Tuesday, July 20, 2010

God & I

Time and again, people I have spoken to about religious matters find my ideas a bit weird. While I do not believe in any religion, I do believe in the existence of God. However, let me hasten to say that I have no material proof of God's existence. It is just a hypothesis at best.

I can believe that some atoms, when combined with each other, can become molecules. And molecules when subjected to specific pressure and temperature etc, may become amino acids. Amino acids can become chains of polypeptides. And polypeptides can become proteins etc. These chains of reactions may happen randomly over a long period—perhaps even millions or billions of years. But I can't believe that life happened randomly by accident. I find it a bit hard to believe that an explosion in a printing factory can result in all the letters falling into their respective places perfectly to become a dictionary. I think it is easier for me to believe that we happened by design. Something must have created us and everything around us. That something might have been aliens from foreign worlds, but that something, to me, is God.

Religions, on the other hand, are human inventions. Although religions in general teach us to be good, I can't help but notice that religions almost always are the reasons for many of the problems of the human race. People go to war, for example, and kill each other because of religions.

I have long ago made up my mind to have an exclusive relationship with God—free from the influences of religions. I try my best to be kind to others. I do not claim to be perfect, mind! In fact, I readily admit that I have many, many weaknesses. During the darkest hours of my life, I do plead for God's help. But as I said, I can't prove His existence, so there is every chance that I'm pleading to nothingness!

I see God differently from all the religions. Religions impose upon us the necessity of "joining the club" in order to earn the eligibility to enter heaven in the afterlife. And then of course each religion claims that it is the only way to God. Rules upon rules to be obeyed; procedures to be followed. Prayers are done in a specific way; clothes to be worn in a specific way. And the list continues.

I'd like to think that what matters to God is what's in my heart. If I loved and respected God, it doesn't really matter how I pray to him; it doesn't really matter what clothes I have on my body. To Him, we are all naked. If in my heart I were a Christian, wearing the Burqa, for example, does not automatically make me a Muslim. If God is truly almighty and knowing, He can see through all those charades right into my heart!

Likewise, if I were a Muslim, just because I put on a football jersey, that does not automatically make me a Christian. And I also don't believe that it is a kind of defamation of the religion. But that is only my own opinion, and I can accept that many people may disagree with me. As I said, I am not perfect and therefore not immune from mistakes. Please forgive me if I am wrong.


4 comments:

Sarah Elizabeth said...

I agree. I am so sick of people telling others what they can and cannot do. it annoys the hell out of me. I do not think God needs police to uphold the message. I love how this guy says "Islam does not allow this." I guess he speaks to God personally. So ridiculous.

Do you see Malaysia changing at all? Do you think Malaysia is becoming more conservative and intolerant? Or do you see it basically about the same as it has always been?

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Also, let me just add, examples like the article you posted are the reason I love secularism so much. The state/gov't does not get involved in these ridiculous issues. I am not told what I should or should not do, say, wear, etc.. That is the difference between a religiously run country, and a secular country. The gov't of America does not tell it's Christians how they need to be a good Christian.

I think it is beyond ridiculous when people are policed and preached to, even when they completely disagree. That is the barometer of freedom, in my mind. The less the state gets involved in one's business and personal choices, the more freedom there is in that country.

Cornelius said...

Sarah,

In my opinion, I don't think it is a case of becoming more conservative and intolerant. In fact, I am convinced that the vast majority of Malaysian Muslims are open-minded people. But (yes, there is always a but) it takes only a few of them to cause havoc.

And unfortunately, Islam is unique in the sense that there are provisions for the use of violence, i.e. jihad. It means that a Muslim is allowed to use force to protect himself and his religion. In Christianity, there is no provision for violence. Jesus forbade Peter to defend him with a sword when the soldiers came to take him. No use of force till the end, when Jesus died on the cross!

When a Muslim is convinced that his religion is threatened, he may consider himself as oblige to defend his religion. So, for example, when another religion uses the word "Allah" to mean God, that in itself may be interpreted as an attack on Islam. The result is that some people reacted by burning churches. They are convinced that they're doing good for Islam. Maybe they're convinced that they will be rewarded in heaven even!

In the same way, some people may feel justified to destroy tall buildings, thus killing thousands of people; or blow themselves up to kill others. All this in the name of religion.

So I would say, Islam has always been Islam, and it will continue to be the Islam as we see it now. It is not only unique in Malasia. It is just a very unique religion in that way. Which is quite sad, because on the whole, I think Islam is a good religion.

Cornelius said...

Yes, the whole concept of humans imposing upon others what they think God expects from them is a bit odd.

I can live with humans upholding laws in the best interest of the majority. We can punish people for crimes such as rape or murder in the best interest of the majority of the population.

But controlling people for what we believe to be God's rules is quite a different matter all together. I think God is quite capable to be the judge as well as the punisher. How He will judge, and how He will punish, I'd think that is entirely up to Him. So yes, I think it is strange that we punish someone because he or she is drinking beer, for example, because we believe the God disallows beer drinking. I would think that if indeed drinking beer bothers God so much, He will mete out a proper penalty in his own way. If I have sinned, that is between God and I, especially if my acts have no negative effects on others around me.