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  • Ankit Gupta

Does religion is a boon or a curse?



Religion’ A set of rules to live your life or is it a god’s order/suggested path to follow? Well, I am not sure about this thin hair-line difference between both. Nonetheless, the only religion I am aware of is humanity. A religion where every human is treated equally without the difference of their colour, region or the place of worship. It is profound to understand that our books of religion don’t tell us about disliking others and abusing their thoughts. It only tells us or teaches us the right path towards humanity.

               The religion is what you believe is right and consciously understand, A true enlightenment. As for one religion animals are sacred but, for others, it may be one of the trails of god to create superior life-form on earth. For a scientist, his religion is to understand the laws of the universe. For an engineer, his religion is to build something which can reduce human work. And for a doctor, his religion Is to save lives. But, they all work with an ordinance to follow some set of rules restrictive by nature.

                One common enlighten introduced by most of the religions is a supernatural God, a creator, controller and destroyer. Someone, who can always keep an eye on us, making records of all our wrongdoings and punishes us for the sins. But I disagree, if there is really that god who suggested a path of humane which we all have to follow, then why there is so much cruelty throughout history. Hitler’s attack on Europe, America’s nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the formation of ISS and Taliban for terrorism, these are just a few of the episodes of some dark genocides throughout the history (from last one century only). If we dig deeper in history, we will find cruelty of British on America, India, South Africa, Philippines and many other countries, Spanish cruelty on the Caribbean and South America just, for the covet of control (these episodes are from recent five centuries). If we are going to dig even further in history, then we will find the crueller fights for thrones between different kings just to increase the reach of their territory and empire (dating up to thousands of years back).

                These are some of the callous examples of how people are fighting just for the sake of power and control. Killing innocent and weak, treating them as a slave, discriminating on the name of superior race- Aryans, White, Blacks, Hispanic and Asians. Whoa! But I cannot see much of the involvement of religion in all this (to save one from holocaust/fights). Even the people from the same race, same religion and same believes are fighting too. Brothers are fighting for land, neighbours are fighting for unwanted noise and waste, travellers are fighting for their expensive vehicles well, it seems that the basic principle of any religion “do not fight and spread the love” the most crucial outcome of any religious teaching is already missing. Then why are we following some failed religion?

                Even some religious emissary people are fighting themselves too, in favour of saving their almighty God and culture. I do not understand why? And personally want to ask one question from them, if the almighty God is powerful enough to destroy us within a snap. Then does he really need our protection? Secondly, where is it mentioned that rules of living life don’t change with time? The clothes have changed; houses have changed; food has changed; importantly government has been changed from monopoly to democracy too. Then why there is so much violence against changes in religious thinking? Why can’t we accept some favourable changes when it comes to religion? Why can’t be that old-man (prophet) who wrote the religious books (thousands of years ago) can be wrong because of his orthodox thinking of his thousands of years old teaching?

                God is our almighty saviour, he died for us, he only came to earth to take us towards the path of prosperity. O.K, I am ready to believe it. But, where is the same god when a religious rich guy rapes a poor girl and still stays like a saint? Where is the god when one powerful leader kills all the innocent people against him? Where is the god when a man of the house died because of cancer and his family starved to death? Where is the god when a family is going for the pilgrim and died during the journey because of misfortune? Where was the god when Hitler massacred lakhs of innocent people? Where was the god when one-fourth of the world was under the rule of British? And were treated with savagery. Where was the god when lakhs of people died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Where was the god when India and Pakistan divided and millions of people died as well as become homeless? Where is the god when a poor is dizzying because of hunger and a greedy rich guy is only and only filling his safe-box and increasing bank balance? I am looking for the same god when a poor girl gets raped and there is no justice. I feel sorrow when I see some disabled begging on the corner of streets. I feel broken when I see child labour, I feel miser for whenever I am looking for a god and he is not there. I feel regretted why he let human discover nuclear power, because of which we are now at the verge of destroying each other and the very existence of life.

                 I feel pain when I see people following religion and religious activities so faithfully that they donate everything to priests or in making a new building but, neglects the society of poor and ill people, who all are in need of this money more than a priest or a new place/building of worship (mostly the sign of rich people in that place). It is deeply suffering, when we hear about a young guy or teen is saying “I am going to kill for my god” or “I am doing this to save my religion”. Sometimes even from the smart and successful people too, having great control in their hands just like Hitler on calling Nazi’s as pure blood and Jews impure and then, brutally killing lakhs of innocent with cruelty beyond imagination.

                The hatred between religions can make people divide their own prosper country in many parts like INDIA, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Even in many countries like India (after years of pain and misery with inequality), people are still having discrimination between many religions (having minority and majority status). Do you really feel this is what religion is teaching all along? Is this the interpreted outcome of following or having faith in religion? Well, I have no clear answer and maybe that is why I am an ‘atheist’ now.

                 I feel that if religion can turn me, to be so monstrous that I can kill someone for its non-evident proofs then, I should never accept it. And why would I accept it? Just because, I born in a religious family which follows a certain religion or because of the majority of countryman following the same religion? Or should I follow it because of those thousands of years old books with thousands of years old rules? Huh! We have changed so much, we have come so far, in a new era, a new world of a new government, new ways of justice, new ways of living, slavery is gone, following the ancestral work is more of choice instead of assent. With this new era, we have to change for religion as well. Even the testaments of Christianity have been changed in two different eras too. So it seems we only need to be accepting and we can understand the new form of religion for this new era.

                  No one is born with a symbol/mark of religion on his/her chest. If you are going to ask a newborn about his religion, he must have no idea what it is. He will follow what his parents will teach and he will one day become so convinced with it, that he will be ready to die for it too. Hypothetically, if by some mistake a Hindu family’s child is going to be exchanged with a Muslim family’s child because of some misunderstanding, and years later, let’s say 25 years passed and then they are going to realize/found out the mistake that they were supposed to follow each other’s religion. For the time (being adults) they were fighting for the superiority of their religion they followed. Now, how will they deal with this paradox? Until now they were fighting against, now they have to respect each other’s religion isn’t? (only possible way out of this dilemma).

                Similarly, this debate of superior religion is completely baseless. It is like a Harry Potter novel given to a young child and telling him daily that this is his religion, he has to support it, pass it to next generations and save its integrity, as the principal duty. It will definitely someday, make this young guy believe on it (as everyone he knows is going to tell him stories and giving proofs just to make him realize that ‘this religion is true and superior’). Then unfortunately someday during a religious crisis, just to prove the truthiness of his Harry potter’s story, he will, might be willing to die. As a culmination, In the very same way, we all are brainwashed with this religion by repeated teachings.

                 Some people say that “to be good, we need some set of rules to live our lives, which is taught by the religion”. I kind of agree with it but disagree too. As some people are using it to brainwash and get control over the community. If you put a killing scene in front of a toddler, he will be scared. Instead, if you put a loving scene, then he will smile. Which is completely expected and depended on his choice and observation, as he has not been taught religion by anyone as of yet. Or we can say, he is already smart enough to distinguish between good and bad (Without the knowledge of religion). But with growing age and eternal brainwashing by the society and religious preachers, can make this young child a monster in his adulthood, able to kill and die for the sake of proving the purity of his religion.

                I am an atheist, but I still feel the pain, cruelty, sorrow and can easily distinguish between good and bad deeds of a person. I do not fight in any scenario, whatsoever just to prove I am superior or right. Do I follow any book or religion? ‘No’. Did my dad teach me this? Not solely. Did my society? ‘Yes majorly’. Then what is the role of religion? Why do I need a religion, if I am doing great without it? I do not need to kill a goat to celebrate Eid and show my faith in Allah. I do not need to be vegetarian to follow my faith in Hinduism. I do not need to drink wine and eat bread to show my faith in Christianity. Well, I am free to follow all/any of it and can oppose to all/any of it too. For being humane, when it comes to killing a big ‘No’ when it comes to showing disrespect to other religion a big ‘No’ again. So I certainly know very well, what is good and what is not. I can strictly choose the best and saying all of it even I do not follow any religion, do not worship and do not even feel god is watching us, it is just a choice of choosing between right and wrong. “Humanity doesn’t require religion, it requires self believe and care for everyone”

                For an atheist there are no reasons to fight actually, He doesn’t have to save his religion, no need to confined himself in a territory of people with the same belief, so no boundaries at all. No discrimination of clothes, food and colour. No need of followers as well as following someone, no need of using the money for religious tasks and can simply help poor or ill people with the same money too. So it seems a win-win choice only. The sins are only done by religious people on the name of god, as they can put all the blame on the name of almighty isn’t? While for an atheist there is no one to whom he can blame or can make others follow. So an atheist is the weakest person but he is also the freest and most enlightened person too.

                  I am not favouring atheism or religion. I am only trying to convey that religion is wrong only because of one’s aimless believe in it, becoming a menace and choosing a wrong path. I cannot say clearly if religion is a boon or curse. But it is definitely something which can make someone so absurd to perform brutality and at the same time which makes no sense to a poor guy who is hungry for days, a poor girl who was raped, a poor country or territory which has been destroyed because of hatred. So, is this really what our religion or god is trying to tell us and teach us all along?

 I am ending this debate of mine with a question, as I am also on a quest to find the answers. If I am a culprit in the eyes of almighty (being an atheist) or those whom all are followers of some religion and doing wrong on his name only then, I accept and Yes, I am. Amidst, majorly convinced that God is really not out there, as he never comes to save one in need, where is his magic, his superpower, his omnipotence? Why is he letting so much despair and cruelty to exist? Why there are so many religions? Why doesn’t he come and clarify to us about all this hotchpotch of religions and thousands of years old teachings? To all the religious followers/preachers, if you know/find the answers for these questions then please enlighten all of us instead, of brainwashing and telling false stories. I and the coming generations will be greatly contented to have clear and logical explanations.

Please feel free to read my last article on "The Curse of the 21st century on Descendants".

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