Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Why Atheism fails.....?

Let me start this article with a small incidence of my child hood.

When I would go to my mother's village,we would visit farms and there used to be a very weird thing in every farm which I came to know much later that it is called 'scarecrow' in English.Now a scarecrow is something which is irrational, unnecessary and a very childish object  for some one who flaunts himself as a 'Rational'.

A 'rational' person will simply say that it is something which is not real, there is no life in it and if someone believes in it then he or she is not having sense.Now the question is, do the scarecrows actually solve the purpose?


I am afraid to say that yes they do. They actually keep away the birds and wandering animals who destroy the fields and eat the seeds from the field when the farmer is not near by. It works even better on animals who wander at night and a human look alike statue keeps them away.

Another incident of similar kind comes in mind. In some parts of India, when tribals go to forests, they put a scary mask behind their head. The idea is simply to deceive the attacking animal that the person is aware of it's presence and can see it. Most of the times, they are successful to protect themselves as most of the animals don't attack from front.
Now if we come to the Idea of 'GOD', many atheists will say that it is a false idea and 'GOD doesn't exist.

Let's presume that GOD doesn't exist at all and as nobody has ever seen the GOD as The Denial is not completely baseless due to lack of scientific proofs. That is another case that our science is still in its juvenile stage and can't answer to many questions of life.
 if we imagine a society which has no such belief of GOD, concept of devine punishment and hell.

Let us imagine a God less society and name this Society as 'dream', Majority of the people who believe in God, they believe in concept of punishment for the wrong deeds done on Earth. This punishment can be imposed upon on Earth and most probably in HELL or may be in next life as Hindus and many other sects do believe in reincarnation.

As  'DREAM' doesn't believe in God and the various concepts related to it, so the citizens of DREAM don't need to be afaraid about any divine punishment.

Now let's compare this Society to another one which actually believes in GOD.

Comparison can be done on a certain behaviour of humans living in both societies.

Now for example, if a thief finds a house open and easy to break into, there are some deterrents which stop him against it.

It is fear of being caught and beaten, the punishment which will be put upon him by man made judicial system or being punished by GOD.

The dream society will have only two deterrents to stop the thief.

Now if the house is completely abandoned or some how the thief is sure that he won't be caught as human prosecution system is not a perfect system and crime punishment rate is abysmal. In many cases, the judiciary has to give 'benefit of doubt' to the accused so that no innocent is punished. In that scenario, the thief has enough reason to be convinced that his act will go unpunished if he is vigilant and is not caught red handed.

Now the same thief in GOD society has the third deterrent and he is actually afraid of someone whom he can't deceive as GOD is watching on him every moment and even if he is unpunished on earth, there is fair chance that he will be punished in hell or in next life. This feeling of being punished for the crime in all circumstances and no way to evade the eyes of GOD, can actually stop many potential criminals to commit the crime.

Why I say 'potential' as I think, the person who is already a thief has a justification in his mind for the crimes he is indulged in.

Poverty, hunger and sometimes lust to acquire what we can't have by proper means, can force any individual to do the 'wrong' things.

Here we use the idea of 'scarecrow' to chase away those potential criminals who don't fear the weak judiciary and police system but do fear the invisible close circuit camera watching on them every moment.

Imagine that you have 2 cars and your co traveller has none, he can show you a small knife and claim one car as he is needy and he can't be caught easily by local police. Imagine if every poor man who passes by you and your car starts attacking you as they don't have enough to eat and you are throwing parties which cost you millions of dollars. This is what we call as 'anarchy'.

Idea of GOD gives birth to fear in the heart of every person not to commit any thing wrong. It is true that this idea has failed to make the society completely crime free, but it has controlled many things to a very large extent.

And then, even the definition of term 'crime' can be incomplete as in human made crime response system, there are a lot of crimes which doesn't even matter for the police-judiciary system.

Forget the example of the thief and take another case, a man is in relation with a woman and one day he decides to desert her without any fault of her.

Man made system will do nothing if the woman has not signed on some 'marriage paper' and she might have lost few of her golden years and finds it difficult to restart her life, but if there is the deterrence of GOD's punishment, the same man will have some fear to hurt her.

I have known children who use to have nightmares and they were given some talismans and told that god will protect them and it actually helped them to sleep better, so will you tell your child that this is a dumb belief or you would prefer a better sleep for your child.
If anyone has watched the hollywood movie 'cast away' with Tom hanks as the protagonist. The part of the story is unforgettable when he uses his own blood on a ball(I am not sure it was for playing football or basketball so I will stick to 'ball') to make a face on it. And the scene when he puts his life in danger to bring back the ball which has slipped away in the sea.
For a 'rational' mind, it can be a subject of ridicule, but that ball is the only friend to whom the lonely protagonist talks and it is what gives him hope. So should we be rational and call it stupid or we let the protagonist get hope at a place where he is alone and condemned to live a very difficult life?

If you have never been to a poor man's hut, please share some of your time with a poor family and you will find that the idea of GOD is strongest in the poor part of the society. When the poor has to sleep hungry, there is one thing that gives him hope and reason not to hurt someone for food and that idea is GOD. A poor man is more likely to believe in GOD as he is more needy of HOPE.

Don't we forget GOD in good times and tend to become believer when in trouble. Now the question arises, why the GOD society does not have a completely crime free society?

As I said earlier, It is not that every human fears god and so GOD society is not a perfect society but then do you think that our society believes in GOD in a perfect way?

Atheism has become a powerful force in several societies and it is not falsehood of GOD (If he exists) but the society which has used religion to make the life of ordinary citizens as hell, where even an idea which does not fit into the interpretation of majority in the soceity, leads to death sentences under blasphemy laws.

In such situation, I won't be questioning atheism or theism but I would be an atheist not for the sake of being an atehist but to be vocal against the suppression by the close minded warriors of GOD and to register my protest.

I remember one news article of Morocco where a boy was put into prison just because he uploaded some pics questioning existence of God and Richard Dawkins book was found in his house, So If I go to Morocco, I am an ATHEIST with capital letters. 

We strongly need societies where every view point is respected and allowed to be spoken until and unless it creates threat for the soceities in the form of violent attacks and threatens life of common citizens. And This is when societies become civil. 

But in societies where such situation does not exist and views can be expressed, The question arises, should we deny the existence of GOD just because it has no scientific proof or no witness to testify for it and call it irrational or let it exist in the society as it serves the purpose to a larger extent to control the animal instincts that lies in every human being or to give hope to every human as we might boast of being brave but when time comes, humans are the most afraid lot.

I know 'scarecrow' is not something real but why bring it down if it helps the farmer to protect their farms.

If an idea doesn't harm the society and brings order to it, then we don't need to prove it scientifically to deny or approve it, and even if we deny it, we don't need to go and shout about it's falsehood.

These are the several reasons due to which atheism has remained in the stage of an idea in the elite circles where food and richness is abundant and it has not become a popular belief.

This is the short term panacea for a child having nightmare, a poor man sleeping hungry or a man condemned to live a lonely life till the time we find the solution for such problems, even if this idea is 'false', let it remain in the society as it gives one very important thing to us.


NOTE: I personally don't believe the idea of GOD with closed eyes and keep travelling between the 'GOD' and the 'DREAM' society. LOVE.

Disclaimer: Photos of this post have been taken from google images. Those people who got offended by my simple idea of questioning God's existence, please don't issue a Fatwah against me or If you do, i will issue Fatwah against you aswell. ;) And I never had any thought which is final except by origin so if tomorrow I say something else, don't cry over it as I travel through Ideas.


Anonymous said...

Navneet Da, I would like to make a few points here. But before that I must tell you that just like the wandering you, I too am in the phase of discovering myself. And therefore kindly forgive my naivety. Also, nothing person.

I like the way you have brought out the debate while citing appropriate examples but I fail to understand, and which by the way is the title of this piece, what it is at which Atheism fails? Does it fail to make the (dream)world a better place than the world which believes in the God?
If you could please throw some light on this.

Next, I have a tiny bit (but serious) problem with your presumptions.
a) You presume that the thief "won't be caught as human prosecution system is not a perfect system" in the "dream society".
To this i would like to say that it is not the idea of Atheism that fails to deliver rather it is the state(read society's) institutions which fails to deliver. The thief would not dare to commit a crime if the various institutions of the society functions properly, and if the laws of the land are properly followed and implemented.
Further, the idea that the God is watching you and that you'll be punished for the sins you commit by Him does not prove to be adequate to prevent someone from committing a crime. Here is a question of mine in this regard. Lets say I'm a non-believer and you are. Will I be punished by Him for committing any crime against you? If yes, how? how could He punish me if I do not believe in the Hell or afterlife or the next life?
If not, how could He let go of someone who caused sufferings to his believer?

b) You, at another point in your piece, presume that "there is fair chance that he will be punished in hell or in next life." Like you said, there is a "fair chance". An absolute certainty is absent. A lot many time such assurances are not enough for someone who has or is suffering at the hands of some believer.
I am also reminded of this movie "Hatim-tai" in which this Bandid was forgiven of his all heinous crimes just because of one good deed-feeding the hungry fishes. His crimes would go unpunished.

Anonymous said...

You are right in saying that there are many acts which remain in-categorized as 'crimes' by a particular society. But isn't the idea of right or wrong relative? When the society believes that a particular act is a crime the commit-er will be punished. Else, everyone would happily live with that act.
Also, how is Atheism at fault here?

I am also of the opinion that the people who deny the existence of the God or are increasingly becoming atheists are not because of any lack of scientific evidence of God. Rather it is because of the atrocities the people have showered upon the fellow beings in the name of god.

It is not the 'benefit of doubt' upon which a legal court functions. In fact, the concept is 'Innocent untill proven guilty'. The court presumes the person to be innocent untill it is proven to the satisfaction of the court that the person in question is a culprit. This is there so that no innocent person shall be harmed or punished by the court. I agree that at more than one instances the culprits have managed to get away from punishment. This situation could be compared with the Merit-cum-Means (and similar other) scholarship offered by the government at various educational institutions. We all are very much aware of the corruption that happens from the side of the students. Out of some 10 odd students maybe just the two of them actually require and are eligible for the aid. Whereas the remaining 8 of them somehow manage to forge the documents and get the aid only to purchase a branded shoe worth thousands at the end of the semester. The question here is why do we distribute such aid knowing that 80% of the total financial aid will be consumed by the students who so not even need them for nothing? The logic here too is very simple. The two needy students shall not suffer and shall be able to finance their study even if eight other students are immoral.

Finally, about the children being told that God will save them from the scary dreams. Its nothing but a simple psychological cure to the nightmares.

I would love to sit down and talk to you upon this issue and many others as well. Like I told you I'm still trying to discover myself. Some thought provoking debates coupled with your enlightening ideas would help me discover myself. Lets meet when you are again in town. Love.

German. Narmada Hostel.

Anonymous said...

Respected Mr. Kumar,

I was redirected to this rather interesting piece by Rohit, whom I happen to be friends with. However, as a skeptical Atheist myself, though I did find your premises interesting, they didn't quite convince me wholly (with no offence meant). Hence, here are a few contradictions by an average 'argumentative Indian' to elucidate further:

- The parallel between a scarecrow and the notion 'revered' as God seems brilliant at the onset. However, digging deeper, one manages to note a few cervices. Mosquitoes, nowadays, have almost grown immune to repellents (Survival of the Fittest?). In fact, I often spot a few of them casually hovering over my All-Out cartridges. Now, if the crows too, similarly adapt and get over the threat they perceive in a scarecrow, the very basis of placing a dummy on the farm to 'protect' crops shall gradually lose its validity. Thus, farmers too are usually armed with catapults or 'gophans' as more convincing alternatives to rid themselves of intruders. Also, crows do not fly planes into each other's nests for the hate of scarecrows or for the love of crops. After all, the Moroccan did get jailed for reading Dawkins and an ambassador did die for a film on a Prophet. Will I get jailed for burning down a scarecrow on my farm or say - at worst - filming pornographic footage on my farm with a scarecrow in the background?

- The argument that all men need hope and there is no harm in finding some in an imaginary companion, again, holds fort initially. However, in Cast Away, Tom Hanks' character did not 'preach' that everyone travelling alone 'must' carry a Wilson volleyball henceforth (just in case). Even if he was to do so, could he have lured them into submitting monthly cheques to ensure that their volleyball-buddies keep loving them back? So basically, Hanks' character did not turn into a salesman for Wilson Sporting via mass illusion and lies. Hope, I agree, is like an inhaler during an asthma stroke; religion, however, has turned it into Cocaine! Somehow, if I'm asked, it simply exhibits the utter arrogance of the God-fearing man to adamantly mask his own insecurities behind 'unquestionable' beliefs.

- The point that rationals 'ridicule' the idea of finding comfort in an imaginary being is misconstrued. I, as an Atheist, had imaginary friends as a child, including the Yeti after reading Tintin in Tibet. But I did not go around grabbing everyone by the throat at school and asserting that the Yeti 'is' real and 'must' be feared, or else he'll eat us alive. The travesty with God is not the hope and courage it claims to instill, but the scope for blatant manipulation to meet personal ends that it creates. Religious preaching has a sheer lack of tolerance for anything that goes against 'beliefs' that it feeds off. And why so? Do the messengers of their Messiah fear that the 'conspiracy theories' of Darwin will actually deflate their infallible 'Biblical truths'? Atheism, on the contrary, gives everyone a deserved opportunity to defend what they think they know, instead of declaring them as witches and charring them!

Summarily, sir, the arguments that I'm trying to convey here are as follows: no doubt the notion of God was created for the noble purposes of comforting and reassuring the penitent man; but today, it stands as a mere pillar to support a powerful few through enforced orthodoxy. Also, why would Man need the inherent fear of a supreme being to poke his conscience every time he is about to commit a misdeed? Is that not an intrinsic flaw in his very own nature? And if it is a flaw, must he not rectify it with all his might? Can self-faith not replace idol-faith? Is Man, the self-proclaimed supreme creature of his planet, such a weakling on the inside?

Warm Regards,
South Asian University (SAARC).