By Aanchal Khulbe:
I know the lives of a vast majority of the citizens of this country are governed by this inevitable culture and constitution of religion, and thinking beyond it or even questioning its existence sounds not only alien and impractical; but also highly sacrilegious.
But just for once, I would like to invite you to look beyondÂ that thick bubble of yours and question your beliefs. Questioning – that’s one thing that many of us don’t do, and that is because we are trained not to. Follow elders, follow textbooks, follow Gita, follow rules, follow and die one day! Amazing life-cycle, no? Are we not manufacturing robots? In an environment where people are fed since birth that there is just one way that you can lead your life – be it clothes, profession, sexual orientation or beliefs, can there be any expectation of free thought or rationality?Â The answer is “NOT” without even a “probably”.
Now think about this.
When Man was born, he knew nothing, had no idea whatever was going on and chose to stay recessive and ignorant. And he saw a huge golden ball mysteriously rise up above him at regular intervals throughout his life. He saw a vast expanse of a transparent liquid that reacted as a whole when touched, which rose up and down by its own fancy. And he had the feeling of something brushing through him that he could not see, that remained ‘calm’ and ‘enraged’ according to its mood. What explanation could he have provided except for the presence of the Supernatural? The only solution, and therefore the perfect one. This justified everything in one shot.
And this satisfied him.
Now ask yourself – with all your education today, are you as bewildered as that first man? And he named it God. Now God was everywhere, out in the Universe as well as inside him, because every single droplet intrigued him.
Then, as civilizations settled in, the concept modified, took different forms and has evolved into an institution with a million things attached to it, like laws, norms, superstition, and even literature. And this way, the zombie or the robotic way of life was inherited from one generation to the next and nobody thought about logic.
Therefore, I conclude that there is not much difference between the mental level of a primitive man and a modern man. Except that the modern man has been sent to school, has knowledge, resources and is infinitely better informed (thanks to science!).
I can bet that everyone reading this article right now knows that the Earth revolves around the Sun, that the Universe was formed due to the Big Bang, that Ganga cannot be a Goddess because it is a non-living thing called “river”, that pressure conditions cause wind and there is absolute zero evidence of anything magical or supernatural except from what is written in books. Everybody knows it, but many choose not to accept it. Do not shun your beliefs, but at least question them. Do you actually still think that the Sun is a God and that God made everything and everything runs on the stroke of his finger? You probably do not. But you are bound. Bound by culture, bound by stereotypes. Bound by an overpowering thing called “faith”, which over-runs everything else. You need an assurance for what you do. It’s a need. It promises to deliver justice. It says that you won because you prayed and lost because you might have worked hard but did not pray, and therefore pray harder next time. It says that everything happens for a reason and that this ancient way of life is a system where everything is functioning in a very controlled fashion. And you will forever keep hanging on to it, because the allurement is magnificent!
But is this justice? Let’s not talk about the highly biased laws that different religions have come up with, or the million children who are dying of hunger when shivlingsÂ are bathingÂ in thousands of liters of milk. Let’s chose to ignore all this because hey, under his supervision, it’s all fair! So if you are dark skinned and you have to live all your life regretting it, it is because you were super evil in your last birth and hence the deprivation of ‘beauty’. Had this been true, I would have voluntarily opted out of the mercy of such a discriminatory God.
One common difference between the two sides is that atheists continuously keep questioning themselves, “What if we are wrong?”, but this is absent among believers. Atheism is not the idea that God does not exist, it only says that there has not been any evidence which proves that it does.
One question – How have we been able to dismiss the idea of Santa, or the Tooth Fairy? Because we have come down to the fact that these are fantastical, created by the human mind. However, our children believe in these because they are ignorant. They are fascinated by magic, and tend to believe in what gives them hope.
So, are you any different?
There are innumerable arguments, this is only an attempt for the inception of the idea to those who have not given adequate (or any) thought to the issue. From where I sit, it is not even an issue. It is our reconciliation to ground reality. It is the blatant certitude which nobody can dismiss, yet nobody wants to accept.
While writing this article, I am completely aware of the danger I am putting myself into, because anything anti-religious invokes such kind of a cry of disgust that many attempts have been suppressed. However, I am ready for the criticism, because among the millions out there, if it is able to bring the slightest spark of thought in any one of my readers, I have achieved something. I believe that it is these slight sparks that will burn blind beliefs one day.