I do not think there exists an invisible higher entity that demands we follow its rules. In fact, there is only one set of rules that I obey everyday, the laws of the universe.
Science is not simple. It is an intellectual and practical activity and the study of structure and behaviour of physical and natural world. It is all about observation and experiments. We observe the behaviour of things around us. We can even put the plot in a formulae and with the right mathematics make the calculations and predict the results. With science, the occurrence of events can be reasoned for and therefore explained. We can explain why a ball bounces or an apple falls to the ground. In other words, science is all but a documentation of what happens in the real world.
Religion is a theory itself; one not subtle enough to explain anything with certainty. For centuries, it persuaded humanity with stories. People believed the Earth to be flat and that the sun goes around our planet. These are only a few things preposterous things that religion has got wrong. The thing about religion is that it is not superficial. For many stories, there are no explanations. It is incomprehensible how people following different religions have their own stories on the creation of the world. While religion is meant to bring people together, to much contrast it is ripping a civilisation apart.
We have heard incredible stories about the gods, stories which certainly amused me as a child. I grew up reading about these stories at school with compulsion and heard a lot of stories at home. I feel there is a lack of technology in that era for such miraculous things to happen. The stories that have followed through generations are amusing but bewildering due to its lack of explanation. But I have to admit, the plots in these stories are full of morals and supposedly an inspiration for others to follow. It gives hope to people but it takes a diversion from good to evil when opposed to different religions and certain beliefs when not properly interpreted. It causes war and does follows inhuman acts.
You cannot pray to fix anything. Giving a donation to a religious institution does not necessarily guarantee you a place in heaven cause it is non-existent. Personally, I have always doubted people who ask for charity. The screen you read this is a result of science. The letters we see are small pixels programmed in 0 and 1. We were not a creation of god but stardust, a result of the big bang perhaps but certainly not a result of karma (a belief that the activities of this life will decide my fate for the next life). The belief in god is holding back logical thinking and free will. Among the wrong things religion does, it promotes slavery, discrimination, sexism and is against homosexuality. All religions are small minded and arbitrary. After all, these philosophies never evolve.
The universe is always right. You can see the resemblance of science in microscopic atomic particles to planets and stars. With science we have reached the outskirts of the solar system. From lighting a bulb to starting a settlement in Mars, it all follows the laws of nature. You cannot argue with science when it gives proper reasoning. Many times these behaviour are unexplainable yet it gives the same results anywhere on the planet respective to its environment.
As a lyric of David Bowies song ‘Quicksand’ goes,
I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man
Just a mortal with potential of a superman
I’m living on
It could be easier to see God as a mortal with potential of a superman. Among mortals, there are wise people and then there are people who are still learning the ways of life. We give out words of wisdom to those who know less and the so called Gods probably did the same. I will never believe that praying will bring rain, bring a solution famine, save a dying diseased person or strike us with a bolt of lightning. There is no way that I can believe in the ridiculous potential of an omnipotent person who we doubt ever existed.
Religion has passed on through ages but is far from demonstrating that it is beneficial. The laws of the universe cannot be defied or altered. We have to live with these laws which existed before birth and still goes on after death. All manmade laws need to be reviewed from time to time. A certain principle cannot be followed at all places and stands logical for a limited time. Nothing is as permanent as change and human ideology needs constant refining and changes. Religion is old and has come through generations without refinement. How can we trust an ideology and say it is right when it is hostile to education, or in other words slowing down the progress of humanity.
I will not oppose against the fact that religion has brought people together since its initiation. There are a lot of good things to take but we should also consider the fact how brainwashed people have become. A belief in god gives people false reasoning to accept the truth. If a man dies in a tragic accident, we believe the person is in a good place after death. Creationists pray for a success of an event to give them hope for betterment of family or friends, to pass through difficult times or to forgive them for their sins. To me, it does not make a difference if we make religious sacrifice in the name of God and follow a ritual cause the results will pan out the way they should, according to action, not a belief or in keeping faith.
It is easier to explain things to people who follows religion in a religious ways. I am a vegetarian by choice and people think I am doing dharma, in other words making way for god to forgive my sins. If people understand it that way, it is because it is easier for them to see it in a religious prospective. I do not do this for dharma. It is hard to explain science to people who firmly believe in religion cause people of all ages have been comfortable with the idea that there is a divine human being who knows the wrong from the right and created them. You cannot easily replace something with nothing, specially when people are unaware that science has the answers to it all along.
Religion does not have the answers to why the stars twinkle, why the sky is blue or why the grass is green. It cannot explain how gods come into existence, why it cares about humans, why it is gods will to make us suffer or why souls are eternal. Cavemen of a different millennium could be baffled by the extraordinary occurrence of events in nature and call them supernatural, but since the renaissance period we have progressed in science and done wonders that would seem impossible for previous generations. The world has reached its height of discovery and inventions with reasoning and religion should not stand a reason for humanity to progress further.
There is everything to live for and nothing to die for. We are not to bow down to an entity that does not exist. The purpose of life is unknown and it is a great miracle that we are even alive. I feel lucky to be alive cause life itself is unexplainable. You can still argue against the theory of evolution or the big bang cause there is no full evidence to it either, but you cannot completely deny it. I chose to believe in science, the fact that we are predecessors of an intelligent race and we will continue to find reasoning for everything that occurs in nature from human behaviour to all our artificial creation.
I am a man of reasoning and to me if God exists, it is in the form of the universe. Someday we might be able to explain everything but I don’t believe there is anything new to learn from religion. If religion makes you spiritual, keep it with you but I am just telling you that it will be easier to understand the real world when you believe God’s will is not the answer to anything miraculous occurrence in your life.
I am an atheist and I always will be. I prefer reasoning to blind belief. Do you think it will make any difference if you stop praying from today? Live free and think about it.
Image by Dale Spencer @Flickr