Interacting with the world with honesty

I was raised a Catholic, in a Eurasian family that didn’t read the Bible, but went to church faithfully. We didn’t question, we just followed and listened to whatever the priests preached at Sunday Masses. I guess the seeds of doubt were planted during those moments, often during sermons, when every priest would chide us for being sinful people and rationalise our “worldly” problems with Biblical doctrine. I could never relate.

When I was 30, my mother told me that my father (whom I greatly admired) had spent the bulk of their marriage being unfaithful. When this truth came out, I was less devastated by the fact he was an adulterer, than because I saw him as a God-fearing, churchgoing man who was always saying his Rosary prayers in the car. The revelation obliterated the foundation of my fragile Catholic faith. My mother made me promise to never confront my father, so when he died of cancer 9 years later, he died believing he had my full respect.

I began reading and researching – Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, deGrasse Tyson, Krishnamurti; the business of religion etc. I began questioning. I began pissing off many people, including family. Ultimately, I studied myself; on understanding my conscience and the role it plays in interacting with the world around me.

That episode with my father and my thirst for new knowledge flipped the “pure logic” switch in me. I now scrutinize people more carefully, especially people guided by religious faith. I’ve discovered that most can’t “walk the talk” and are seeing with blinkers, like third-rate race horses, powered by prayer, stumbling over one another towards a promised paradise.

Allen A-luhn

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