I set myself just two rules while writing this article. 1.To not quote or refer any source as an input to the article. 2.To write this in one single go in a time limit of one hour
We are all born into this world as human beings. The color region, religion time and other identities might be different. But all of are almost similar in the one way i.e time and an option to think and learn from others. Now, the former feature is non-negotiable. The second one is compulsory to some extent, i.e we do learn things like language and some basic etiquette. We also learn the concept of religion or god from our families. At least nine of ten continue to be "god-fearing" people. Some of us tend to ask questions about stuff like "why is the sky blue?" or "where do babies come from", etc. Our parents often answer some questions to whatever extent they can and then start using a phrase "it is the work of god". All of us are initiated to our respective religions from a very tender age. It might be in form of prayers, rituals or in the form of stories or movies. Nobody resists or questions things that are said to be sacred, be it kids or elders.
I belong to a family of "god-fearing" devout Hindu family. My grandpa was a trustee of 2-3 of temples and also had a major role in building a temple in my home town. My mother has unfailing trust in god and derives her courage and peace from that entity. My father belongs to the other half, i.e people who hides their hypocrisy behind the entity of god. My school had a compulsory prayer session before having lunch right from the first grade. I was told the stories of Ramayan and Other myths during my primary school. I treated them as just stories as a kid. It was not till class 8 I tried to actually "think" about god.
My mind started asking the following questions? And I tried to search for answers.
Is it true? Should I be able to see something to believe in it? Is god really merciful? If yes, why do we have thieves and poor people in this world? Why is he not solving our problems? What is he doing? Is he enjoying people's woes? Is there a single god? Where is he? Why did people build temples and destroy temples of other religion? Why didn't god stop wars that were fought in his name?
I found out that these were valid questions , though they were not new in the public domain. These questions were new to my family and me. The environment in which I living in did not entertain such questions. People around me were not interested in these questions though they did not stop me from thinking. The thing is , they preferred "not to think" about it. By, class ten I was what people call a "staunch atheist" I was among the few atheists in my school. My attempts to find the answers tended to confirm the non-existence of god. It was simply impossible for me to agree to the promises made to mankind by religious texts and theories about the benevolent creator.
At the same time, I started to question what gives us the ability to respect and appreciate the beauty of the blue skies, green forest and the smell of the earth after rain. I wondered about the grand design behind the solar system, galaxies and the seasons. Of course , science offered proof and plausible theories that could be tested by experiments. It was convincing. But any theory regarding the origin of life or universe need not be conclusive. That need not be a reason for anybody to subscribe to fantasies that are sold to people by the institution called religion. Our logic/science must end when our proofs end. We must be ready to agree that some answers are good enough to be remain unanswered. The ones cite in the origin of universe as an example for the "Greatness" of god are among the last people who are willing to find the answer to that question. They simply want to have their way as far as the issue of religion is concerned. Genuine curiosity is always incomplete with a scientific bent of mind.
The general observation tells any unbiased observer that all religions have divided and dispossessed people., and assisted the creation of hate and ignorance. It has created herd mentality in people, making them as followers of seers, saints or gurus without thinking or questioning them.
These things are objectionable. But that's not the entire story.
People do enjoy kindness, love and care from family,teachers, and random people as well. Humans possess great potential to do good without any set of doctrines tagged around their necks. We need not create stories and myths to make people "good". We can treat all the "good" things like knowledge, science, kindness, love and peace as god. Let honesty, friendship and caring for nature etc be our daily dose of worship or rituals. Let us not mix up life and good deeds with religion and confuse ourselves. Instead we can make it a part of our lives and add more meaning to our existence.
I conclude by saying that, I am an atheist. I don't believe in magical hand that is described in the so called "sacred" texts. Instead I believe in a more of a spiritual and humanist view that is tolerant, transparent and humane towards all life and humanity. I am for a doctrine that does away with all hypocrisy and phonies that have taken center stage in our society and lives.