V.N.K.Kumar's Blog (90)

YOU GAIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME

Over the years I have had to unlearn a lot of things I had learnt and relearn ways of making my life meaningful in this godless universe. From being a theist to becoming an atheist and morphing into a secular humanist, I gained a lot of self-reliance and self-confidence, but there is that lurking feeling of missing something that was once so satisfying.

1. I MISS BELIEVING THAT SOMEONE IS ALWAYS THERE

Loneliness is probably the most central struggle of human…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on March 29, 2019 at 1:28pm — No Comments

HOW LUCKY WE ARE

If some people cannot achieve what they wanted in life or have to face unexpected & unmerited adversities, they blame their luck. Muslims would call it Muqaddar, Hindus might say it is Prarabdha Karma, Christians might call it preordained fate.



But not many realize how lucky they are compared to others on this planet:



- If you have food to eat, clothes on your back, a roof over your head & a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.



- If you… Continue

Added by V.N.K.Kumar on March 29, 2019 at 1:16pm — No Comments

I felt like an eagle floating above the earth

I remember the moment of my epiphany, the moment I became an atheist. I was 20 years old. I had read the oscillating universe by George Gamow & the origin of species by Charles Darwin.



Then, suddenly, I realized we homo-sapiens are just a kind of animal like other animals on this spinning rock we call Earth. Whatever purpose we feel we have is one we devise for ourselves; it’s not handed to us from on high. We are on our own; there is no deity holding a net under our feet as…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on January 20, 2019 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

Nothing Fails Like Prayer, yet it continues

PROBABLY THE MOST COMMON PURPOSE OF PRAYER IS: 

-- to ask God to do things – fulfill requests, grant favours, and generally use his supernatural powers to act on behalf of the petitioner. Internet prayer request pages overflow with theists asking others to pray for them so that they may be healed of sickness and injuries or delivered from financial troubles

However, as an application of simple logic shows, any prayer that asks God for anything is pointless. Is…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on December 16, 2018 at 7:51pm — 4 Comments

Everyone Is a Skeptic

Are you a religious believer or a doubter? Let’s find out. I will cite some sacred, holy, divine, religious tenets, and you tell me if you believe them.
 
1. Aztec priests sacrificed about 20,000 people a year to many gods including an invisible feathered serpent. Do you think an invisible feathered…
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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on December 11, 2018 at 10:21pm — 2 Comments

My maiden attempt at poetry

Some time ago I saw this quote:

"It’s a strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. It’s the opposite. We have nothing to die for. We have everything to live for" --- Ricky Gervais

This galvanized the dormant muse in me & inspired me to type out the following free verse:

..................................................................................................

OUR RAISON DETRE – A free verse

It’s a…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on November 19, 2018 at 12:46am — No Comments

Greed is an Obsessive-Compulsive Neurosis

ARE HUMANS NATURALLY GREEDY?

Short Answer:

Yes. Many humans have a desire to accumulate things more than what they need or deserve.

Long Answer:

It can not be denied that some people are more ‘Greedy’ than others. People act in a greedy way for different reasons. Of course there are the megalomaniacs and narcissists who are completely self-obsessed, just as there are the completely selfless martyrs.

For every Vijay Mallya there is a Mother Theresa ( Taking…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on January 1, 2018 at 10:16pm — 3 Comments

The steps a person needs to take to be Religious

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 the big deal in believing in…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on November 22, 2017 at 1:30am — 4 Comments

The Future of the world is in our hands

Sreeni: Prof. Kumar, What could be the mission of Atheism & Secular Humanism?

Me: Well, if Atheism is the first step taken by someone, Secular Humanism is the 1000 steps thereafter that one has to take. Atheism has no mission besides declaring one’s non-belief in celestial beings. But Secular humanism is Atheism+ & does not believe that man’s mission on earth is merely to love and glorify…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on November 12, 2017 at 6:23am — 3 Comments

Atheism is Empowering

Sreeni: When someone declares “There are no gods”, others regard this as an expletive of a highly depressed person. When people hear or say this, it is often associated with nothing going right in the life of the person proclaiming it, or it is heard being said after a tragedy occurs.

Me: Yes that happens but these four words do not need to be linked to a fatalistic or bleak outlook but instead can be reassuring, refreshing & empowering.

Sreeni: Empowering?

Me: Yes…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on November 4, 2017 at 1:22pm — 4 Comments

Peaceful & Natural Death Is A Well-deserved Reward Of Permanent Rest

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"…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on November 1, 2017 at 12:35pm — 6 Comments

Everything is designed by god(s), did you say?

Sreeni: Prof. Kumar, I have been having a lot of debates in our book club meetings with many religious people. They claim that the universe is a special creation designed by a supreme creator. However, I can’t understand how a sane person can persuade himself that beneficent and omnipotent gods would have created such a vast number of animals in our planet with the specific purpose of spending their entire life tormenting and devouring other…
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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on October 23, 2017 at 6:59am — 10 Comments

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 — 3 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 — 4 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 — 2 Comments

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