Monday, February 19, 2007

I am a religious atheist.

DISCLAIMER: This is a religious blog. Hence, it has the capability to offend the sensibilities of certain people. Seriously! If you're unable to use your brain to think, please do not bother reading any further. If you do, read at your own risk.

I'm a buddhist and I consider myself rather religious. This may surprise some people, but buddhism is an atheistic religion. Anyone who tells you otherwise, either doesn't know the religion, or has a different definition for theism. In buddhism, there is *no need* for a god/gods, and therefore, there isn't one. Refer to wikipedia.

A common debate going on these days, especially in places where religious fundamentalism is rising, is the whole science versus religion debate. This often centres around the theory of evolution versus creationism. These religious fundamentalists are facing a crisis today as their belief system is being systematically taken apart by science. Hence, the quiet battles that are being waged around many parts of the world.

I find the whole idea of a creator god totally illogical and irrational. The argument given by creationists is often that organisms like us are complex and the universe is complex and these complex things couldn't have existed without a creator and that the creator is this deity called a god/gods. Now, if we ponder this argument for a moment, we will find that it contains in itself, a fatal flaw: who created the god/gods? [in medieval times, this is the point at which i get stoned to death for blasphemy].

If it is impossible for anything to exist without being created, then it is impossible for the god/gods to exist without being created either. If it is possible for the god/gods to exist without a creator, then, it is certainly possible for other things to exist without being created either. Hence, the self contradictory logic that exists within that argument.

If the claim is that, there is possibly a super god/gods that created the god/gods (like what the Greeks believed), then the next question would be: who created the super god/gods? If the claim is a whole hierarchy of god/gods, then, the question is: where does it stop? If the chain continues 'ad-infinitum', then, it merely supports the notion that there is *no* creator as there is no beginning.

The engineer in me will use a simple engineering analogy to illustrate this. Let's take a look at an engine. Did we as human beings 'create' an engine? If you said 'yes', you probably believe in a god/gods and weren't thinking hard enough. Someone had 'invented' the engine, not 'created' it. There is a difference. As scientists/engineers, we merely discovered the rules of physics that govern the workings and learnt to harness it through the use of a machine. We most certainly did not 'create' it. So, things *can* exist without being created and I've just shown you an example of one.

Then, some people may say that art is 'creative' and that there is 'creation' in art. All I can say is that these people are delusional. There certainly is a lot of creativity involved in art. However, it's no more created than the engine was. The artist had merely used a very good and possibly unique way of putting the constituent parts together (whether it's words, notes or colours) in order to evoke an emotional response from people. Fundamentally, it's no different from putting together the gears and cogs to get the engine running.

Personally, I have nothing against people who believe in a god/gods. Many (I'd even dare say most) of my friends are Christians and Muslims. Just don't bother trying to convince me of the existence of a god/gods. I'm a religious person and I'm an atheist. There is no conflict in that statement. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are like me. I will leave you with a short clip by Richard Dawkins, international atheist #1.


What A Lulu said...

lulu's the opposite, an un-religious Christian. I believe in God, but i'm not religious as in

1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel replied:
"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

btw, did you know that one of the pastors at eden baptist in cambridge is a m'sian? he's preaching 10am this sunday. go listen if you're free and/or curious.

Shawn Tan said...

haha... i'm curious as to why you know that a Malaysian pastor is preaching in Cambridge?? hehe...

like i said in my blog, it just doesn't fit my rational/logical mind that a god/gods exist.. some people need it, some people don't..

What A Lulu said...

i know marvin personally. he was from my church in pj.
get well soon, and hope the curiosity stirs in you. then maybe your rational side can give me an update on the sermon in your blog.