HOLY WEEK MEDITATION

What religion robs us of

63
RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

THIS week, the only time when we think of things beyond, even as rituals of Christianity dominate our days, perhaps is a good time to critique, as modern man has to, what centuries or even just decades ago, we could not question at all religion.

Evolutionary scientists have pointed out that even without religion, homo sapiens through millions of years of its biological and cultural evolution had to develop—or perish—what clerics mystify as God-given values of charity (cooperation) and love. (See for example, Michael Shermer’s The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom.)

Indeed, there hasn’t been found yet a tribe or society built on the values of selfishness and cruelty. Of course, no such society will ever be found since the members of such a tribe or society would have over the centuries killed each other to extinction. In the long run, as archaeologists have argued quite rigorously, the selfish member of a tribe gets to be exposed as such and either exterminated or banished.

As sociologists using game theory have pointed out, the best game plan is to be sometimes selfish, sometimes selfless—which is after all how most rational people live their lives. Even the most selfish individual in his twilight years gets to be good.


Is it just a coincidence that nearly all religions that flourished in humanity’s history were not just state religions, but religions of empires — Christianity that of the Roman Empire since Emperor (“Saint”) Constantine, and its successor the European states; Islam that of the empires of the caliphates and sultanates up to the modern era’s Ottoman Empire. No wonder Zen Buddhism — whose teachings rulers can’t use to subjugate peoples — never got to be a widespread religion.

Is it coincidental that that kings and their nobles claimed and ruled as God’s representatives on earth which allowed them to live off the blood and sweat of the toiling tenants? Did Spain get to rule over us for three centuries through force of arms and its higher level of culture, or through religion that convinced the people that they were children of God, whom the friars and the Spanish conquistadores represented, and therefore must obey?

Book explains why charity and love for humanity aren’t necessarily because of Divine revelations

Real problem
Humanity’s real problem has been the penchant of a tribe or a nation, because again of human evolutionary history, to exploit and even exterminate the other tribe or nation. The reasons for this run deep, perhaps ingrained in our DNA from the time millennia ago when resources were so scarce that a tribe’s survival required it to take the other’s hunting and foraging lands and get rid of the other. Or because it is etched in our collective mind that strangers bring disease to a tribe, which has not developed the immunities required.

Religions seem powerless to solve this problem, and may even have worsened it. Religions, which most tribes use as one of their distinguishing feature as against other tribes, have been used as justification for the cruelest wars in history.

How many times have we heard in YouTube videos that spine-tingling cry “Allahu Akbar!” while humans are beheaded, or even torched. But wasn’t it Christians and their Crusades in the Middle Ages who invented the notion of a Holy War, in order to expel the Muslims and recapture where Yeshua their founder walked the earth?

It is only religion, and nothing else, that can prod a young man to kill scores of infidels with the bomb that also blows him to smithereens, since he believes that there will be an afterlife for a mujahideen like him where he will enjoy 72 virgins.

The most basic appeal of religion is that it brainwashes one into believing that he is immortal, that he will be merely moving to a different kind of existence when he dies; for Filipinos perhaps, just like migrating to the US or Canada.

That’s certainly an attractive notion for one of the exploited class who has lived a life of misery and pain. Death will mean his moving to a better world.

That’s also great news if you’re with the exploiting class, that your huge donation to build your local church would get you the visa to enter that territory Christians call Heaven.

Recurring belief
It’s a recurring notion in most of the world religions: Muslims call it Jannah, the Hindus Swarga Loka, Romans the Elysian Fields, and the Vikings Valhalla, with its giant beer-drinking hall. But it is no longer a universal belief: ask a Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or a Scandinavian and he’ll reply a bit embarrassingly, “We hardly think of that.”

Still, the notion of a heavenly afterlife is so powerful that modern man is unable to shed it off, even if it goes against his rationality. There has been in fact a resurgence of the fantasy, with the plethora of best-selling books on “heaven” that have made millions of dollars for their clever authors in the US.

This is despite the fact there is nothing in the “heaven” they depict that hasn’t been in Christian depictions of it in art and fiction for centuries. A book written about a mujahideen’s encounter with 72 virgins in the afterlife, I bet, would probably be an instant hit. (The doctor who attended to best-selling “Proof of Heaven” author Dr. Eben Alexander when he claimed that he had died, reported in Esquire that he was in a medically induced coma, and was hallucinating.)

New scientific discoveries understood really only by professional physicists through abstract equations have been hijacked by creative writers to propound a theory that when one dies, he lives “alternate lives” – a la quantum physics’ “multiverses”– as a recent movie, The Discovery, dramatized.

What religion robs us of with its fiction that we are immortal is life itself, the enjoyment of the here and now.

Is it so terrible that in this vast cosmos, this unique creature, because of random events in immense stretches of time we cannot comprehend, has been given the opportunity, even if only for a limited time, to become aware of himself and of the universe, to enjoy life, love, family, friendship and achievements?

Why is that void in the future so fearsome when we really came from a void we don’t even remember?

“Be here now” is the mantra not just of mystics through the centuries, like Ramana Maharishi, Osho, and now Eckhart Tolle, but of a scientist like Sigmund Freud, who wrote:

“A flower that blossoms only for a single night does not seem to us on that account less lovely.”

Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao

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63 Comments

  1. What religion robs us of ?

    An updated Online Manila Times.
    Does the whole country shut down for a week to celebrate a imaginary deity ?

  2. Pensador de Manila on

    Oh, Mr. Tiglao’s work today does say any substance. He quoted almost all ideas he wrote today but he does not really know what to do for what he wrote over the day: he is confused and ill-informed.

    • The article made perfect sense unlike the gibberish you wrote. You have words but don’t have any idea where to place them in order to form a sentence that makes sense.

  3. “The most basic appeal of religion is that it brainwashes one into believing that he is immortal, that he will be merely moving to a different kind of existence when he dies” may have some grain of truth partially derived from the Bible; yes, partially.

    BTW the Bible was written by scores of authors who lived in a period of one and half millennia just to introduce the Spirit Creator who incarnated with a corrupted human DNA to save or redeem his creation from a great usurper.

    This book tells us that man was created with a DNA that was intended to exist without growing old and without dying on condition of obedience; which condition was simplified by merely obeying a simple dietary requirement to demonstrate trust and love to their Creator. But they misused the freedom of choice that was given them; choosing to distrust their Creator instead, thus the present situation of man.

    Let me introduce a gem of thought from another author.

    “In turning from God’s Word [Bible] to feed on the writings of uninspired men, the mind becomes dwarfed and cheapened. It is not brought in contact with deep, broad principles of eternal truth….

    “In God’s Word only we find an authentic account of creation….In this Word only can we find a history of our race unsullied by human prejudice or human pride… Here we may hold communion with patriarchs and prophets and listen to the voice of the Eternal as He speaks with men. Here we behold the Majesty of Heaven, as He humbled Himself to become our substitute and surety, to cope single-handed with the powers of darkness and to gain the victory in our behalf. A reverent contemplation of such themes as these cannot fail to soften, purify, and ennoble the heart and at the same time to inspire the mind with new strength and vigor.” E. G. White, My Life Today, p. 112

    • who incarnated into a corrupted human DNA to save or redeem his creation from a great usurper – I mean

    • “In turning from God’s Word [Bible] to feed on the writings of uninspired men…” “E” in “E.G.White” stands for “Ellen”? Exempted from being “uninspired” for being a woman? You may have prejudged “Patristic writings” as writings of uninspired men. The “Early Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church” are not in the Bible precisely. But the time from Yeshua’s founding of His Church to the time of Constantine is filled in by “uninspired men” who happened to have left us in writing what should be of interest to posterity if only for their historical value. But one book in the Bible is the Acts of the Apostles, a sequel to Luke the physician’s Gospel. The historical value of the Acts of the Apostles is indispensable in every Church history.

      A corrupted human DNA? How so? Usurper? Science is the bedrock of the column (What religion robs us of) we are dealing with. A corrupted human DNA would be useless or would result in a monstrosity. Since you subscribe to E.G.White’s “In God’s Word only…,” we might as well limit ourselves to the bible. Let’s not be scientists. Adam and Eve sinned. Simple. Was it a “dietary restriction”? The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would hardly count as restricted food. Fruits of any tree are nutritious. Exactly. But why make the fruit of this tree restricted? Just because the Creator said so? Judging from the prudishness of the people who up to this time cover their bodies as much as possible, we would not be straying too far if we say that the human body is a tree. The X and Y chromosomes determine what kind of tree. XX would bear fruits (breasts); XY would dangle a tail on the front with a serpentine head. Don’t you dare EAT the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! Doesn’t that sound like the Creator’s prohibition? Doesn’t prohibited sex rob the young of so much their whole lives? Doesn’t prohibited sex among the married rob people and families of so much the rest of their lives? If, as claimed, religion robs us of the enjoyment of life, it is actually irreligion that does the robbing.

    • He he he. I believe you betrayed who you are Mr Hermen.
      Anyway lets deal with a little of the Bible and of course a little of history, tho I am not a theologian nor a historian, but an ordinary layman.

      First. Torah, which is composed of the first five books of the Bible was written by Moses c. 1400 BC. And Revelation was written by John the Revelator at the end of the first century AD.
      Thus a period of some 1,500 years spanned the writing of the Old and New Testament Bible.
      What is surprising here is its message that refers only to the coming man’s redeemer first mentioned in Genesis 3:15.

      BTW we are using this account of the Holy Scripture believing that this is the inspired word of God, as canonized (Old Testament) by Ezra and the great Jerusalem Council when Israel returned to Jerusalem from their Babylonian captivity c. 457 BC, and by Jesus Christ himself when in many occasions he referred to the entire Old Testament “as the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44) during his ministry in the early part of the 1st century AD.

      Same with the New Testament or of what remained of it, that can be accepted as canonized during the bitter persecutions of Christians by Rome until Emperor Dioclesian (284–305), before Constantine tolerated and hen used a syncretized Christianity as Rome’s state religion.

      Just let me emphasize that after the death of Jesus Christ, bitter persecutions ensued which prompted Christians to be dispersed throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, etc. thus the spread of Christianity – while being hunted by pagan Rome until Emperor Dioletian, until Constantine’s use of Christianity as state religion. Contrary to the claim of the Roman Catholic Church that they allegedly have Peter as their first pope and succeeded by several popes until Pope Sylvester (314-336AD) .

      The truth is pagan Rome or the government of pagan Rome were hunting and persecuting Christians during this period, even until the time of history’s Dark Ages when this syncretized Christianity did tortured, murdered, massacred even the old and the young until the time of Martin Luther….

    • How to Gain Knowledge

      If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. Prov. 2:3-5
      The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
      And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Prov. 9:10

      Let none think that there is no more knowledge for them to gain. The depth of human intellect may be measured; the works of human authors may be mastered; but the highest, deepest, broadest flight of the imagination cannot find out God. There is infinity beyond all that we can comprehend. We have seen only the glimmering of divine glory and of the infinitude of knowledge and wisdom; we have, as it were, been working on the surface of the mine, when rich, golden ore is beneath the surface, to reward the one who will dig for it. The shaft must be sunk deeper and yet deeper in the mine, and the result will be glorious treasure. Through a correct faith divine knowledge will become human knowledge.

      No one can search the Scriptures in the Spirit of Christ without being rewarded. When a man is willing to be instructed as a little child, when he submits wholly to Christ, he will find the truth in His Word. If men would be obedient, they would understand the plan of God’s government. The heavenly world would open its treasures of grace and glory for exploration. Human beings would be altogether different from what they are now; for by exploring the mines of truth, men would be ennobled. The mystery of redemption, the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice, would not be, as they are now, vague in our minds. They would be, not only better understood, but altogether more highly appreciated. . . .

      The experimental knowledge of God and of Christ transforms man into the image of God. It gives man the mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion . . . under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite and opens to him the rich treasures of the universe.
      E. G. White, My Life Today, p 113

    • “I believe you betrayed who you are, Mr. Hermen.” I am wondering what you are saying. It made me reread my rhetorical questions on prohibited sex. “Doesn’t ENGAGING in prohibited sex rob…?” sounds more like it.

    • In all of your discourses on matters touching on Constantine, never once did I see you mention “Byzantine Empire”. How come? Remember that Constantine left Rome and moved to Byzantium. Are you thinking that the Roman Empire is the same as the Byzantine Empire? Why call it Byzantine if, as you wrote, Constantine retained Rome as the capital of the empire?

  4. If you feel that your religion is robbing something from you – either time & money, then you have re- evaluate your priorities in life. Do not let your religion make you a sinner unless of course you are committing a crime. But if you feel thar your religion helps you then continue to practice such faith & encourage orhers, do not force yourself to practice such religion because of your parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, & friends do it because you want and enjoy it.

    • Jose Samilin on

      Correct Sir, not because the new church across the road says, Church of God, will not rob you of something, NO!! Shift their beliefs, if truly came from God!! Religion of divine origin will not rob you of anything but will led you to goodness, because only the true God is the source of all goodness. You have to look for the church with divine origin and has unique divine characteristics that other churches cannot claim. This Church is the church founded by Christ, and its characteristics follows: the church is HOLY, because Christ is holy; the church is ONE, Christ is teaching only one set of doctrines, not mere doctrines of men that are competing among other churches; the church is CATHOLIC, Universal in Greek, the church of all people; the last but not the least, the church is APOSTOLIC, all teaching must come from Christ through the Apostles who are witnesses ti His ministry on earth. This religion will save you because this church is truly the church of the living God the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim. 3:15)

    • Very true brother Jose Salimin. Unfortunately this religion was corrupted as early as the time of the apostles’ time with the Nicolaitans then the Arians, Nestorians, etc. etc. But it was during the fourth century when it was universally corrupted when it wqs used as a political tool to galvanize the Roman empire; which ushered in the Dark Ages of history, until one of its priests by the name of Martin Luther ushered in The Reformation, Renaissance even the Industrialization and compelled Islam to temporarily hang their swords in their mosques…. Which is being unsheathed today

    • Thanks Brother Leo Paras for conforming on which religion that does not rob you of anything. However, you misunderstood very seriously that the apparent corruptions made during the early Centuries had affected the purity of its teachings and the promised protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit into the whole truth that the church will only teach truth. Jesus assured the apostles and their successors, the popes and the bishops, “He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16). Jesus promised to guide his Church into all truth (John 16:12–13). We can have confidence that his Church teaches only the truth.

      The Religion established by Christ has existed for over 2,000 years, despite constant opposition from the world. This is testimony to the Church’s divine origin. It must be more than a merely human organization, especially considering that its human members— even some of its leaders—have been unwise, corrupt, or prone to heresy.

      Any merely human organization with such members would have collapsed early on and that is testimony not to the cleverness of the Church’s leaders, but to the protection of the Holy Spirit.

      In effect, all the corruptions never survived as they all subdued early on and I hope Bro. Leo Paras you could rightly realized that.

      As to the Protestant Reformation initiated within the church by then Catholic Augustinian Priest Martin Luther in 1517, presently according to the survey there existed over 36,000 denominations with their own doctrines competing among them. Then who guided these churches to divide the body of Christ?? Is it the Holy Spirit or bad spirits of each of these over 36,000 denominations. Just imagine what is happening and how long will they continue to rob us, unless Bro Paras each of these can truly show or demonstrate their ultimate link to Christ and able to affirm all Christ’s teachings, rejecting nothing.

      Therefore, Brother Leo Paras, I am reiterating my notion that only those religions that robbed us or are capable to rob us are those without divine origin.

  5. Thank you for promoting open discussions like this, Mr. Tiglao.

    I should give special mention to Asian countries like Japan, feats of morality (low crime, high human development, cohesive social order) without religion. Religion truly isn’t a prerequisite to morals. But as one commenter here can testify, relishing throwing people to wild beasts, neither is irreligion.

    Many people who have religions, just not in the same vein as jihadists and certain ascetics, do find enjoyment in this world, with family and friends and good health. Religion may not be prerequisite to enjoyment, but neither is the absence of one.

    The fact is religion has always been part of the human experience from the beginning. Even committed atheist states like the USSR could not stamp out belief from people. Chalk that up to the unique human capacity to perceive a “beyond,” not simply in mysticism, but in the miracle of life itself. Being alive in itself demands very strict parameters, far from being a product of chance.

    The real challenge here is how a belief system could actually perpetuate (not merely exist) amidst a different society. As you have explained, people are moral to their own tribe. What now of a faith that teaches universal brotherhood?

    Case in point are the early Christians. There were many religions that time, but unlike Japan, they cared for and nursed everyone, even women (which is just one factor in their spread) while they were being outcasts in their own society. It is this earthly charity that drew to them the poor, which reinforced their teachings on heaven, in the face of the emperor’s bread and circuses. Then Constantine came along. The religions espoused by empires and used to exploit people now gives religion itself a bad name.

    The thing is, while morality is part of religion, it is not the whole. Religion is more on a sense of what is greater than one’s own humanity. Hope this clarifies any misunderstandings.

    If physicists can accept that reality might actually be a simulation, and push for transhumanism, I don’t see anything off about believing in God and heaven.

  6. As Socrates said, “A life unexamined is not worlth living” a hopeful sight that Filipinos are really starting to question everything and when we realized that we are blessed with divine thinking and it is start of proclaiming God’s divine providence and we shall enjoy a fulfilled life. Amen. May we continue to progress and realized that we are capable of greatness and for our Country to be great we need to be educated leaders in our own endeavors and not an ignorant followers of organized religion that punishes and plunder our wealth in this Country and bring it to a very tiny nation that so that the cycle of corruption, ignorance and subjugation can sustain and continue, no more of that.

  7. It is by the Grace of God thru faith that we are save. There is also a heaven and hell. Religion cannot save us. The basic is the Bible. Let’s not be carried by writers that say one thing and contradicts what he said later. Personally. I do not believe in he said, she said.. things are confusing when politics and religion are the topic. That’s why Mr Tiglao vacillate on the topic. Bottom line Mr. Tiglao. What do you believe?

    • Jose Samilin on

      True, mere Religion cannot save us or simply a religion of man without a trace that such religion has divine origin. But a religion traceable its divine origin will surely save you if you carry the cross and persevere to the end. In so doing you will only practice using the gift of God bestowed to you to know what is truly a divine teaching to practice and not to practice. That is the specifically the church or religion founded by Christ, whose all of its teachings were all from Christ sent to us through the Apostles. If however, any teaching that cannot be from the Apostles and cannot be accounted that they were from Christ, then reject them, just like the teaching of the unwise leaders of the early church who deviated from Christ’s teachings, and therefore, cannot save you. So you must be wise enough in that case, not to fall in a religion that has no supernatural value or teaching that won’t save you. You must be as wise as the serpent and as meek as the lamb. A good time for meditation.

  8. “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” – C.S. Lewis

  9. DIEGO CAGAHASTIAN on

    I like Bobi Tiglao whenever he writes/talks about the Communist Party and religion.

  10. “What religion robs us of with its fiction that we are immortal is life itself, the enjoyment of the here and now.”

    This is so true. Before abandoning religion, I was consumed by guilt just for being happy and content. Not anymore.

  11. Sorry to say that the ff is a fallacy:
    “…Christians and their Crusades in the Middle Ages… invented the notion of a Holy War, in order to expel the Muslims and recapture where Yeshua their founder walked the earth?”
    It was not the Christians who invented the notion of a Holy War.
    It was the The Holy Roman Empire or the Roman Catholic Church. She used a syncretized Christianity, a blend of Roman paganism and apostolic Christianity.
    And their founder is not Yeshua but Supreme Pontiff Constantine (the great).
    It was this religiopolitical entity that persecuted dissents especially conservative Christians, even Jews, for over a millennia which resulted to history’s Dark Ages.
    This prompted the exploited peasants to rebel. In this setting during the 7th century Islam was established as a blend of Mohamad’s paganism and his ancestor’s Judaism.
    Thus the war involving Islam warriors and the Holy Roman Empire warriors.

    • You make history sound so simple — more like simplistic. It is difficult to read what historians write. The trick is to know that Emperor Constantine left Rome and moved to Byzantium. Rome is in the West and Byzantium is in the East. The language in Rome was Latin. The language in Byzantium was Greek. The Greek or Orthodox Christians honor Constantinople as a saint; the Roman Catholics do not call him “saint”. Byzantium was renamed “Constantinople” in honor of Constantine. The Muslims removed the name and replaced it with Istanbul. So where do you think Istanbul is? Knowing some geography helps to “place” historical events. Hope you will try enjoying reading real history. Google is a very big help in these digital times.

    • Istanbul was Constantinople was Byzantium, yes. Constantine made it the Capital city of Rome during the early 4th century. And he took his syncretized Christianity with him in Constantinople. During the mid 11th century, the issue in the use of icons or graven images became bitter, thus the split of the iconophiles and the iconoclasts during the 11th century, until the demise of the Ottoman empire. Then Turks renamed it Istanbul during the early part of the 20th century.

      Centuries before the emergence of apostolic Christianity, the leader of pagan priests of pagan Rome, until the early part of pagan Roman empire – were called Pontifes Maximii or Pontifex Maximus or Supreme Pontiff in English. And pagan Constantine the Great before he tolerated Christianity as religion in the pagan Roman empire year AD312, was also called Pontifex Maximus; which title they transferred to their pope up to the present.

    • In the fields of knowledge we find that there are specializations. In Medicine, for instance, we have pediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics, etc; in Law, we have criminal, civil, etc. So also in History. Much of our common knowledge comes from general history. Where do you suppose one could find special history on the Roman Catholic Church? Google “Patristic Writings” or “Church Fathers”. You will discover for yourself. Have fun.

    • Mr. HERMEN, many ancient books are still extant today where you can find the true legitimate history of Rome that started from the settlement of Romulus and Remus in what is now called Rome, year 753 BC or 3204 AM. Rome has no special history. An invented history, yes, there is. You can also gather some information from the ancient edition of Encyclopedia Britanica starting 11th edition and earlier…….. Just a warning bro, RCC is trying to erase the true, bizare history of Rome to make it palatable to modern students of history, especially those that are fed to wikepedia

  12. Rodolfo M. Matienzo on

    Beyond Biocentrism, Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death by Robert Lanza, MD with Robert Beerman…a difficult but good read on the Void.

  13. MARIANO PATALINJUG on

    Yonkers, New York
    12 April 2017

    I sincerely compliment ROBERTO D. TIGLAO, for this highly enlightening column of his, “WHAT RELIGION ROBS US OF,” in The Manila Times of 12 April 2017.

    It is frankly not often that a reader of the country’s major broadsheets gets a chance to read a brief treatise on what Religion does to cripple the innate capacity of Homo sapiens to think clearly, reasonably, objectively and logically.

    And that is not the only pernicious consequence which the world’s various religions inflict on the human mind. Religion, since some crafty men long ago, not long after Man came down from the trees as a biped, invented it for the insidious purpose of manipulating and exploiting Mankind, has been one of the most destructive forces that has been the bane of all societies, even now when Islamists are pitted murderously against other religions.

    I happen to have an online friend who is exceptionally intelligent, who has acquired two master’s degrees from top US universities. You would think that he would be possessed of the Scientific Mind–but he is not, unfortunately. He calls himself a “BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN,” and makes the rather un-Christian claim that it is only “born-again Christians” like him who would ever get a chance to go to “heaven!.” I ask him, now and then, where that “heaven is, and without batting an eyeless, he asserts that it is somewhere “outside the Cosmos!” Confused, I try to correct him by saying that I think the Cosmos is all that there is, that there is nothing “outside” it. He remains unmoved. And he finally contends that when his physical life here is over, his “spirit” will be “RAPTURED” to “heaven,: that place “outside the Cosmos” where his “God” dwells! “Raptured?”

    I tell him, finally, that when my own end-time comes, my “remains” will quickly be brought to a Crematory, and there reduced to the Periodic Elements, the ashes placed in a $5-cardboard box. And that’s it. No “soul,” or “spirit” to make the journey to join religion’s “God” anywhere in the Cosmos.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  14. Alangilan Go on

    James 1:26-27English Standard Version (ESV)

    26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

  15. Jimmy Diaz Esquivel on

    Mr. Tiglao if you don’t mind may i cordially invite you to try to research the teaching of the INC in the deeper sense because it will clarify everything, from past, present and future.. just try..

  16. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do.
    And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!

    But He loves you

    George Carlin

  17. Yes humanity doesn’t need religion to survive and even flourish this long. Lower forms of animals do not have religion and were able to survive..some became extinct not due to their fault but more due to human intervention.

  18. This is in reaction only to the issue, mujahideen prefer premature death to be rewarded with 72 virgins in the Hereafter.
    It has become monotonous yet tinged with ridicule and derision. Mujahid, singular for mujahideen, is derived from the word, jihad which literally means struggle or exertion. It does not necessarily mean armed struggle. Fighting is qital and harb is war in Arabic.
    A passage in the Qur’an says, “if one kills a person without just cause, it is as if he kills the whole humanity. If he saves a person from being killed unjustifiably, it is as if he saves the whole humanity. That refers to the hefty dose of reward that a person receives in the Hereafter. The 72 virgins are used only for mundanity because any reward or recompense are beyond human comprehension.
    Armed struggle becomes imperative when one’s life or honour or property is put on the line. It is a defense mechanism for oppression, usually rooted in domination, not to reign on earth.
    Modern terrorism stemmed from Israeli forcible occupation on Palestine soil backed by the British and the americans made tenacious by the Jewish lobby, AIPAC, which has imposing influence on American congress. The dogged American backing has dragged them to the chaos.
    The ISIS method has gone off the tracks when they perpetrate terroristic activities in utter disregard of the lives of innocent civilians. This was helplessly conceived to at least inflict pain. This misplaced obsession boomerangs on the Islamic world with the machination of world elites-controlled media who paints the caliphate rule in the dark. Note that Muslims consider only the pre-dynastic caliphate rule as the rightly-guided caliphate.
    According to a blog by Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia, Abubakr al-Baghdadi, the founder of ISIS, is Simon Elliot in real identity. He is a Jew who iscunning at brainwashing youths to perpetrate acts in a most dreadful manner holding Islam hostage to these sort of depravities.
    Muslims, without a doubt, believes in the Hereafter, that there is a day of recompense. Without which, one is unfettered to do anything at whom even to the detriment of others. While they do not enjoy the pleasure of here and now, they enjoy sheer pleasure and contentment at restricting themselves from committing anything that catalyzes societal ills (any form of immorality) to allow peace and harmony to prevail in a society. Whatever the Qur’an enjoined and forbids is for the good of an individual and a society. Any man-made law is susceptible to flaws.

  19. Migs Doromal on

    I am a godless member of an invasive species called Homo Sapiens.

    More than 5,000 gods invented and recorded throughout ancient history. The bestselling ones and liars are Islam and Christianity – the Abrahamic religions.

    MAN INVENTED GOD IN HIS IMAGE. Not the other way around, dude.

    The American writer, Edgar Allan Poe once wrote.

    “All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.” How sweet and true.

    And the wise Roman philosopher, Lucius Annaeus Seneca – tutor and later adviser to Roman Emperor Nero, said:

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”

    It gives me delight and pleasure that Christians were once fed to the lions by the Caesars. I wish we could do the same today.

    – Migs

  20. Here you claim “there hasn’t been found yet a tribe or society built on the values of selfishness and cruelty.” Then what do you call Hitler’s psuedo-evolutionary delusion of racially superior tribe of Aryan super-men with their “Lebensraum” mind set of “kill all the useless eaters” who are not blond and blue eyed. What is human history then but a chronicle of selfishness and cruelty.

    How do you explain the rapacious greed in the financial world, half the world’s wealth in less than 1%, over-consumerism for vanity’s sake, ethnic cleansing, weapons of mass destruction. You would think that evolution would correct these destructive genetic traits over time. Yet you ascribe religion to evolution as if to say God did not create religion evolution did. So what then is “evolutionism” but just another substitute religion, the gospel according to Darwin.

    False religions and holy wars were not invented by Christianity, they are as old as Lucifer’s rebellion in heaven. The Bible actually condemns the “mystery religions” known as “mother of harlots” the wife of King Nimrod (his name means Rebellious One) builder of the tower of Babel and Babylonian civilization had a harlot wife, Queen Semiramis and it was she who founded the system of religious power base that we see today.

    • RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO on

      You miss the point. Hitler and his Nazis were devoted to Germany and their fictitious Aryan race with many of them so selfless as to die for the Nazis. But obviously cruel to other “tribes”. Capitalists are devoted to their shareholders, family, clan but cruel to other “tribes”. Good lu ck though with your myths.

    • Did I really Sir? Respectfully, the simplistic “us against them” reason of society for being still amounts to collective national selfishness and cruelty that reminds one of the reality TV show Survivor, starts out with many tribal alliances, in the end only one survives.

      Recall the violent selfish cultures in history that did not spare even the family; the Carthaginian-Phoenician and many pre-Islamic Middle Eastern tribes sacrificed their own first born to the god Baal; the Hindu Indians practiced “Sati” or wife burning (alive) on the funeral pile of the dead husband; the weeping prophet Jeremiah and the historian Josephus record a time when the Jews became as evil as pagans and so were given to invasion and siege so that loving mothers were forced to eat their children; then there is the Pahtet Lao and Khmer Rogue insane social experiment that tore the family apart, making parent the class enemies of the children.

      The foundation of society seems a deeper belief system, a concept of right or wrong, a moral code, a belief of a greater purpose in life and the afterlife, a spirit world, ancestor worship or a supreme being called God. At some points in history a guiding good or evil spirit rules over the nations, the Bible calls them “principalities.” Myth? What if you knew that the god-king Nimrod I mentioned and his queen-goddess Semiramis were worshiped as Ishtar or Easter holiday, paganism that infiltrated our Christian religious beliefs and so is proof of myth manifest in today’s reality.

      All the day’s of the week or month of the year are named for some pagan god, ever wonder why that is? Must be true the myth that the pagan god Cronus rules time. Then you have the neo-paganism called new ageism based on Luciferianism and it’s not pervasive in the entertainment and music world but in the corridors of power. The UN’s version of the religion-philosophy is theosophy founded by the mystic Madam Helena Blavatsky, self confessed to channeling Lucifer. Then you have Saul Alinsky’s influence on Obama, Alinsky also dedicated his written works to Lucifer. So Mr. Tiglao your enlightenment proclaim on the one hand God is dead, while Luciferianism (Illuminatism) sneaks in to replace the vacuum.

      You are saying that religion is the problem, agreed, but only because it is the contested battle ground between the forces of good and evil.

      Sir. Tiglao given your superb ability for research and insight combined surely you can give this a shot and check out the facts.

  21. Dissecting the intrinsic value of a religion doesn’t lead anywhere, it’s a useless, futile exercise. For how can you argue for or against faith, that realm of reality that is not based on logic or reason but more on emotion? “I believe what I believe, anong paki mo?”, that sort of thing. In the end, it’s every person’s call to believe what he wants to believe. As long as one’s set of belief (okay, religion) does not bring harm to people next to him, it’s nobody’s business if he looks at a pig as a God !!!

  22. Dissecting the intrinsic value of a religion doesn’t lead anywhere, it’s a useless, futile exercise. For how can you argue for or against faith, that realm of reality that is not based on logic or reason but more on emotion? “I believe what I believe, anong paki mo?”, that sort of thing. In the end, it’s every person’s call to believe what he wants to believe. As long as one’s set of belief (okay, religion) does not bring harm to people next to him, it’s nobody’s business if he looks at a big as a God !!!

  23. God will use the foolish to shame the wise.
    religion is the reason man goes to hell;
    lastly,
    if erice is confirmed the evolution’s missing link, then perhaps evolution is true;
    but until such time,
    only the existence of a divine creator explains what up to now confounds the wisest of men.

  24. Religion is not the way to salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God because of His mercy towards mankind. Salvation is given to an individual and not to a group, organization, team etch. The Bible says in Acts 4:12 | NIV, “Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

  25. Wow Tiglao-Very Analytical, Realistic, and Pragmatic still article. U are Not afraid to tell the the situation as it is

  26. Leland Sacro on

    J. Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986) questioned the “authority” of religion as man knows it. He is famous for the book Freedom from the Known which can be downloaded free.

    Dr. David Bohm (1917 – 1992), a renowned theoretical physicist, was a close friend of J. Krishnamurti.

    The phrase “the observer is the observed” is said to have been the reason how Dr. Bohm and J. Krishnamurti met.

    • RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO on

      I had read a lot of Krishnamurti’s books and consider him one of my teachers on the path — although I really can’t wrap my brain on his words.

  27. You should read Eben Alexander’s book. Alexander himself is a distinguished neuroscientist who did not believe in the afterlife. He explained quite assiduously why it could not possibly be hallucination.

    • I just did.

      May I suggest you google “Esquire article on Eben Alexander distorts the facts”. I still suggest you read the book.

      It’s really a matter of faith. At the back of it all is the greatest mystery called Consciousness.

    • Jose Samilin on

      JV, this is the only true teaching of the church founded by Christ in this forum, the only true religion, others are called tainted religion or mere religion of man, and therefore, does not qualify as true religion because it cannot be traced its divine origin. A religion of divine origin does not rob people of anything but all goodness to homo sapiens, in contrast to what was a secular writing of my idol, Mr. Rigoberto D. Tiglao.

  28. “Why is that void in the future so fearsome when we really came from a void we don’t even remember?”
    Is there anyone here on earth could ever recall his memory in his mother’s womb or before his conception?
    Good point Mr Tiglao

  29. I was a Buddhist since age 18 but now I am a Deist (I still believe that a God created all of the universe and then abandoned it). I still recall a Great Buddhist Monk telling me that those who preach and lead a certain religion or cult are the ones who does not believe that a God exist, chances are they are just clever enterpreneurs. He further explained that the marketing people of Jesus Christ are far better than that of St. John the Baptist.

  30. Putting your “comparative” religious thoughts in writing is what robbed you of whatever it is that you claim religion robs you (not us, please). Generalization is what comes out. Lost are the particular peculiarities when delving into the individual religions. The over-all picture confronting us “now”-a-days of “terrorism” from a particular religious “bent” is arguably more a result of political objectives pursued in the name of some great god. That should not be dismissed in the context of caliphate building. Victims of terrorism got robbed of everything, not just enjoyment of life.
    “Now” to “this week”. Those who choose to flock to the beaches get robbed by the ASG looking for tourists to abduct. Those who choose to flock to Churches are preparing themselves for whatever. The operative word is “choose”. No one chooses to be robbed of anything.
    Plagiarism, they say flippantly, is using one author’s words. It becomes respectable “research” when words of various authors are used. So here is Thomas Gray to add to the research:

    Full many a gem of purest ray serene
    The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
    Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
    And waste its sweetness on desert air.

    Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard” puts in perspective all the talents or talented people including those who never got recognized buried beside a Church.

    The pomp of heraldry, the boast of power,
    And all that beauty, and all that wealth e’er gave;
    Awaits alike the inevitable hour,
    The path of glory leads but to the grave.

    The poet Thomas Gray gathered some timeless useful “generalizations” unlike those who are after the enjoyment of life in every “now” and put the blame squarely on religion for whatever.

    • Footnote: The protracted bloody wars between European Protestants and European Catholics were not unlike the Northern and Irish conflict of recent memory: Politics. In 1517 Martin Luther sought to reform the Catholic Church. The Dukes of Germany saw political opportunities. Politics equals division. Political religion, if there is such an animal, is not much different from politics itself. Divisive.

  31. As always, nice piece timely for meditation during this season so that we might know or ascertain the ‘truth’ (John 8:32) for real freedom religion has long robbed us of. It was said religion is the ‘opium’ of the people. Still another said, ‘organized religion is the greatest hindrance’ to the spreading of Christianity more any other means. Jesus Christ himself on his fundamental teaching on faith, hope and love revolutionized the religious mindset of his time.

  32. Mr. Tiglao,
    Here is the funny thing: If you solicit sales for “after-life insurance” you can be arrested/convicted for racketeering or swindling but if you do it under the penumbra of religion you are free. That’s what the Iglesia Cosa Nostra is virtually doing: selling/collecting after-life-in-heaven insurance to ‘nice people’ with premium comprising at least 10% of one’s income to last for the remainder of their Earth’s life. And they are proud of it! That’s how far religion can do to people which I think the government cannot do anything as long as it is not done in compulsion.

  33. I was bought up a protestant. Somehow i managed to not get brainwashed by the teachers as thats exactly how religion works. From childhood they brainwash you, & a childs brain is like a sponge in that it will absorb anything. Go onto youtube & watch & listen to Peter Hitchens & i find his words more truthful those words help to reinforce my belief that religion is a man made thing to control the masses, for both power & money & probably glory also. But as i said listen to him & Richard Dawkins & do it with an open mind. You might be enlightened.

    • If we’re going to be philosophical. Religion I don’t believe in. It’s manmade
      , divisive and causes more violence than oil, water or land. But, every human tribe from the Amazon jungle to New York believes in three things. God, alchohol or other mind changing drugs. Sometimes they all combine. There must be a God or is humanity so Base that this is the best we can do in the whole Universe?

  34. Just finish reading Christopher Hitchens’ book god is not great How religion poisons everything. Next will be The People vs Muhammad by JK Sheindlin.