Sunday, 4 October 2015

The God Delusion - 2

Did religions evolve to deal with man's fears? That is, man's instinct for survival is so great that  he has to come up with creative imaginations which allow him to believe that part of him exists after death. I mean, it is not easy to accept if someone said "When you are dead, you are just dead. End of story. Nothing concerning  you ever happens after that". The denial is instinctive. And hence religion. Just a theory!

Even if there is a god, like "Tyler Durden" says, what if that god does not like us? That is, what if all life is sort of  factory made and the manufacturer is just some profiteer? You are driven with instincts which your manufacturer put there to achieve his goal. Like computers made at HP or Dell, life is also "made". Someone is "using" us. But we shall never know what our "use" is. Just like the computers will never know of man's existence. Meaning just like the computer does not have the capacity(at least at the current state-of-the-art) to comprehend man, man cannot comprehend his maker. It does not make our god an embodiment of love or whatever crap that religions make him out to be.  Just somebody who gets things done out of his creation? And we shall never know and there is no point trying to know either?

I'm not going to debate  about whether god exists or not. He may or may not exist. One thing I'm very convinced is that he not does not exist in the form that the current religions portray. 

Man, like any other organism is driven by instincts and naturally we have an instinct to "survive". For all other animals, the survival instinct does not go beyond finding the next meal or getting away from danger. Man having an evolved and creative brain had gone further. Not being able to accept death as the end, the creative brain can easily come up with theories that say part of him is going to live forever. And this is out of the survival instinct may be. Instincts are so powerful that we first do things we are driven to do and then come up with reasons as to why we did it. Probably in most cases we just see what we want to see, rather than what is! This is definitely evident in our daily lives. So telling anyone "when you are dead, you are just dead. nothing concerning you happens ever after your death" is never going to convince them because it is not about the logic of the argument. It is about what each one of you "want" to see.

 When shit goes down, you want someone to tell you all will be well. Not necessary that god needs to tell you. It is sufficient if some godman tells you as well. You have a need to "know" that it is all part of a "plan" (remember the Joker from dark knight?). Your mind cannot take it as "random" because "random" scares the shit out of you. "Random" means anything can happen. But no, you cannot take that. You are so intelligent, so good, never even hurt a fly, never even took a puff and look both sides when crossing the road. Just for some more insurance you visit a holy place every year and donate to charity as well. And how can "random" happen to you? But "random" does happen, does'nt it? Starting from tsunami, uttarakhand flood, mecca accident, earthquakes to regular road accidents and suicides and so on! god is just mysterious? Or "karma" would explain all of it, would'nt it? "sins" from previous births? You have to be assured it was all "planned", don't you?

There is also the factor of grief while you are living. Fear of losing what we have, fear of never getting what you want, all this pushes you to believe as well.  At best, what religion does is prepare you to face death. You believe, my body is dying but my spirit is going to go.... where ever it is going to go!!

Just read an article that said belief in god is strengthened when you have the "what would have happened" moments. That is, when you get saved from some serious trouble, you start thinking "what would have happened" if that particular event had happened (or not happened). Then you start associating god factor into it and assume you got saved. 

Fear is such a powerful force. Our sudden technological advance has made this instinct mostly useless or vestigial. But our brain has not yet adapted to down-tune this fear factor. I'm not criticizing evolution but may be technology messed up with evolution. There is another evidence supporting the fact. Look at all the obese gluttons. Brain is still hardwired to activate the pleasure zone as you hog like a pig. An old mechanism designed to work well when food was scarce. Same thing still keeps firing when food is just abundant.

So, why do I say all this when I believe people will still stick to their viewpoint. As I said, just to see if anyone thinks the same way. Right now would be a good time to rubbish religion and stop living in the past ignorance. It is absolutely a waste of time trying to look for wisdom from thousands of years ago! The latest generation is supposed to smarter than the previous. So, the smartest man is yet to be born. Here are some counter arguments;  do you think you are smarter than Isaac Newton who lived 300 years ago?Are you not going to believe in the laws of motion? Are you going to call them as rubbish? No. Of course I know for a fact I am not smarter than Newton. But do you believe, there are no scientists existing now who are smarter than Newton? I do not. 

If we agree religions are lies then what answers do you have for "why do we exist? purpose of life? etc. My point is, unless you rubbish the older theories you are never going to even start looking for the right answers. Only when I realize I am a fool I shall start looking for wisdom. 

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.
(***) That is where all this started. That is when I started to verify the validity of all religious texts.