Sent in by Danny
Hi to everyone here.
I will try to keep it short...well, as much as I can.
My name is Danny, the youngest of a family of 10. I am Filipino. My family is of Catholic background. Most Filipinos are. I grew up spoiled (I am the youngest). My family is well to do. That's really sad knowing most Filipinos live below the poverty line. My brothers sisters and I went to private Catholic schools and to good universities. We were all indoctrinated (brainwashed) to the Catholic way of thinking. Every Sunday (Mithra's Day...hehehe!) we as a family went to Catholic Church. After church, my parents always treated us somewhere usually good. That lasted until I was a teenager. After that, my parents let us go to church on our own time.
My father (a businessman...he owns several apartments) was a good mathematician and finished first honorable mention in his school. My mother is also a good mathematician. She graduated salutotorian in the same school. My brothers, sisters and I (maybe because of the genes...I don't really know) are mostly good in math. One of my brothers who we consider dumb (compared to us) became an accountant. The rest became mostly engineers. One became an architect. I became a statistician. I didn't really use my degree because now I am a programmer.
In school (catholic school), I had ADD (attention deficit disorder). My teachers would say 3 sentences and I started day dreaming. Obviously, I did poorly with most subjects. I only excelled in math. Math was very logical so I didn't really have to study. Some of my classmates were envious because they were amazed at how good I was at math. A lot of them called me abnormal. I didn't take offense to it because I knew it was only for good fun. Also, I was very popular with them because I tutored them in mathematics.
My brain is flowing with logic. I like analyzing things. In religion class, I asked "If God created everything, then who created God?" I wasn't really satisfied with the "Nobody created God. God is the Beginning, God is the End." answer. But I nodded in agreement. What else could I have done? While growing up, questions filled my head. "If God is a loving God, then how come he lets millions of people live so poorly? Why are some born crippled? Why are some born blind?" I am not gay but this question always bugged me..."Why is homosexuality an abomination?" I already saw in my own eyes that some people are just naturally born gay...what is their sin? "How can we be born with original sin? If Adam and Eve sinned and we came from them, then how can their sin be passed to us?"
"Why are the Jews the Chosen People? If God was fair and I believed He is, then why just them, why not all of us? Aren't we all God's children?" and so and so forth...there's just tons of questions.
I started not going to church when I was a teenager. It's not because those questions flooded my brain. It's just because of laziness. Even then, my belief in Jesus as our savior was very strong.
The very first atheist I met (I didn't know they existed...then) was one of my English teachers in college. I was totally shocked when he revealed to us that he was atheist. The idea to me (then) was an eye opener. I really respected this teacher. I just disagreed with his opinion.
Back in December 2005 it was Christmas season and the office was almost empty I began to search the internet for world beliefs...like death, reincarnation, other religions. Every day for 2 weeks this is what I did. I started to become depressed. I started to have nightmares. I thought it was a wake up call. I went back to church. I tried my best to re learn Christianity. At the same time I also started some drugs prescribed to combat my depression. Eventually my depression left. The drugs worked. My questions still hounded me so I started to look in the internet again. I opened my mind to a lot of ideas not consistent with my christian upbringing.
That's when I realized the Bible God is fictitious. God just cannot choose one race. He cannot show favoritism. He cannot condone murder nor rape nor incest. But all those nasty things are in the Bible. Homosexuals are normal people. They are not an abomination. I also saw the similarity of Jesus with the other "saviors" who preceded him. How can you explain that? If the other saviors are pagan gods, what about Jesus? He is as pagan as the rest of them. Plus, the very existence of Jesus is highly questionable. The gospels (the chosen ones...politics played a role in this I guess) were not even written by the eyewitnesses. The historians never mentioned Jesus. A few mentioned Christ (not Jesus) in a few sentences. And...if Jesus really existed and is really the savior, why did he come 2000 years ago? What about the people that were born before him? Are they all hell bound? If yes, then isn't that unfair? What about the people who will never hear of him? Hell bound? Yikes! The Muslims? I bet most Muslims are good people. Are they hell bound? I don't think that's fair.
What am I now? Certainly I am not a Christian. I still go to church. I have to pretend. It's all show. My brain just wanders during the entire mass. Am I an atheist? I have read quite a few testimonials and debates here in this website and I really think the atheists are much much more logical and reasonable than any of the Christian apologists. But no I am not an atheist. I am a deist. I still have faith...not in the Biblical God...not in Jesus...I still believe in a higher power. I think a higher power created us through evolution. If not, then a higher power must have created that alien race that created us. Or something.
Do we have souls? A lot of you will be shocked but I do believe we have souls. Why do I think this way? I forgot to mention it but when I was a kid our home was filled with ghosts. Not a lot, but some. I heard them...my brothers heard them...it's not my imagination...we experienced them at the same time. I saw knobs turning. Remember my mind is logical so I thought someone was just tricking me. I tried to recreate the same thing using a key and the knob wouldn't turn. I heard a story about my grandfather (father's side). He died in 1955. After that his ghost haunted some of my brothers...calling them...sometimes he pulled their blankets and legs.
The soul thing is just my belief. I cannot prove anything.
What else? I also believe in reincarnation. Can I prove it? Certainly not. I just believe it.
That's my testimony. I hope you like it.
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Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)