(On Humans’ Ability to Do Goodness and Capacity to Commit Evil with or Without the God)
Atheism, in its simplest definition, is the non-belief in the existence of the God or any other deity or supreme being. Despite its having achieved popular status and support and adherence from many freethinking individuals worldwide, the non-belief continues to be misconstrued by many usually religious fanatics, who unfairly and ignorantly equate it to evil.
Individuals who ascribe to atheism, those who do not believe in the existence of the God or any other deity, are called atheists. And contrary to what many think, atheists are not necessarily evil nor are they worshippers of the equally mythical Satan or the Devil. To atheists, both the God and the Devil are simply symbols or representations of good and evil, respectively.
Marami pang kakaining kanin ng kaalaman at pipigaing patak ng pang-unawa ang maraming Filipino para mabuksan ang kanilang isipan at mapalawak pang lalo ang kanilang pananaw, upang matanggap na hindi lamang Kristiyanismo ang relihiyon sa buong mundo—at para matutunang irespeto ang desisyon ng ibang tao na yakapin ang eteyismo, o ang kawalan ng pinaniniwalaang Diyos o nakatataas na nilalang.
Just because Christianity or the reverence for a certain religion or god has become the norm for perhaps the majority of humankind, many people have ingrained in their psyches that goodness, kindness, and compassion can be achieved only with the belief in the God or any other supreme being; and conversely, that any individual who does not believe in the existence of the God is automatically evil.
That’s the problem that arises when people judge others based on religion or the lack of it or when they center their lives on or define their lives with their religions or beliefs: They develop the tendency to be self-righteous, judgmental, and discriminatory—believing that their own belief is the one true absolute religion and judging and discriminating others based on religion and not on deeds or actions.
Worse, many people assume that just because they believe in the God, they are automatically good persons; and worst, that they are better than people who do not believe in the existence of the God. They cannot accept the fact that, like them, atheists also have the ability to do goodness; and that all humans—atheists or believers—have the capability to commit evil.
Don’t Judge a Person by Her Religion
Therefore, we should not judge one another based on our respective religions or on the lack of it; for in the greater scheme of things, we should rather be evaluated by our sense of compassion, broadmindedness, contributions to society, ability to acknowledge and willingness to understand personal differences. For ultimately, the key to peace is not unity, singularity, nor fear in an unseen deity—but rather the acknowledgment that every person has the ability to be good and compassionate regardless of what she believes or ‘unbelieves’ in. We should actually be able to be good and compassionate not because of the expectation of Heaven as a reward or the fear of Hell as a punishment.
The world might be a better place if we don’t always rationalize and justify all the bad things happening in the world as part of the “grand plan” of “God.” Many things are simply out of our hands. That’s nature. That’s life. All we can do is live as fairly and as responsibly as possible.
In the end, every individual remains the master of her own fate and the captain of her choices and decisions…not her beliefs, not her religion, not her God.
And whatever choices or decisions she makes will usually define what kind of life she will have and what kind of relationships with others she will have.
Ang nakalulungkot pa nga riyan e kadalasan kung sino pa ang napakarelihiyoso e sila pa ang napakabilis manghusga ng kanilang kapwa; at kung sino pa ang naniniwala na may Diyos ay sila pa ang madalas magkasala at gumawa ng kasamaan sa kanilang kapwa; ikukubli na lang ang kasamaan sa likod ng pagdarasal at pagsisimba sa kani-kanilang simbahan—malamang dahil sa paniniwalang anuman ang kanilang gawin ay patatawarin naman sila ng kanilang pinaniniwalaang Diyos.
Sa Madaling Salita
Hindi ang ating relihiyon o paniniwala sa Diyos o kawalan nito ang magiging sukatán ng ating pagkatao kundi kung paano tayo makipagkapwa-tao.
Or, in Simple Words
Every person has the ability to be good and compassionate regardless of what she believes or ‘unbelieves’ in. In the same manner that every human has the tendency to commit evil whether or not she believes in the existence of the God.
Ultimately, the factor that will measure one’s humanity is neither her religion nor her belief or non-belief in the existence of the God—but her sense of compassion and respect for the people and things around her and for the environment in which she lives.