Writing Experiment Lab

Tag: atheism (page 1 of 1)

Too Long, Don't Read

So 2015 has finally arrived and January is almost over. No idea what is the hurry. I mean it was barely 2010 few years ago and now this decade is almost half over. Anyways, these year numbers are man-made and there won’t be any year or any number after sometime. Remember, Sun will engulf you eventually.

I have posted some scattered views of mine about religion in few posts in the past. I have never been the religious kind and apart from being superstitious about certain clothing items as they were more comfortable, I am not a believer of superstitions either. I rarely go to any temple, and that too because I had to accompany someone else. But I ‘did’ believe that someone up there is watching my actions and acting on that by rewarding or punishing me. However, my checklist of believing in that started fading few years ago and more recently, most of the remaining points got ticked off as QA failed. Recently I spent time in reading stuff and watching videos which helped a great deal in understanding what is wrong with our worldview about God and religion (whats right is the holidays https://abloquacitylab.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/confusionism/). Some of the stuff range from George Orwell’s 1984 to South Park, from George Carlin to Christopher Hitchens (What a man!) to Sam Harris and even a bit of Richard Dawkins and from RSS to RSS.

Before anything else, I would like to put some thought for 1984 novel. It is said to be about a dystopian era where Govt. has a check on everything an individual does and ‘thinks’. While it is generally considered a word about Communist style of government (and even the Church), I think it is more related to the Theism than anything else. Big Brother or God is watching over you. You cannot question the authority. You cannot even think of stepping out because Godmen or the government will find about your thoughtcrime and punish you for it. There is a word for it: Blasphemy. Je suis Charlie is alright as long there is nobody pointing a gun towards your head.

Coming back, there have been various factors behind me being pushed at the intersection of the venn diagrams of Atheism and believing and even being agnostic. Some of them are plain truths of life, some are untimely deaths of people who were dear and then there were news events such as killing of school kids in Peshawar which tend to tick off points faster.

Through this post, I am trying to align or address my views in a systematic format (partially inspired from http://whatho.in/2014/08/16/things-i-believe-in/)

  1. You’re not special. Nope. You hold as much importance in the world as much as an ant does. You do fit in a larger scheme of things to keep things going but if you’re removed, someone else will take your place. If you do good at the tasks assigned to you, that’s a bonus. If you don’t, there is no point in wasting time over regretting as time is irreversible. And the only thing constant, apart from speed of light, is change. You should, however, keep trying to raise your skills and thereby living standards because who doesn’t want to buy things we don’t actually need.
  2. If possible, try to save your surroundings (which include land, animals and plants) as much as you can. By this I mean, try to be vegetarian. If you can’t, it is okay as taste > life of another organism. Now when it comes to comparing life of another organism to life of plants, all I can say is that to live you have to consume living things which include plant. If possible, you can minimize the damage by eating just plants and not animals with plants. But nobody can force you. If you like to eat non-veg, please keep doing so. Just don’t tell vegetarians that they eat ghaas-foos because your non-veg won’t taste any good without that ghaas-foos.
  3. Continuing on saving the surroundings, minimize use of leather because it involves killing of animals. And killing of animals is (bad, mkay?) required because science has made enough progress that we know how to cook (and not hunt), and how to cultivate (and not kill) and what to wear (not animal skin). Still, if you like, wear fur, leather, whatever.
  4. Karm or Karma is nothing but Newton’s 3rd law. For each of your actions, you can expect a reaction. But, for some of your efforts, you might not get the equal reaction because you are not the only one making efforts. There is nothing like if you do good now, you will get lifetime achievement award later in life. No. There is no guarantee.
  5. You need not please God for getting things in return. God is you yourself and the other voice in your head which tells you what is right morally and what is wrong legally. Act on it and follow the only mantra of life: Live & Let Live. Also, don’t preach but if you think you are right, you can put across your opinion, like I am doing. And I may be wrong.
  6. Since by birth and by tradition, I am a Hindu and Hinduism allows a certain degree of atheism (unlike some other religions, mostly Abrahmic), I will continue to write Hindu in the forms, to please my people. But my opinion has now been affirmed which will take another ‘Resurrection’ sort of miracle to change.
  7. Don’t preach. Keep your belief to yourself but it is never wrong to speak what you think.

P.S: There are certain things which happened to our (still not the perfect heaven) country (and religion) over the years which divided the people somehow. For instance, during the times, religion was more of a way of life than motivation to kill others, people from other places invaded us, looted our property and damaged our buildings. And, they also brought various cultures and good things which make India what it is today, an amalgamation of numerous religions, dialects, colors, faces and many problems.So change is welcome, violence is not. This was again motivated by religion in a way. Well, this is a topic I would touch later when I write about RSS and Nationalism, so this post ends here. I hope you didn’t read it. Good.

Confusionism

It is slightly difficult being an Atheist, I feel. Without enraging a lot of people, one cannot follow/unfollow what one wants, when one wants, religion-wise. Personally, I do think there’s a higher (or lower but what is up and down) power which somehow controls things to avoid falling into one another but I also think that for the higher power, I am equally important as the electric poles which are used by dogs. So I am confused about the category of my religious inclination towards something I don’t understand.

In few years I will be reaching 30. Sigh. (And you’re not getting any younger either by the way, so don’t smirk). And since I can conclude that I have lived at least 1/3rd of my life already, I have become more confused than clear about the concept of religion. Too much Breaking Bad, South Park, Game of Thrones and real life examples of dwindling morals seen in the trailing part of 20s did me in. I decided that I am now going to question my beliefs and ask questions, wherever possible. Except Quora as I mostly see joke answers there now.

It was observed that most of the beliefs I had (as a Hindu) are just because of traditions. Since it is traditionally been followed since years, we have to follow it. May be they started as suggestions to keep people disciplined and that was that. But now people follow them just following the herd mentality. Don’t get haircut on Tuesday. Why? May be in the Vedas, it was mentioned that barbers had an off day on Tuesday which turned to a superstition eventually. Don’t eat certain things in Navratra and other times, it is alright to do anything. Moreover, I don’t feel like pleasing Gods to get things done for myself. What is the need to bribe God through praying? God is like your traffic police, is it? Going to temples is anyways not a necessity in my religion (yes seriously) because if God is omnipresent, he/she can directly understand what you’re thinking anyways. And how selfish are you to ask things from God again and again? Not a good habit. Religions have mostly led to hatred and illogical debates which pleased nobody except the politicians. It has always created divide and disharmony among humans, isn’t it? Morality and religion need not coincide and as Rust Cohle says ‘If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of shit.’.

But then important question is that what is the need of religion. Why do we need to be tethered to a religion to keep ourselves grounded?

There are so many advantages of Religion as well, aren’t there? The advantages outnumber the disadvantages? Let me try to list them and see.

1. Stress Buster 
When one is down and out (because of traffic and life in general) and have nobody around to share, a shoulder to care (for the rhymes), a temple be it of any religion can be a great place for solace. The silence there can cure stress better than paying loads of cash at some Ashram++ to detox yourself. Oh, Internet works in that case too by the way. (I should mention that I don’t support the culture of preaching and loud speakers reciting parody songs at religious places.)

2. Underground Bunkers 
When wars happen, places of worship are spared for sometime (I may be wrong) because most of the non-atheists fears God. So that place can be safer than the rest. Unless of course the war is itself religion based. In that case, build an underground bunker and stay there for minimum 18 days and don’t come out even if I say it is safe to come out.

3. Holiday Planning 
But the best part about religion are the Holidays and the Festivals. We get at max 10 official holidays, 3 of which happened to be Secular (read Indian National) holidays. Now as an atheist, what right do I have to ask for such Holidays. I once wished someone Happy Diwali on Whatsapp and the reply I got was ‘Happy Holiday’. Anyways, if we followed more than one religion, we would enjoy a lot more. With religious holidays comes great sweets and other eatables. And the purpose of life is to relish those sweets, isn’t it? The buildup to these festivals is exciting in itself. Who cares that why the festival is celebrated. Important is that it is celebrated and we get a chance pollute environment and waste water! If Crime is done as a religious belief, everything is spared, right? But getting holidays is always welcome, isn’t it?

We have to decide ourselves whether we want long weekends or unnecessary stress because we didn’t fast on Karwachauth.

P.S.: Don’t confuse the title with Confucianism but may be they’re confused too. Ooh.