V.N.K.Kumar's Blog (78)

Religiosity & peak mental health

A mentally healthy person has to have these nine characteristics: -- -

- Self interest,

- Self direction,

- Tolerance,

- Acceptance of Uncertainty,

- Flexibility,

- Scientific thinking,

- Commitment,

- Risk Taking, &

- Self acceptance.

The non-believing intelligentsia could lack some of these traits but most of these characteristics are CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT in Religious people.

Religion is directly opposed to the goals…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on October 8, 2017 at 2:13am — 2 Comments

FREEDOM 'FROM' & FREEDOM 'TO'

Sreeni: Prof. Kumar, one of my religious friends asked me about the real benefit of an Atheistic & Secular outlook. All I could think of and say was this: “The journey toward Atheism is a quest for the truth, truth which can be empirically tested and for which you can gather evidence, however distressing & frightening the truth might be. It could be the discovery that we humans are all alone, there are no souls, no afterlife & no god(s) to help us”.

Me: That is correct.…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on September 30, 2017 at 7:18pm — No Comments

The trajectory of my beliefs

All my working life I was an atheist in the closet simply because my bosses & colleagues were of the religious kind, intolerant of atheists and I didn't wish to rock the boat.

But fast-forward to 2017 CE.

Place is Mysore, India and I am 80 years young. I can now safely call myself an atheist morphed into a secular humanist, after 40 years of deep study of cosmology, biological evolution, anthropology, evolutionary psychology, comparative religion,…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on September 29, 2017 at 4:00am — 1 Comment

Gods are just a Type 1 (False positive) error

I am comfortable with not having answers to everything. By temperament, I have a high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. But many people suffer cognitive dissonance when they face uncertainties and probabilistic world models, and they feel the need to close that loop with a definitive answer, regardless of how intellectually indefensible it may be.

This low tolerance for uncertainty in many others probably has an evolutionary origin related to the fact that in the Paleolithic…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on September 29, 2017 at 3:58am — No Comments

The Gargantuan Delusion called Soul

Our Hindu scripture "Bhagavad Gita' says that "the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable, and unchangeable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body".

Since many millenia, many religious Hindus when hearing this on their deathbed have drawn a lot of solace from this.

Yet.

The question of whether or not the soul exists has also been debated for centuries, and is one of the key elements in theistic belief.

In order to ascend to some heavenly realm…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on September 29, 2017 at 3:30am — 3 Comments

How to transform our Irrational Society

There might be many ways of doing this, but my way is this. Forget some of the older people whose ideas are ossified & calcified. Let them wallow in their delusions as long as they are happy in their illusory world. But catch hold of your children, grandchildren at an impressionable age and do the following:

- To counter worshiping god(s) to fulfill their desires, teach them that human beings are capable of fulfilling their desires by their own honest effort. If desires are…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on July 8, 2017 at 11:51pm — No Comments

One reason for atheism is coming into contact with a variety of religions.

It isn’t unusual for an atheist to have been raised in a religious household and to have grown up living with the assumption that their religious tradition represented the One True Faith. However, after learning more about other religious traditions, this same person may adopt a much more critical attitude towards his own religion and even religion generally, eventually coming to reject not only the religion but also belief in the existence of any gods.

My own…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on July 8, 2017 at 4:50am — 6 Comments

Dreaming of Utopia while a Dystopia prevails

THE UTOPIA I DREAM OF 

 1. Imagine a world where 99% of the population is voluntarily atheistic - where rampant belief in supernatural (SN) agency is not socially supported. Where the political leaders do not invoke the names of deities at the conclusion of speeches or use the blessings of such deities in justifying state-sponsored wars and the captains of competing cricket teams, when asked whether their team will win the game, will not feel compelled to say "Insha…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on June 7, 2017 at 3:21am — 3 Comments

Living beyond your Lifespan

When people learn that I'm a secular humanist, one of the most frequent questions they ask is, "What do you believe happens after death?"

So that there's no confusion, let me make my position on this clear. I don't believe that there is any such thing as a soul/mind/atma that survives the death of the body. I believe that the mind is a physical process, arising from and produced by the activity of the brain, and so when the body ceases to function, the mind ceases as well. Thus, I…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on June 7, 2017 at 3:17am — 9 Comments

Why are the religious folks disturbed by non-believers?

I was wrong. I used to think that ignorance of the scientific origins of the universe, life and mankind was behind the faith of the believers. And I used to recommend to my fellow atheists & Secular humanists that they should read the introductory literature on cosmology, astrophysics, evolutionary biology, anthropology & Evolutionary psychology so that they can convince the believers of the natural causes of origins (Universe, Life & Man) & hence persuade them to stop…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on May 23, 2017 at 8:50am — 10 Comments

Revealing my "Raison Detre"

Srikanta Swamy (SS): What do you say to someone who is struggling with the pain of withdrawal symptoms of leaving his religion and coming to the realization that this is all there is and that there are no personal Gods - Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva, speaking in the context of our Hinduism?

Me: Deal with it. It's a fact of life. Look at the bright side. You no longer have to worry about eternal punishment. Your life is now your own, not governed by external forces except for those imposed…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 17, 2017 at 2:15am — 3 Comments

Prayers -The Pros & Cons (Through the eyes of a Secular Humanist)

WHY PRAYER "WORKS" 

 Prayer is a unique combination of meditation, wishful thinking, simple greed, conscience-clearing and a desire for peace of mind. It’s all rolled into one! And it’s all quite selfish when you examine it.

Since most people begin prayer with their eyes closed and their hands clasped or at least at rest, you’re off to a good start in the area of relaxation. That’s really all meditation is anyway, which is why it works for so many people.…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 14, 2017 at 5:46am — 7 Comments

What are the healthy traits of Non-Believers?

A mentally healthy person whether a believer or non-believer has to have these nine characteristics: 

- Self interest, 

- Self direction, 

- Tolerance, 

- Acceptance of Uncertainty, 

- Flexibility, 

- Scientific thinking, 

- Commitment, 

- Risk Taking, & 

- Self acceptance.

These characteristics are CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT in Religious people. Let us see how this happens.

1. SELF-INTEREST. The emotionally healthy…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 9, 2017 at 2:40am — No Comments

Why even Smart People Believe Religious Claims

Of course it is true that some highly educated people believe religious claims. Why is that?

Permit me to offer some explanations.

FIRST, smart persons are very good at defending ideas that they believe for non-smart reasons. They want to believe something, say for emotional reasons, and they then become quite adept at defending those beliefs after the fact, since they are smart! But it is arrogant of those with no credentials in the sciences, and no experience in the field or…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 9, 2017 at 2:36am — 1 Comment

Me & god(s) are both atheists !!!

Faith is belief in illusory things that are not based in fact. Since gods know everything, they can't have faith. So gods are atheists.

Because they are already the highest power, they don't believe in a higher power. So they are atheists because atheists do not believe in higher powers.

Specific gods

* Jesus ( Historians/Archaeologists say he didn't exist) did not believe in the god of Judaism or the Roman gods. So he was an…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 9, 2017 at 2:28am — 3 Comments

Dreaming of a Godless future

One reason I don't believe in God is intellectual. I am not at all convinced by the arguments given for God's existence by the Theistic philosophers, neither the cosmological argument & the design argument nor the 32 other specious arguments favouring God’s existence, which to a person not science-savvy might be plausible.

A second reason I don't believe in God is emotional. I am comfortable with not having answers to everything. By temperament, I have a high tolerance for…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on March 4, 2017 at 7:10pm — 2 Comments

Meaning of life comes from normal activities like Love,Work & Play

It's not that only Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Florence Nightingale, Albert Einstein, Dalai Lama & such others could have a meaningful life and the rest of the humanity who somehow eke out a livelihood for themselves & their dependents can never have a meaningful life. Not everybody needs to do something of that magnitude to have a meaningful life.…
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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on January 7, 2017 at 4:32am — 1 Comment

We wouldn't have existed if our ancestors weren't Paranoids!

I am comfortable with not having answers to everything. By temperament, I have a high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. Many people suffer Cognitive Dissonance with uncertainties and probabilistic world models, and thus they feel the need to close that loop with a definitive answer, regardless of how intellectually indefensible it may be.

This low tolerance for uncertainty in many others probably has an evolutionary origin related to the fact that in the Paleolithic environment…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on January 7, 2017 at 12:25am — 5 Comments

Why Do Intelligent, Well-Educated People Still Believe Nonsense?

The first thing we have to realize is that intelligence is compartmental. By that I mean that people who employ sharp wit and critical thinking about one area of life (or even multiple areas) can still remain almost juvenile about a number of others.
 
Scientists who were/are religious
Galileo,…
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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on January 4, 2017 at 10:19pm — 12 Comments

For a Muslim male, Heaven is on Earth itself

I don't understand why Muslim men are so eager to go to 'Jannat' through Jihad and get 72 virgins when they can have whatever they crave for on earth itself! Of course besides this they get the privilege of licking the deity's ass.

The following facts pertain to women and marriage in most of the Islamic world:

1. A man can have four wives

2 A man can divorce his wife in front of the judge without the woman's consent, even without her…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on January 4, 2017 at 3:37am — 6 Comments

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