Reflection on Philosophy of Religion

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Throughout my entire life, I have been part of a family deeply committed to Roman Catholicism. Both of my parents were devout followers of God and the Catholic Church. This upbringing led me to engage in various religious practices from an early age. Every week, we would gather for mass on Sundays, where I was always reminded to dress respectfully for our time inside the church. Additionally, before going to sleep each night, my mother would prompt me to say prayers such as the Angel of God and Hail Mary, which I dutifully recited.

Before and after meals, we also say prayers. My father often shares Bible stories with us and teaches us lessons from them. When I attended high school at the Universidad De Sta. Isabel, a Catholic school, we followed various religious practices like reciting the rosary every morning, saying prayers before and after each subject, holding vigils, and more. Despite having this religious upbringing, I do not consider myself a devout believer because although I perform these daily rituals, I am not sincerely passionate about them.

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Despite not having a personal desire to do so, I performed the requested actions because I felt obligated. At that time, my understanding was limited to only what others imparted to me. I had never encountered anyone who didn’t believe, so I naturally inclined towards belief due to societal norms. However, everything changed when I started college. Although Theology classes were still part of my curriculum, there was also a Philosophy of Religion course. Right from the first class, I worried that I might be swayed because I acknowledged that my foundational beliefs were feeble.

Here, my mind experienced liberation. Instead of fear or uncertainty, excitement arose as I could perceive the alternate perspective. Throughout each lesson, the realization would strike me: “Ah, now it all makes sense.” My mind was stimulated to independently think and assess ideas; a departure from the past when I merely absorbed and embraced everything presented. The concept of Atheism in particular was novel to me, unlike Anselm and Aquinas whom I had encountered in various forms previously.

I previously held the belief that Atheism was incorrect as it contradicts the existence of God. However, I now comprehend that Atheism is not centered around supporting God, but rather, it advocates for humanity. Its primary objective is to uplift and motivate us to achieve our maximum capabilities while liberating ourselves from the restrictions imposed by religion. Karl Marx famously described religion as the “opium of the people,” implying that it functions as a means to escape from the harsh realities of materialistic society and constructs an imaginary realm where suffering ceases to exist.

The text suggests that it is acceptable to be weak because there is hope for future blessings. This leads to complacency and settling for what is easily attainable instead of striving for more. Nietzsche’s statement about being an individual involves creating values that defy conformity, which I find both empowering and demanding. It encourages us to break free from the herd mentality that prioritizes the afterlife over the present world.

It also challenges us to reject the concept of absolutes and embrace individualism, refusing to conform to objective values and moral principles. Instead, we should strive to assert our own will to power and exist in a unique manner. This means living according to our own values and fully experiencing life on Earth. Often, our actions are driven by a strong dependence on the rewards promised in the afterlife. This pre-determined mindset compels us to do good only for the purpose of being included in the world beyond, thus compromising the true essence of doing good for its own sake and not for the expectation of a reward. We must become masters of our choices and values.

In Nietzsche’s teachings, the focus is not on selfishness and indulgence in desires, but rather on the significance of independence. The idea is that by fully experiencing life here on Earth, it would be satisfactory even without an afterlife. By living to the fullest, we have already achieved something valuable. Nevertheless, if there happens to be an afterlife, it would serve as an additional advantage, providing two benefits in total. In either scenario, the essence remains the same – our objective is to transform our lives into a work of art where we act as the artist and are unconcerned with others’ perception of our creation.

After gaining knowledge about everything, I had a feeling of empowerment. I believed that I could defy God and do whatever I pleased. Consequently, I stopped engaging in our usual rituals, questioned the priest’s teachings during his sermons, and shared my doubts with my mother. My comments angered her, and she threatened to report me to our school principal at Ateneo. This made me suppress my thoughts and refrain from expressing them openly. Although this newfound liberation brought me a sense of emptiness or confusion, rather than fulfillment.

Previously, I held strong faith in my religion. Yet, as I delved into different viewpoints and contemplated diverse ideas, I grew doubtful and found it hard to wholeheartedly devote myself. A feeling of uncertainty, perplexity, and puzzlement overwhelmed me. Nonetheless, I appreciate the conversations revolving around belief because they have shown me that proving or disproving God’s existence is not the essence. As thinking beings capable of critical thought, we must inwardly reflect and search our souls to decide whether we will embrace faith.

I believe it is much superior to simply flaunting “faith” by blindly following others’ instructions because that would only be a compromise. Eventually, one would become weary of it because it lacks substance and a solid foundation from within. Therefore, as I continue on my journey, I will consistently search, reflect, and contemplate. I will never settle for anything less just to get through. I am grateful to Philosophy of Religion for expanding my awareness. I will never again be narrow-minded; I will analyze and ponder before embracing new ideas from others. Thank you, sir Vic! You are one of my most beloved teachers worldwide!

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Reflection on Philosophy of Religion. (2016, Oct 26). Retrieved from

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