As I set my “pen on paper”, I could hear the rumbling of clouds, interrupted by a blinding flash of light.
I waited with bated breath for that blow that I’ve been anticipating since the last few years of my rationalization….
Three minutes passed away. Nothing happened. Five, and I was still not withering away in the Fields of Punishment.
Finally, when I was sure that I was not going to get struck down by Zeus’ lightning bolt, I thus began work on my first article after a pretty long hiatus.
Our whole human civilization has revolved around the concept of a supreme omnipresence, that God made the whole universe and all creatures as we know today. There are different versions of this in different cultures, and yet, religion takes a prime seat in many spheres of our lives.
And yet, the most intelligent Earth-dwelling life form feels the need to surrender himself to and be guided by a being whose existence has raised the biggest debates, caused plenty of bloodshed and even drove mathematicians to write theorems to prove and disprove Him.
Did the concept of theism gain popularity due to the fact that it humbled mankind? Human beings, whose ingenuity has resulted in vast expanses of forests getting flattened and drilling abysmal holes into the earth’s crust, need to be reminded that he isn’t the numero uno on Earth. That he can be wiped off existence if God wills it. However, will it be correct to say that all murderers, rapists and pedophiles are non-believers? I found this very interesting statement on the Internet, “Without the fear of God and civil law, mankind would have been a mess”. I do agree on and question this at the same time. Do we really need to follow a written set of commandments or holy books to remind us of what is good and bad?
Humans have this instinctive habit of explaining something somehow, even if they aren’t sure about that. You gotta have a reason for everything. And before the emergence of science and rational thinking, what could be a better reason other than ‘the will of God’? Period – Dark ages. “Earthquakes? No problem. God is angry. Offer Him flowers and food.” That probably explains why scholars during the birth of scientific thinking and of the Renaissance Era were mistaken as goats and offered a plentiful.
So many superstitions that we have been hearing from our grandparents and parents are exactly a result of this, when ignorance and worship got entangled, and made God question the science behind his own creations! The best example that I can think of is the practice of ostracizing menstruating Hindu women in certain sects and regions. It probably made sense to you, O Great Ancestors, during that time when no one knew that menstruation is linked to fertility, and hence perceived as something impure. But then their adamant offspring came along, who believed that there was some sane reason behind a woman on her periods being forbidden from watering the household plants or even praying! Oh, for God’s sake, if fertility is man’s biggest blessing, then, my dear elders, you ought to be worshiping her at that time!!! There are many who believe that these rules were brought forth to stop her from doing anything physically stressful (in the past, going to a temple must have been taxing, but it is nothing as compared to the monstrosity of a job of lighting a small lamp inside the house itself and praying there, peacefully).
I would like to make a confession over here. I am an agnostic. A term coined by someone probably as confused as I am about the concept of theism. So I wouldn’t be doing justice to the subject unless I present to you the part of me that believes in God.
Here comes the tricky part. Or I should rather call it the metaphysical conundrum. Although evolution proves that creation and the divergence of all lifeforms was the result of a series of events over millions of years and not a point event on the timeline, as advocated in certain religious books, the sheer lack of any kind of proof of His existence makes me wonder. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? (Queen fans! Rejoice!) Is it possible that we are living in a simulation controlled by a higher living form, the same way that we have Minecraft and GTA V and virtual reality open worlds on our PCs, but with better graphics? (Something along the lines of the core Matrix movie plot). This theory is backed by incidental findings of variability in physical constants. The whole world of physics relies on the fact that these constants, e.g. the speed of light is constant in fixed and controlled conditions. But if they show variability, doesn’t that question the fabric of reality itself?
Coming to a more easy-to-understand theorem, many scholars believe that our world is probably the largest genetic engineering farm ever. With thousand-year old cave drawings showing weird humanoid figures visiting our planet and interacting with us, one cannot rule out the possibility that they oversaw the entire process of evolution to make sure that we turned out just right. If that is true, what is keeping them away? Probably they are too disgusted and disappointed to see what we’ve grown to become.
I would like to state the obvious again – the purpose of this piece of writing is not to hurt the religious sentiments of anyone, but to present what the two sides of the coin seem like to me, to emphasize on the fact that rationalization is an integral part of our conscience, and that if we blindly follow faith without logic, our evolution will be a huge waste of time.