On Religion

God has always been a concept, much debated and fought over, yet little understood. Religion has always been a means for us humans to explain the inexplicable. But as more of these mysteries are unraveled by one means or the other, I can’t help but notice that religion has had more elaborate purpose all this while.

Is it not easy to see, how religion has molded our societies, and our entire belief systems? And doesn’t this at times, if not always, seem to be for the benefit of some specific political entity/idea? That is not to say, that I do not appreciate that aspect as well, for that too has played a very crucial role in shaping the world today as we know it. Today, I happened to come across a definition of an ‘Agnostic’ as a person who believes that the existence of a supreme entity, God, can neither be proven nor disproved. And that made me question, yet again, my own religious beliefs.

I happen to remember some excerpts from my (very) preliminary reading of ‘A Brief History of Time’ (which is an excellent book, albeit a little difficult to comprehend) by Stephen Hawking; where he talks about the unification of all scientific theories into a single Unified Theory. I can’t help but notice the similarity this idea possesses, to the idea of there being one supreme God. Hawking further goes on to say that the search for the latter might be analogous to the search for the former. While this idea is a beautiful one, a coming together of science and religion, it is not an easily acceptable one, for science, always, needs hard evidence, and while the search continues, answers are still very much shrouded, or at least are way too incomprehensible for the human kind. Hawking goes on to argue that if there is a Supreme Power, then why at all would it be interested in revealing itself to the people, how can one be sure that the results from our search are perfectly accurate. Doesn’t this Supreme hold the reins to our efforts and results as well? That is intriguing, to say the least.

Being born to Hindu parents, I have had a huge number of beliefs, rituals, superstitions, and even Gods thrust upon me. Personally, I do believe in the existence of a Supreme power. We, puny humans, can’t be the most intelligent creatures in this mighty, mighty universe (or multiverses, if we are to believe Hawking). I do not see stronger beings being very benevolent to the weaker ones here on earth, and that makes me a little fearful of this Greatness. That, it has let us survive for so long, makes me reverent. But the interpretations that humans have developed of its powers, and miracles, and elaborate mythologies in scriptures, I find appalling. While in terms of building a society, they have been very helpful, their staunchness has also resulted in disintegration of communities, something that I can not stand.

While, even today, questioning religions, and the values they propagate remains a rather uncomfortable occupation, it is good to see that people are developing a more objective approach to their lives and beliefs, notwithstanding the spiritual comfort that is found in the idea of a benevolent GOD.

As has been iterated all over the world of ideas, religion must be confined to a part of a person’s identity and not the whole of it. Only then is peaceful cohabitation, even a possibility.

 

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