17 February 2015

Religion at its Finest

Wow, 2015 has started with a bang, don't you think? The first month didn't see its end without having religious radicals committing a terrorist attack in Paris. That was followed by several raids in other countries, arresting people planning to conduct Islamist attacks, in Belgium and Germany. At the same time, you see fervent believers showing their faith and getting euphoric when the Pope visited Sri Lanka and the Philippines. And lest we forget, there were riots against the depiction of Mohammed in Niger, Algeria, and Somalia. Religion definitely takes center stage, no? Infamously, I should say.

See, when would people learn? When would people eventually realise that religion is more a negative influence than a positive one. It's times like these when I seesaw back and forth between a moderate atheist and a more hardcore one. There are times in which I think that while I do not need religion, I can see and understand why there might be others who do need it in their lives. But then again I read the news and see these events, and think that there is no such thing as a moderate religion. There is no such thing as a religion of peace. Because if you fundamentally believe that your God is correct, and the other God is false, then even though you might be a moderate, this narrow-minded non-bendable and infallible logic will lead one to extremist and radical thought.

Look at what happened back in the days of the Crusades. Even in the days of the Colonial Period. One group of people thought that they were dogmatically correct, and they set it upon themselves to impose their beliefs to others. History just repeats itself. This time, it's the extremists who consider Mohammed to be a sacred prophet, and who think that their worldview is correct.

Fanatics, that's a scary thought. I find it scary that there are people who you really cannot jut engage in a rational conversation. I find it scary that there are people who dogmatically believe that their Holy Book cannot be anything but correct, whether it is the Bible, or the Qur'an. I find it scary that there are people out there who arrogantly think that their beliefs are ultimately correct, and because of that, it gives them the right to kill other people who don't hold these beliefs. Just look at what is happening in Myanmar, in Syria, in the Central African Republic, and in many other lands.

So when I see worshipers in a mosque, church, or temple, I can't help but feel pity. I find it sad that these people have been brainwashed, and instead of actually using their brain to think rationally, they cling to these beliefs that don't even hold water, just in the name of tradition. I didn't realise that sometimes, tradition involves killing a fellow human being.

How sad.


  1. See, I'm also an atheist, but when I see people in places of worship, I don't see people who have been brainwashed. I see people who have faith in something that I personally don't believe in, but people who still have their free will and the power to use this faith for greater purposes.

    Now when I hear in the news that extremists, no matter where in the world, are using religion as an excuse to go crazy, I think about these believers I saw... and I mourn the fact that some weak fool dishonour something that should unite people.

    I guess I'm more neutral, but I come from an atheist family and never really had to defend my beliefs, so it makes me neutral toward religion too. I don't understand it but... I let it be I guess.

    1. Zhu,

      I guess in my opinion, you're fortunate, in the sense that your upbringing didn't involve dogmatic elements of how one belief is "inherently" correct and another is inherently wrong. I should say that an atheist can be dogmatic too, and I guess what I always remind myself, or at least try to, is that my current beliefs isn't the result of dogmatic fervor, but because of an accumulating evidence showing how religion can be more a negative influence than a positive one.