ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Reason Is the Only Answer To Religious Hate and Violence

The age-old insanity and the urgent need to cure it.

Photo by kwon soon on Unsplash

‘A suicide bomber has blasted the hotel killing eight tourists and injuring five others.’ A similar headline appears on the news media time and again. In all cases of religious violence in the world, the cruel hand of the religious delinquent has been evident and exposed.

Time and again, religious fanatics have massacred innocent people of other faiths or unbelievers. We have read about their homicidal crime in newspapers, TV, and YouTube.

Sam Harris, the philosopher says that ‘Over one million people died in the orgy of religious killing that attended the partitioning of India and Pakistan.’

We have to have a rational look at the scriptures and their writers and interpreters for being the cause of religious violence.

The why and how of religious violence in the world

Most of the fundamentalist ‘gurus’ of the organized religions indoctrinate, brainwash, and instigate their followers to hate and perpetrate violence against the innocent adherents of other faiths and unbelievers. Their followers injure or kill the adherents of other faiths or unbelievers. They believe and say that, by doing this ‘sacred’ duty, they are implementing the commands of the holy scriptures which they claim to be the real voice of God.

They are scriptural literalists or fundamentalists and transform their disciples into their prototypes.

Child and God

The child at his or her birth is as pure as the pristine nature, free and Godless.

The child’s parents and society impose God on him or her. Through the tradition, the child adopts a God and the related religious rituals. Most of the adults practice their religion adopted in their childhoods without raising any questions about it. The religious legacy is bequeathed to them.

The truth about God

People had no God in the ancient tribal society. Later on, man created God out of fear of natural forces. To the theists, God, the self-created was and is the creator and the governor of the universe, beyond the boundaries of the laws of nature and intervening in and interacting with the affairs of people on this planet.

Affirmation of His existence needs supporting evidence to be true. There is no acceptable evidence for His existence. God is merely an illusion. As Stephen Hawking, the cosmologist explains: ‘Do I have faith? We are each free to believe what we want, and it is my view that the simplest explanation is that there is no God.’

The truth about the birth of the universe

Again, in the words of Stephen Hawking: ‘No one created the universe and no one directs our fate.’

Man created God in his own image.

And again as Stephen Hawking writes:

‘When the Big Bang produced a massive amount of positive energy, it simultaneously produced the same amount of negative energy, the positive and negative add up to zero, always. It is another law of nature.’

‘So what does this mean in our quest to find out if there is a God? It means that if the universe adds up to nothing, then you don’t need a God to create it.’

The universe is self-created.

The scriptures- biased records

The Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, and so on are one-sided records made by the followers of the saints of the respective religions. They contain fantastic glorification and miracles of God and His messengers on Earth to suit the religious or non-religious private interests of their times.

Questioning the theological concepts

The belief in heaven, hell, soul, afterlife, rebirth, demon, Satan, witchcraft, reincarnation, astrology, and so on is superstitious and has no evidentiary basis. None has gone to heaven and returned to the Earth, in human history, to tell the story of life in heaven to the people on this Earth.

The scripture writers inserted the myths in the scriptures to frighten and control the people and to contribute their part to ensure the stability of the empires of the kings. The kings were their patrons. There was close nexus between the organized religion and the rulers to protect their self-interest by exploiting the masses.

Questioning the concept of God

A Christian God, an Islamic God, and a Hindu God have different mutually contradictory features.

Then, who is the true supernatural God out of the three?

The pantheists regard Nature, with its innumerable mysteries, as their God.

A supernatural God is one to whom the laws of nature do not apply.

The world hopes that the religious teachers and their delinquent disciples will have to change their dogmatic interpretation of the scripture and their worldview to a rational and humanist worldview and accept the scriptures as biased books written by humans.

They should not-cannot- view their God as the only true God if they believe He exists.

Religion is a declining force now. Darwin has dealt a deadly blow to it by declaring with adequate proof that man is an evolutionary product of nature and not the Creator’s instant product.

Science has undermined the religious grip over the minds of the people in different ways.

We know, for example, that the world is a globe, that diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, fungus, and parasites and not by divine punishment and that prayer to the Lord for anything is unfruitful, and so on because of the discoveries of science and their enlightening impact on the minds of the people.

A proposition has to pass the test of verifiability, falsifiability, repeatability, and openness to everyone to be true.

An affirmation about the existence of God, soul, heaven, hell, the afterlife, spirit, ghost, witch, Satan, rebirth, magic, reincarnation, and so on doesn’t pass this scientific test.

Then can there be any justification for the religious delinquents’ barbarous crime?

Can you as a rational person believe in the plain myths of the biased scriptures and treat religious delinquents acting on them to kill adherents of other faiths and unbelievers as human beings?

Are not you as a rational human shocked at these people’s servitude to religious superstitions and its dangerous consequence of the intermittent rise of flames of innocent humans’ blood on the streets of the world?

You as a rational person have to question everything including religious affirmations. Only if the proper evidence is available for an affirmation, you may accept its truth.

The answer to religious violence

The words of Mahatma Gandhi, the impeccable and unique Indian practitioner of non-violence, are authentic and weighty in this context:

‘Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.’

‘I make bold to say that violence is the creed of no religion and that, whereas non-violence in most cases is obligatory in all, violence is merely permissible in some cases.’

‘I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.’

The religious dogmatists have a powerful lesson to learn from the words of wisdom of Gandhi.

They should see the solid living proof of the happy and contented life, a good life ‘inspired by love and guided by knowledge,’ (in the words of Bertrand Russell), without God, of the people of the countries of northern Europe.

The majority of the people of these countries are non-theists or unbelievers:

  1. Denmark — 71percent
  2. Norway — 73 percent
  3. Sweden — 79 percent
  4. France — 67 percent
  5. Germany — 52 percent
  6. England — 58 percent

A multipronged educational mass movement about the rightness of the secular, rational, and humanist approach to life and the world against the inhuman theological philosophy of the religious bigots supported by a severe legal punitive action against them is the efficacious solution of the global scourge. It is a two-pronged strategy.

The religious fanatics have to change their violent approach to other religions and unbelievers and love and respect them.

Human life is sacred; irrational faith in the biased ‘holy’ book is profane.

In fact, in the words of Tolstoy, ‘To love life is to live life.’

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Bheemaray.K. Janagond

Bheemaray.K. Janagond

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Writer on rational and humanist outlook on life and personal improvement