V.N.K.Kumar's Blog (83)

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 — 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

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