I am from a family where everyone believe god. But from the days I remember I exist, I was skeptical about the existence of a god. No one could answer my questions about God. I remember my father used to tell, God can’t be proved by words, it is a feeling. I felt “Okay, but if that is the case, then I am not feeling anything as such. Until I feel, I will postpone the matter”. That is how I became agnostic.
I grew up in the houses where it was duty practice religious activities. I was forced to do it, and I used to do Sandhyavandane, Pooje etc. which are basically Hindu Brahmin religious practices. And yea, I was at the age of 12 at that time.
Though I was not sure about God, I liked a few religious practices. In 7th I think, I made a Ganesha Idol too.
Then I came to high-school, where I read more and more. This is where I seriously thought about what should be my views about God. So, basically this was the flow:
- Obviously there can’t be more than one God. So if there is God, there has to be only one.
- If god is omnipotent, omnipresent, and has knowledge of past, present & future, this statement itself is oxymoron. An entity can’t be omnipotent & have knowledge past, present & future at same time.
- If you say, god can’t be defined, then how you came to know about God? If that is experience, or feeling, then it is subjective. It is not truth unless the experience can be recreated. But even if that is done, that becomes part of science. And there is no “Religious Status” for such things anymore.
- If the God is controlling things, he is doing it in a bad way, and he does not deserve respect or any prayers.
- If the God is not controlling things i.e. you say “Nature is God” or “Universe is God”, then his existence does not matter to me. It is irrelevant. Universe has its rules, and won’t listen to our prayer.
- I can’t say I am agnostic. i.e. ignorant. To the best of my knowledge, God cannot exist.
This is not a result of any emotional outburst or following of a trend. If that is so, there is not much difference in the philosophy of a believer and a non believer. If you are an atheist, you should be so by logic. Not by heart.
Still the decision to be an atheist officially was made in B.com first year.
I went to college library for some official work (not to borrow books). There the librarian said “Hey, when is _____________ festival?” (Here the festival is not some well known fest like Ganesh Chaturthi or Deepawali. Some name which I am not quite familiar with). I said, “ma’am, I don’t know”. She said, “What kind of Brahmin are you? You don’t know it? If a Muslim guy says so, it is understandable. How can people like you can be born in India? Bla Bla Bla….”. I said in a tone which meant “Do your duty, don’t indulge in such things” that “India is a secular country”.
She could not understand the word “Secular”. She heard it as “circular”. She said “What nonsense are you talking? Circular India? Bla bla bla…”.
Before I could reply, Vinod intervened, and made me shut my mouth.
While returning, Vinod asked, do you really don’t believe in God? That is not a good decision to make.
I said firmly, “No. I DO NOT BELIEVE ANY PERSONAL GOD. Though I may indulge in religious practices due to circumstances, or for any financial or social advantage it may provide, I am NOT A BELIEVER. However, I don’t have problem if someone else does believe, unless it hurts me significantly”.
And I came home, updated my religious view in Facebook
I feel sad when I see thousands/lakhs are wasted in pilgrimages, or Homa, Havana etc. That money could be much better used by maintaining better orphanages, by providing better education to poor. Or even invested in a business, which would provide bread & better for workers. But those who waste the money in such way own it, and I am no one to comment on how do they use it, unless they are using it for illegal activities.
Before you start arguing that I am wrong, please read Richard Dawkin’s book “God Delusion” or “Devaru” by A.N. Moorthiray.