V.N.K.Kumar's Blog (51)

THE TANTALIZING PURPOSES OF PRAYER

Purpose no. 1.

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.

Disputation.

Simple logic shows that any prayer that asks God for anything is pointless. Is prayer going to bring to God’s attention a need of which he was not previously aware ? Is it going to convince him to do…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on September 24, 2016 at 12:13am — 3 Comments

“Alhamdulillah”, proclaimed my friend

His name was Bukhari, a sunni Muslim. He was the Training Manager at BHEL, Trichy (India). He used to invite me from Madras for conducting 3 to 5 day training programmes & workshops for his middle level & senior level managers. During the lunch break, I would walk from the conference hall to his cabin in the next building for a chit-chat.

I never took lunch since it would make me sleepy. I had to be at my best…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on August 21, 2016 at 1:46am — 4 Comments

Which gods can the Gen Next worship w/o getting embarrassed?

I had a disturbing dream recently. I had renounced non-belief in the supernatural phenomena like gods, soul, afterlife, heaven, Karma, reincarnation and become a devout Hindu brahmin once again. I was doing maha mangalarthi to Durga mata by dancing like the Bengalis do. I woke up in cold sweat and felt relieved that my secular humanism was in tact. Perhaps it was the consumption of too many vadas my loving wife had made the previous night.

In real life, this can happen only if my…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on August 17, 2016 at 11:28am — 12 Comments

Genesis of the concept of Soul & Afterlife [Viewed through the microscope of science]

WISHFUL THINKING

Religion as per some philosophers is all about Comfort & Consolation. Religious beliefs (Soul, Afterlife, heaven & gods) are molly-coddling illusions. Afterlife beliefs are the primary reasons for the case that religion is a product of wishful thinking.

The belief in life after death may eliminate or weaken:

- The fear of personal extinction

- The overwhelming sadness when loved one dies

- The sense that a life of finite duration…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on August 4, 2016 at 9:24am — 4 Comments

If I could pick & choose my Religion

I have been studying Comparative Religion for some time now. There are 4200+ 'LIVE' religions on planet earth today according to the anthropologists.

They can't all be true, so how do I determine which one to believe in?

I've been told my "eternal soul" might be at stake and I don't want to bet on the wrong horse, after all. Should I pick whichever one is the oldest? I don't know which one that might be because many were passed down orally for many centuries before they were…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on July 10, 2016 at 10:43pm — 6 Comments

What is this mystical thing called Spirituality?

Some people call themselves “Spiritual but not Religious”. One such person is my dear nephew 'Vishwa' of Delhi, who is also a cousin to Prema. I have a lot of admiration for him for some of his traits like empathy, compassion, self-effacing attitude and the desire to reduce human anxiety, depression & suffering with his counseling. Though he is a Spiritual person & I am a Secular Humanist, we get along dandy because we are both wedded to humanistic ethics. For me basically, it is not…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on July 8, 2016 at 7:50pm — 10 Comments

Am I spiritually challenged or spiritually savvy ?

If God didn't have the ability to create a better world which lacked natural disasters, he could have nevertheless foretold any number of them. He could have predicted when Mt. St. Helens would erupt, or when the Indonesian tsunami or hurricane Katrina or the earthquake in Hiati would hit. Such information would have saved lives and confirmed his existence and status as God.

To merely establish his status, he could have predicted the rise of the Internet, or the inventions of the…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on July 6, 2016 at 12:11pm — 4 Comments

Revisiting non-belief in god(s) & Respecting our elders

To create the entire multiverse comprising several universes and our visible universe with 200 billion galaxies, each galaxy with 200 to 400 billion stars, each star with its planets and to create life on some planets, is a stupendous task for any creator. Such a creator cannot be a simple entity. It has to be a very complex entity.

Yet.

Science tells us that everything started with a big bang and just…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on June 23, 2016 at 2:04am — 6 Comments

It requires Inquisitiveness & a lot of guts to be a Secular humanist

Secular Humanism (Secular = Atheistic; Humanism = Concern for Human welfare) does not believe in the Soul, afterlife, karma, reincarnation, heaven or gods and most of all does not believe that man’s mission on earth is to have an implicit & unquestioning faith in gods and to keep praising & glorifying them.

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" -- Friedrich Nietzsche.

But debating about the existence or non-existence of…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on June 9, 2016 at 9:30pm — 6 Comments

Any moron can believe in gods but it is more challenging to be Godless

How to Believe in God in Six Easy steps:
1. First, you must want to believe in God. That is simply because you love your parents and your parents told you that there is a God.

2. Next, understand that believing in God in the absence of evidence is…
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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on May 3, 2016 at 11:13pm — 5 Comments

The futile search for happiness & meaning

What makes life worth living? Is it a life filled with happiness or a life filled with purpose and meaning? Is there even a difference between the two?

Think of the human rights activist who fights oppression but ends up in prison like Nelson Mandela — was he happy? Or the social animal who spends his nights (and some days) jumping from party to party—is that the good life?…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 27, 2016 at 10:40pm — 3 Comments

Why it is so difficult to love 'Science' but learning it is imperative

Since its inception, Science has been a thorn in the side: incessantly inconvenient, calculatingly cold, and questioning of one's deeply held beliefs ( Regarding God, soul, afterlife, astrology, homeopathy & 101 other pseudo-sciences). It disregards personal feelings.



But that's not the worst of it.



Science is the reason why Earth is no longer at the center of the Universe. We humans used to be so significant. Everything revolved around us until Science and it's… Continue

Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 24, 2016 at 12:11pm — No Comments

What happens when we die?

From the beginning of human history people have wondered about death. It is not uncommon for young children to ask their parents, "what happens when we die?"

Of course we all either consciously or subconsciously know what really happens when we die. The answer of course is that we are dead. It is right there in the word. Unfortunately, people have a…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 23, 2016 at 4:42am — 3 Comments

Opportunity costs of Loss of faith

Makes me sad to think that Hindus in India waste so much of their time, energies & monetary resources on religious rituals like homas, yagnas, teerath yatras, temple festivals, prayers & bhajans. But sametime I wonder what they might do with the time released from these preoccupations if they opt to be secular.

Females might indulge in more gosssip, suffer depression because they now do not have the option of praying to gods for succour and male…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on March 3, 2016 at 10:38pm — 7 Comments

Heaven -- a reality for some and a delusion for others

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…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on December 15, 2015 at 2:12am — 4 Comments

The Emperor is Naked!

All religions have come to us through hearsay. Everyone is talking about the god who is there, but where ?  No one knows what it is, where it is, how it is or why it is, but they talk about it just the same, as if they knew.



No one ever experiences god personally. We listen to other people talk about it and read books ; other people tell us what to believe, they interpret our subjective feelings as "god", but we can never know for sure, because god is…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on December 11, 2015 at 2:35am — 8 Comments

Religions are ephemeral & short-lived but Atheism is eternal

How long has religion existed?
Since the beginning of human thought - hundreds of thousands of years ago. When the first humans ran in fear from a bolt of lightning; felt the horror of a mother and baby dying in childbirth; witnessed a mountain explode in a fountain of molten rock; saw a comet plough through the firmament; watched one friend survive an unlikely accident when others perished; noticed the changing of the…
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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on December 10, 2015 at 1:18am — 7 Comments

The tussle between Religion & Secular Humanism

Religion fulfills certain basic human desires. It offers people a sense of worth and specialness. It gives them a community in which they can feel understood and supported. It eases their fears about life and death, offers them hope of immortality. It also gives them a feeling of superiority, of having an edge over others. So you can't really blame people for being obsessed with Religion,God or Afterlife.

My point however is that though traditional religions fulfill many human needs,…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on December 6, 2015 at 9:39pm — 10 Comments

A Binary Dichotomy

For some, the benefits one gets from an implicit faith in God & Religion (Protection in this life & afterlife, immortality & Ultimate justice) cannot be matched by any secular philosophies. They might say nothing but their unspoken message is “I have made up my mind that Gods exist, so don’t confuse me with facts”. Indeed there are many for whom the emotional need for a protective sky daddy far outweighs the intellectual need for knowing the truth. For th…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on November 23, 2015 at 9:35am — 7 Comments

The Value of Human Life: My post-Paris & post-Mali meditations

The idea of death affects me a lot worse, now that I’m a secular Humanist, than it ever used to before I made fifteen revolutions around our star, the sun. Not just my own death, but everyone else’s too. People dying is bad enough to comprehend and deal with, even when it occurs from natural causes like old age, when the dead happen to be your loved ones. I remember the death of my parents and how inconsolable I was. But unnecessary deaths from road accidents & plane crashes, pointless…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on November 20, 2015 at 8:16pm — 6 Comments

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