Tasting God – A New Perspective!

Kung Fu!

Yesterday I visited my Kung Fu instructor who also works as a massage therapist. I wanted to buy some sandalwood oil for my hair from the shop adjoining his clinic. After his clients left, we sat down to talk. He asked me whether I still practiced Reiki. I said no and told him that I left my faith and became an atheist. He was surprised because he was deeply religious but also curious to know why I changed.

The Watchmaker Analogy

I started by refuting the Watchmaker Analogy. I told him in simple words that if complexity requires a designer, then that designer should be more complex than the object he designed thereby invoking the question of who designed the designer. He kind of agreed to it and asked me whether I believed that there is an edge to this universe. I told him that there are scientists who believe that there is and there are others who believe that there isn’t.

Young Charles Darwin

He wanted to pay his telephone bills so we walked to the payment center nearby. On our way I spoke about the various theories of life’s origin and how it evolved. He didn’t have any problem with evolution because he knows that there is ample evidence in support of it. I noticed that he believes in a God who initiated the big bang and intervenes in between to make necessary changes.

When we returned to the clinic, he brought up the subject of edge of the universe and asked me how I can say that there is no God(who happens to exist beyond space and time) when science hasn’t been able to find whether there is an edge to this universe or not. I told that if God existed, then he should in someway manifest himself in a measurable form. He countered by saying that we shouldn’t measure God by intellect.

An Orange

He then quoted an incident that occurred in a district which is about 300 km from our district. There was an atheist convention going on and the speaker challenged the audience to give a proof that there is a God. A person who was passing by heard this and he came upon the stage to take up the challenge. He had some oranges in his bag. He peeled an orange and ate it and asked the speaker whether it tasted sweet or sour. The speaker said, “How can I say whether it tasted sweet or sour? You are the one who tasted it“. The orange guy said, “This applies to God as well. You can’t tell whether the orange I tasted is sweet or sour unless you have tasted it as well. Similarly unless you taste God, you will never know him.” And he left the convention.

My instructor then continued with an experience from his own life in which he prayed hard to save his sister while she had some complications during her pregnancy. And he told that some priest who did not know his family was able to see through his inner eye that his sister needed help.

An example of the Scientific Method

Being a skeptic, it was hard for me to accept that a priest asked him to pray and that everything worked out well because of that. I was tempted to say that things would have gotten better anyway but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I held back. I proceeded in a different angle. I told him about the scientific method. I told him that unless a hypothesis put forward by a scientist is proven experimentally, it is just a hypothesis and no one would accept it as fact. When people predicted that atoms existed, there was no way to find out until Einstein came up with his results on Brownian motion. Similarly, the other predictions that have been confirmed.

String Theory – A possible unified theory of physics

I then told him that saying that a God created this universe is a scientific hypothesis and that if someone makes this hypothesis, then it has to be experimentally verified. He told that God is a being that cannot be measured by intelligence. But if he is indeed a “being” who “exists”, then his existence should be experimentally verifiable and until then it is just an untested hypothesis. I then went on and on with quark theory and string theory and all other theories and how some of these theories have been tested as true while others have not been verified and hence are just theories.

He finally said “Alright, let’s stop this discussion because it is an eternal debate.” I too agreed to him.

A talk to remember…..


Teapot and Cups

Teapot and Cups - So reminiscent of our lives

In one of my previous posts, I had written out some quotes I have made at many occasions in my life. There are stories behind those quotes and how they came into existence and I would like to share those stories with you. Let me start with this one: “Life without control is like a tea without a teapot.

I was doing my GRE preparation but my mother was worried about me wasting my time at home for a year. So she asked me to take a bank exam so that I will have a job to stay engaged. I didn’t accept it initially but finally gave in to the pressure and agreed to write Canara Bank exam. I was on my way to Trivandrum on Sunday, the 4th of July 2010 to appear for the bank test.

AC Chair Car
AC Chair Car

In every train travel I had, I wish I had a girl beside me to chat; however most often it will be some guy. This journey proved otherwise. It was the AC Chair Car and I was looking for Seat #50 which was a window seat. I found the place and saw that it was occupied by a girl who was about to eat. I said “Excuse me, I am afraid the seat is mine“. She said “Mine is 51 and according to my ticket, 51 is Window“. I asked her to look above the window pane and she did. It was 50 that was the Window Seat.

Stephen Hawking by Kitty Ferguson
Stephen Hawking by Kitty Ferguson

She apologized and moved to the adjoining seat. Then we found that IRCTC had printed W in both of our tickets. Anyway, I took out a book on Stephen Hawking written by Kitty Ferguson and started reading. She had chicken biriyani for lunch. After a while she got up and went to wash and returned.

Just like any other guy, my mind was not in the book but on the girl. She wasn’t that great looking but yet, I felt that she could be a time pass for three to four hours. Thinking this way I asked “You are going to Trivandrum?“. She replied “No, I am not. I am getting down at Kollam.

Clinical Psychologist
Clinical Psychologist

Bingo! A conversation starter at last. I told her that I am a native of Kollam and there the conversation went. I found that she was a clinical psychologist specialized in child psychology. Being a polymath, I was into psychology too and I knew that I could learn something from her. And there ensued an interesting conversation. I asked her the difference between psychology and psychiatry and she explained to me that psychologists rely more on counseling than prescribing medications.

I inquired about the kind of work she did as a psychologist. She told that parents go to her with their children with various problems. Also she mentioned a school that is run by her family which makes her work easier since she can study children better.

Image of Coffee
A cup of coffee

The coffee man came and both of us ordered coffee. I spoke about what I knew about psychology by posing questions, analyzing situations and discussing conclusions. We spoke about the problems faced by the younger generation. She told that in a place like Kollam which is less advanced when compared to other places like Trivandrum or Kochi, there are students addicted to television and Internet pornography.

Image of Internet Pornography
Internet Pornography

I was surprised. The next question I asked was the age group of the students and to my horror I found that it is less than 10. I asked her whether the bigger cities were worse and sure enough, she said yes. My question was whether the percentage of students from public schools were more than students from government schools. She said that there is hardly any kid from government school who came for counseling.

Image of B F Skinner
B F Skinner

This was really unsettling for me. I asked her whether she expects and impending social disintegration. She agreed that she expects something similar to happen in the near future. I must admit that she was really impressed by the way I speak and the amount of knowledge I have.

Image of Social Disintegration
Social Disintegration

I spoke about the studies of Skinner and Adler and that added color to the conversation. Then we spoke about social relations and how the current generation takes relationships. She told that most youngsters she meets now a days don’t really believe in the institution of marriage. Even contemporary psychologists have the same opinion as well.

Though unsettling, her findings were not surprising to me. At my leisure, I search the Internet for information regarding the current social awareness and its viability in the successful survival of the society.

Image of Cohabitation
Premarital Cohabitation

I asked her about her views on premarital cohabitation. She told that she didn’t like that idea since according to her premarital sex and cohabitation has been found to have a direct correlation with divorce rates in most cases unless it is restricted to the future spouse. She believed that chastity is actually a boon to a relationship. I didn’t quite agree on her views but didn’t want to start an argument out of a pleasant conversation.

Image of Chabua, Assam
A tea plantaion in Chabua, Assam where we lived

The coffee man came again and both of us ordered coffee again. In her opinion, commitment has to be there no matter whether the spouse has tolerable defects since that is what true love is. I asked her whether she is married and she replied that her husband is a bank manager working in Assam. Bingo again! I told her that I have been to Assam. She was curious to know how Assam was. I told her about the tropical rains that people get there and the lush green atmosphere. I told her that she would love that place. She was planning to go in a month. Probably she is already there.

Image of Ben 10
Ben 10

I wanted to know the kind of TV shows children are addicted to. She told that there is a thing called Ben 10 which is the current craze among children below 10. She wouldn’t be surprised to see a 5 year old watching porn in the years to come. She said that it is the parents who should be blamed. Most educated people work in MNCs and both the parents often arrive at home late. They never get to know their kid except for off days. This adversely affects the way kids grow up. It has been proven time and again but yet that is the direction in which the society is moving.

Image of Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler

During that conversation, it just came out of my mouth “Life without control is like a tea without a teapot.” She asked what it meant. I told her that we need a platform to build things. It is not like we are free thinkers and hence we can be in anyway we want. That shouldn’t be the case. There has to be some restriction as in the case of a teapot. Our life is like the tea inside a teapot. The moment it breaks, the tea scatters around creating a mess. She liked that point of view very much and told that she can use that when she counsels her subjects.

Image of Online Social Networking
Online Social Networking

Later on we kind of slowly brushed off all other subjects and started discussing about our lives. I told her about where I studied and what I aim for and she listened attentively. I asked her whether she was in social networking and she told that she likes Orkut. Finally our three and a half hour long conversation came to a halt when the train arrived at Kollam Junction. We said good bye to each other. She wished me good luck and told that she hoped to meet me again in future.

I was glad because I was able to meet someone of my frequency. I started reading my book again and within another hour, Trivandrum Central came. I got down, took an autorikshaw and went to Hotel Keerthi at Aristo Junction where I had booked a room the previous day…..

My quotes…

Shakespeare – The master of quotes!

We don’t have to be Shakespeare or Shelly to quote something. We just have to be thinkers. Often we don’t realize the stuff that comes out of our mouths. We tend to forget them. But there are certain quotes that came out of my mouth that I remember clearly because I have heard my friends using them at a later point of time citing me as the originator of those quotes. Anyway, without much babble, let me give you a few of them. They are of course not literary gems because I am not a literary lapidary! I have also made the effort to recall the year and the person to whom I was speaking to when I made that quote.

It is logical to be emotional but it is not emotional to be logical.“(In October 2010, while thinking about an argument I had with one my college mates.)

It is not mandatory that we need to live. But because we are alive, we think that it is.” (In 2010, on a chat with my friend Kislay Komal in GTalk.)

We should not define a relationship. Because the moment we define, it will lose its beauty.” (In 2010, during a conversation with my friend Ajay Jose at Silica Pub at Atlantis.)

Of course be like water and adapt to the situation you are in but always beware not to get frozen or vaporized in the process.” (In 2010. A thought that crossed my mind when I was thinking about adaptability and tolerance.)

Teacup – The entity that holds the tea together!

Life without control is like a tea without a teacup.” (In 2010 on a conversation with a psychotherapist named Gladys Leon. I met her in a train on my way to Trivandrum. We had a very pleasant conversation for over three hours.)

By all means be a free thinker, but not a freak thinker.” (In 2010. An idea that came up in my mind when I was angry at a so called free thinker who is actually a freak thinker.)

Equivocation is the bastion of the disoriented and miserable.” (In 2010 while having a Facebook debate with a woman.)

Worse than telling a joke is explaining it.” (In 2005 on a conversation with a lady friend of mine whose name I don’t wish to reveal as of now.)

It is better to be a coward than pretending to be brave.” (In 2004 on a conversation with my friend Narayanan Namboothiri when he dared me saying that I am a coward.)

Did God create man or man create God?


Image of Man creates God
Man creates God

Thought provoking though it is, the answer is simple. Man created God! It is irrational to let our lives be governed by faith that is based on something other than evidence. It may be true that we do good because we have faith that is based on something other than evidence but it is still irrational to do so. It is such a shame that despite the plethora of evidence at our disposal, people attribute their existence to supernatural. Childhood indoctrination has engraved this thought in our minds and it is hard to get away from the clutches of religious faith.

Image of Athiest viewpoint

Athiest viewpoint

In my early life, I looked upon God for everything. It was not until my teens that I had the courage to question religion. It took probably an equal amount of time further into the future until I proclaimed myself as a proud atheist. What is there to be so proud about being an atheist? It is a feeling of intellectual fulfillment. We look at life as it is and realize that we have just one. This is a precious life and we should not waste it. Further we realize that we do not transcend into another form after we die.

Image of Atomic Theory

Atomic Theory

Sages like Paramahansa Yogananda speaks about an invisible world. Something that we can’t see or perceive with our senses. I think he speaks about the atomic world. We don’t see them and yet we know atoms exist. The ancient sages used to preach that the soul is indestructible. Atomic theory clearly explains why soul is indestructible. It is because the atoms that make up my body formed before my body was formed. It will be replenished throughout my life due to biological processes. And those atoms will stay the same after I die. Atom is indeed the soul!

Image of Dawn of Civilization

The Dawn of Civilization

At the dawn of civilization, humans who lacked the scientific knowledge of today looked upon natural phenomenon and interpreted them as manifestations of divine intervention. Not only the creation of the universe, but also God was supposed to interfere with every other aspect of our lives. Rather we were taught to believe so. How much evidence in this modern world do we have about miracles? I do not know but I am sure that the number of miracles in the entire world would statistically add to nothing because the number of people indulging in desperate prayer will be thousands or even millions of times larger.

Image of Philanthropy

Philanthropy

True enlightenment is the situation when we understand and perceive the world as it is. No light is going to come and hit our head bestowing us with universal wisdom because there is no such thing. Any claim of lights hitting the head can be easily disposed because the there is a whole range of illusions that the human mind is so capable of producing. As mentioned before, this is a precious life, this is a beautiful life, this is a wonderful life. The love that we feel towards others should come from within. It should be derived from a modern sense of compassion that is empirical rather than from any religious indoctrination. We have to realize that our existence depends on the presence of other people in this world and that should be our philanthropic source!

Open mindedness debunked!

Image of Open Mindedness
Open Mindedness

This is a phenomenon found in the contemporary society. People try to look open minded when they are not. They call people who don’t approve their point of view as irrational. But are they rational? Insularity is everywhere. If we show open mindedness in one aspect, we will be extremely close minded in another.

As an atheist, I would like to analyse this situation outside the realm of religion and look at various aspects of life as they are.

Image of Moral Relativism by Steven Lukes
Moral Relativism by Steven Lukes

Is morality relative? Why is my right your wrong? Do we derive our morality from religion? Why is it that people in metropolitan cities lead a hedonistic lifestyle when compared to their counterparts in villages?

I intend to answer these questions in this post. Individuality is the new norm of our society. People are intolerant of others who even slightly hint that they have a different point of view. Egotism is at its peak. People believe that their existence is unique and supreme. At least in theory, no one is supposed to dislike what others are doing.

If that be so, then why don’t we condone crime? After all it is right in the view of the person committing the crime. For instance, why do we say murder is wrong?  What do you mean by wrong? On what basis do we classify crimes? I don’t personally like crimes. But I do not know why I do not like these. It is just that I find them repulsive. So does many other people. But if that is kind of acts some people choose to do, then why doesn’t our conscience allow us to accept them? Where does our open mindedness hide when confronted with people like these?

Image of Wall Street
Wall Street – A place where money is God!

The contemporary society is blinded because all people want is wealth and pleasure. It is money and sex that drives the world, not God. Corporate moguls exploit their employees to gain profit. Media moguls exploit female sexuality to gain profit. I don’t think that people who are exploited enjoy being exploited. It is just that they don’t seem to have any other choice.

It looks as if we are in a liberal society. But we are not. We are slaves to our own convictions. We are slaves to what the society at large considers to be true. We revere people in the red carpet industry. Why do we do that? It is because we covet their lifestyle. We crave for what they have that we don’t.

Image of Relationships and Cheating
Relationships and Cheating!

We see spouses cheating on each other. We shouldn’t be biased on sexuality because it is the choice of people to lead their on lifestyle. If that is the case, then why do people get married at all? A lot of people compare their spouse with their previous partners thereby creating a crack in an otherwise happy relationship. Is that what we are supposed to do? Where is sacrifice that was prevalent in traditional marriages? We cannot rule out the possibility of our partner or ourselves having sex before marriage. But why compare our spouse with others? Aren’t we supposed to love them and accept them for who and what they are?

In one of my previous posts I had written than it is one of the most difficult things to do in this world. Accepting others for who and what they are. My own experience testify that people are not following this concept. They just blabber that they do.

Image of Myth Busted
Myth Busted!

Open mindedness is a myth. It is relative to what a person thinks is right. Nothing beyond that! The advent of computers have been proven to affect our minds. Our interactions with machines will certainly be one of the causes of our own destruction. Technology is a boon as well as a bane. It is driving intolerance in the minds of young people who are supposed to be the future of humanity. Where is compassion, empathy and sympathy? Are our kids going to even see these words in future?

I seriously doubt it!

Sources:
Attached to technology and paying a price
Are we becoming an intolerant society?

The thought process…

 

Star dust – The stuff that eventually makes people like us!

Life is full of mysteries eagerly waiting for our wits to grow sharper. But how do we draw the line between our state of consciousness, the consciousness called life and physical reality that we are all made of star dust?

It is confusing. We all know that the atoms that make up our bodies were cooked at the core of stars that exploded as supernovae millions of years ago. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I state that the carbon in my right hand was cooked in one star and the carbon in my left hand was cooked in another. The ultimate truth is that we are all made of star dust.

Life as we know, is just what matter does given the proper environment. Then why do we revere it so much? Does our reverence to life have its origins in religious indoctrination? Why was I called a Hindu when I was born? What if I were kidnapped by a Muslim or a Christian when I was born and raised in a Muslim or Christian family? The fact that my faith was arbitrary because of my family of birth caught me thinking at a very early age.

 

Charles Darwin – A genius in the making!

I strained my cognitive abilities to deduce answers to this conundrum that we call life. We obtain answers from all odd places. Thirteen years of search led me to nothing other than frustration and more queries in mind. I got the answer in a theory that I had not considered as fact for a long time.

I was introduced to Darwin when I was in second grade. I knew that it is one of the theories in existence. But when I read and thought about it, I really got it. I realized that this incredibly simple theory was really capable of explaining everything about life, its beauty, complexity and diversity. As I grew old and amassed a wealth of knowledge, I thought that if science could explain life so elegantly, probably it can do better and that made me an atheist.

Wait a minute. Why am I talking about why I became an atheist? Because this the confession of a maverick philosopher. Why do I call myself a maverick philosopher? What is maverick and what is philosophy?

Maverick is an iconoclastic person who doesn’t like to belong to any particular clan or sect and philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom.

Yin-Yang – The Unity of Opposites!

The Taoist sages say that we have to empty our cup to see the light of wisdom. It is very true. We are often filled with ideas and speculations that we never open our mind to perceive reality as it is. We blame the circumstances, we blame the people. We hardly blame ourselves. It is easy to preach that we have to accept people as they are and accept the situation as it is. But how many people even try doing it?

What wisdom do we derive by close mindedness? Can we be 100% open minded? I don’t think so. There are certain things in life where we have to hold a stance. And that is the part of philosophy that I want to tell the world.

Lack of apt expressions!

Lack of apt expressions can be though of as a great source of frustration among people. I recently saw a movie in which a psychiatrist explains expressiveness. He says, if we are angry, we have to express it. If we are sad, we have to express it. Same thing applies to happiness, determination and all sorts of other emotions we have. But, it can be fatal to a relationship if we don’t contain those expressions within socially acceptable limits. Hence the term “apt expression”.

Coming back to the topic, we are remarkably intolerant of others now a days. We fail to express ourselves properly and we get irritated when someone else expresses. I recall incidents were people have displayed silly attitude which are are carcinogenic to the mind. It becomes a cancer and eats the whole psyche. In fact I know a friend of mine who has been the victim of her own psychic cancer.

Are we biologically evolved to be selfish? I think we are. That is a survival instinct. But as Dr. Dawkins mentioned in his remarkable book “The Selfish Gene”, there is something called meme which is a unit of social awareness that also evolves overtime. And that meme has brought more insight into our minds than ever before. We are now able to surpass our own biological predispositions in order to have total control over our lives and our future.

But does this ability that evolved for the survival of society will eventually cut at the roots of humanity? May be if we let the meme evolve in anyway it likes. Am I prejudiced? I think yes and everyone I know are prejudiced one way or the other. The difference is that I admit it and others don’t. And that brings us back to the beginning of the discussion. Are we really expressing ourselves?

I must let the readers know that it is perfectly okay to be prejudiced. What is not okay is to express the prejudice in manners that are not acceptable. You can express your prejudice in subtle languages that others can accept. Thinking that another person will be offended and not expressing ourselves is unhealthy. It does not mean that we should blurt out at others in public. May be we can have a private conversation on the phone so that no one else has to know.

Expressions can have negative effects and are highly volatile if not handled properly. We were taught about adult ego during our personality development training program. It speaks about maintaining proper composure while talking to people. Whether this is practical or not is something I leave to the readers. But mind you, there are civilizations on Earth where people do follow etiquettes of respecting one another and obviously that civilization is not part of the Indian subcontinent.

End of Friendship?

The Wikipedia article on Friendship quotes the following statement by Patricia M Sias and Heidi Bartoo: “Friendship network is a behavioral vaccine that protects health and mental health”. They say that good friends encourage their friends to lead more healthy lifestyles, to seek help and access services, when needed, to enhance their friend’s coping skills in dealing with illness and other health problems and/or actually affect physiological pathways that are protective of health.

However, recently I noticed that the number of people I can call as close friends or soul mates have decreased. To check whether my observation is true, I asked some people I know about how they feel about it and not surprisingly they came up with the same answer. It was an indication that friendship was on the decline. I needed data to corroborate this and went through the Internet reading many articles some of which I have quoted at the end of this post.

Based on those links, the following could be reasons for this decline:

  • Dependence on family as a safety net
  • Dependence on a partner or spouse
  • Psychological and physiological regression
  • Attitude towards sexuality; especially homosexuality
  • Advent of the digital age which increased the hours spent on computers and internet
  • Patterns in the corporate work culture which increased the time spent at the workplace
  • Path dependency causing behavior to follow paths of countless decisions
  • Attitude towards atheism?
  • Intolerance and misunderstandings
  • Other miscellaneous reasons

These are not my opinions but I think my own views would fall into any of these. Friendship in my opinion has come down to the state of people being just acquaintances. And in the years to come, it is going to get worse. As Prof. Dawkins said: “People are remarkably intolerant”. And this remarkable intolerance is the byproduct of a rat race for which we ourselves are responsible. I don’t think social networking is doing anything other than being a medium of keeping people “in-touch”. And this “in-touch” which I define as “Internet-Touch” is not going to build any strong relation beyond casual acquaintances.

I do have a huge network of friends but how many will ever bother to come and see me if I am bedridden leaving all the others things aside? How many will I visit if I know that they are bedridden? The answer is close to zero! Recently I attended a marriage of one my college mates and I could feel the discomfort among my old friends who gathered there. None of them seemed to be happy that they got a chance for a get together and I did not have a clue why. May be they left their minds in their offices and came just for the heck of it.

According to C S Lewis, historically, friendship seemed to be the the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it. We admit of course that besides a wife and family a man needs a few ‘friends’. But the very tone of the admission, and the sort of acquaintanceship which those who make it would describe as  ‘friendships’, show clearly that what they are talking about has very little to do with that ‘Philía’ which Aristotle classified among the virtues or that ‘Amicitia’ on which Cicero wrote a book.

As I mentioned before, one of the reasons why we stay healthy is our relationships with others. If we tend to become loners  because we belong to a “modern society” where “individuality” is more important or “cool”, well I am afraid my friends, we are doomed. I cannot help thinking that we are heading towards creating a society where nobody would bother to use the word friend since it would have lost its meaning by then.

Any positive and negative comments are welcome.

Sources:

Wikipedia on Friendship
Article by
Dr. Henning Bech
Depression and
friendship

Article by
Janet Kornblum

Article by
Sebastian Mallaby

Friendship on
decline

Friendship under threat
Social networking
and friendship

Do good fences make good neighbors?

The subject of today’s post emanates from the idea of a poet of international fame. A 20th century American poet, Robert Frost wrote a poem “Mending Wall” which unveiled various social concepts prevailing in the world until then. The poem is a symbolic interpretation of the modern situation where national boundaries are fast disintegrating giving place to an international understanding, though at the same time, in certain quarters, militant nationalism is also showing up its head, thus cutting at the very roots of internationalism. The seeming paradox is at the root of human existence. If that be so, the predominant question that arises for consideration will revolve around a few points.

First, we must maintain self respect and respect others in the fullest measure. Second, we must keep our integrity and individuality and try to realize that others also have these traits. Third, as far as possible we must not interfere in the affairs of others unless we are requested for to interfere with. Fourth, what you expect of others will be expected of you by others and you should have the awareness of the same. The great leader, Mahatma Gandhi has said that he would welcome the culture of others but at the same time will not allow others to uproot his own. This is applicable in the case of an individual, family, society, nation or the world at large. If the above attitudes are maintained, it will make the social interaction easy and meaningful.

Now regarding the topic, I must say that a fence whether it is good or bad is meaningless because fences can separate but cannot have a harmonious unity. What is important is the conditioning of the mind of people rather than external barriers. Barriers are meant for people who tend to disobey. The national and international borders are meant to safeguard against those who violate natural principles. Therefore what is important is a harmonious understanding. Be it two neighbors, two individuals, to nations or two sets of nations.

Fencing in a vast field of vegetation can be useful for preventing stray animals. It may not be stretched to human beings of developed nations. Fences are burdensome. They are not to be thrust upon people. This post continues its quest to melt the barriers that separate humans just as the previous one did. I ardently oppose the concept of fencing for the welfare and well being of a civilized humanity.

Problems Freethinkers Face!

Very recently I observed something. I am also a member of Orkut and has been there for 5 years now. After I officially declared that I am an atheist, I added that part into my Orkut profile. I wrote that I am a querulous and outspoken atheist. Then I noticed that many people became suddenly cold. They did not reply to my scraps or messages. They did not ping me back in messenger when I ping them. Some even sign out when they see me. I was thinking what the heck was going on.

Then one day I received an email from one of my college mates. She just put this link in it and asked me to listen to it when I get time. It was some pastor speaking about God and bible. I listened to what the pastor had to say. Then I replied to her email asking her to read my Orkut profile. She replied stating that she did and that is the reason why she sent the link. I got pissed and sent her a “very nice” reply to which she just kept repeating statements like “God loves you”, “God is great”, “Jesus is the God of mankind” etc. I told her more about evolution and gave her the following links: How to convert and atheist part 1 and part 2. Finally she gave me this link and said that she is not trying to convert me into Christianity and that she just wants me to realize God. I told her that I have realized that there is no God but still I appreciate her efforts and as a friend of mine I suggest her to seek evidence.

The moral of the story is not just how insular conservative Christians can be. I realized one other thing. The people who stopped talking to me or became cold were also devout Christians and Hindus. It looked as if I hurt their years old beliefs. But I never told them anything. Just put some information on my profile. I believe that a person who accepts only a part of our personality is not a true friend. They have to accept us completely with positive and negative attributes. I do that with others.

Anyway, without deviating much, let me come back to the point. Most freethinkers face the following issues:

– Lack of societal acceptance
– Financial hardship due to lack of employers who are free from delusion
– Few number of friends
– Misunderstanding among relatives

The list goes on.

An atheist is considered close minded. People fail to see the bigger picture. There are religious people who embrace the scientific method but they want to look at it as a way to understand how God created the universe. I have issues within my family because of this. My mom says “No matter what you say, it is hard for me to accept that there is no God.” As I mentioned earlier, many of my friends left me because of my religious stand. The only ones I have either haven’t yet found that I am an atheist or are broadminded enough to accept me.

People think that we want to justify our hedonistic lifestyle by saying that there is no God. But as Prof. Dawkins has already proved, we don’t derive our morality from religion. It is hard for these people to understand this simple fact. They get scared to death when they hear the word atheist. Some even think that we are carriers of devil!

My parents are yet to understand the real reasons for me to become an atheist. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I am happy that my master was able to accept my religious stand.

The bottom line is, free thinkers seem to be the most hated in the society. We are called “unorthodox”, “iconoclastic”, “hedonistic” and whatever bad “istic” that people can find in the dictionary. Very few come up and have a one-on-one discussion with us.

The only message I have for my friends is that, they haven’t got the slightest idea about who freethinkers are and what they are capable of. I think we have to wait until they find out.