I’ve been thinking on writing on this topic since a while ago, but only now I think I can write more about it. The new atheists, as they called, has been on the offensive side even since Richard Dawkins famously publish his ground breaking book – The God Delusion. In youtube and online sites, you can easily see people writing about atheism. Being someone who’s interested in the topic of faith and creator, I was curious to understand more about the ideas behind the god or no god.

Before I go further, I just want to let you know I am on the neutral, I’ll try to analyse the whole scene about religion and atheism with a grain of salt. There’s basically three camps – organized religion, atheists, and people who are in between. Most people fall under the organized religion category. Call it Islam, Christianity, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. They can believe in one god or multiple gods, but what they share together is an organized belief structure, with a set of rituals, holy scripture, pious lifestyle and dogmas to follow. While atheism is not a religion, it is the lack of belief. They do not place their understanding of life on faith nor god, instead they based their knowledge and understanding on science. While the in-betweens are what I call agnostics. They do not have any organized religion, just a belief that perhaps there’s a higher being out there somewhere.

As we know, religion has been the cause of conflicts and wars throughout the world. Yet, faith leaders from organized religion justify their existence by claiming that religion is the main source of morality and most importantly, the answer to the human purpose of life. Interestingly, it is in the nature of humans to questions his own existence in this short life on earth. I guess, psychologically, humans has an innate feeling to find meanings to his own life. There’s the reason why a lot of people turn to spirituality when the material world could not satisfy their inner desire for happiness and peace. That explains why it is hard for people to disregard religion as it defines the whole aspect of an individual’s life.

The problem with religion is it is both a force of evil and good. I always believe that in order for religion to be less corrupted, it is important to have the separation of religion and state. Although, I do agree it is the right of every individual to believe in whatever they want to believe in. Yet, the thing is, the nature of religion (at least the major ones) has always been about politics and expansion, as they claimed, “saving the souls of the sinners”. Thus, every organized religion is always scouting for new recruits, propagating the idea of heaven & hell, or anything to do with the afterlife. Hence, it is easy to politicise religion to naive individuals especially when politicians use it to gain votes and popularity. It is easy to see why. Being humans is not easy especially there’s so many uncertainties in life – lose jobs, suffer illness, broken relationships, stress from work/exams, etc…. it’s good to get the comfort of a creator to give you the assurance that God loves you and everything is going to be alright. Well, as long as you follow the rules written in the book compiled by His beloved prophets and disciples.

The in-betweens or agnostics are the neutral bunch. They are like the Hippies, everything is all about world peace, happily in their own little cocoon. Which is nothing wrong, just that deep down they are closet atheist, I suspect. They could just be happy with a faith of their own choice, yet they prefer to stay away from the idea of religion, thinking that it has a more evil force than good. Still, questions linger in their thoughts about religion, what if they are wrong? What if there’s a god that punishes? they do not want to go to hell either. Thus, to cut the deal off, they put a tiny hope of afterlife in their heart, perhaps there’s a higher power somewhere, perhaps the higher power is a good old man that do not judge a good person like them. The agnostics also suffer a high degree of self-esteem issue, especially when they stare at the wide universe on a clear dark night, or at faraway mountains on a high peak, they see themselves as a small ant in the mercy of a creator, without knowing if there’s ever such existence.

Finally, atheists. Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, may ring a bell to a lot of people, but the real reason why atheism is popular among the intellect crowd is because of a rebel called Charles Darwin. He wrote a famous book ‘Origin of the Species’ which rocked the world of the organized religions, claiming that it is not God, but evolution and natural selection that had played the part in the existence of everything, including us human. Christians tried to create their own defence by teaching ‘Intelligent Design’, Harun Yahya of Turkey published ‘Atlas of Creation’ book for Muslims, while other organized religions quietly dodge off the topic. Organized religion tried to spin the whole Evolution Theory by saying that it is not a fact, it is mere theory, while making fun of atheists on their ‘monkey theory’. According to Darwin, we are cousins of apes (which explains why we share 98% of the DNA of a Chimpanzee). While recently, Stephen Hawkins even claimed that the universe cannot be made by a creator, as he said the physic theories themselves showed how the universe can actually appear from nothing.

Regarding on finding the meaning of life, asking the “why we are here?” questions… A lot of the atheists said you do not need a religion to be spiritual. Perhaps there’s never a meaning to life at all. Perhaps we are all here merely to survive, you know, survival of the species. Thus, the meaning of life could be merely finding happiness through altruism. Because happy people live longer thus have a better chance at survival right? It is interesting also to understand that being good and moral is in our nature as human species. Evolution is more like behavioural science, instead of observing at humans/animals behaviour, we observe the behaviour of the genes. In Richard Dawkin’s the Selfish Genes, he explained thoroughly on why our genes want us to be good, even to strangers. Why morality can be scientifically explained. I realized that atheists are making a huge come back, in fact they are on the offensive side now. Numerous documentaries, debates and forums are filling the Youtube channels, not to forget Atheist groups are sprouting like wild mushrooms in internet forums, chats and websites.

Just a thought – on one end there’s science and evolution, showing our evolutionary existence through the famed ‘Tree of Life’, that clearly translated into God as mere an extended childhood imaginary friend of ours, and that spirituality do not need to be about religion or god; while on the another end, it is in the nature of human beings to find comfort in a creator that can provide them a sense of certainty, and only a god can made a person to be calmed in a chaotic world, to feel loved by something greater than themselves. I am eager to see how this tussle will lead to.

Advertisements