Sorry, My Dear, if it hurts.
At a time when Zakir Naik was flitting about the Country promoting his religion by reciting quotations from Hindu scriptures and the Bible, but also inventing his own interpretations of Islamic tenets , he was warned by a group of the so-called Islamic scholars thus : “You can speak of comparative religion, but don’t interpret Islam.” What it meant was, insult Hindus and Christians all you want, but don’t touch our religion.
That is precisely what I am told, though obliquely, by my near and dear ones, and a ‘Swami’ who came to this foreign country to ‘bless’ an enterprise started by a noble young friend. Say whatever you wish to say about other faiths, but leave our religion alone.
Incidentally the ‘blessing’ of that Swami turned to be a useless and expensive exercise showing once again that poojas and sacrifices, worship of Swamis and Gurus yield nothing but disappointment.
All religions are borne of primitive mindsets and the need for a superior force to let one’s side win, Hence, all of them uniformly are – like plague, small pox and Encephalitis, Syphilis and AIDS, Sars Mers and Covid, everyone of them is ,a regressive force that blocks the progress of humanity. Scriptures are eulogy of wars (some historic, but mostly fantasized) between one tribe and another, between cousins, between a nephew and his uncle or between those who believed in a particular God and those who believed in another. Naturally, there is no peace in religion.
As science discovers more and more about the facts of this universe – about the smallest and the gargantuan – irreligion or atheism is bound to grow. There are far fewer attendees in European churches today than ever before. On the other hand, you find desperate revivalism among the several contending sects of Muslims and Christians in American South, Buddhists and Hindus leading to disruption of peace and loss of life in every part of this planet.
In 1893 Parliament of Religions, summoned by a section of Catholic priests in fear of the rising atheism, Archbishop of Canterbury Edward White Benson refused to participate. His reasoning was that the only religion that deserved to be called a religion was Christianity. Today England, the land of that Arch Bishop, is one of the most secular countries in the world – more tolerant than the supposedly secular India. Interestingly, the last two Archbishops of Canterbury – Rowan Williams and Justin Welby – openly expressed their doubts about the war-like God of Judeo-Christian religions..
Religion and its synonym witchcraft thrive in the regions that have a stake in staying religious – such as parts of Africa, the Middle East, American South (many of whom consider Abraham Lincoln evil), South Asia and most Islamic Countries.
Those who find themselves at the losing end act like a cornered cat – by fighting back fiercely. This explains the aggressive Islamic revivalism in the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistanto cite a few. A section of the Hindus in India reacts spitefully with cow worship, majoritarianism, the back-to-Ramrajya call and selective denial of citizenship to Muslim immigrants. Christian preachers of South India and those in parts of Africa come out with the weirdest ‘miracles’ to buffer their dying tribe of the gullible.
One cannot be against anything unless that thing is defined. An atheist cannot be against a God which is not defined. At Cern, they say they had discovered a particle known as Higgs Boson which could be the fundamental for all particles. Someone named it the God Particle. Does God particle exist? They even have the characteristics of a typical God – it’s here for a moment, then it vanishes. If you say a whole group of God particles can be God, I am willing to believe that such a God exists.
Now Physicists tell us that there is a dark matter and dark energy lurking everywhere in this world. They confess they do not know much about it, except that the presence of dark matter alone can explain the mass of the universe which is much more than the measurable mass, and there is no explanation other than the presence of dark energy and dark matter which with growing vigour continuously push apart the massive galaxies. I will readily accept the existence of God if you name the dark matter or dark energy as God except that :
- It would not be afraid that man would become equal to it. (Genesis 3)
- It’s unlikely to be pleased when you praise It (All religions) or name Its supposed relatives (Hinduism)
- It is most unlikely to resemble humans, sitting on a throne – said to be very powerful, but not powerful enough to escape gravity (which is why It has to sit on a throne, not float around.) or to have a (predominantly) masculine gender.
- It would not be concerned if humans would worship it and make flowers, fruits, meat, vegetables or candle light offerings to it. (Bible, Vedas).
- It would not be all-knowing, but needs to see with Its own eyes (Adam and Eve enjoying the fruit of the pleasures of sex) or be informed by angels (Islam’s Allah) or a gossip like Narada (Hinduism)
- It would not answer your prayers. (Bible, Quran, most Hindu scriptures)
- It would not wake you up from death, judge for things you had done, but punish you nor for things you had or had not done, but for lack of faith in that God or for claiming that this singular and single God has a partner or partners (Islam) or failing to accept as God a wandering magician who was hung up on nails (Christianity).
- It would not ask you to wage war against those who believe that dark matter is not God, but some other matter could be..
- It would not enter into a contract with the Devil to mislead all disbelievers in the path that leads to blazing fire and putrid pus (The Quran).
- It would not carry primitive weapons as Hindu Gods are supposed to do.
When Richard Dawkins wrote that ‘there is almost certainly no God, what he meant was that such a God as the Christian God (Holy Father, Jesus and his maker the Holy Spirit who got demoted after the Son was born) as defined and postulated in the Bible. Reading through the Bible, the Old Testament (which Christians loathe but cannot shake off because the deification of Jesus depends on its so-called prophesies), Dawkins describes “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” (The God Delusion, 2006). Though Dawkin’s proof of God Delusion was the Bible, his long array of adjectives fit gods of most religions though not Buddhism or the little-known Jainism. Although it’s true that there is much evil in this world of ours, one can still dismiss the existence of such an extremely evil specimen ruling over our destiny.
Atheism is not the denial of a force or forces, power or powers that have not yet been defined or discovered by human research. . It is merely the denial of a primitive Man-god as described by religions.