Sunday, June 10, 2007

to be religious or not... ii

Well, this has been debated upon in the previous post. Nevertheless, it shall be written about.

A religion is not complete(?) without a god. Let's for sometime not consider the factuality pertaining to this. This is what we generally assume(in a very broad sense).

What made god make an appearance?

According to me, mankind needed somebody to restrict him. In his ways, habits, lifestyle. So that he could lead a life free from blemishes. Come to think of it, offenses do occur, even with a god amidst us.... that's another matter.

God was inculcated in us, so we'd develop a fear. That which limits us from committing wrongs. It aids the mind in distingushing the wrong from the right. Otherwise, we'd have a society which shows expertise in performing all the gluttony in this world.

In one way, the creation of a god is beneficial. Thus, one does not rob his neighbour, a cruel death is prevented. Vices are practised by few people. It helps in the establishment of a society which cares for one's neighbour, which lends a sympathetic ear to the needy...

The presence of god, seems justifiable.

What about the traditions that appears to have sprouted through the entire length of time?

Some of the traditions do make sense, some others do not. Going back in time, trying to reason as to why this particular custom came into being...... is not a bad idea. As facilities change, as the mind gets tuned to new views, conventions also change. For the betterment, or for the worse. If it is indeed for a better us, it is to be enhanced. Persay, it is of a destructing kind, we evict it.

Nature always functions in this manner.

As they say, nails should be cut before sunset. I think it's fine for us to trim our nails even after eight in the night. Considering the fact that we relied on sunlight for most of our activites. On the other hand, we now have electrical lights.

Many a time, i've not followed a particular ritual, because i didn't find any reason for me to do so. Upon realisation, a connection between science and the practise springs up. And i go back to it. Most times, we abide by them as our religion instructs us so. Without a second thought. It's not wrong, as what is followed today is a result of thousands of years of practises. Something that's favourable to mankind.

At the same time, all practises need not be likeable. I spoke with an english lecturer of mine at college about gory conventions that are imbibed in our daily life. She said that it is a matter of belief and trust. Yes, but, can everything be considered thus?

Even if it proves to be harmful to others?

11 comments:

Srik said...

hmmmm what me thinks in this matter....
I dont agree to the fact that God made an appearance to restrict us...no chance.

From time immemorial, there had been a strange enthusiam about the Sun rise, sun set, food habits, behaviour of animals, river that flew, eclipses once in a while...all those and many more things...
Also, the system of thanking some one came up before there was any history... When the thanking system was in place, whom one thanked? The river that flew..Sun who gave a new lease of life called Day, mother earth who hosted us...

My point here is not only true for the context of India, but also with some other civilizations like the Chinese, Mayan, Greek and Egyptian. In every place, people thought similarly. Thanksgiving was put into place, and may be after that...came charities, helping the poor, concept of money was in place and later, giving a part of one's fortune as a charities to some needy, and thus might have come a habit of renunciation, renunciating to where....answer would be God.

So, in my thinking, God came as a last resort in man's mind, when one thought of him as a provider and protector, rather than an evil maker (as inducted in your note)... fear part might have been added to this concept, after Heaven and Hell were taken shape... well... these words are straight from my mind, not that I have read so many books to conclude like this...!

Sriram said...

Well thought out and written. its alright to question and debate but few people think it out. and the tendency to dismiss everything related to religion as a blind superstition is the convenient way for the most.

good for you, you are spending a thought and hopefully in the right direction.

mouna said...

srik,
evil-maker? i don't think this post implies on that, does it?

god as somebody who we owe our gratitude...hmmm... that would mean the creator, while god is a synonym. now again, the creator, a positive power; for thanking somebody....

i've not read many books on this subject. it's interesting to hear different views and it's worth discussing.

sriram,

whther to label a belief 'blind' or not, requires contemplaton. perhaps, it'll be better when one actually thinks about it.

Raghu said...

hmm..interesting points. However, I think my thoughts on this subject diverge a bit from yours.
If you are talking more from the ritualistic point of view, I agree with you. But, if you consider God, laws of nature or whatever you would like to call from a purely philophical stand-point, I don't agree with the argument that it was mooted just to rein in the society so that it progressed in the best possible manner.
Anyway, this is too complex a topic to exchange ideas in such a short space and such short time. If at all we cross paths someday, it would serve as a good topic to discuss at length.

Kalyan said...

I agree with you on this matter. I beleive God has made an apperance to create a fear psychosis, so that before doing any wrong we think twice, although that may not be followed strictly these days. Still in India we would find idols of gods and goddesses being created in walls, so that people do not desecreate the walls during nature's call or stopping from spitting in walls.
Yeah regarding customs, it has to be debated about, as today it has become just a matter of convinience and the reasons for which it was originally mooted may no longer exist.

mouna said...

raghu,
a philosophical standpoint?...hmmm...well, i think the same holds good.

kalyan,
true, the reason may not exist, regarding a custom.. it's better if it changes..

Decemebr Stud said...

Beliefs can create miracles, period. Of course, it has the caveat of "when it is not harmful to others", since you brought it up.

It is certainly interesting to find out the roots of tons of customs, especially in Hindu cultures, sicne I know that more than the others.

But, just like atheists, I am not too fond of people who rubbish each and every custom, not even for a second trying to udnerstand why or how something evolved. That is sad, more than anything else.

We are all free to believe or not to believe in a thousand different things. It's certainly healthy to question. It is healthier to try and find out root of everything, if we can.

Your writing is good. Honestly, it reminded me of an essay by Dr. Shivaram Karanth. One big atheist he was, and man I have such high regards for that human being.

Srik, I do agree with you. God invariably seems to be the last resort in man's mind. He/She comes in only when everything else failed. To a large extent, that is quite sad when you are not an atheist. Well....

Raghu said...

Philosophical standpoint in the sense, trying to explain nature/universe. That has always been the eternal quest of mankind and once (and if) it is done, every action of mankind and all the happenings fall into place.

Coming to this point, the universe obeys certain basic laws irrespective of humans. For example, the force of gravity obeys certain laws...it doesn't matter if human beings are there, they think about it or become extinct. Now, how did these laws come about, how does it work? In essence, what is at the basis of the whole universe? This is actually the question that is attacked by both science and religion. If people bring down the goals of religion and God to rituals, it is a pity. It has been polluted from time immemorial. But the basic goal of religion is the quest for eternal truth. And when one considers religion/God in this regard, relegating it as merely the thought of man is presumptuous and short-sighted.
Perhaps you would enjoy reading Albert Einstein's, "Ideas and opinions". He says I don't believe in a personal God who is concerned with the day-to-day activities of man, rewards and punishes them. Rather, I believe in a God who reveals himself through the orderliness and harmony in the universe.

mouna said...

ds,
beliefs can create miracles, yes. in the truest sense.

i guess, a particular tradition will appear just, when it's adaptable...

raghu,
superb!! :D

afterall, science tries to explain the universe and it's wonders, and if perhaps, god/religion tries to accomplish the same.... both as u say, serve the same purpose...

but, don't u thing the latter, ie, god/religion aids in us understanding ourselves while science helps in us understanding our surroundings...

as per einstein and your words, my guess, god is another name for the positive force tha drives us, that creates days and nights...

Raghu said...

but, don't u thing the latter, ie, god/religion aids in us understanding ourselves while science helps in us understanding our surroundings...

All of science basically stands on the methods of reasoning, deduction, induction etc..which are all finally part of mathematical logic. So, the most obvious route that science chooses is to observe nature directly, propose a logically valid theory, conduct experiments to test the validity (or vice-versa if the experiments lead to path-breaking ideas sometimes) and hence accept or reject it. Whereas religion doesn't have such a clearly defined path. It tends to make wide assumptions which may not be in line with scientific thought. As you said earlier, we are a part of bigger picture and one of the more popular routes in religion (eastern religions, mostly) is to look inwards and contemplate very deeply upon ourselves and how we fit in the universe.

god is another name for the positive force tha drives us, that creates days and nights...
Exactly...I find that idea very appealing. There is something beyond humans...even if all the humans perish, the whole solar system goes out, the laws of the universe never changes..it goes on. All these genesis and deaths of creatures, stars, galaxies have been going on obeying the rules right from big bang (when the universe comprised of just energy fields, as science itself says) and we are just a minute part of it. So, trying to know more about that basic essence over which man can exert no control whatsoever is trying to know God.

mouna said...

raghu,
wow! i'm happy to have had this tete-a-tete with you! thank you, it's been a pleasure! thanks a lot, again! :)