Friday, July 23, 2004

Understanding religion and God

Most people think I am an atheist because of my casual tendencies. I have been asked several times by friends, "Do you believe in god?"

On my way to work today, my usually wandering mind trotted across topics of religion and theism. So what do I think of these?

Human beings are gifted with an immensely powerful characteristic known as will power. History is proof enough that just about anything can be achieved just by sheer will power and an equal amount of hard work. Nothing is impossible in this world. Mankind has made it to the moon, belittling the remote targets on Earth. As they say, where there is a will, there is a way.

So if we are all powerful and invincible, just by relying on will power, why do we need the concept of an above all, almighty?

Man is a social animal. Each one of us needs something to look up to, and look down upon. That's how it works. Nothing is ever equal and balanced. Take life for an instance, it has its share of happiness and sorrow. One can only hypothetically say, "My life is fully balanced." We need someone to look up to when we are sad or weak. They are mostly friends, parents, relatives, and ultimately God. We also look down upon people. This is especially true when we have attained worldly success over someone or something. They are mostly subordinates, friends, competitors, or enemies.

Whatever goes, we always have someone to look up to. This is the concept of God.

Just as explained above, we look up to God.  We ask Him to help us achieve our targets, get us out of tight situations, or pray for something we want. Each one does this in his/her own way, by talking to God, praying to God, pleasing God or being blessed by God. This method of communicating with God is based on the concept of Religion. Religions are man's manifestation of talking to God and reaching Him.

Since evolution, mankind has colonized different portions of the globe. These portions not only vary in terms of location, but also in terms of climate, food, skin color, and culture.  I strongly believe in the clause that you are what you eat.

When so many factors varied between zones, it was quiet natural that mankind, with its sheer variance in thinking and creativity, had conceptualized God in different ways. Various cultures came in to existence. People started convening according to their faiths. Today, when the globe is shrinking and continents are getting closer, it is quiet evident that the method of reaching God, for people from different continents or varying faiths, is going to be different.

Man, with his goal to succeed, has tried and will try to force upon his belief on others. Man has and will continue to preach his thoughts and ideas of God. I see preaching religion as the oldest form of marketing. Today, we market to sell products. Back then, man marketed to sell his ideas about God, in the form of religion. Buyers are the ones who formed a following to the religion. When differences in religion occurred, castes or sects were formed within. When two or more religions varied strikingly, it led to communal conflicts and bloodsheds.

So what does all this mean? Is God merely a figment of human imagination? Are religions merely a way to reach God? Why don't we have any scientific evidence of God?

The human mind is a very powerful and complex combination of chemical reactions and electrical pulses. God exists, if you think He does. You will get all the evidence and proof to root your belief. If you think he doesn't, He won't. You will get all the evidence and proof to prove he doesn't.

If you do believe He exists, you will depend upon a Religion to reach Him. This religion you follow will be the result of several influences you have had in your lifetime right from birth to your most impressionable years.

What about scientific evidence? The technologically and scientifically inclined will ask for solid evidence to the existence of God. I, being a theist myself, believe that everything around us is made by the Supreme Creator, God. This includes the earth, water, sun, wind, and planets. Science is what we call our understanding of things around us. This means that science is also a subset of the Supreme Creation. It is confined to our minds. It is not something out-of-the-world that provides answers to the unanswered. It only grows with our understanding of things around us. God has shown Himself several times in History. But these sightings cannot be explained by science, which points to our own diminutive understanding of the Supreme Creation.

To sum it up, all of us have a very powerful mind. It's up to us to use it for our well-being. How we do it is entirely up to us. If you need God, communicate to Him. If you don't, do it yourself. After all, it is your own will.