Embracing a worldview guided by science

I was never particularly religious, growing up in a family of Buddhists. Sure, I followed my family to the temples whenever they went when I was a child, but was never really indoctrinated in the same way I could have been if I were from a Christian or Muslim household.

My concept of the world was a mish-mash of the views of the different religions in Singapore. I wouldn’t really use the word “believe”, but I accepted the notions of gods, a heaven and a hell. I even accompanied a Christian friend to church a few times, but I remember one instance where I questioned the implication of Earth being only a few thousand years old. Having access to television and a bit of internet back then, I already knew about dinosaurs. How can Earth only be a few thousand years old when dinosaurs roamed the earth hundreds of millions of years ago? He rebutted me by asking me if I know how they died, and of course he claimed that they died in the great biblical flood. That raised more flags for me as I knew some dinosaurs, or at least, creatures that existed within the same period were aquatic.

In another scenario, I had a little argument with the same Christian friend of mine, and I said that liars would go to hell. He objected and said it were non-Christians who would go to hell, and that Christians would go to heaven. Iy [sic] upset me that that would be the qualifier to determine who would go to heaven, instead of what I had believed, which was being a good person.

Eventually, I was tired of the way he and other Christian friends expressed their religious views, and searched for anti-Christian arguments online. I found a site called Godless Bastard, and spent quite some time there. Eventually, I learned of the term “atheist”, and slowly, all the even slightly religiously influenced beliefs I had had started to fade away. I became more passionate about science, as I felt the need for gods and other supernatural explanations disappear.

Darsh Daimontal

This story was first published on ‘Ask An Atheist – SG’ Facebook page in 2016.