From An Atheist’s Eyes- What Is Religion?

Posted on June 24, 2012 in Inter-faith

By Sanjay Dudani:

Religion,religion, O my dear religion,
Listen listen how you spread like a contagion;
Influencing our ideas without rhyme or reason,
Beyond our memory and beyond the oblivion;

They must find it difficult,
Those who have taken authority as the truth,
Rather than truth as the authority.

The word “believe” in itself carries the word “lie”. The more we think about “who we are”, the more we think about “where we come from”, the more we believe in our religious institutions, the more we begin to see we have been lied through the cascades of generations after generations. These religious institutions have been established by the same bunch of authoritarians who gave us our corrupt education, our bank cartels etc. etc. in order to claim their hegemony over the race of mankind. We have been made to believe that there is one invisible object in the sky who is watching us, keeping a vigil on our activities and prohibits us from doing certain things and maintains a high profile record of everything we do and finally when the day of judgement comes on, we are either sent to heaven where virgins await us and prodigality costs nothing or we are sent deep into the earth’s crust where we are subjected to all sorts of torture, burns, heat, dead skeletons etc. and where we are forced to rot. But… still that invisible object loves us. Doesn’t it suit the plot of a comedy drama whose protagonist is a hypothetical object and the vivid imagination of the author has anthropomorphized that object.

Every morning we wake up, we claim ourselves to be deeply religious but at the same time we take offence very easily at the slightest of the criticism of our religion. So haven’t we entrenched ourselves into the marshy land of hypocrisy by doing so?

Religion is nothing but a form of scholarship sponsored to us by our masters who manoeuvred themselves over time to manipulate the masses and who do not care what will happen to us and our family but care about only one thing which they always have cared that is to control the society. Or, to be more liberal let me put the definition of religion from a different perspective. “Religion” is nothing but a construct devised by men in order to combat the fear of death. Men always needed to blame someone else for their deeds and when they couldn’t blame anyone for death they finally coined the term “religion”.

Peter Joseph in his documentary “Zeitgeist-the movie” eruditely justifies that all religions and deities are mere iterated results of the Egyptian Sun god “Horus” of around 3000 B.C. Horus himself was nothing but merely the sun anthropomorphized in his life as a series of allegorical myths involving sun’s movement in the sky and so as the other deities and religions.

But now since religion has become a harsh reality in our lives and I always start quaking in my boots when I rake through the blood which is shed in the name of religion, I would like to analyse the causes of violence in religion which challenges the very doctrines of any religion which is peace and harmony.

If the role of religion doesn’t remain confined to the domain of religion and when it becomes the only way of defining people politically then we start plunging into a humiliating mess. It sometimes catches me in the highest forms of bewilderment when I question myself that “how human beings suddenly go berserk and transform themselves into bloody Hindus and fierce Muslims during a communal riot?” although all of them had shared the same past and culture since a very long time. There had been ruthless Muslim invaders but at the same time there existed Muslims who were great messengers of peace. But when we start seeing the Muslims only as invaders (we entitle them with the single identity and undermine their contribution as artists, poets, architects, singers etc or repudiate their other forms of identity entitlement) this is where we fundamentally and morally go wrong.

As a child I was often told that one day when Lord Shiva will open his 3rd eye and the earth will complete her cycle as designated by Lord Brahma, the earth will tear apart obliterating and destroying every single proof of life which she has nurtured through billions and billions of years. I always wondered how can a mother kill her own child? I always wondered how can a lord’s wrath who has been worshipped by the millions can cause their demise? Whole of my life I kept on questioning the veracity of this divine relationship which is not taught in any school or university but is eternal in it’s very kind and nature. Now I wonder why no one ever told me that it won’t be gods but it will be men themselves who will be responsible for the demise of this beautiful planet.

Image courtesy: Click here

Youth Ki Awaaz

YouthKiAwaaz.com is an award winning, India's largest online and mobile platform for young people to express themselves on issues of critical importance. This article has been written by a Youth Ki Awaaz Journalist/Contributor. You can submit a contribution too. Click here to write for Youth Ki Awaaz, or submit a photo or video.

Submit Your Story

Comments

You must be logged in to comment.

If you sign up with Google, Twitter or Facebook, we’ll automatically import your bio which you will be able to edit/change after logging in. Also, we’ll never post to Twitter or Facebook without your permission. We take privacy very seriously. For more info, please see Terms.

Shushant Mojumdar

Your title doesnt stand worth of your article you never dealt with the question of religion you just hit the bush around ? And if you question something you should give an alternative to it and not another question but you seem to be very small to deal with it. Now my response you played with word believe and said “lie” is in between what if i say Atheist actually can mean A-“theist’. Now second statement you said “These religious institutions have been established by
the same bunch of authoritarians who gave us our
corrupt education, our bank cartels etc. etc.
in order to claim their hegemony over the race of mankind.” So you are stating religion is given by corrupt thing like any other then you are assuming that there is something original, something true and pure but you never took pain to explain what it is??

Then you said about how religion use the unexplained theory of death to rule the men? If you are thinking religion is only to do with after death I think you got it wrong or perhaps you need to read and understand it more.

And sir your argument of bloodshed in the name of religion you have then very soon forgotten the bloodshed is done in the name of Atheism or against religion and beliefs have you forgotten about Hitler and stalin what a bloodshed was done not only that there several such examples. And about communal riots its not religion which forces but the interpretation of the religion. Or selfishness about it.

And last of all yes we human beings are at fault there is nothing wrong in the religion itself if something is wrong its the interpretation we give and we accept ? We dont go deep to found out what is truth because we settle for second hand or third hand truth we dont bother to search it. So sir would request you to come up with good homework when you raise a voice against anything.

    Sanjay Dudani

    The topic stands vindicated in the very context but what does not stand vindicated is your mindset. I have said it several times and feel the necessity to say it again that most of us have been bowled out by the googly thrown by our religious clerics and you are one among them. This phenomena of so called religion has been so deeply entrenched into our blood and veins that we are not able to repudiate this phenomena. You blame the interpretation of religion as the cause of all the bloodshed which, according to me, is a very narrow vision. Why don’t you try to think a step further? There would be no question of interpretation if the word “religion” wouldn’t have been coined. Even if, I agree that it’s not religion rather it’s interpretation which is to be blamed then I’m scared to assert the fact that the bloodshed in the name of religion will continue to fulfill ulterior concocted motives of foreign forces. Let me explain this. We always talk about communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims but there exists seething animosities between these two sects.Why? One simple answer and the answer is hidden in the question, How can two opposite roads meet each other? The beliefs in Islam are entirely opposite to that of Hinduism and if we keep on blaming the interpretation then I fear, that’s not going to fetch us any harmony and we will continue to see bloody fiascoes like Gujrat too often. It’s always a matter of perspective and if perspectives are different then there would definitely be clash of ideas.
    While I was going through your comment and when I saw the names of Hitler and Stalin in the context which you have used I got myself caught into a dicey predicament and was almost horrified by your ignorance. People like you say something just for the sake of saying where words are drained of all meaning and authenticity. I suggest you not to propagate your rubbish propaganda on portals like this because comments like yours’ deeply undermines the repute of people associated with this portal.
    I guess you don’t have any idea regarding the circumstances in which Hitler and Stalin worked. Germany, at the time of Hitler was ruled and all the policies were manipulated by the Jews and the Germans were in abysmal poverty. So, it was not Hitler but it were the Jews themselves who were responsible for their holocaust. Hitler was a true German and he fought for the hegemony of Germans and so is the case with Stalin. I understand that in order to digest such interpretations we need a much wider perspective and deeper understanding of the subject and people of narrow perspectives like you might find it difficult( can be impossible) to digest. Your reference of Hitler and Stalin was not apt in this context.

    Jaman

    Look Stalin did not kill in the name of atheism . That statement doesn’t even make sense. That’s like saying he killed people since he didn’t play cricket.

    He killed in the name of communism , which was a religion to him.

Shushant Mojumdar

When you say religion should not be there or it should not be coined you mean to say it never existed ? But actually you are ignorant of the fact that a duplicate or counterfeit will exist because of the corruption in the original. So the very fact we know or argue on the fact of religion proves it exist but it is not understood by many of us or misinterpreted by us
One can chose to run away or not to follow any religion but he cannot or should not blame that it does not exist or its a wrong thing? And Yes I am very narrow minded I have to be because truth by definition is exclusive. It cannot contradict to each other. Again the conflict between any religion will continue unless we found out the correct interpretation of religion. Same is with any other thing like truth, liberty, justice and management unless its understood correctly. There we have to come out of blind faith and superstition there we need to educate people. Educate them with logic and sound reasoning and similarly making choices with brain but at the same time not being ignorant of truth but realizing that it is integral part of life and we cannot live without it. And I tell you Science alone cannot answer you everything. And for that matter science is relative but truth is not. And perspective were to define everything then truth will always keep changing like our ideas and we will not able to stand on any ground we will keep moving.

At one side you are looking at bloodshed done in the name of religion is wrong and on other hand you say Hitler did the right thing ? Aren’t you somewhere contradicting yourself ? Is it me who is propagating rubbish propaganda on portals like this or you?

A revolution against authority yes good but not at the cost of lives of people. If you think just because Jews were manipulating they should be killed in holocaust then I am sure you are waiting or promoting to think that someone can build good community by eradicating a particular sect completely ?

    Anshuman Saxena

    @shushantmojumdar: you might want to have a look at the comment above to see what our religion of peace friend is saying. 1. Kill Atheists. 2. India will be a muslim state by 2040. now saying that, does it reflect of a political motive of controlling a land , or the ulterior motive of heaven or hell and meeting the deity?

killatheists

Hindus are turning atheist.. india will be a muslim state by 2040. I am waiting for that day.. I wuld rather be a muslim than an atheist. What they say… I am a hindu but i dont believe in reincarnation… What kind of hindu r u if you reject rebirth, hence reject tge bhagvad gita??
Some hindu youths also say give us proof of god and of every word in bhagavad gita… The end of hinduism is near….

Anshuman Saxena

A very well written article. What should be the matter of concern is whether the claims of religion are true or are they downright lies?The abrahamic religions are incompatible with what we know now. for example, the story of adam and eve vs. Evolution. There is even a section of religious apologists claiming then that evolution was guided by the ‘Hand of God’.
Islam claims that the earth is flat. Christianity stated that the sun revolves around the earth, which we know are false. how then can we be sure that the rest of it is correct?

Why cannot it be that we just die and our perception stops? the concept of afterlife is for people who are too narcissistic to imagine a world without them.

Looking at history, it doesn’t take much of an intellect that religions were politically motivated. to keep people under the authority of a superior( imaginary maybe). where blasphemy is served with capital punishment, it became easier to raise armies for political objectives. The christian crusades and the Islamic invasions were about capturing land and political power over spreading the message.

The point we miss is that Hinduism has its origins in the Veda’s and the Upanishads there is nowhere among these texts a claim that these texts originated from the divine. Even the bible doesn’t claims that. while on the other hand, the koran is stated as the true word of god so that there is no point of any amendment into the text. if it says kill, u kill. that is a command from god, hence its more dangerous.( we even have a friend here in the discussion named KillAtheists waiting for india to be islamic in 2040. His comment proves both the hatred for the unbelievers, and the political motives of the faith)

Now coming to the point of Hinduism, the meaning of the word Dharm is responsibility and not religion, (putr dharm – responsibility as a son, patni dharm – responsibilities as a wife). a person can be an atheist and still be a hindu (search for samakhya school of hinduism for more on this). the point of Sanatan Dharm (known as hinduism as of today) was to create a social order, having responsibilities and duties for each individual and the freedom to believe on 0, 1 or many deities.

I personally feel that religion is a unnecessary baggage the world is carrying. When a religion says that abortion is a sin, and a woman dies because of this its time to question religion(savita halappanavar). when a religion says that a raped 13 year old girl (Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow) should be stoned to death for committing adultery, its time to question religion, when a religion says that a widow must be burnt with her dead husband, its time to question religion.

#StartTheChange

Submit your story