“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
I am a South Indian with a house in which a wall is dedicated to an over-sized mini temple with the idol/picture of every god in the Hindu mythology (this is an exaggeration, of course); and the praying style complete with a tinkling bell and incense sticks. Get the picture? So, if mindlessly following your father through a crowded, oil-stained marble-floored temple does not make you an atheist, then… nothing will.
So my granduncle asked me the other day, “When was the last time you prayed?” I was taken aback by the question but I still joked, “I say ‘Oh god!’ too many times. Does that count?” He, being the chilled-out granduncle that he is, was amused, “Jab se hosh sambhala hai, you’ve left all this.” I just had to laugh at the Hindi phrase he used. It still rings in my head. It’s so true. From the time I’ve consciously thought of these ideas, I’ve always damned the idea of god- maybe not as vehemently as I do now.
Everyone knows I am not particularly religious, but I only scream ‘There is no god. Grow up, people! Be the miracle!’’ in front of my friends. It annoys them a little. They wince. I’ve even been politely scolded so many times for being blasphemous. With my relatives, I don’t try to act smart. I keep mumbling in my head: I have no point to prove. Do whatever gives you peace. Leave me out of it.
“Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.”
— Neil Gaiman
I just don’t like the idea of one single, all-powerful entity. It just doesn’t give me peace to know that someone not present here, is watching over us (-only humans; other organisms can live and die at peace, btw.) So now, I only call upon the holy powers residing in the infinite sky down, whenever I am irritated with human stupidity; exactly like some dissatisfied, rude customer, snapping my fingers to call the absent manager (not even the waiter, mind you; just directly to the person-in-charge) to clear the mess up.
The funny thing is I can totally accept that the universe is a fluke. Everything makes sense then, even the possibility of aliens.
(Read questions in italics in a patronizing tone.)
How do you explain miraculous things that god does?
Science, of course, and Math too! Miracles are statistical outliers that are result of permutations and combinations of all kinds of madness that this diverse universe has to offer.
What about souls and spirits, then?
My web of life theory (yet to coherently write it down on paper) + Game of life theory.
Basically, it is: Us –> Distributed energy –> Spirits/Souls –> Different motivations affecting and reacting with everything else –> all this mapped down to a seemingly chaotic, but still patterned web.
I can’t explain it articulately yet. In due time with more reading and thinking, I shall.
Plus, I am convenient that way. For now, I realize I am more romantic about the idea of souls than I am logical.
It does not mean that atheists are irreligious, consider nothing sacred and do not value existence. Religiousness, devotion etc. are concepts that can exist without a god. It’s the same debate all over again. We let religion monopolize morality and the path to transcendence.
You know what, you can be grateful for just being alive without having to pray to a god. Any form of art can take you to a sharp, focused, peaceful meditative trance.. Enlightenment? Isn’t that just the self actualization theory?
There may not be heaven and hell, and the world may not be fair but I totally believe in Karma. The logic is simple: You reap what you sow. The evil that besets us is ours. If it is ours, it can be corrected. We need no savior (that maybe a line out of a song.)
I know god is the idea summarizing the unexplained. But giving a label to ambiguity and perfection doesn’t help me. I’d rather make a theory, work with it, even realize I was horribly wrong, correct it or abandon it then (also bear consequences, if any) than just damn it all as impossible and ambiguous at the very start.
Even my mom remarks, “For a person who doesn’t believe in god, you say ‘Oh, god’ too many times!” To that I say, “No one’s here yet. So, point proved too many times over.”
So anyway, here’s to the atheists, and the road of distrust and doubt we voluntarily choose, in the hope that one day, it’ll reach unshaken trust and surety.
I’ll be such an insufferable bitch then. Yeha!
God save you then!
“What have I always believed?
That on the whole, and by and large, if a man lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out all right.”
— Terry Pratchett