Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The God Delusion - 1

When it comes to religion, there are many levels of belief. Some are die hard, some are mild and some don't give a shit. My intention is to explain some stuff that I realized to people who are at a tipping point. These people would have never read any of the religious texts. There is a slight belief in them since they are brought up that way. Since they never bothered to go through the texts, they never looked at the texts critically. That is, never really bothered to check if the facts add up.
Out of boredom, I did look into this stuff and I attempt to explain all of it in these blogs. This, I hope will be helpful for people who did not have time to do by themselves. 

There are quite a few theories on how religion evolved from the hunter-gatherer periods. Mostly it is the fear of unknown. You don't know what is in the bush and start associating supernatural stuff to it. You don't know what caused a plague. You don't know what caused the eclipse. Religion and their gods fit perfectly in that void. In current times, I wonder what the depths could such primitive beliefs reach and how much it takes for a person to shift from one side to other, because of the void it creates is a bit new now. All the fear about future, morality, ethics and what happens after death gets answered with the belief system. Add to this the fear of losing what they got already or fear of not getting what they want badly, that is, taking away hope! The moment it is all taken away, it creates such a void that cannot be handled easily. I feel people would be a lot better off if they had trusted each other and be trustworthy. Now instead when they trust a god, the delusion is totally damaging to the human psyche.

Hope is alright, but it is not necessary that it should come from religion. Common sense and trusting ones instincts seem to work better. Of course you have to be in a certain mindset to start accepting this. I too was sort of believing in religion until a few years ago. Before that I used to go to both churches and temples. But I had never put any effort in reading any of the "sacred" texts. I really started digging up after a conversation with a true believer. The person said "it does not matter whether you do good or bad and it is only your faith and belief that will take you to heaven. Otherwise, even if you are Mother Teresa, you will go to hell". And all this is said in the bible.(***) What kind of god creates and then wants you to always worship him?

Sometime ago, I was reading about viruses, DNA, RNA and protein synthesis. I could not wrap my mind around it but if anyone had "created" us, the creator obviously has far superior technology than ours. Everything about every living thing is encoded in the genes. Everything we are expected to do is put in there as "instincts". Now, the creator has such great technology at his disposal. If he really wanted us to do something, he could very well put it in our genes and it becomes our nature. What is surprising is he did not do that and instead, he inspired a few men to write a "book" and inspired a few other to spread this word of god!! Now if you don't believe this, you are going to hell!!

That's about 3 of the 4 major religions. What about hinduism? You see the other ones are based on one book. Once the credibility of that book is taken away, they just crumble. But the problem with hinduism is there are 1000 texts. Any stupidity you point out will get a reply that "its not exactly what the vedas say. its a misinterpretaion". Does it say any valuable philosophies to help you get on with your life? sure does. But we don't have to bundle it in the religion package. For almost everything ritual, you will now get a manufactured scientific explanation. If there was science behind it, why did'nt you say so? Why hide it behind god? You will often get a reply that if we don't instill this fear, this practice will not be followed. Ask about astrology, you will get replies like "the formulae were all memorized and conveyed orally and were maintained as secrets." Why keep them secrets?  Sounds like con men came up with this!

You can find a lot of youtube videos for that where it is done a lot better than I could do on bible or quran bashing. I'll just pick on hinduism. Why? Because I'm in India! In a place where cancer is more, you should focus on cancer! Not HIV or ebola which is a "minority"!!

Let's take a look at the below verses from bagawat gita.

9: 32. For, taking refuge in Me, they also, who, O Arjuna, may be of sinful birth—women, Vaisyas as well as Sudras—attain the Supreme Goal!

Let's ignore the vaisyas and sudras for now. Because, argument will continue on who is vaisya and who is sudra. Let's just take the case of women where there is no doubt on who is a woman. Why are women considered to be of sinful birth? Why mention women in the above verse? Don't dare tell me that the above verse preaches equality! It does not! It first acknowledges the inequality and then says "even you can reach me!"

Here is another.

9:23. Even those devotees who, endowed with faith, worship other gods, worship Me only, O Arjuna, but by the wrong method!


Many hindu apologists will say hinduism accepts all other religions also. Nope, I don't think so. In fact, I don't think this verse is targeted at other religions even. I think this is targeted at other hindu gods!! LMAO!! 

But, how can a single inconsistency break the whole thing? Because, it is supposed to be divine! There is zero room for error when you claim a certain text is divine! Some apologists would argue, you cannot take everything literally from the texts, you just take the good points and leave the others. Well, if you already know what is good and what is bad, then why do you need a religion?

And more often, the spiritual experiences and enlightenment that gurus talk about are nothing more than a good trip on magic mushrooms! Truly knowing we are just part of a bigger system, losing the ego. No need to meditate for 20 years to understand this. Shrooms get you there in 30 minutes!

What happens to morality if there is no god to punish? What about karma? Common sense goes a long a way in teaching people to have ethics and morality. You don't need bagawad gita to teach you to not hang out with the wrong kind. Humans, being social, depend on each other. Once you disturb a particular relationship, it is obviously going to have some ripple effect. If you have the tendency to piss off a lot of people, you are going to get it back. Not because karma catches up with you. It is simply because people have memory! We are better off trusting and relying on each other than relying on a god! Being nice to people has its own pleasant effect. No need to involve god there.
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(***) That is where all this started. That is when I started to verify the validity of all religious texts.

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