By Rado Gatchalian
For centuries, this mind-boggling question, “Does God exist?” has catapulted our civilizations to secondary, yet also primal, questions of peace and violence, of good and evil, of liberty and authority.
It is 2021 and we still battle with this one fundamental question that ultimately defines our existence: who we are and what happens after we die.
Whether or not we believe in a sacred entity, one becomes a subject (and/or object) of one’s conscience and social judgment. Conscience in the context of what we truly believe is true and what our heart feels; and social judgment based on how we are pressured and expected to believe as prescribed by social norms, authorities, traditions, and history. Here comes an internal psychological conflict whether to assert what we want to believe or follow what others want us to believe.
A question of God then becomes a question of one’s conviction. And will. And power. And freedom.
Humanity is so obsessed with and about God that one becomes aggressive and prepared to kill in the name of God. Look at history and everything is a crystal ball. This is not an opinion nor an accusation. One becomes free when one sees the light… light, in the context of knowledge.
This God who is supposed to be the epitome of an exemplary entity has been the very core of human violation against humans.
This obsession with ‘God’ becomes a human character exhibited in all religious forms. Everything is centered on rules and dogmas on how to worship and please God. Then, here comes the notion of rewards and punishment. Here comes the notion of eternal hell and paradise.
This religious obsessive-compulsive disorder has subjected many individuals to torture, guilt, slavery, poverty, ignorance, and fear. The Church used God to achieve this purpose and used it so effectively that they were able to wipe out an entire village.
This God who is supposed to be the epitome of an exemplary entity — who is All-Knowing, All-Good, All-Present — has been the very core of human violation against humans. This sacred irony of all ironies becomes the worst crime of humanity.
The Church that is supposed to live like the poor and be one with the poor, lives in golden thrones and robes. The Church, which is supposed to show unquestionable grace and love towards the children and the oppressed, violates the very human rights of a child, who is supposedly free from sexual abuse and fear.
The very same Church that is supposed to emulate the life of Christ violates the dignity of man.
The God who is Good becomes the object of Evil.
The God himself, if there is one, would condemn the religions that hold his name. This Supreme Being cannot, in his moral conscience, accept these centuries of violence and abuses used in his name.
Thus, this God becomes an Atheist. He rejects his own Godliness — simply because the God we believe is not the “Godliness” we practice.
To believe in God or not — as a basic requirement to do good — is a critical ethical question. Do we do good because we need to believe in a God? Do we do good simply because we know it is good? This moral barometer ultimately defines our conviction of whether we believe in the innate goodness of humanity or in the supremacy of a supernatural being.
Do we do good because if we do not do it, we will be condemned to eternal damnation? Is this free will? Are we born with inherent intelligence to determine what is right or wrong? Do we need authorities and revelation to dictate how we should behave? Do we do good because we want to go to heaven?
Or do we do good because we know it is the right thing to do whether there is someone up there looking at us or not? Do we need religions to follow our conscience?
In our DNA runs a socially debilitating disease known as hypocrisy.
All these questions are questions that define our behavior. It will tell us the purpose of why we do what we do.
This moral dilemma based on this theological precept of knowledge of God as a major prerequisite to do good has caused tremendous inner psychological battle on individuals, causing one to deny his ability to reason and behave according to his “own” moral conscience. This confusion results in centuries of preconceived faith that the denial of the self is the ultimate sacrifice and heroism on the path to eternal paradise.
Religions have pre-programmed our minds that the Self and our existence are tainted with spiritual dirt and imperfection that we are not capable of defining a better life except through the guidance of holy books, revelations, traditions, authorities, and representatives of God.
By following such dogmas and commandments we blindfold our eyes and walk through a path designed by the Church. To follow our own path will be against this spiritual directive. No wonder we see so many religious people who are like machines and robots who follow without questions the demands of their religious leaders. They do this with an innocent but also irrational conviction that everything they do is a blueprint to heaven.
This is the reason why a God would commit himself to his own existential suicide. He cannot permit any thinking individuals to subject themselves to such illusion that for humans to act morally, one must believe in a God. If there is a God, it must be a Supreme Entity that favors reason over superstition, liberty over slavery, happiness over fear.
When we do good to people simply because we know it is the right thing to do, and not because it is our duty to a higher being, that is true faith and a pure act of charity.
Man created God for his own favor and advantage, but more so to control other people. This is the reason why for centuries religions would want the people to live in ignorance. As soon as an individual sees the Light, he will question the authorities and the practice of superstition and elaborate impractical rituals.
Yes: to err is human, to forgive is divine.
But this God cannot forgive the atrocities and abuses caused by religions. The abuses and corruptions, for thousands of years, within the Church would reach the pinnacle of heaven that even angels, if there are any, would collapse for such horrendous acts of evil from the so-called Holy. In our DNA runs a socially debilitating disease known as hypocrisy.There are many wolves in the disguise of sheep.
As man becomes aware of this philosophical enlightenment, he will become a God himself who has the wisdom to differentiate right from wrong. Our own existence is a divine gift on earth. This earth is our paradise. How we live is how we are rewarded, not in the afterlife but now. When we do good to people simply because we know it is the right thing to do, and not because it is our duty to a higher being, that is true faith and a pure act of charity. We do not need to be bribed with free lollipops and cakes just for us to help the poor.
What we need is humanity, more than a religion.
What we need is reason, more than impractical faith.
What we need is action, more than a prayer and lip service.
What we need is to celebrate life now, more than to prepare for an unseen afterlife.
What we need is love, whether we believe in God or not, more than rules and fear.
Love should be our primary religion if we need to choose one.
If God exists, he will doubt his own existence for doubt is the beginning of wisdom.
When you are wise, you become divine…