Nov 6, 2007

Moments of Weakness


It has been barely two months since I fully committed myself to the philosophy of atheism. As a recent convert, I still have emotional attachments to my former beliefs. Although I am intellectually convinced of the atheistic world view, there are still some vestigial religiosity left in my system. There are moments of weakness that I am tempted to pray to the imaginary God of my credulous former self. Am I reverting to superstitious theism? I do not think so, and I do not want to.

Perhaps the feeling is comparable to the "phantom limb" phenomenon felt by amputees. However, there is a big difference. There was actually nothing amputated from me except for my former delusions. Nonetheless, I cannot deny the emptiness that I feel. Losing faith is comparable to losing a love one. This feeling is similar to the grief that I felt when my mother died. This feeling of grief was reinforced when I recently visited my mother's tomb. There are moments between sleep and waking that I struggle to come to terms with reality. I try to call God only to realize that he is not there. Well, he was never there anyway. Unlike my mother, God never embraced me, talked to me, or sang me lullaby to put me to sleep. God never got worried about me whenever I get sick. He never got his hands dirty washing my clothes. God never bought me toys. God never went to the "sari-sari" store (a common neighborhood mini-grocery store here in the Philippines) just to beg the owner to lend him canned sardines and a kilo of rice so that my siblings and I could eat our dinner. However, my mother, with all her limitations, did all these things and more. Hence, mother was more real to me than God ever was.

Am I angry with God for taking my mother away? Not by any means! How can an imaginary god has anything to do with my mother's death? How can this supposedly omni-benevolent deity allowed by mother to suffer lingering pain all those years and suddenly end her life? I am totally insulted whenever somebody would say that that there was a divine purpose for the suffering that my mother endured. A god that who allows any type of suffering is demented and can be psychologically diagnosed as sadistic. It seems to me that the Christian God enjoys the suffering of humans. He even prepared hell for the purpose of torture. On the other hand, deity who submits himself to be tortured and executed can be perceived as masochistic. I simply find it absurd that Christians worship a sadomasochistic deity. A deity such as this is more fit to the lunatic asylum.

Although it has been more than a decade since my mother died, there are still moments that I feel grief-stricken. I miss my mother so much. If there is a heaven, I surely would wish that she is there. However, I do not think heaven does exist for the same reason that I do not think that God exists. The existence of God is as improbable as the existence of the Invisible Pink Unicorn. The internal contradictions about the concept of God are enough proofs that he is just a product of imagination. Although I recognize the merits of religion in providing hope for many people, this hope is meaningless simply because it is false.


  1. Welcome to the community of free-thinkers. Or, as I like to think of myself - the rational skeptics. There are all kinds of skeptics, and many of them are as misguided as any religious person, so I like to add the "rational" prefix.

    I've been an atheist for over 30 years and if I ever had any "phantom god" pains they were left behind long ago, as yours will be.

    The best thing you can do is to immerse yourself among like-minded folks. You will find many of us out here just by visiting blogs and then clicking on their blog rolls. I saw your comment over at A Whore in the Temple of Reason. Keep doing that, and you'll find yourself among friends and that always makes the pain lighter.

    Stay strong!

  2. thanks, my bretheren in disbelief. i wish we, atheists, could hav our support group similar to alcoholic anonymous or something like that. i guess i am still in the process of withdrawal. yes, i do agree that there is no such thing as alternative medicine especially ehn it comes to psychological maladies such as theism. thanks for the visit and the words of encouragement. hail to the invisible pink unicorn! well, not unless you are a member of the church of the flying spaghetti monster...

  3. Welcome to the fold of atheistic philosophers brother Homar! I've been a 'strong' atheist for the past 9 years, and my commitment to atheism has strengthened me and has helped become whole and better as human being and a humanist. Thanks to the classic philosopher Nietzsche, and to the objectivist philosopher named Ayn Rand. Hail to them both!

    Atheism is the most honest belief/philosophy I have ever known. It is by virtue of my disgust towards lies and illusions that I became an atheist. It is also the most responsible philosophy that I have ever seen, since it will not hold anyone else responsible for the mistakes of humanity other than the 'I' (Self), and in all humanities accomplishment it will take pride of, and not junk it to oblivion by saying that it is God's will.

    --- sheez I am ranting again.

    anyway welcome dude!!

  4. Oboids said: "Atheism is the most honest belief/philosophy I have ever known."

    While I associate myself with the flavor of your comment, I have to disagree (semantically) with your use of the "belief" and I would advise that you would be wise to eliminate it from your atheistic vocabulary. This is not to say that I don't KNOW what you mean. I do. But others will use it against us.

    When we use such words to describe ourselves, we create space for the theist to claim "see? atheism is just another belief system. It's a religion". We know it is not. We know it's simply our default position for examining all other matters. The default position starts with - "there is no evidence for it, therefore I do not accept it". Beyond that, atheists can and do disagree on endless other issues in the sphere of reality.

    Better I think to discribe yourself as a person of reason, and reason leads to your atheism. It can also lead to many other correct reality grounded positions.

  5. i do agree with brother john on that point. atheism is not a belief but rather a lack of belief in dieties and the supernatural, in general. it is indeed through reasonable doubting that we begin to understand the reality of things. atheism is just a result of rational examination of faith, in general.

  6. It is quite understandable to feel that way Homar. Even after I lost faith in Christianity, I still maintained belief in a creator for a couple of years or so.

    I know from my visits to the Philippines that Catholicism is virtually omnipresent there. I can only imagine how much more difficult it is to be an atheist there than here in suburban Long Island.

  7. tommy, thanks for the sympathy. although i am openly atheist on the web and at work, i cannot still be open about my atheism when it comes to my family and my close friends. hence, to some extent, i am still a closet atheist.

  8. as with all addictions, some experience relapse. that is expected. we all have been brainwashed for a long time. it takes an equal or more time to unlearn it.

  9. yes, i guess, it is just some sort of withdrawal symptoms.

  10. nice post..just one of the site's lurkers..=)

  11. "Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed."

    --- Jeremiah 17:9


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