it?

Ultimately, I was confronted with this question — would I be willing to let go of all I ever believed in my search for truth — yes, even Christianity, the bible and the concept of god that Christianity has imposed upon me? And for me, this was harder than it sounded. It was like being in the middle of the ocean hanging on to a piece of wood, without any land in sight, and deciding whether or not to let it go so I could swim faster to where I wanted to be. I also realized the irony of it — that it takes so much more faith to doubt than to believe. So I took a leap of faith and began my journey of doubt.

In that journey, I went to church less and less because church for me had just been a meaningless habit and the sermons were just rehashed ideas that I heard over and over throughout the years. Even the idea that “we go to church not to receive from god but to give him our worship” seemed stale because if god were everywhere, then I could most certainly worship him anywhere, even in the toilet. Conversely, I could be in church every Sunday with my mind wandering elsewhere and it wouldn’t amount to an iota of worship. So I decided to give up this false pretension and would not go to church unless I really wanted to, but not for reasons of appearances or habit or to “be a good influence” to my kids. (Yes, I got flak for this when my eldest daughter decided she didn’t want to go to sunday school also, but that’s another story).

I began to read books and listen to other teachings that were outside the norm of Christian propriety, and my horizons were widened and I realized that there were also a lot of people like me — much more than I thought there would be — and in the midst of my doubts, it was a reassuring thought. At this point, I also started my own blog (zenbananas.com) where I compiled different stories that I found helpful, as well as my own reflections of my spiritual journey.

Of course, I could not avoid the whispers going on behind me — Christian friends, relatives and acquaintances talking about me, reading my blogs and saying that I was going astray — but I got most of this information third-hand. These people I heard about never approached me and asked me head-on what was going on with me — except for a couple of them — and I appreciated their willingness to listen and their acceptance (of me, not my way of thinking). Although hearing the words, “I’ll just pray for you,” is grating to my ears. I know they mean well but it just sounds so condescending — like “I know something you don’t. I’m someplace better than you, so I’ll just pray for you until you realize that.” I know they don’t mean it that way, but still, it does sound that way.

In the tail end of this journey (which means just about over a year ago), I discovered freethinking and a group called Filipino Freethinkers through a close friend of mine. And when I read about it, realized that this was me (I just didn’t know what it was called). Though this group has been closely linked to atheism, it actually isn’t and its members are a mixed bag of different believers and unbelievers. The basic creed of a freethinker is that you may have your own set of personal beliefs but you don’t go around imposing them on others as if it were THE truth. “To a freethinker, no idea is sacred; all truth claims are subject to skepticism, rational inquiry, and empirical testing.”

A freethinker embraces doubt as a way of life, for it is through doubt that one gets to really dig in and think about what one believes in — not just to swallow everything the church, priest, imam or rabbi says. One of my favorite quotes comes from Anthony de Mello, a Jesuit priest, who says “to doubt is infinitely more important than to adore. To question is infinitely more important than to believe.”

Some time ago I took a step of faith into doubt, and have never regretted it since. I feel more spiritually and holistically in tune with myself, my thoughts and my emotions than I have ever been before. There is less fear and guilt, and more love and compassion for me and for everyone around me.

Such is the beauty of doubt.

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Is Faith Compatible With Science?


Whenever faced with the challenge that science is incompatible with faith, theists often point to their faith’s own cadre of accomplished scientists to refute this frequent atheistic claim. And they would not want of examples. Just grabbing from the Roman Catholic Church’s litany of scientists will give you many luminaries of the sciences, many with the honor of being called “father of” such and such science or their name being used as units of measurement.

  • Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, was an Augustinian friar.
  • Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, named oxygen and hydrogen.
  • Alessandro Volta was a physicist who invented the battery and is the namesake of the measurement for electric potential.
  • Louis Pasteur was a chemist and microbiologist who is often regarded as one of the fathers of the germ theory of disease.
  • André-Marie Ampère was a physicist and mathematician who helped discover the link between electricity and magnetism and is the namesake of the measurement for current.
  • William of Ockham, the namesake of Occam’s razor, was a Franciscan Friar.
  • René Descartes, most famous for cogito ergo sum, was a mathematician as well as a philosopher.
  • Blaise Pascal, the originator of the Pascal’s Wager, was a mathematician and physicist, who is the namesake of the measurement of pressure, stress, and tensile strength.
  • Georges Lemaître was the first person to propose that the universe was expanding, but he is more famous for proposing what we call the “Big Bang” theory of the origin of the universe.

This is but a smattering of all the Catholic scientists who have contributed greatly to the progress of science. Some of them had overtly pious intentions for their work—in order to more perfectly understand their Creator’s work. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church has been one of the biggest patrons of the sciences dating back to the Middle Ages with precisely this purpose of appreciating the design of the Intelligent Designer. With such intellectual giants who profess faith in Catholic dogma and such explicitly religious motives, how then can the atheist even suggest that faith is in conflict with science?

 

Is pseudoscience compatible with science?

The existence of religious scientists only proves, as Sam Harris observes, that good ideas can live with bad ideas in the same head. The proponents of the compatibility of faith-based religion with science seem to miss the fact that the acceptance of scientific discoveries of religious scientists is because these findings have survived the rigorous testing of the scientific method. Lemaître’s Big Bang theory is accepted by scientists not due to any purported theological consistency but because it is the best explanation for our observations. That he was religious was purely incidental to the value of his scientific insight.

It is also important to point out that many scientists are religious simply because most people are religious. Centuries ago, only those with the power and wealth of their Churches behind them had the luxury of spending their time reading and experimenting. Not to mention, atheists (often lumped by those in power with worshippers of foreign gods) have been persecuted since the name was coined.

When the German chemist Friedrich August Kekulé said that the cyclic structure of benzene came to him in a dream involving a snake biting its own tail, his idea wasn’t accepted for its esoteric merits, it was accepted on the strength of the scientific evidence he presented after this strange epiphany.

One of humanity’s greatest minds, Isaac Newton, was quite the dedicated alchemist. He wrote over a million words on the topic. His work on alchemy was even integral to his work on optics. But, none of this suggests that the pseudoscience of alchemy has no conflict with science.

We find that to the extent that religious scientists are not dogmatic and employ reason and evidence, they are good scientists. That is, we expect religious scientists to cut away all semblance of religiosity from their output before we deem them credible. This does not speak well for the argument that science and faith are compatible.

 

A brief digression on Galileo

 

No essay on the conflict between science and faith would be complete without a mention of Galileo Galilei. Apologists dismiss the Galileo affair as a trial of his arrogance rather than of his ideas, which they found erroneous not just based on scripture, but also based on empirical facts.

Galileo published the first scientific work based on observations through a telescope. He saw that, contrary to the Aristotelian idea that all celestial bodies are perfectly smooth spheres, the moon had mountains. He was also able to discover four moons orbiting around Jupiter. From these, he contested the prevailing Aristotelian and Ptolemaic dogma that all celestial bodies revolved around the Earth. He further proposed, though none of his observations directly suggested it, that Copernicus was right that the planets, including Earth, orbited around the Sun.

Even scientists such as Tycho Brahe found Galileo’s endorsement of the Copernican heliocentric model to be misplaced, saying that it was not supported by the evidence. And, truly, there was a problem with Galileo’s science. Using circular orbits, Copernicus’ solar system relied even more on ad hoc mathematical corrections called “epicycles” to match observations, suggesting that planets would revolve around separate axes all the while traveling in a larger orbit around the sun. It was even more complex and unintuitive than Ptolemy’s geocentric model.

However, Galileo was censured by the Inquisition not because of his bad science but mainly because he contradicted the geocentrism of the Bible and the documents of his trial attest to this. Apologists tend to parade around his errors and “arrogance” in promoting the Copernican system as the central reasons behind his eventual condemnation and house arrest, but this is clearly not the truth.

The Inquisition in 1616 saw heliocentrism as “foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts many places the sense of Holy Scripture, according to the literal meaning of the words and according to the common interpretation and understanding of the Holy Fathers and the doctors of theology.”

Galileo went on to write Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems in 1632, which lampooned geocentrism by writing about an ignorant proponent, named Simplicio, debating with an intelligent heliocentrist, named Sagredo.

His persecutors themselves were clear that Galileo’s crimes were not of arrogance or for faulty science, but of heresy. Upon sentencing in 1633, Galileo was condemned for heresy “of having held and believed a doctrine which is false and contrary to the divine and Holy Scripture.” He would be able to avoid penalty provided that he “abjure, curse, and detest the above-mentioned errors and heresies, and every other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Church, in the manner and form we will prescribe to you.” He eventually did so. Dialogue was banned by the Roman Catholic Church. Galileo spent the last years of his life in house arrest.

 

The real conflict between science and faith

At the heart of the conflict between faith and science are their contradictory value systems. Science requires evidence for any and all claims looking to be accepted. Faith holds unquestionable belief even when evidence is nonexistent.

Science relies on self-correction. Scientists must admit to their errors and argue only with evidence. This is why science is the best method of knowing the human race has ever produced. No religion has ever come close; no religious explanation has ever replaced a scientific explanation.

Faith is most visibly at odds with science when religions make baseless scientific claims such as those concerning the efficacy of prayer, the origin of man, or the nature of the mind. If science finds that prayer is ineffective, that there never was a “first” man or woman, or that free will is an illusion, someone with an honest scientific mindset can only reject their preconceived notions in favor of a better understanding of the universe. The improvement of knowledge is the hallmark of science—a feature religious faith can never share.

Faith is incompatible with science because science requires freedom of thought. In principle, science has no heresies, blasphemies, or sacred cows; the only limit is reason. Science can only thrive when scientists are not intimidated or forced to shy away from difficult answers that may contradict long-held beliefs.

The example of Galileo is often shrugged off by apologists as anti-Catholic spin or, at best, that it is not representative of the Church’s relationship with science. And, to be fair, it is true that this event is atypical. The Roman Catholic Church is not antagonistic to all science, just the parts problematic to their ideology. In order to soothe the congitive dissonance caused by their enjoyment of the fruits of science, apologists must conveniently gloss over the real conflict between science and faith. Science will always be hostile to the restraints of the religious mindset. In order for faith and science to coexist, science must be neutered, declawed, and defanged.

It is only fortunate for us who live in this day that faith has fallen so far now that it has been forced to ingratiate itself with modern secular society. It no longer holds the power to execute heretics or punish those who dare to think for themselves. We must never forget how the Churches acted when their power was more than just ceremonial.

Galileo may have been wrong (or not completely correct), but so have thousands of other scientists who have never faced the wrath of the Inquisition, whose books have never been denied to the public. It was only because Galileo had the gall to challenge scripture that he faced the consequences. Faith is only chummy with science insofar as it does not challenge core beliefs. In this way, religions are not patrons of science, but of science products. They are open to enjoying the spoils of the critical nature of science without appreciating exactly what makes science worth a damn—its complete lack of dogmatism. It is the very character of the scientific attitude that makes the clash between science and faith only inevitable.

Image credit: Ies Dionisio Aguado

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Black Nazarene, Black Opium


As the dust settles from another year of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, we again hear numerous reports of stampedes and injuries. Just shy of 1000 people were injured during the feast.

The feast is characterized by literally millions of devotees (largely comprised of children dragged along by relatives, the elderly, the infirm, the disabled, and the poor) moving along with an over 400 year-old statue of Jesus throughout the streets of the city of Manila. As in the tradition that St. Veronica (derived from the Latin for “true image”) wiped Jesus’ face as he marched to his execution, true believers scrimmage to wipe white cloths on the statue. The devotees shuffle and push against each other just to get a touch of the Black Nazarene wooden idol, which is believed to have magical powers of wish-granting.

Millions, particularly the poor, skip out on work (which likely earns them barely enough for a living) in the hope that the statue will turn their fortunes around. Of course, they are only met by rains and crushing stampedes. We can, naturally, expect at least some of the devotees to have a lucky day. It is practically certain that at least one of the poor and sick people marching in the streets of Manila will enjoy a significant cash windfall or be healed of a serious affliction—just by random chance. In fact, if none of the 3 million reported attendees had at least a marginally interesting anecdote of supposed providence, then something would be quite peculiar about the Feast of the Black Nazarene worthy of deeper investigation.

The familiarity of the Jesus story has anesthetized us from what is at the heart of the ritual. Millions of men, women, and children are parading around with a wooden statue of a bloodied victim of torture, capital punishment, and God-sanctioned human sacrifice. The Black Nazarene is an ironic pornographic celebration of violence—the overt violence of the past and the more subtle violence of the present.

The media attention to this event is huge, as expected for any congregation drawing millions. However, it is quite disgusting how society has made a spectacle of the poverty, ignorance, and anguish. And though, like the Feast of the Black Nazarene, the supposed terror threat appears to have been based on zero intelligence, the broadsheets praised not the fact that the threat was not plausible and celebrations were able to commence safely, but that the devotees ignored the warnings regardless of credibility. (In fact, some devotees relished the prospect of mass murder as an opportunity to test their faith.)

It is taken as a badge of honor that the devotees suffered for 22 hours—from the mild discomfort of crowding and walking barefoot to the intolerable pain of being trampled—in a desperate appeal for things to change for the better, if only they could get to touch an old block of wood. Stories such as those of the man with a disability, unable to walk on his two legs, are elevated as exemplars of faith and worthy of emulation. Suffering is glamorized as a bargaining chip, in exchange for which, God will grant them respite from the day-to-day torment of poverty and illness. Life on earth is reduced to a theological economy that runs on agony.

There is an often misquoted observation by Karl Marx that “religion is the opiate of the masses” or some other paraphrasing. The quotation in context reads: “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

Marx was not merely comparing the addictive and reason-diminishing qualities of the drug to religion. He was pointing out that religion is an illustration of despair from those whom state and society have failed. It is the imaginary relief for those who have been prevented access to real consolation.

Those who flock to briefly brush against the Black Nazarene are those whom our society has forced to take solace from fictitious sources. That we celebrate and glorify the misery and debasement of our fellow human beings—whether in the form of one Jesus Christ or three million of his devotees—is vile.

Image credit: GMA News Online

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Primacy of Conscience in the Prison of the Church


Senator Miriam Santiago’s theological argument for the Reproductive Health Bill relies on the Catholic doctrine called “primacy of conscience.” But some conservative Catholics think her understanding is flawed, one of her many “booboos” intended to “mislead faithful Catholics.”

Is Sen. Santiago misleading Catholics when she argues that primacy of conscience allows Catholics to dissent on the RH Bill? Or are conservative Catholics just defensive because she found a loophole that allows Catholics to be progressive in such issues?

The answer is complicated, so I’ll try to state it simply before expounding. Primacy of conscience means that a Catholic must act consistently with her[1] conscience. However, a Catholic must also have a conscience that’s consistent with the teachings of the Church. Taken by itself, primacy of conscience gives Catholics freedom. Taken in context, it gives Catholics freedom to do what the Church tells them.

Conscience and Contraception

Consider contraception. The Church teaches that contraception is inherently evil. Catholics have an obligation to believe this — to make it part of their conscience. When a Catholic fails to believe this — or hold it as definitive — she is fully responsible for this sin (failure to believe) and is no longer in full communion with the Church[2]. When she uses a condom, she acts according to her conscience. Due to primacy of conscience, the sinful action cannot be fully blamed on her — she’s only fully responsible for the sin of doubt.

Yes, she had freedom to use contraception — she does have free will (another complicated doctrine) — and was even right in doing so according to primacy of conscience. But she did not have freedom to believe that contraception was OK — primacy of conscience only applies to actions, not beliefs.

In a nutshell, it was right to act according to her conscience, but wrong to form her conscience independent of the Church.

Cardinal Pell

Conscience and Confusion

If I failed to explain that simply enough, you can’t blame me — primacy of conscience is one of the most easily misunderstood Catholic doctrines. This is why Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Melbourne, has been fighting against the doctrine for years:

“The doctrine of the primacy of conscience should be quietly ditched . . . because too many Catholic youngsters have concluded that values are personal inventions.” Furthermore, the primacy of conscience is “a dangerous and misleading myth.” In fact, according to Pell, “in the Catholic scheme of things, there’s no such thing as primacy of conscience.”

Cardinal Pell is not alone. Although he doesn’t want to ditch the doctrine, Pope John Paul II understands how misleading this doctrine can be:

There is a tendency to grant to the individual conscience the prerogative of independently determining the criteria of good and evil and then acting accordingly… To the affirmation that one has a duty to follow one’s conscience is unduly added the affirmation that one’s moral judgment is true merely by the fact that it has its origin in the conscience.

— Pope John Paul II, Papal Encyclical Veritatis Splendor

The Vatican also acknowledges this confusion by warning of the “mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching [emphasis mine]” which leads to erroneous judgment.

Conscience and Obligation

As Pope John Paul II explained, the confusion comes from extending primacy of conscience from the realm of actions to the realm of beliefs. And because one acts as one believes, Catholics have the obligation to educate their beliefs first:

Although each individual has a right to be respected in his own journey in search of the truth, there exists a prior moral obligation, and a grave one at that, to seek the truth and to adhere to it once it is known. As Cardinal John Henry Newman, that outstanding defender of the rights of conscience, forcefully put it: “Conscience has rights because it has duties”

Here Pope John Paul II explains that Catholics have a right to follow their conscience because they have a duty to follow the Church. And in case you’re wondering why I equated seeking the truth with following the Church, he made it very clear:

The Church’s Magisterium also teaches the faithful specific particular precepts and requires that they consider them in conscience as morally binding… When people ask the Church the questions raised by their consciences, when the faithful in the Church turn to their Bishops and Pastors, the Church’s reply contains the voice of Jesus Christ, the voice of the truth about good and evil.

But what about the current pope? Like many progressive Catholics, Sen. Santiago often uses Pope Benedict’s following statement:

Above the pope as an expression of the binding claim of church authority,” writes Ratzinger, stands one’s own conscience, which has to be obeyed first of all, if need be against the demands of church authority.

But that’s only part of the picture. Taken by itself, it does seem like the pope’s statement allows Catholics to dissent. But taken in context, Pope Benedict’s statement is consistent with those of Pope John Paul II and official Vatican teaching. He explains that although following conscience is a duty and is never wrong, informing conscience is also a duty, and neglecting to do so is always wrong:

It is never wrong to follow the convictions one has arrived at—in fact, one must do so. But it can very well be wrong to have come to such askew convictions in the first place… The guilt lies then in a different place, much deeper—not in the present act, not in the present judgment of conscience but in the neglect of my being which made me deaf to the internal promptings of truth. For this reason, criminals of conviction like Hitler and Stalin are guilty.

— Pope Benedict XVI (then Fr. Ratzinger) while serving as Chair of Dogmatic Theology at the University of Tübingen in 1968

Conscience and Clarification

There are two variables at play here. Let’s call them the two duties of conscience:

  1. Educate your conscience.
  2. Obey your conscience.

Chains Church

Primacy of conscience only applies to the second duty, and fulfilling it is not complicated: following your conscience is right, not following it is wrong. But primacy of conscience does not apply to the first duty. For this, primacy of Church is the rule: believing the Church is right, not believing it is wrong. With this, we come up with the duties of conscience according to the Catholic Church:

  1. Believe what the Church says should be in your conscience.
  2. Obey your conscience.

And if your conscience is consistent with what the Church says — and Catholics have a moral obligation to ensure this[2] — then we finally have this:

  1. Obey the Church.

Where did the primacy of conscience go? This is what our investigation has finally revealed. In the words of Cardinal Pell, “in the Catholic scheme of things, there’s no such thing as primacy of conscience.” At least not in any meaningful sense that actually grants Catholics freedom. Because as Rosa Luxemburg said, freedom is always the freedom of dissenters.

In the Catholic scheme of things, Catholics have a duty to obey the Church. But the clergy won’t tell you this. They’d prefer to tell the laity that their only duty is to believe, and I think progressive Catholics would prefer this, too. Why? Because Catholics are proud and even honored to be called believers. What do you call someone who is bound to obey?

_______

[1] I’ll use the female pronoun because it’s RH and also to remind you that we’re celebrating 100 years of International Women’s Day.
[2] The Catholic Church requires all Catholics to accept three kinds of truths:

  1. truths that are divinely revealed or dogmatic teachings
  2. truths that are taught infallibly by the Pope or the authentic ordinary Magisterium (also called the ordinary universal Magisterium) or definitive doctrines; and
  3. truths that are taught fallibly (in a non-definitive way) but authoritatively by the Pope or the authentic ordinary Magisterium or authoritative, non-definitive doctrines.

You must be wondering why truths should even be categorized. Isn’t something either truth or not truth at all? The reason is there are different degrees of acceptance required for each truth — and corresponding punishments for failing to do so:

  1. dogmatic teachings are to be believed; failing to believe is heresy, which warrants automatic excommunication.
  2. definitive doctrines are to be held definitively; failing to hold definitively excludes Catholics from full communion with the Church. I wrote about the implications of this in “The Penalty for Pro-RH Catholics.”
  3. authoritative, non-definitive doctrines are to be accepted at a level that matches the importance of the doctrine; failing to accept warrants punishment of the same level, depending on the importance of the doctrine.

[3] Source of the Satu Mare Chains Church image.

Posted in Politics, Religion, SocietyComments (78)

The Penalty for Pro-RH Catholics: Exclusion, Excommunication, and Eternal Damnation


Will pro-RH Catholics go to Hell when they die? If my research on the official teachings of the Catholic Church is correct, then it’s likely. This is not reserved for those who actually use contraceptives. Even Catholics who merely believe it’s OK to use them share the same fate.

I am not making this up. Nor is this based on some fringe fundamentalist position within the Catholic Church. This is based on the official teachings of the Vatican, and almost every statement I’ll cite to prove it came from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Threats and Taunts from the CBCP

Since an RH (reproductive health) bill was proposed over a decade ago, the CBCP and their cohorts have reacted to pro-RH Catholics in several ways, from threats of excommunication to insults such as “oxymoron,” both implying that an anti-RH position is required to remain in good standing in the Roman Catholic Church.

But are any of these threats and taunts valid? Are pro-RH Catholics still Catholic? Can the CBCP excommunicate someone for their pro-RH position? What happens to pro-RH Catholics when they die?

I’ll do my best to answer these questions — and explain how pro-RH Catholics could go to Hell — from the perspective of the Pope, the Vatican, and their version of God. I make this distinction because there are many progressive theologians and even more baptized Catholics who disagree with the Vatican.

As a freethinker, I do not believe in the Vatican’s authority — threats of excommunication and damnation are meaningless to me. And if there were a god — that is, an all-wise, all-loving god — I believe She’d have nothing against using artificial contraception and individual conscience. This is the God pro-RH Catholics believe in, and it goes without saying that She has no punishments reserved for the pro-RH.

Of course, this is all anathema to the Vatican, and whether this dissent is valid is a topic I’ll leave for another day. For now, here’s what the Vatican actually says about pro-RH Catholics.

I want to emphasize that I don’t agree with what the Vatican says. I don’t even think their views are worth anyone’s attention. But Catholics, regardless of their position on RH, should at least be aware of what their leaders think — especially those who claim to be infallible.

***

Are pro-RH Catholics still Catholic?

Yes. When a person is baptized Catholic, he remains Catholic until death.

Once someone is validly baptized, Catholic or otherwise, he is baptized forever (CIC 845). One can never lose baptism or become “unbaptized,” although one might lose the benefits of baptism by personal sin.

Once a Catholic, always a Catholic — even if they get excommunicated, disagree with dogma (heretics), join a different denomination (schismatics), or leave Christianity altogether (apostates). They just become excommunicated Catholics, heretic Catholics, schismatic Catholics, and so on. In other words, although they are not in full communion with the Church — not fully Catholic — they are Catholic nonetheless.

Can the CBCP excommunicate someone for their pro-RH position?

It’s possible, but highly unlikely. Even pro-abortion Catholics are spared from excommunication:

Politicians who vote in favor of abortion should not receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. “Legislative action in favor of abortion is incompatible with participation in the Eucharist. … Politicians exclude themselves from Communion.”

Next to excommunication — which excludes someone from all sacraments — exclusion from Holy Communion is the worst punishment a Catholic can get. We’ll return to this exclusion shortly.

What is the worst punishment possible for being pro-RH?

Eternal Damnation. Although there is no single statement that explicitly says this, we can follow the implications of several teachings and come to the same conclusion. I’ve elaborated this in 5 steps, each supported by official Vatican documents:

1. The Catholic Church teaches that contraception is inherently evil, and that this teaching is a definitive doctrine 1:

Every action which , whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2370

The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable. [In other words, infallible.]

Official Guide for Confessors issued by the Vatican Pontifical Council for the Family

2. Catholics who deny definitive doctrines are not in full communion with the Catholic Church:

Every believer, therefore, is required to give firm and definitive assent to these truths, based on faith in the Holy Spirit’s assistance to the Church’s Magisterium, and on the Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the Magisterium in these matters.15 Whoever denies these truths [definitive doctrines] would be in a position of rejecting a truth of Catholic doctrine and would therefore no longer be in full communion with the Catholic Church.

Joseph Ratzinger, “DOCTRINAL COMMENTARY ON THE CONCLUDING FORMULA OF THE PROFESSIO FIDEI

3. Catholics who are not in full communion with the Church must abstain from receiving Holy Communion:

Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected.

– Joseph Ratzinger, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles

This is the same punishment proposed by the Vatican for pro-abortion Catholics mentioned above.

4. Catholics who do not fulfill their obligation to receive Holy Communion commit a grave sin.

The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181

When you freely commit a sin knowing that it is of a grave matter, you commit a mortal sin. Note that receiving Holy Communion when you are unworthy is itself a grave matter (sacrilege), so freely committing it with full knowledge of its graveness is yet another mortal sin.

5. Catholics who die in mortal sin go to Hell:

The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1035

Remember that any contraception, if done freely with the knowledge of its graveness, is by itself a mortal sin. But what I’ve elaborated above shows that even the belief 2 that contraception is not inherently evil already disqualifies Catholics from partaking in Holy Communion. This is the same reason excommunication is a big deal: It excludes Catholics from the sacraments, of which Communion is the most important. And as I’ve shown, the Vatican teaches that without Communion, there’s no salvation.

Pro-RH Catholics and the Pope

So there you have it. According to the Vatican, Pro-RH Catholics, by their denial of a definitive doctrine, are not in full communion with the Church, preventing them from fulfilling their obligation to receive Holy Communion — a mortal sin, which if left unconfessed, means their souls will go to Hell when they die.

This should be more alarming than it is, but I realize this early that this information will be trivial to many. Because if you’re a pro-RH Catholic — someone who uses or promotes contraceptives in good conscience — you probably don’t care what the Pope says anyway.

The easiest way to get excommunicated

Not caring what the Pope says means you probably don’t believe in his infallibility. This, by the way, is a divinely revealed doctrine:

To the truths of the first paragraph [which refers to divinely revealed truths] belong … the doctrine on the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff …

Denying a divinely revealed doctrine, such as papal infallibility, is another mortal sin, one of the few that can get you an automatic excommunication:

These doctrines [divinely revealed truths] require the assent of theological faith by all members of the faithful. Thus, whoever obstinately places them in doubt or denies them falls under the censure of heresy, as indicated by the respective canons of the Codes of Canon Law.

So according to the Pope, thinking that he could be wrong in a matter of faith and morals — such as his views on the evil of contraception — will get you automatically excommunicated. But then again, if you’re pro-RH, you probably disagree.

***

[1] On questioning the infallibility of the contraception teaching

Some progressive Catholics argue that the teaching on the inherent evil of contraception (let’s call it contraception teaching from here on) is not an infallible one. They make this mistake because they think that the only way for a teaching to be infallible is for it to be pronounced infallible by the Pope.

And officially, no Pope has pronounced the contraception teaching infallible by himself. But when a teaching is taught for a long time by most (if not all) Catholic bishops together with the Pope, the teaching is considered infallible — infallible by the Church’s teaching authority. This teaching authority is also known as the ordinary universal Magisterium. Some examples of teachings considered infallible in this way are the inherent evil of murder, prostitution, fornication, homosexual acts, abortion, euthanasia, ordination of women priests, and finally, contraception.

So although the teaching on contraception was not pronounced ex cathedra (with a solemn declaration of infallibility) by any pope, it is infallible by virtue of the unbroken tradition of bishops and popes collectively teaching its inherent evil.

The infallibility of the contraception teaching was the same conclusion reached by most Catholic theologians, both progressive — such as Hans Kung — and conservative — such as John C. Ford.

Because the teaching on contraception is an infallibly taught truth, it is a definitive doctrine and should therefore be held definitively by all Catholics.

But why must infallible truths be held definitively? When the Pope or the ordinary universal Magisterium teaches something infallibly, it is as if the teaching is made by God himself. This is reflected clearly by the following statements made by Pope John Paul II on the contraception teaching.

In the late 80s, he said that Humanae Vitae was “written by the creative hand of God in the nature of the human person,” and that Catholic theologians could not doubt the ban on contraception because doing so would be like doubting “the very idea of God’s holiness.” If that doesn’t convince you he thinks the contraception teaching is infallible, I don’t know what will.

[2] The difference between a sin of action and a sin of belief.

You may commit a sin, while believing that it is wrong. In this case all you have to do is confess and try your best not to do it again. But if your sin has to do with failing to believe something you’re supposed to believe, you can’t just confess. You have to change your belief as well. If you can’t ever change your belief — or don’t even want to try — then you’ll be in a state of perpetual sin.

Consider contraception. An anti-RH Catholic might out of “weakness” be forced to use a condom while thinking that it is immoral. He will be guilty until his next confession, or probably a few weeks after that. But once he confesses, the mortal sin is forgiven, and he’s back in full communion, worthy to receive the Holy Eucharist.

This success story does not apply to the pro-RH Catholic. If a pro-RH Catholic uses a condom and thinks it’s OK, he can’t just confess the action. Forget that it would be weird for him to confess something he doesn’t think is wrong. But even if he does confess the action, if he doesn’t change the belief, he’ll still be unworthy of the Holy Eucharist. And if he continues believing “immorally,” he never will be.

Of course, some will say you can believe something and at the same time think that the said belief is wrong. I won’t even try to get into that.

Posted in Featured, ReligionComments (37)

Faith as a Virtue?


October 25 will be election time again and this time we’re going to elect local candidates that will represent our baranggay. Funny that most of these aspiring candidates include Bible verses or the name of God on their campaign slogans and printed materials as if belief in God is a plus. It was not surprising that when Mrs. Aquino died in August 1, 2009, many reporters and articles (on newspapers, magazines, TV talk shows and the Internet) have pointed out her being faithful. The former President in known to her devotion to the rosary and the Roman Catholic Church.

I won’t criticize her on her personal devotion to God. That’s her business. What I’m after is how the common masses assume that when a person is devoted to God that makes him/her a good leader. As if faith is a positive virtue.

Believers assume everyone (even atheists and agnostics) have this er…faith. They say that non-believer have faith in the books that they read. They also say that we used faith daily in our lives. When we ride a taxi or a plane, we have faith that the driver or the pilot knew what he or she is doing. And so on.

So is this the same faith we used when talking about religious belief?

If you try looking in the dictionary, we see that faith is sometimes expressed to be synonymous with the word ‘trust’. Maybe that’s what some believers meant when they assume that even non-believers have faith. But we’re talking about faith in a religious sense. Trust or confidences about a high degree of belief are used for some certain claims or products. Well…your trust may be ill-based or inadequate. Your confidence from something or someone might be reasonable or unreasonable – but this is not the faith we are talking about. Trust or confidence doesn’t make a worldview. The faith that we are talking about doesn’t require any empirical evidences unlike some advertisements that show us data or statistics perhaps…Nope. This type of faith creates gods.

When our leaders rely in this kind of faith it means we as a nation are wishing for a Divine Providence to fix our problems by using His divine will for us…as if we can’t do it without the aid of a supernatural wishy-washy!

Hey! Believers will still insist that faith can strengthen our will. Just look at what happened in those miners that were trapped for two months in Chile, right?

Really huh? Remember that the will to survive is stronger that the will of God. If those miners surrendered their fate to the will of our Lord, I don’t think there will be any survivors left. Those Bibles and prayers just served as an inspiration to their will to live and even without those religious paraphernalia, the love to family and friends (plus the nature of the cave-in, air pockets, etc.) will also serve the same effect.

But was it an act of faith?

If we will define faith base on how religious believers define it then the answer is no. Even if those miners believed that God will save them, they still acted together to ensure their survival. The will to live is to cling on worldly matter, not on spiritual salvation.

Going back to the Philippine scenario. To believe that God will work a miracle to save your country is a different matter. When people start to believe that religious faith is a very important factor in selecting their leaders that spells trouble. Since God cannot (and doesn’t) speak certain people will claim to do the speaking for Him.

Bishops, priests, pastors and Ayatollah will imposed their doctrines and dogmas, their opinions based on their sacred writings to the rule of the land. Faith is now replaced by theocracy run by these “holy men.” Sacred books and divine knowledge will replace text books and science. Prayers will replace medicine and divine revelation will replace experiments.

The problems of this kind of faith are more than just believing, for this type of faith requires obedience and total control of someone’s life. Since this so-called “Supreme Being” is invisible, men will rely to the visible so-called self-appointed spokespersons of God, giving these “men of God” total power to control his life.

So this is what this faith can offer. It is an invisible shackle that some people are willing to place on themselves. It is a blindfold that believers willingly cover their eyes – a voluntary rejection of knowledge. A nation whose sovereignty wrapped by a thick veil of this faith is trap – it will never prosper and its people will remain ignorant. It will be ensnared in the doctrines of a few Ecclesiastical authorities.

Being a lifetime religious stooge is not a virtue.

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Nouthanasis: The Eternal Now


the birth of Another, the apathy of Otherness —

this altercation of the unconscious Self,

born of the irrational Yet:

the vague paradigm of Nothingness

 

as it unfolds, this phenomenon of alterity

embodied subjectivity of the ephemereal Doom

utterances coalesce with infinity;

impending Dread : anxious metanoia of Becoming

 

the All revolves, in this orbit of anamnesis

poignant reverie of what Was, and yet to Be

this-being-I, caught in the transitional flux ; between act and potency

the dynamic interpolation of mind and will; pervading Absence

 

— ,God; ? (It not is if what not is Be if what not is become of yet! )

 

I elude this context of  preconceptual knowing;

this frailty that succumbs to the Appearance

the unified multiplicity of understanding the Cogent:

derivatives of a preexistent Nous: language

 

and, as horizons, concrescence of reaching the Beyond

dissolution in the complexity of the Cogent, the face of its pull

all understanding converges in the evolution of mind

ideas converge in the Becoming;

 

but, not shall it Be for Yet it not is, what is yet not to Be

is not Shall, in the Be of the end and all of what is Yet —

to cry in the miscontextual co-promise; this Belonging

a failure of the messianic, redemptive fulfilment of what is bound to Become,

 

but is not Yet, 

— as faith dies, only to be reborn in the ashes of reason.

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Another ADD Atheist Bashing…Grow up.


Amateur (or should I say “immature) and defenders of certain Christian cults have a peculiar way of confronting the issues posted by atheists. Instead of proving atheism as an irrational position, they cater more on emotions and rely mostly on insults. Maybe they think that by doing those things atheism will just go away.

After their “sugo” posted two articles to confront his problems toward atheism, which failed miserably to prove his points, it’s the members (suckers) time to salvage what their “sugo” have failed to accomplish.

Meet josepherdon, a typical guy who fits the profile of a fanatic. To save his “sugo” for further embarrassment, he created a “blog” to discredit Filipino freethinkers and non-believers.

It’s quite obvious.The intellects talk about ideas while dull minds castigate people, which remind me of Philippine celebrity gossips in sleazy tabloids. Anyway, since this dullard is a master of abusive, profane and obscene slanders, it also reflects his state of mind.

I wasn’t planning to give any critique to this dolt’s article (that’s why it took a year or so before I’ve answered his rants), but as they say, “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing”.

Excuse me my dear readers if I didn’t gave any link to his blog. You see, I don’t intend to give him some free exchange link.

I understand this pathetic jerk for making his accusations and insults. Remember, he wanted desperately to please his cult master. Charles “Tex” Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Larry Layton have already done the same and look what it resulted so far.

You won’t really learn anything on something that was written from sheer hate. That’s a fact! So I am certain that I will not find even a morsel of enlightenment in his posts. But at least I’m offering the blogging world my free service by personally correcting some of josepherdon’s deliberate misinformation.

Ignorance in the Meaning of Religion

Atheism is a religion. Atheism requires faith. Atheism also requires a strong conviction.

Atheists deny that Atheism is a religion but it is clearly being displayed by Atheists in different Religious forums that Atheism is indeed their religion.

So he still define atheism as a religion. That’s means josepherdon still doesn’t even understand what religion means. Religion is suppose to be the “ultimate concern on our life”. Now, atheism is not a religion since it’s not saying anything that is ultimate regarding concerns on someone’s life. The rule is quite simple; atheism is about not believing in a supernatural being which people calls god or gods.

Let us continue…

Ignorance in the Meaning of “Faith”.

Most of the Atheists believes that their existence was not based on Creation. They strongly opposed it.Christians have faith. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)

Faith to things hoped for and the things that not seen.

Atheists also have faith. Atheists also believe in things that are not seen. Atheists also believe in things that are not yet scientifically proven.

Aw….I’m too tired of explaining faith in my blog. Now let see…if I don’t believe in Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy, is that faith @ Mr. Joseph Perdon. Go figure it out…or maybe too much heavy metal rock music banging or squeeky anime on your brains eh?

Please naman po, tutal 30 years old na po kayo, eh pakilawakan po ng konti ang pang-unawa mo po.

I have this inkling that josepherdon doesn’t have any science background in his studies. Whether he made it on college or not – well, it seems he was not really been exposed to a lot of science subject, especially in biology and physics ( o baka naman natutulog sa library).

Now here’s some samples:

Ignorance in the Theory of Evolution

Missing Links in Theory of Evolution.
These links are yet to be found.No Scientific evidences of their existence.They believe that the link exists out there, it’s just they cannot find them.They treats Theory of Evolution as their doctrine of faithin spite of growing number of scientists are abandoning the theory.

Also considering the great minds of the science communityDID NOT even believed that the humanity came from apes. Sadly, Atheists are taking the Theory of Evolution really seriously.
What missing link? Evolutionist now adays are not looking to any “missing links”. My gulay naman @ Mr. Perdon, you’re so 1880’s hahaha!

Maybe you’re talking about transitional fossils? The term “missing link” po eh ginagamit ng mga taong naniniwala sa tinatawag na the great chain of being, a pre-evolutionary concept now abandoned. Transitional fossils are the fossils of transitional forms of life representing an evolutionary bridge between two recognized groups and I’m proud to say that the discoveries of these trasitional fossils have just proved Darwin’s theory is correct.

We now have hundreds or thousand transitional fossils available. Mr. Joseph Perdon, year 2010 na po tayo. There are many example of transitional fossils and all you have to do is to search the Internet (Remember, Google is your friend. Maybe you should use it to do some worth while research instead of looking for heavy metal bands and Japanese anime.).

Now you won’t find “great minds” saying that humans came from apes @ josepherdon. Ganito po yan, apes and humans comes from a common ancestor. Evolution doesn’t say that monkeys became human. It just say that homonids, simians and prosimians came from a common lineage. Great minds already knows the process and it seems that idea that monkeys or ape became humans only came from you and your “sugo’s” mind…which I don’t think to be great.

Now it’s your turn. maybe you can show as an evidence that human came from Adam and Eve for a change @ Mr. Joseph Perdon AKA josepherdon.

Ignorance in Cosmology

Missing Matter and Energy in Big Bang Theory.

There are still a lot of questions in the Big Bang Theory that needs to be answered.But still, Atheists believe them and holds the theory as true. A lot of things in the Big Bang Theory still needs scientific evidences. Like the mystery of the Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

“Every textbook in the planet earth,says that the universe is made out of atoms and sub-atomic particles.Well, all those textbooks are wrong”–theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku
Quote mining eh? OK let see…Dr. Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist specializing in string field theory. Do you know what is string field theory? String Field theory…wait…I thought you don’t believe in scientific theories? If you don’t believe in scientific theories they why are you quoting a theoretical physicist? Are you contradicting yourself @ Mr. Perdon? Nasa Bible ba ang String field theory?

Anyway, if you have some idea on what quantum physics is…well you will understand what the String Field Theory is all about. It is like this…it says that the most smallest thing in the universe (quarks, atoms, etc) and the vastness of the very large universe is connected like a string in a musical instrument. That’s String Field Theory in a nutshell for you @ josepherdon. Naiintidihan mo ba? Obviously you can’t understand what I’m talking about.

You know why?

Because you can’t even tell the difference between Big Bang and Dark Matter.

Combined, Dark Matter and Dark Energy make up 96% of the universe.(That’s a VERY BIG percentage for something you don’t have a scientific evidence)The problem is, Atheists have faith about these things.(96% of the Universe [r.e.bigbang theory] is not proven scientifically)

Science has do not directly proven the existence of Dark Matter.They are still guessing about what the Dark Matter and Dark Energy really are.

By the way, they say that the Dark Matter is an invisible matter. Yes, believing Big Bang Theory requires faith.Faith about those unanswered questions and mysteries about the universe(e.g. Dark Energy and Dark Matter)
Are you talking about the candy bar or the sitcom that was created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady?

So what does Dark Matter has to do with the Big Bang? For your information, dark matter is the large invisible matter that composed most of the universe. The term “dark matter” was coined by Fritz Zwicky who discovered evidence for missing mass in galaxies in the 1930s.

Dark Matter is matter that is inferred to exist from gravitational effects on visible matter and background radiation, but is undetectable by emitted or scattered electromagnetic radiation and it is more important on the issue concerning state-of-the-art modeling of structure formation and galaxy evolution, and has measurable effects on the anisotropies observed in the cosmic microwave background.

So where’s the issue concerning the Big Bang?

Like The Theory of Evolution,Growing number of Scientists already abandoned the Big Bang theory just like the well-known scientists that believe that there is a God. If the scientific evidences about Big Bang Theory and Theory Of Evolution are really that great, How come that there are scientists have religion and believes in God? These Atheists are just hiding in the surface of science books which actually Scientists have already given up reading.

Like who? Can you please name names @ josepherdon.
Let see…according to the studies conducted by sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund, 38 persent of natural scientist doesn’t believe in God. In Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham studies they discovered that disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. (See: Victor Stenger’s excellent Has Science Found God? for more details)

Being an Atheist does not make you more intelligent than others

Ah so that’s his problem…Atheists appear more intelligent than him and his “sugo”. So that’s why he’s bitching in the World Wide Web.

Mr. Joseph Perdon. It’s not that atheist like me is more intelligent…nope. We just use our “coconut” more that you used yours. Remember, your mind is like a parachute, it is more useful when it is open.

Hmmmmm…I think josepherdon still has a lot to say…

I have talked, discuss and even debated with some self-centered Atheistang Pinoy and believe me, papansin lang sila. Tinatawag din nila ang mga sarili nila na THINKING PINOYS. As if, naman na sila lang ang nagiisip. They are just people wanting to be different from others. Oo nga naman, karamihan ng mga pinoy ay may religion at naniniwala sa Dios, kapag hindi ka nga naman naniwala sa Dios, instant attention nga naman yun. Pa-kontra-bida effect, pa-others, parang EMO, or talagang Pinoy EMO na nga talaga sila. At kapag naiipit na sila sa mga dahilan nila in denying GOD, they will demand respect. Ay teka,teka, magpapatawa pala muna sila, tapos aasarin ka. Kapag na-realize nilang hindi ka mabilis maasar or bumabalik na sa kanila yung mga pang-aasar nila, tsaka sila hihingi ng respeto sa paniniwala. Kung kakausapin mo sila ng masinsinan at napansin nilang may point ka, they will simply walk away at sasabihin nonsense makipag-usap sayo. “I am more intelligent than you”. Feeling of superiority from others. Pride.Yes, may pride nga ang mga Pinoy EMOs este Pinoy Atheists.

You see, after nilang ipagmalaki ang paniniwala nila, pagkatuwaan ang mga naniniwala sa Dios at naiipit na sila sa takbo ng utak nila, tsaka sila hihingi ng respeto. Believe me, iyan po ang pattern ng usapan ng mga Christians at Atheistang Pinoy. Kahit mapa-saan man yang forum, Friendster or else, they will try to impress you first with their different way of thinking, carabao-english and then asking for respect of their beliefs. Emong-emo di ba

Kakaunti lang naman ang mga Pinoy Atheists, este Freethinkers pala, este Pinoy EMOs pala.Kukunti lang silang naniniwala masyado sa sarili nila eh.Tinanong ko dati yung mga nakausap ko,Willing ba kayong ituro sa mga anak ninyo ang paniniwalang Atheista?Anong klaseng values ang ituturo ninyo sa mga anak ninyo?Willing ba kayong i-share sa mga kabataan at ilayo sa Dios ang mga kabataan?Anong klaseng sosyodad ang handa ninyong i-offer sa mga kababayan ninyo?Sosyodad na hindi naniniwala sa Dios?

Wala ka namang kabutihang mapapala sa pagiging atheista eh. Takbo ng buhay mo wala. Baka nga mayaman ka, baka nga may maganda kang trabaho pero after that wala na. Ang pagtulong sa kapwa tao ng mga atheista is pakitang tao lang, plastic. Bakit? Kung wala ngang Dios, ano ngayon ang difference ng paggawa ng mabuti sa paggawa ng masama? Kung mamamatay kang isang atheista na magnanakaw, pumapatay ng tao, o rapist, may difference ba?
Kung mamamatay kang isang atheista na feeling proud sa sarili?There’s no difference, walang LIFE AFTER DEATH eh.Logic lang naman ang kailangan eh, which is sad to say na wala ang mga atheista.

With the slow rise of Scientology wannabes, Atheists are endangered species.Actually, habang kumakaunti sila, lalong lalaki ulo ng mga yan. Feeling elite.Pa-others lang talaga. Feeling important. Feeling genio.The Big Bang Theory + Theory of Evolution = Existence of Atheists

So in the following statement that was written in the tagalog language (maybe because josepherdon ran out of English words…) he just started spilling his own viscera. Hmmmm….sa makatuwid eh sinuka na nya ang talagang sinisintir nya (He just vomited out his issues).

It’s quite obvious (base on his seethe) that he was crushed on a debate. We can perceive that on his writings. Now what happened here is that when this guy ran out of arguments, he started spewing venom.

He had this feeling (which really bothers him) that atheists are more superior in knowledge, ideas and arguments than his “sugo” and himself. Naturally the guy was hurt and he’s just licking his would like a dog and well…sour-graping.

Mr. Joseph Perdon AKA josepherdon, here’s my advice to you. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you don’t have any logical arguments against atheism, then don’t debate. Also don’t dwell too much on fantasies. Please let us at least have a little honesty in our part – you never even tried facing us for a debate, so how can you defeat us? Seriously, you never posted any comment in the Filipino Freethinker Website and forum; you never posted any comment on my blog and even on my shout box. You don’t have any posts on the Pinoy Atheist Group in Friendster, Multiply and Facebook. Are you a phony just like your “sugo”?

Come on…give us the real deal here.

And what do the EMO and the Scientologist have to do with your beatings @ josepherdon? Bakit, wag mo naming sabihin sa akin na natalo ka ng EMO at ng isang scientologist sa debate?

Life after death? Philanthropy? My goodness is this a special pleading? Mr. Joseph Perdon, even without “dios” humans can still be good. Look at me; I can still do good things even if I don’t expect any life after death in heaven. Kaya mo ba yan o baka naman kaya ka gumagawa ng mabuti eh para mapunta ka sa langit?

Look, I know of a story of a man who believes in a “dios” and his followers claims he is a walking Bible encyclopedia yet still manage to raped a guy. Think about it.

Now we non-believers don’t believe in brainwashing and “indoctrination”. We don’t teach something, but strongly encouraged not to question or critically examine what you’ve been taught.

Diba you have indoctrination in your cult…este coordination centers pala @ josepherdon?

Ew….How repulsive…parang may sapilitang ipinapasok sa ulo mo. Only cults do that @ josepherdon.

In the issue of respect…well respect is earned @ josepherdon and it seems you and your “sugo” still have to work harder to attain it.

Oh and another thing, atheism is different with Scientology…wait a minute…don’t tell me you don’t know what Scientology is? Man…(lol)…Scientology is a religion that was created by L. Ron Hubbard that teaches people are immortal spiritual beings who have forgotten their true nature. Maybe you think that Scientology are people that worshipped science…hahahaha! Gosh, your lack of knowledge disturbs me. Mr. Joseph Perdon, John Travolta and Tom Cruise don’t worship science.

So instead of bitching here in the Internet and exposing your dirty underwear, why not work on your arguments and start focusing in reality. I would love to invite you on one of our meet-ups if you want. You could be one of our “special guess”.

Also, before you engage a debate with any member of the Filipino Freethinker or an atheist like me, please review the following subjects: Philosophy (especially logic), science, religion and in your case English Grammar. Review your subject-verb agreement.

And please: THINK FIRST BEFORE YOU WRITE!

Ay my papaya…as they say, to an ignoramus nothing is impossible.

Ciao!

Posted in Humor, Religion, Science, StoriesComments (26)

Just My Remarks on Pastor Orlaer’s Comments (Part 2)


In my last post I discussed the difference between belief, trust and faith, but before I go on, I would like to dive deeper into the subject.

We now know that belief encompasses anything that we accept as true – yet it doesn’t follow that before we arrive at a certain belief system we accept it without any evidence. As I have already said, not all beliefs are categorized as “faith”.

To illustrate this, maybe you guys have any idea on those people who are into NWO or “New World Order”. Conspiracy theorists believe on things like secret societies, that the September 11 attacks in 2001 were either intentionally allowed to happen, or that the moon landing never happened, but they believe such things not on faith but on what they believe as evidences. They have “reason” to believe. Their “evidences” are: big, contemporary newsworthy events which may suit their “theory”; some so-called “anomalies; and of course big organizations. But whatever wacky ideas that come to their mind, it is still “evidence”.

Evidence is anything that increases the estimate of the probability of the truthfulness of the proposition.

I believe that the Sun is going to rise in the East and will set in the West tomorrow and that there is an “invisible” thing we called wind. Is that faith?

Nah…Knowing these things rely on evidence. We use data to predict an outcome of something – like the rising or setting of the Sun for example. Unless something beyond natural event happened tomorrow, we expect the Sun to rise in the East and set in the West based on and limited by repeatable, objective experience.

Pastor Vince: That’s right, you cannot see it. But you can see other things being moved by it. You can see the clouds being pushed by it, etc… But the question is, can you see the wind? Molecules??? You felt the matter, but not the molecules my friend.

In the issue of the wind for example, we can feel it but we can’t see it. But again, that is not faith. The reason that we can “feel” the wind is a proof that it exists. When we talk about feeling in an empirical context, we don’t assume its existence because we have the “conviction” it exists…nope, we’re not talking about being euphoric.

We don’t see air because the molecules that make up air (nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, argon) just don’t happen to absorb light in the wavelengths our eyes can see.

Oh and molecules don’t exist?
Actually you can see a molecule. Since molecules move too fast and our eye can only see around 100 frames per second, if you saw a molecule it would be just a blur, maybe a sphere. But thanks to specialized microscopes, we can even see atoms. Also there is this device called scanning tunneling microscope (STM) that can be used to see a molecule (neat stuff eh?).

There are other evidences of the existence on molecules. Just pick up your physics and chemistry text book (do you have a copy Pastor Vince?).

If you hit a crystal with a beam of rays, the rays diffract into patterns which can be used to tell exactly where the atoms in the crystal are located. This technique, which was proposed by Sir William Bragg in the late 1800’s, only works if matter is made of atoms.

Botanist Robert Brown noticed that tiny objects like pollen grains shook and moved erratically when viewed under a microscope. Nearly seventy years later, Albert Einstein explained this “Brownian motion” as the result of bombardment by molecules. Einstein found his main clue to the size of molecules: how far the suspended particles move should depend on the number of molecules it takes to make one “mole”. Each time a fluid molecule bounced into a suspended particle, the particle would be moved a little, so after many bounces the particle might wind up in a quite different place. Einstein found that, if one mole equals so many molecules, the suspended particles would wander, on average, so far in one minute. If a mole only equals one fourth as many molecules so that each fluid molecule is four times as massive, the fluid molecules would hit hard enough for the suspended particles to wander, overall, twice as far in one minute.

Avogadro’s number is the number of molecules in one mole of any compound. There are dozens of different experimental methods for measuring Avogadro’s number. All give the same result. The fact that Avogadro’s number seems to be independent of any particular method implies that it actually has meaning- and so is strong circumstantial evidence that molecules actually exist.

Pastor Vince seems to forget, because of science, we can now see the wind.

Pascal’s Bad Bet

Pastor Vince: As for me, I would rather believe in God. For if I die and then there is no God, I will lose nothing. But if I believe that there is no God, then when I die I found out that there is God, then I lose everything.

Let’s talk about Pascal’s Wager.
Now, isn’t it funny that Christian evangelists like Pastor Vince always use Pascal’s Wager? Doesn’t he know Pascal’s wager was intended for Roman Catholic use? (Come on…give me something original.)

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) lived in a time when religious belief in Europe was simple; whether you’re a Roman Catholic or a non-believer. There were only two choices. In today’s Christianity for example, the wager can’t be that useful…let me explain.

How many dogma and doctrines does Christianity have today? Some Christians believe in the trinity while others don’t. Some believe in a human Christ, Biblical inerrancy, additional gospels (from the Gnostics)…whatever! Now what if Roman Catholicism turns out to be right and Born-Again Christianity is wrong. What will happen? What if “Sorianistas” are right or the Iglesia Ni Cristo is right? This is becoming a very bad bet.
Speaking of which, I’m just wondering…why would an omni-being punish those who don’t believe its existence? Does non-belief suck the very life-force of this “God being”? Does lack of worship weaken this “God”? It is really quite odd for a perfect, omni-being to require a need of worshippers and believers.

It seems this so-called “God” will wither and dry-out if people stop believing in its existence. So! It appears this God needs me that I need Him.

Enjoy it till it lasts

Pastor Vince: Do you think your life is wasted when you enjoy something doing it? Do you believe that your life is wasted for trying to prove that there is no God? I am pretty sure that you will answer that your life is not wasted for you have already judged my life that I already have wasted it.

But then again, going back to my question. Do you think your life is wasted when you enjoy the things you are doing and that it is with a purpose?

So according to Pastor Vince, if a person enjoys something, that won’t waste his life. Hmmmm…eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die eh?

Let me tell you a story of a person who enjoyed his youthful life going to sleazy bars and “beer houses” to have fun. Sure, don’t tell me he’s not enjoying every minute of it. Drinking all night long to drown his problems and his mundane existence with whiskey and beer.

Now that he’s 75 years old…what happened? What did he achieve?

The same reason can be heard on kids who waste their time “enjoying” leisure with their friends instead of going to school…(Have you heard the Nonoy Zuniga song “Sa Panaginip Lang”?)

Pastor Vince: Well, as a Christian myself, I don’t think that it is a waste of life to believe in God, just as you believe that there is no GOd. I enjoy exercising my faith with a purpose and with the hope of second life while you enjoy searching and reasoning that there is no GOd with the hope that there is no second life. What life have been wasted then? I simply believe that I have made a better preparation of what it is to come or “if there will be no second life at all.” It’s not a waste of life my friend.

Drug addiction also has the same effect. You enjoy being a “junkie”. You enjoy all the euphoria while speed-balling or injecting or snuffing Methamphetamine on your system. Something like belief in a so-called “promise of an after-life in heaven” can do. So, to say that it is not a waste of time to prepare for an after-life with God is the same excuse a blotter user would say when he’s “high”.

Posted in ReligionComments (2)

Just My Remarks on Pastor Orlaer's Comments (Part 1)


Before I start, I would like to thank the Christians who visit the Filipino Freethinkers website and grace its pages with their…er…”reasonable” comments.

To make it more interesting, I would like to share a little of my mind…a personal analysis perhaps on Pastor Vince Orlaer’s comments on religion, faith, atheism and his defense on the Bible and Christianity.

Religion

Yes it NEVER requires religion; but that religious faith produces religion.
Religion is the way you practice your faith.
It’s like “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
Therefore, “You can practice your religion without faith, but you cannot practice faith without practicing religion.”

Uh…I think religion is not only the way to practice your faith but religion is synonymous with faith. The word religion can be interchanged with faith. That’s why we call it Buddhist faith, Hindi faith, Jewish faith, Islamic faith and Christian faith.

Now, defining religion can really be nose-bleed since there are many ideas, interpretations and “what-nots” about it. But we can at least narrow it down to something coherent.

Christianity is not all about religion. Religion will in no way get you to heaven. It may be an instrument in understanding the underlying principles of true Christianity, but it’s not enough to get to heaven. Our relationship to Christ is what matters.

Narrowing what is common to all religions will displace the myth that Christianity is not one of them. Most books will agree with me that different faiths have the following concepts in common:
(1.) Belief in some kind of a supernatural being (sometimes called gods, devas, etc.)
(2.) Rituals
(3.) A moral code given by supernatural means (or a Supernatural being).
(4.) Prayers
(5.) A belief in a certain world view that gives an individual a so-called purpose or meaning.

Come on! All these concepts are present in Christianity, aren’t they? Fundamentalists/Evangelical Christians may deny it but it won’t make the facts go away – whether it’s true Christianity or not.

Belief and Faith

It seems Pastor Orlaer got a little confused between “belief” and “faith”. OK let’s clear the mess that he just made.

First, let’s do some defining:
A belief is how you accept something as true. Easy, huh? So based on this simple definition we can say that faith is also a kind of belief. But not all beliefs are the same as faith.

But hey! My pocket dictionary says that both faith and belief are synonymous with the word “trust”!
Hay my papaya! That’s the problem with pocket dictionaries.

As I have said, not all beliefs are categorized as faith. Why? Because not all beliefs are without, or against, reason.

Why? What is faith?

Faith believes without proof or evidence.

Now that we already know the difference between the two, we can now look at Pastor Orlaer’s statements.

Religious faith is just one form. But you yourself exercise faith like sitting on a chair. You sit on a chair because you believe that the chair can comfort you. You drive a car because you believe it can bring you somewhere.

Faith, Trust, Belief/Believe …. all these are synonymous terms, my friend. How can you say you trust yet you do not have faith that you can definitely sit down on the chair? Hope you are getting my point. You sit because you trust that the chair is stable. And because you trust, you have faith that it can carry you. Trust and Faith (the real meaning) cannot be separated from each other.

Sitting on a chair or driving a car doesn’t require faith. First, we all know that chairs and cars exist. Second, we also know what chairs and cars are for.

Trust is not blind belief. You trust something or someone because you see particular characteristics on that something that will win your confidence. That’s what advertisements are for.

Trust is something you come to after a long process of give-and-take. Trustworthiness is confirmed by observation. It’s a learned process while faith is something that doesn’t require knowledge. Faith is about something that has not yet come to pass and its actuality has no evidence. It depends on the unknowable, the incomprehensible and the claim that it is beyond reason and logic. Therefore, trust and faith can be separated.

Until next time…

Posted in ReligionComments (18)

Losing My Religion


It was inevitable. Oft it’s been said, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, so I knew if I’d be cooped up in the house for 1-2 months then invariably, I’d be thinking about this. After all, in that litany of “R” words I’d written as my goals for this period of rest, “repent” was sure to be on the list. Or it could be that watching 24 episodes of “Supernatural” (esp. this latest season dealing with the Apocalypse) made me think about my faith and where my personal relationship with God stands in the scheme of all things that’s happened in my life. And believe it or not, no matter how hedonistic I might seem to purport at times in the pursuit of life’s pleasures, my faith, and the quest of it, has always been an important facet of who I am. So here goes…

I believe sometimes our mass, or Sunday church services, could better be improved at times. Far be it from me to tinker with centuries-old Catholic tradition, but truthfully, born-again, or evangelical Church services are way more alive and spiritual at times than our staid, stiff, and sometimes alienating Catholic mass. Still, having said that, a traditional part of our ceremony I find sacred is the saying of the Apostles Creed. It makes sense for any believer, to state what one accepts to be part of one’s faith. But here’s my personal take on that, my own set of principles in the faith.

(1) I believe in God. That much is made clear. For many reasons really, and the purpose of this note is certainly not to cite all my reasons why, or to prove that God exists. And boy, I’ve gone on that actual quest myself, even reading a book “God’s Questionable Existence” by Fr.Reilly(of course a Jesuit!) that makes for a compelling read by the way. But one, critical reason I believe is: I’m a Mom. It’s as simple as that. I mean, really, any mother, or parent who’s ever held a sick child in her arms can attest to how much faith you suddenly realize you have, when faced with the reality that you don’t control anything, and then, having faith in a higher power makes so much sense. When you have kids, you start praying…a lot! From: “Lord please help me find the money for the milk, diapers (or substitute with: tuition, kids’ braces, the list is endless) to “Lord, please help me find my son” (when my autistic child was lost in the mall for 15 long minutes, the longest 15 minutes of my life), to “Lord, please don’t let this scar my daughter for life” (on my failed marriage). Let me tell you, when one prays, one believes.

(2) Love moves in mysterious ways, as the song goes. Or rather God does, not love (but then God is love!). We live in a world where, bad things happen to good people and often we question whether God is really present in a world where evil exists (and oftentimes win!). A book I read once “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People” (I told you I’ve done extensive research as part of my faith journey) said that God has no control over things that happen. I don’t think so. It’s tricky really, for it’s true that you can’t absolve God for all the atrocities that happen in this world. That’s what you get for giving man free will in the first place. Or for even putting that tree in the middle of Paradise (Lord, what were you thinking?!). It doesn’t make sense at all. Why He lets bad things happen. Coz, I can’t just credit God for the good things, and not let him be responsible for also the bad things. It’s all or nothing. Yet, I believe, it’s all part of His grand masterplan. That’s an integral part of what faith is. It’s the hope in things not seen. I think, the one flaw of Paradise was that you can’t really be sure if you love someone, if things are too perfect. And so, God, in his infinite love, risked it by giving us the choice, and so we all have to find our way back to Him. Of our own accord.

(3) I’m a bad girl. But God is good, all the time. If there’s one thing I concur with my foray into evangelical Christianity, it’s that no amount of good works will entitle you entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Of course that does not give me license to indulge myself, but it does explain why I say I’m a Christian but still find myself in situations where I can’t muster enough strength and willpower to say no to temptation (Lord, lead me not into temptation,for I can find it myself,haha). I still don’t subscribe to any one religion saying they’re the best and all that, which is why religion ticks of a whole lot of people. I believe, when I die, God is not going to ask me if I was a good Catholic (or substitute any religion here). I don’t know what he’s going to ask really, but I sure think it’s not going to be that. I mean, it has to be more than that. But you do have to keep on trying to be good, to love one’s neighbor, not even as oneself (coz Lord knows the things we do to ourselves at times!). And I do try, admirably, if I may say so myself. So, I’m really a good girl, who just tends to be naughty at times. Yet Santa (or God) still showers me with a whole lot of blessings, not just during Christmas, but throughout the year.

Hey, I’m not religious, but damn, I’m spiritual.

Posted in ReligionComments (51)

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