Tag Archives: atheism

Thought #52. A converted atheist.

Robert’s fondness for his wife was well known. He would have given his life for Joana if only she had asked him to do so. Unfortunately though, he could not help but witness the lingering and inevitable death of his beloved partner. The fate of their uphill battle against Joana’s terminal cancer was ten to one.

Since the doctor delivered them so bad a piece of news, they learned to take it one day at a time. Robert adopted a positive attitude towards the diagnostic, nothing was carved in stone yet. He resorted to faith; a new-found religious faith that would give him hope. A glimmer of hope that, surprisingly, he still holds ten years after she finally was at peace and her suffering was over.

Thanks to faith, her absence is not quite absolute. Robert’s approach to God has made up for the loss of his wife. More by accident than design, he became a fervent follower. During such a battle, seeing how Joana was undergoing endless chemotherapy sessions, he slowly discovered how science, and particularly medicine, could render a life sterile, lifeless.

Prior to those brutal sessions, he was a declared atheist. In fact, now that I come to think of it, he used to give insightful speeches on atheism back in his thirties. Who would have thought he could end up praying with rapt fervour every single day and going to church on Sundays. His change of heart was unexcepted and, at the same time, understandable. Now, he awaits. He looks forward to seeing her soon.

Naively or not, he is very upfront about why God must exist, he would have given his life for Joana, and yet it was as nonsensical as believing that science and medicine would have been able to save her. Soon after her death, he plunged into his religious studies. Her death had to have a meaning. At least, he remains hopeful and have not put an end to happiness. I have no say about this kind of situations, but legend has it that when there is little or no hope for the future, people cling to God.

Thought #23. Button it! I’m trying to think.

Beliefs, thoughts, words and silence. I would tell a downright lie if I denied that I often rack my brains. Today is not an exception. I do have beliefs. For example, I do believe in mankind. I really do.  Yesterday, I was criticised by a reader on account of my last blog post. Criticism can be defined as the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.

The perceptions expressed in the message can be summed up as follow: I am deeply ignorant and condescending and my writing is grandiloquent. But it turns out that it is not strictly true. I am utterly ignorant about almost everything but saying that the rise of atheism resulted in “dictatorships, hunger and genocide” shows a deep flaw in the mind of this reader.

New York 9/11, Madrid 14M, London 7/7. Terrorism, politics, fundamentalism and religion. The link is obvious to me. Luckily, people need to believe in something and I believe in people. Am I being grandiloquent? I genuinely cling to the belief that one day, humanity will be the force to be reckoned with. A powerful, creative and social force that may set humanity apart by bringing about equality.

Up until then, we will need to learn how to fight a war without weapons. Using devious tactics to level criticism at my blog is not going to stop my thoughts. In my utopian vision of the world: war-torn countries will die out, famine will become a thing of the past, crime will be fiction and equality a common sight, once and for all. The question is how to transform an utopia into something attainable. The answer is yet to be known.

Beliefs and thoughts, words and silence have a long journey ahead.

Thought #22. The elephant in the room.

Had Darwin never been born, religion would be in better shape today. Well, this statement is not necessarily true, appearances can be deceptive and neither is atheism a spin-off of modern times, nor is religion even in decline. Despite the fact that Charles Darwin is widely regarded as the father of evolutionism and thus of atheism, the rise of disbelief in the modern world has ancient roots. In other words, it is as old as the hills.

However, it is small wonder that atheism has not turned up trumps. Although there is no scientific evidence of the supernatural, mankind’s tendency to believe the unbelievable is an immemorial custom. This deeply ingrained behaviour has been, is and will be an inseparable part of human beings. Apparently, people need to believe in something, true or false.

The paradoxical nature of any kind of religion is basically incontestable, and as yet neither the Greeks nor Science have been capable of convincing believers that living in blissful ignorance could be tantamount to squandering a whole life.  Should there exist a highly controversial subject, it is without doubt the struggle between Science and religion. I understand that no one should be able to judge others on account of their beliefs, but it is no less true that religious justice has historically done a great disservice to their own devotees.

From a purely secular point of view, fervent believers have been largely belittled by their faith. By imposing arbitrary limits on the freedom of action of they followers, religions utter thinly-veiled threats of committing sins and it must be difficult to live when anything could end up weighing on your conscience.

Faith can move mountains, but it cannot avert wars or prevent capital punishment. Do I have to take this matter of misleading leaders seriously? Do I need to believe in a God that promises eternal life and yet allows brutality and savagery? I do not think so. The Spanish inquisition is only an example of religious intolerance and repression towards other beliefs. Countless deaths were caused in vain then, and countless will be caused in the future for “Their” sake.

Fortunately, I do not think the future of humanity is at risk, unless a cruel twist of fate leads us to extinction. Although creationism is still in its heyday, I firmly believe in our intellectual capacities. Science would well need more time to probe deep into the origins of life and find the missing link but the paradoxical nature of a hypothesis will eventually cease to be a paradox when factual evidence emerges and the elephant in the room vanishes once and for all.