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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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.…Continue
A mentally healthy person whether a believer or non-believer has to have these nine characteristics:
- Self interest,
- Self direction,
- Acceptance of Uncertainty,
- Scientific thinking,
- Risk Taking, &
- Self acceptance.
These characteristics are CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT in Religious people. Let us see how this happens.
1. SELF-INTEREST. The emotionally healthy…Continue
Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 9, 2017 at 2:40am — No Comments
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…Continue
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.
* Jesus ( Historians/Archaeologists say he didn't exist) did not believe in the god of Judaism or the Roman gods. So he was an…
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…
Let us say a woman patient was hemorrhaging badly. She felt weak, cold, and the pain in her abdomen was excruciating. A nurse ran out to fetch the doctor, but by the time they arrived she knew she was slipping away. The doctor was shouting instructions when quite suddenly the pain stopped. She felt free—and found herself floating above the drama, looking down at the bustle of activity around her now still body.
“We’ve lost her,” she heard the doctor say, but the woman was already…Continue
Cognitive dissonance (CD) is the concept of holding two very different ideas in your mind at the same time. This is something all the great composers do when they think of two melodic themes and how they can intertwine, adapt and combine them. We would find it very difficult to whistle one tune while thinking of an entirely different one but that is the sort of thing that Beethoven or Mozart would consider trifling.
Let us take two different ideas:
1. Man created god(s), and the…
Since time immemorial, believers in a loving and just god have looked around at the world we live in, filled with toil, strife and suffering, and have pondered how to reconcile their belief with the facts at hand. The solution which most religions have adopted is to assert the existence of another world, beyond this one, to which the souls of the good will fly in order to receive their due reward.
Poets and dreamers throughout history have filled their scriptures with rapturous…Continue
1. First, choose your parents. At least one of them should be religious. If you say it is impossible to choose parents, then wish for dame luck to favour you with religious parents.You should also love your parents and be obedient to them. It now becomes easy to believe in gods, because you love your parents and your parents told you that there are Gods.
2. Next, understand that believing in Gods in the absence of evidence is especially noble. What is…Continue
Sreeni: Prof. Kumar, Why should any intellectual adopt atheism & secular humanism as his philosophy? What is the real benefit from these beliefs or should I say non-beliefs?
Me: Every human being apart from working for a livelihood and bringing up his children, would like to be physically healthy and happy and for this he should have the correct philosophy.
Sreeni: How can our philosophy help us in acquiring good health & happiness?
Me: Only an atheistic…Continue
Even after seeing the death of my parents, relatives, acquaintances & friends over the years and realizing the inevitability of death from age if not from accidents, I have not been able to come to terms with death.
When visiting the bereaved people who have just lost some loved ones, I do not know what to say to them. Well-meaning people say these platitudes:
"He/She is in a better place" or
"she will not suffer any more. That's a relief. She is going to a place where…
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.…Continue