M.D DINESH NAIR (9 -21 / Thrissur (Kerala) / Vijayawada (A.P) , India)
WHY NOT A LIFE WITHOUT RELIGION OR GOD?
IT IS MY LAST PROSE WRITE ON AN IMPORTANT TOPIC FOR YOUR APPRECIATION AND ACCEPTANCE
My earlier submissions in prose and a mix of prose and poetry on the subjects of universe, its origin, the earth and the end of everything have so far resulted in my losing of 9 0r 10 poem hunter friends just because they cannot digest my approach to the subjects in general. But I can`t help it and I am submitting now my final write in pure prose to do my possible best in educating the poet friends on the most un acceptable facts because of their prejudice or indifference of the kind.
I am now writing on why you need no religion or God for the rest of
your life time. But if you still choose to be with either of them this work will be yet another futile one that will lie here un understood. I am explaining ten vital points of arguments and driving home the idea that the topic has some relevance and ought to be given a place to come under your preview in a just manner. As many as 350 poem hunter members write poems exclusively on God/Gods and I join the small army of less than 10 members over here to express my views substantiated by science and reason.The taste of the pudding lies in eating it.But it is not a sweet dish to be tasted, I know.
I am sorry to offer you a panacea, a medicine for the cure of superstition though it may taste bitter.
1. A Brief outline of the emergence and stay of Religions
Each religion, to be very honest claims it is always right and the other ones are wrong or senseless. If it id to be better explained there are many different religions, each claiming to be the 'true' one, with the obvious implication that all the others are false.Most religions even include many different sects with mutually incompatible doctrines. Each religion is defended by its followers just as ardently as all the others.Obviously they cannot all be right, but they can all be wrong! It is well known that young children raised in a family of any particular religion almost invariably end up adhering to that religion.Such indoctrination is a form of child abuse.If the same children were raised in different families, the results would undoubtedly be different.
Thus, the particular religion adopted by most individuals is purely an accident of birth. Even if the doctrines of one particular religious sect were correct, all the others would be wrong. It follows logically that any person's religion is almost certainly not the true one. In the absence of objective evidence, it is more rational to reject all religions than to adopt one at random.If God existed, he/she/it might not approve of people following a false religion!
Most of the organized religions or what are called modern religions today were all meant for a limited region and their projected God/Gods would have ended as regional concepts for a newly emerged faith.But in course of time these religions expanded their functional radius and became the most prominent world religions thanks to their advocates who sailed across the seas and rode across the lands unknown for miles and miles.
Many old religions and their concepts of their God/Gods died for want of propagation, faith groups and attractive scriptures that could withstand the test of times.
Christianity, Islam and Hinduism have been very successful in propagating their cases from times closer to their seeds of notions got planted in the respective fertile lands.They could travel with the faith groups and migrated masses and flourished everywhere.You may compare the process to the weeds growing in new lands where other seeds have failed to sprout.
As many as 178 non organized old religions got invaded world wide thanks to the organized spreading of the powerful religions.
Hinduism in its older form of SANADANA DHARMA could have been world`s most established religion if the natives/the conservatives of the land of ancient India dared enough to cross the seas [it was a taboo] or if the advocates of that religion had strong faith groups [the emergence of which was not naturally possible within the religious structure for want of conceptual uniformity]and the religion suffered from the notion of multiplicity of its Gods.
Christianity and Islam which got founded after A.D 033 appeared to be more structured and man felt more comfortable with the notion of a single all powerful God who was supposed to have been endowed with the traits of a super noble man of all times.Christ`s crucifixion that was perpetrated at the behest of a bad judiciary and personal accounts of the various anecdotes of miracles performed by him as narrated by his disciples, the mystery of what happened to his cremated corpse and the subsequent mouth to mouth spreading of his resurrection tale by the same group had a great impact on a small sect of fishermen, traders and the peasants of the region and with the consolidation of tales transferred into the Bible [the new] the Christian faith got well established.
Islam which originated on the lines of parables equal to that of Christianity got equally strengthened for that religion also could come out with a striking feature of referring to an all mighty and all benevolent God for whom man had long been craving.Man has ever chosen the best of concepts that matched with his desires that annihilated his strange and unfounded fears etc.
Hinduism tried itself to spread to the west and far east very late in vain. Already a larger chunk of people had already been into Christianity or Islam by then.
Buddhism could have strongly been appealing to people of Asia had it not been ransacked by the re emerged concepts of Hindu ism that were more colourful and matching with the notions of an army of easily moving angry and retaliating or fighting gods on par with the Greek or Roman gods.
The absence of any reference to any God by the Buddha was not well nourished by most people of the East and till Christianity and Islam got spread all major chunks of people had remained loyal to Hinduism and later some of them accepted Christianity or Islam.
Sikhs, Jains or Parsis in fewer percentages continue to patronize their religions withstanding all the other temptations or novelty in concepts.
But millions of people remain even today with' faiths' attributed to many tribal religions, ethnic faith groups and ancient remnants of the unaffected segments of un reachable masses.
[Note. Since all religions have different ideas about their god(s) , for simplicity in what follows we shall refer to all such gods generically as 'God', using the personal pronoun 'he' for definiteness.]
2. The case of evidence and the wrong arguments
Now let us come to the core issue of asking for evidence that God does not exist and a religion need not be there.In fact there is not a shred of evidence in favour of any religion.Ancient books written at a time when people had little scientific understanding of the natural world, with no independent evidence to back up their claims, are unworthy of serious consideration, even if millions of people revere them. There are just as many people who follow other superstitions which the rest of the world would regard as completely unfounded and even laughable.The ancient Greek and Roman gods were based on time-honoured beliefs and customs followed fervently by innumerable people.Why should the modern ideas of God be any better? Logically, there is no difference - there is simply no evidence.Religious apologists, who have no rational arguments to support their beliefs, often challenge atheists to prove that there is no God. Obviously, it is not possible to prove the non-existence of God, just as no one can prove the non-existence of the tooth fairy, unicorns, or other imaginary beings.If someone claims that some improbable entity exists, the onus is on that person to provide evidence.Belief in things for which there is no objective evidence deserves only ridicule, not respect.
Got it or not?
3. God`s characterization, the flaws and the form
Now you are hopefully fit enough to think about the next issue.Where is the great compassionate God on which most modern religions are based? If such a God really cared about the people of the world and were as powerful as modern religions claim, he could certainly make himself known to everyone in an unmistakable manner, thus dispelling doubt and at the same time revealing which religion, if any, is the true one.Is he ashamed to show himself? Where was this God during the Holocaust and other genocidal massacres throughout history, not to mention countless natural disasters causing untold suffering among the innocent? Was he asleep? Away on holiday? Simply enjoying the show because he's a sadist? Too bored by it all to bother to intervene? Punishing good and bad people alike in revenge for some people's misdemeanours? Such a callous, vengeful and spiteful God would be beneath contempt, more evil than Hitler.But of course there's no rational reason to think that God exists.
You say God made man in his own form! The fact is man made his God / Gods the way he wanted. No animal nor a bird is done with justice as you would not like to make your God look like any of them.
In an African Church a black female worshiper was asked a question,
'How is your God? ' and pat came the reply, ' She is black'. Great revolution indeed that the White or the Bishops may not like! But the notion does not give any hope for human progress. The man has again framed his God in his shape. Imagine you can give your intelligence to innumerable living beings and then you ask them to describe the form of God.Most probably he/she will be termed by majority of them as an aquatic being! But man won`t accept that God like the few rich won`t accept the perennial truth that a majority chunk of poor people exist around them.
4. The blundering notion of an inter acting God
It is ridiculous to imagine that a God having the character claimed by most modern religions would really be so selfish or egoistic as to demand or even expect that people would pay constant homage to him.Would he even care that intelligent people didn't believe in him in the absence of any verifiable evidence? In fact, to a being that created the entire universe, the whole human population would hardly be noticeable! On a cosmic scale there is nothing 'special'about our planet.The Earth revolves around the Sun, which is a fairly average star at an outer extremity of the Milky Way galaxy containing many billions of other stars, many with their own planets, and there are 100 billion galaxies in the known universe.
Scientists consider it likely that countless other planets could harbour life.If a super-intelligent being could observe the entire universe, the tiny speck of human population on Earth would be of no more significance than the ants in a particular garden would be to any one of us.Since there is no evidence that God ever interacts with the world, why would he have any interest in the strange rituals of modern religions? But you continue to feel him in your life! Where is the remedy?
Our human mind is an intricate thing and please don`t make its superiority a mystery of any kind.In our day today life when it is filled with woes, disappointments, frustrations, financial crisis or health hazards, we may be forced to look upwards and hope for and aspire for a divine aid or intervention out of our assumptions on the omnipotence of that God who has been projected as the ultimate saviour and all knowing force.Whether it is right or wrong our human minds mostly like to go fantasising and at every worn out state will hear, see or feel God.But it is a fad and flaw of the kind.
You try to feel God in the sanctum sanctorum of a temple with an illuminated idol of a deity, inside a church or mosque when lost in a prayer or while singing out a hymn or when you talk about your great experiences at the times of crises felt by you from time to time. But you forget that such a schemed version of your vision has no sanctity of a common experience in life.
Come on, establish the presence of this caring God in the poverty struck homes world wide, in the violence hit human circles, in places were women and kids are tortured and animals are cruelly slaughtered for meat, in the depths of the seas and in the open chambers of human activity of any kind. Come on tell about that God who will be with you if you transport yourself in to a space location a few miles above the earth`s surface or when you are in the middle of the pacific.
You won`t try to do so as you can`t think of a God existing beyond your individual self. Is it your logic for ever? You go for opportunism and name it great understanding of the unknown, the way it should be.
If you go on telling that personally God is in inter action with you, please put your right hand on your chest and still say whether you are right in your statements… If you still say, 'Yes, God is seen, heard or felt by me in some way from time to time', you have to consult a psychiatrist.
5. How Religions make you waste your time and energy?
It is not a big issue. But it too matters.Think of all the time and energy expended by religious people preaching, praying, singing hymns, chanting, mumbling, bowing, kneeling, genuflecting, making unnatural movements of the hands, donning religious garments or amulets, fasting, visiting shrines or 'holy' men, making religious pilgrimages, performing circumambulatory rituals, etc.There is no evidence that any of these activities ever produce positive results.Indeed, there have been numerous incidents when natural disasters or brutal murders occurred while large congregations were attending religious services in churches or temples. Imagine how much could be achieved if all the time, energy and resources devoted to meaningless religious rituals could be diverted to productive purposes! What do you say?
6. The hypothesis of God - an imposition delayed by millions of years
The facts here have the best support of the available history.The ancients invented gods to account for natural phenomena which they could not explain in any other way - lightening and thunder, volcanos, weather and climatic patterns, floods, plagues, the apparent motions of celestial bodies in the sky, etc. Nowadays, every one of these natural phenomena is understood by science.The general principles of Darwinian evolution account for the great diversity of life on Earth and explain convincingly how complex life forms including the human species, evolved from more primitive life, and indeed there is increasingly abundant evidence for this.Modern cosmology enables us to understand how naturally occurring physical processes lead to the formation of stars and planets like our Earth.There is no need to invoke supernatural explanations for any known phenomena. Physicists now even have plausible theories for the origin of the universe itself.Even though many of the details remain uncertain, the fact that modern science offers possible natural physical explanations of all known phenomena means that God is redundant.The'God of the gaps'is dead! The notion of God should have gone into the minds of the first microcosm that emerged in the ocean one billion years before life originated on the main land or modern man came out of the ape in BC 20,000.God would not have wasted many many millions of years of his supremacy in the universe working on the minds of the living creatures.Are you following? If yes is your answer, please read on or re read the above part once more.
7. The God hypothesis and the further questions raised.
It is the very crux of this essay that is either read or amusingly tolerated by you. Thanks either way.
Most of the religious apologists often say that God, as a creator, provides a simple explanation of why we are here and that it even explains the origin of the universe, as a 'first cause'.Exactly the opposite is true - it explains nothing! A God who designed all observable entities, including the many complex forms of life, would have to be an even more advanced being.Who or what created that God? This merely leads to an infinite regress.The answer that God always existed is absurd. What did he do for all eternity until he finally decided for some reason that it would be a good idea to create the universe? The alternative hypothesis that God just suddenly sprang into existence is equally absurd. The nature of the world clearly contradicts the character of the God of modern religions.If God is infinitely good, omniscient and omnipotent, why is his creation so imperfect that it produces constant natural disasters and dreadful diseases resulting in indiscriminate suffering, even among the most devout or innocent people? The cliché 'God works in mysterious ways' is merely a cop-out. Can`t catch?
8. The phases and cases of Religion being a source of evil
As you may observe from pages from history, religious fanatics have mostly waged holy wars and crusades, plundered, tortured and murdered 'heretics' and 'infidels' simply because they had different beliefs. Hitler, who was privately a committed Catholic, tried to annihilate the Jews. The Jewish state of Israel imposes apartheid policies on its Arab inhabitants. Sunni and Shia Muslims kill each other indiscriminately in Iraq.
Tensions between Hindus and Muslims accompanying the creation of Pakistan by the partition of India led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives.Bloody conflicts between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland continued for decades.
The Catholic church has never apologised for its close links with Nazi regimes in Europe.It burned Copper Niccus alive for telling that the Sun is stationary and it is the Earth that rotates round the Sun.
The Pope's bigoted stance on birth control and abortion is responsible for untold suffering and deaths. Some Muslim countries practise barbaric punishments, such as beheading or stoning to death, in the name of religion.
Violent Hinduism crushed peace loving Buddhism and Jainism.
The ancient Hinduism permitted and propagated violence on the lower creeds and communities and upper caste men and women were literally striding over the hapless downtrodden ones who belonged to the lower castes.
Sri Rama`s victory over Ravana as read in the epic Ramayana is just a projection of how the Aryan race defeated the Dravidians of the South peninsula.Another Hindu epic 'Mahabharath' narrates the victory of the righteous over the wicked in the form of a battle not averted by Sri Kishna, the ninth incarnation of God Vishnu.He helped the Pandavas(five in number) to eliminate their 100 cousins in a bloody battle in the name of justice established in accordance with his 'divine vision'. These tales categorically tell that vengeance and bloodbath went hand to hand in ancient times of social and political life way back before and around BC 3500 in the Indian sub continent.
The other religions preach of and allow genital mutilation, inhumane methods of slaughtering animals, etc. Religion fills some people with such hate for others that they become suicide bombers.The list of atrocities and crimes against humanity due to religion is endless.
Defenders of religion like to say that all these things are not in keeping with the spirit of their religion. But the 'holy' books on which their religions are based are no better.
Anyone who peruses the Bible attentively can read that God has sent plagues, ordered murders and genocide, commanded human sacrifice, sanctioned slavery, etc. The Quran has references to various crimes proposed to be done by the faithfuls.
A thorough reading of these scriptures will guide you in this regard.
See the probable fate of mine who is likely to lose some more friends in this forum after the submission of this write. As these are modern times none can eliminate me or my thoughts. Any act of evil has only two forms - dishonesty and suppression.You have to go pondering over...
9. Every Religion dehumanised man
It is the bare fact barring the early magic played on the primitive man without any religion.
Religious people follow various dogmas unthinkingly and are taught not to question the unsubstantiated claims of their religious leaders. In contrast, atheists are more likely to have an inquisitive mind, to think for themselves, and to form beliefs based solely on the weight of evidence.A scientific understanding of natural physical and biological phenomena is far more awe-inspiring than a naive belief that God is responsible for everything.How can anyone fail to be impressed by modern cosmology, which explains the formation of galaxies, stars and planets, by Darwinian evolution, which accounts for the amazing diversity and adaptation of life, by modern biology, which explains how cells divide and organisms function or by quantum mechanics, which governs the structure of the atom?
Atheism is also superior in the sphere of morality. It is far more noble for people to do things because they feel that their actions are right than to obey religious rules based on the threat that some invisible vindictive being is watching their every move. Rational people are masters over their own lives, not slaves to serve some non-existent God.Religion is an insult to human dignity.Something that smashes your incorrigible thought planks!
10.All Religions are responsible for impeding progress
Whether it is predominant or not, nearly all religions teach their followers to accept their dogmas unquestioningly, and this inhibits free and original thought and innovation. Examples abound throughout history, up to the present day.A good example is provided by the Catholic church. Galileo Galilei, one of the most brilliant scientists of his time, was denounced to the Inquisition and persecuted for the rest of his life because he taught that the Earth revolves around the Sun, which contradicted the church's dogma that the Earth sits immovably at the centre of the universe. Even worse, the great philosopher Giordano Bruno was also like Copper Niccus burnt alive at the stake for a'heresy'.
In modern times, the Catholic church would rather condemn countless women to misery and suffering than allow them to control their own bodies by simple and harmless methods of contraception, and it discourages stem cell research, which might improve or even save the lives of millions of people. In the US, religious fundamentalists have forced many schools to restrict the teaching of evolution and other scientific theories, and instead indoctrinate children with ideas of 'creationism' (nowadays relabelled as 'intelligent design') , thereby killing scientific curiosity and understanding in thousands of young minds and inhibiting future scientific progress.
In many backward countries, barely educated people are ever brainwashed by religious leaders into believing that a better after life awaits them.This spreads defeatism and dampens the struggle for social justice and a better standard of living in the paradise promised.You have got it now.
Living with God and Religion is a style for some, a solace for many and just a way for others. Living without Religion or God is not just a happy proposal too.
But it is a natural phase of an honest way of living. It is just like not being an alcoholic, drug addict or a gambler.
These comparisons may raise many an eyebrow...
BUT ONE DAY 'VERITAS VOS LIBERABIT' (THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE) .
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Please, note that any one of these ten reasons mentioned in the write above is sufficient to reject your religion and God. That act is not a pleasant one I know. Having no God around us is a not a solace to us in any way. But lies and tales cannot be our choice and that will be equal to hypocrisy and extreme absurdity.
Science and scientific thoughts can alone survive the test of reason and time. Much more could be said on this subject, but the concept has even today less takers as there was never a tutoring process on
these ideas unlike in the cases of scriptures and religions. You mostly spent your time with your religion and notion of God and for most of you it is too late to digest hard these things which have been presented in the hope that it would be more readable.
Why don`t you read 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins, which I recommend wholeheartedly for your greater understanding of facts.Religion and God are fine concepts but how can we negate the bare truth?
While accepting the theory that irreligion and life without of fear of God or punishment by him, early man would have formed himself into a beast without any morals, I want you to consider it as a hypothetical situation as after a period of time a better man could also have emerged. If we evaluate the gross wrongs committed by religions in the long course of time, we should also accept the possibilities of those atrocities that could have been done by man to be also the cases with more or less with intensity or number.
An excuse of a past need, however, cannot be a case for all time consideration.
With all inability to please yourselves by displeasing the warriors of truth living anywhere in this tiny planet....
Comments about this poem (WHY NOT A LIFE WITHOUT RELIGION OR GOD? by M.D DINESH NAIR )
Top 500 Poems
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
William Ernest Henley