Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How I lost my (atheistic) religion

My kidz [sic] have no interest in understanding or learning about the background of their parents. I mean, I hope they might have at least a passing interest in my activities, even as a fellow human being and wonder off around here.

My close friends could not believe I was once an atheist. It all happened when I was in university. Even today I still could not figure out how I winded up being accept to study at our national university, where I never paid any tuition fees. If there is one thing we really really thank the Americans for, it is that they gave us education. My university was established by them and almost all of the professors there have been trained in some American university somewhere in USA.

In my first year I was undecided if I would major in physics or mathematics or switch to engineering since my father and his brother are engineers. Since I was good in algebra, I picked on mathematics. However, in that system, you are given lots of elective subjects. So in a way, they want you to pick a major and a minor. I was becoming philosophical so I picked on philosophical subjects as my minor. It was because I was becoming sceptical about life. Life was becoming absurd and meaningless to me. This scepticism grew and I found myself being sceptical about God too, not to mention that I was reading the works of existentialist philosophers which added fuel to the fire. So I started denying God. At that time, I was in the school's philosophy club wherein there were only two kinds of people - agnostics and atheists. I was on the second group. I was like this up until in my last year.

One early morning I was waiting for my lecture so I sat outside a cafeteria where there were trees and seats. I sat under one of them. It was quiet, I remember looking on my left staring at the ground with these thoughts - "What is life? what is this for? So you are born, you grow, you go to college, get a career, get married, have children, grow old, you retire and then you die. What is up with that? What is the sense of that"?

I was also taking mathematical physics and for some reason, my prof one day decided to show us slides of the universe, the nebulas and the galaxies. They were very pretty pictures. That kinda impressed me of its beauty.

So again, one morning same scenario, seating under the trees. But this time as I waited for my class I started staring up at the trees in front of me, how they swayed with the breeze and since it was still morning, the moon was there in the background. Then these thoughts - "it can not be that these stuff just simply happened. It cannot be that they simply happened by accident of nature, it is just too suspicious to have this randomly happened. I could not believe there is no God who created these stuff".

From then I posited that there must be a God. But you know, when I said that - I became terrified, because if there is a personal God, I know for sure I do not know him and I am absolutely lost. Not knowing him is synonymous to me as being lost.

What happened to me? I guess what happened was that I became sceptical of the things I was sceptical about. I think at that point I became an honest atheist - honestly recognizing there must be God. Though I was terrified at my conclusion since I did not know who this God was, the solution for me was not to deny him so I can drown my fears of him, I felt the solution was to find him. He certainly was not the one lost, it was me instead.

So I went to the library and borrowed books about religious beliefs. I worked on reading Confucius, the Budha, and Taoism. I remember I borrowed so many books, I had stacks of them my two hands were not enough to hold them. None of these satisfied my inquiry. I can tell you why in another post. This is another story.

Here is a thought though: I would love to see Richard Dawkins debate Antony Flew.

7 comments:

Dizma said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Your post reminds me of what the astrophysicist Jastrow wrote in a Yale Divinity publication: "Evolution is like saying that a tornado went through a junkyard and produced a working 747 jet." As a former owner of a large backyard telescope, I have to agree, although the Word itself is primary in teaching Creation.

So the Yanks are good for something? That is not always conceded in the British Empire.

L P said...

Dizma,

I was dissatisfied with the world views presented by the religions I studied. When I believed that there was a God, I was referring to him as Creator a divine being. Some of these religions do not have such a view of God, which makes their world view pretty nebular to me.

LPC

L P said...

Pr. Greg,

Yes pastor, had I not got an encounter with God's Word - proclaimed to me or read, I would still be floating in the wilderness of uncertainty.

Absolutely, the Yanks gave us education which Spain never did. I think had the US waited for a while before giving us independence, PI would have been in a better footing. The Americans were more humane in treating us compared to Spain.

BTW, my dad and uncle are American citizens. They are both based in CA. I go often to see them. My uncle was a Green Beret who fought in Vietnam. He left the army as a major. I think he was in some special forces unit during the Vietnam war.

re: downunder.

Though down here, you hear folk critical of the US, yet they cannot help but imitate them. Even the language has changed. Aussie English is becoming more American.

When I arrived here 20+ years ago, each morning I heard - "G'day" as a greeting. Today I do not hear that any more.

LPC

Lvka said...

So I went to the library and borrowed books about religious beliefs. I worked on reading Confucius, the Budha, and Taoism. I remember I borrowed so many books, I had stacks of them my two hands were not enough to hold them. None of these satisfied my inquiry.


This story of yours reminded me of something I've read recently:


"In my teenage years I went to the vicar at the school in England and asked him to give me some books about God, including the Koran and some Hindu writings. The real shock for me was that he didn't try to dissuade me. As I was reading the Koran on my bed, the thought came to me that if God exists, I shouldn't really need to read these books. Rather, he should just show up.

"So I said, 'God, if you're real, show up.' And before me I saw the face of Jesus! I looked at him and I felt a presence in my room, and I felt afraid. I saw a clear vision of God—and ignored it. I decided it was a figment of my imagination".



From here . (This would probably interest you as well).

L P said...

lyka,

I did not ask for God or Jesus to turn up. My determination that God exists was based on creation. Of course, I would not know how he is like without the word.

It all boils down to evidence. I determined that the creation evidence was over whelming and sufficient.

Believe and you shall see. Which really makes me wonder if there are really true atheists. I think they are just in denial.

LP

LPC

L P said...

BTW Lvka, Jesus appearing to the guy etc is not falsifiable.

LPC