Sunday, June 04, 2006

What religion is your car??

Husband: Honey, what about Black?
Wife: Nope. Denotes darkness, sadness, generates negative vibes.
Husband: the Red one?
Wife: Naah....Too bright....
Husband: hmm....hey, White looks good to me.
Wife: Very common. Our neighbours also drive a white one.
Husband: Green???
Wife: Sheeh....that’s a Muslim Colour.

The above conversation between a Hindu couple at a car showroom is based on a true-life story. Makes me think.....Religion, for some people, is in their bloods, in their mind, influences their thoughts, preferences, minutest wishes, whims and fancies. For many it also forms the basis of the most significant decisions of their lives like that of choosing a life partner.

A religion by definition is a superstition. A religion is the belief in a supernatural being or beings. A superstition is the belief in magic or phenomena beyond or outside of nature. A religious belief then is a superstitious belief.

What could possibly be more detrimental to a child than telling him/her over and over from the time he/she is an infant that there exists an invisible being who is disinclined to prove he exists but who is watching him/her every second and reading his/her thoughts. If he/she doesn't believe in the invisible being he/she will be tortured for eternity? Yet we tell that same child that monsters/devils don't exist so it's silly to be scared of them. Here's another bit of conversation based on a true-life story:

Dad: So, you want to be a doctor? Huh?
Daughter: Yes, dad.
Dad: hmm.....You must pray to God to give you the strength to be able to achieve your goals.
Daughter: But I am working hard for it. Isn’t that enough?
Dad: Oh, no must never say that again. Its only the almighty who’s given us all that we have. You must go to the temple regularly.
Daughter: But, dad.....
Dad: No more ‘Ifs’ and ‘Buts.’ Do as I say. Or you’ll never be a Doctor.

Some Observations:
The more dismal and desperate a person's life, the more likely they are to believe in a God. Characteristically, people with otherwise empty lives, are the strongest believers. It gives them the false hope that there is a higher meaning to their gloomy and pitiable lives. The strongest of believers would admittedly be suicidal without religion and/or a God in their lives providing a mental safety regulator.
Religions seem to usually require God/Gods, Prophets/ Pundits/ Asetics/ Clergys. God is usually very powerful and influential. Not too powerful because then it might mess up convenient conceptions like free will. Too much God power makes bad things, wrong doings, and undesirable happenings hard to explain. The optimum amount of supremacy of God can be unclear, fuzzy and erratic but usually sanctions granting of certain perks, like an after life. This provides a useful motivational tool. God apparently talks through Prophets/Asetics. Prophets are like schizophrenics but since most lived before psychiatrists invented schizophrenia they were believed to be really talking to God.

Do you think your car, your husband, your pyjamas, his pyjamas, doodhwala, window panes at home, books, computer, crockery, dupattas, your bathroom slippers all need to be 'your' religion? Or do you think(just like I do) that religion is mental illness has nothing to do with the afore mentioned choices? By the way, is there a cure??

(The above is entirely the author's stance on this sensitive matter. Read and question what is written above. Blind faith is for people who cannot think for themselves.)


Blogger R said...

hey, I think faith is a matter of personal choice and I agree with your "The more dismal and desperate a person's life, the more likely they are to believe in a God." When things are beyond our control, we tend to believe in luck and suck...

Personally, I am disinclined to believe in any religion or "godmen".
My idea of God is similar to Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty ( You want a miracle, be the miracle ; You can always clear up a mess anytime). Think God is quite cool.. [:D]

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Nishu said...

Hmm....good post, dear. First of all, I believe in God. I dont know why, more because (like you said) its been drilled in there since birth. I have never questioned it, honestly. I dont see it as the last straw. I just see it as this. You know they say that dont leave any stone unturned. So, if one of theose stones be 'faith in God/religion', I really dont mind it. I just dont want to repent later that, "oh, if only i had done my prayers."

Also, influence of religion /God in taking decisions in life I think is foolishness. Completely agreed with you on that.

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think there is a cure...disgusting that such people exist, i tell you...
good post, though i feel you could have written better towards the end precisely, dear Surya

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Mintu said...

I dont know what to say. Nice write-up.
God Bless you!!

10:50 PM  
Blogger Dhananjay Shettigar said...

"Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes.... A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men."
- Bertrand Russell

3:07 AM  
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10:03 PM  
Blogger Amitabh said...

My favorite conversation around this topic is from 'We the living'. I love the way Ayn Rand has written this passage....

"Do you believe in God, Andrei?"
"Neither do I. But this is a favorite question of mine. An upside-down question, you know."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, if I asked people whether they believed in Life, they had never understand what I meant. Its a bad question. It can mean so much that it really means nothing. So I ask them if they believe in God. And if they say they do-then, I know that they don't believe in life."
"Because you see, God - whatever anyone chooses to call God - is one's highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. Its a rare gift, you know, to feel the reverence of your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven, and then not to dream of it, but to demand it."
"You are a strange girl."
"You see, you and I, we believe in life. But you want to fight for it, to kill for it, even to die-for life. I only want to live it."

11:47 AM  
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6:18 PM  

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