“There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.”
― Richard Dawkins
I am an atheist. On most days. Remember when you were ten years old and were gripped by the age-old existential questions – who am I? Does God exist? And then you heard of the term ‘self-actualization’. You might not remember but ask the people around you and they will tell you how you would drive them up the wall, pestering them to help you become self actualized.
Now, at the age of twenty, God is just an idol that stands at the corner of your room, day in and day out. When you look around you and see the cruelty that exists every few steps you take- at the corner of a street, in a dark slum, or at millions of traffic junctions- God appears more and more like a delusion. All you need to do is pick up the newspaper at the breakfast table, read the headlines, and you would realize how pathetic our lives have become. Humans are found murdering fellow humans, children are abandoning their parents in old-age homes, mothers are found killing their daughter even before they are born, thousands of rapes take place each day and the list goes on never endingly. One religion is pitted against another. We are not new to communal riots. Religious fanatics occupy important position in our societies, fool the masses, tactfully mind wash them and preach that their particular religion is above all others. This has been causing tension the world over since a long time now. When this is what you find around you, who can blame you if you question the existence of God? What does God do to prevent all this? Where does God disappear when a newly-wed woman is burnt to death by her in-laws if she doesn’t meet their dowry demands? Where does God disappear when terrorists march into a town full of innocent citizens and opens fire at random? What did God to stop a Hitler, a 9/11 or a Gaddafi? If I am bound to believe that God is a mere image that man created in order to escape from getting targeted and blamed himself for every misfortune that befalls him, I am completely justified in doing so.
As the great Epicurus once said:
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
When I talk about people who invent God just to save their own backs, at times I belong to that category as well. Even though every time the divine question arises, I am the first one to declare that God is nothing but a myth, time and time again, there occur incidents that urge me to believe in a higher power. When it comes to philosophizing about life and death, natural and supernatural I find it easy to banish the idea of the existence of a God. The incidents I am talking of are small day-to-day happenings. Incidents that don’t matter when you consider the bigger picture. Like what happened today.
I was sitting on the couch reading a novel. Mother’s phone started ringing and since there was nobody else in the room, I had no other choice but to get up myself and take the call. I was on a very interesting bend of the plot and did not want to break the flow, so I carried the book with me towards the bed on which the phone was lying. I must have been too engrossed in the story to notice the table lying in the way and crashed head-on with it. On the table top was lying a brass statue. It could not stand the jerk and landed straight on my toe.
That broke my toe nail. Blood started gushing out. The excruciating pain that followed was almost unbearable.
I let out a scream. I cursed. I cursed God. Why was the table lying in my way? Why did I have to go through all that pain?
When you do not want to blame yourself, hold someone else responsible for anything bad happening to you, God really comes in handy. It is your mistake, blame God. You are too careless, blame God. You are lazy, blame God. There is a table ‘lying in your way’, blame God. You have eyes yet you are blind, blame God. The guy never complains. He doesn’t even curse back.
Its incidents like these that make me want to believe in the Divine. We are a society of hypocrites. All we are concerned about is to save our own backs. I am no different. On days when I believe in God, I believe in him just for the sake of having somebody to curse and place the blame on. So do most of you, what say?