On Life, Love, Faith, and Death
By Apolinario Villalobos
Nobody chose to be born. The new life developed in the womb of the woman is the result of her copulation with a man, done either with love or just plain lust. That is why there are so-called “bundle of love or joy” of married couple some of whom sign divorce papers after five years or a little more of companionship, or “unwanted child” of a rape victim. When the fetus is delivered into the world as an infant, its innocence and fragility make it helpless in the hands of the people who take care of it. Lucky are those who are born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth, but, woe to those born of impoverished mother whose dry and wrinkled breast cannot provide even a single drop of milk.
There is a very popular counsel from the religious conscience groups which says, “…thank the Lord for the life He gave, and that He alone can also take back…” which implies that He is responsible for all the life on earth. They add that man should do the rest to survive as God also gave him intelligence. If this is so, can man be blamed if he decides to do the easiest-to-do crimes? If a criminal committed rape and murder resulting to the distress of the victim’s loved ones, why can’t he be penalized justly, instead of being “rehabilitated” which the God-fearing human rights groups are insisting, when there is no guarantee that he will not repeat such vicious acts and eventually claim more victims? As the choice to commit crimes is man’s decision, God has nothing to do with it, hence, His will is not being violated, so that whatever corporal penalty imposed on the criminal is just appropriate. On the other hand, if man is pre-destined, why work hard, if everybody is destined for his or her place in this world as willed by God?
I have heard stories of people struggling for a better life and even witnessed some of them doing all the best they can to provide decent meals to their families three times a day. The desperate are pushed by circumstances to commit crime. The weak who cannot bear the suffering commit suicide. Along this line, many valedictorians and summa cum laudes are beaten to better and best opportunities by those who have barely earned passing grades in college…proof that “being at the right place, at the right time” really works and not the “God-given intelligence”. In other words, shall we go back again to the presumption that God willed man to live according to His plan?
On the other hand, many disease-ridden patients who are suffering for long are not given the choice to “rest” for good. It is against the law of the land, governments would say. It is against God’s will, the religious groups would say. In the first place, if it is not the choice of man to be born, why not give him the option to end his life if he finds that the world is not for him or if he feels that he is already exhausted or burned out…having done everything even for the sake of others? Most especially, why burden for instance, the family of a dying man with mounting hospital and drug bills just because choosing to die translates to committing a sin? Why wait until the hopelessly sick man has become comatose before a doctor may give consent to the family to unplug the machine that makes his heart beat, as he is already brain-dead?
I would like to make it clear that I am thankful for my life, though I did not choose to be born, and this dissertation is not meant to influence others to leave their religious communities. I know that so many humans have the same confusing questions that I have stated earlier. I am just being loud about them, while they may have chosen to be quiet. What I ask is of them at this juncture, is to do what is universally accepted as good, based especially, on the simple Golden Rule…be they, are atheist or religiously zealot human beings who believe every word uttered by their preacher. Just do good and nothing shall definitely go awry…