Secular Humanism (Secular = Atheistic; Humanism = Concern for Human welfare) does not believe in Soul, afterlife, karma, reincarnation, heaven, gods and most of all does not believe that man’s mission on earth is to praise & glorify illusory gods.
Debating about the existence or non-existence of gods with the believers is an exercise in futility, because you just cannot reason someone out of opinions they were never reasoned into. Early childhood…Continue
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…Continue
To retain his sanity in this mad mad world, man has to have some beliefs in his life, which could turn out to be delusions. A man has to feel that his spouse is faithful to him, that she loves him and will nurse him if bedridden, that she will remember him fondly if he predeceases her,etc.The same for the woman too. All of us need to believe such things to give us some reassurance, even if false & in order to retain our sanity in this…
Srini: What does one have to do to become an atheist cum secular humanist?
Me: There are no conversion or initiation rites to undergo. That happens only in religions. Here you simply give up certain practices. That’s about it. This eases your lifestyle. You do not have to waste all those hours & energies in prayers, bhajans and visits to temples for archanas, sevas, homas and pilgrimages. And the money saved from these can be diverted to deserving charities or as in my case for…Continue
Sreenivasan (Sreeni): Prof. K, I am reading all your articles which you have been e-mailing me on Religion, Gods & Humanism. As you already know, I am an atheist and so your articles only reinforce my earlier stance but when I try to read it to my wife, she is rather critical about it. She has been brought up in an orthodox Iyengar family and she worships Lord Krishna as her father and mother did in their lifetime.
Me: There are 2 types of…Continue
Sometimes I feel I am so lucky to live in modern times wherein secular societies are possible and secular Humanists & Atheistic Philosophers are tolerated if not treated with due respect. Thank goodness I was not born as a contemporary of Scientists like Bruno, who was burnt at the stakes or Galileo who was forced by the Pope to recant, to save his own life.
Having said this, I must admit that my life has been one long turmoil of doubt, skepticism and rebelling against authority…Continue
DOWN THE MEMORY LANE::
I was 7 years old in 1945. My father was a religious person and a very virtuous man. He was the Mines Manager at TISCO’s Doddakanya mines near Kadakola close to Mysore (India). He was falsely implicated in a case of theft of Rs 1000 /-. I used to hear him cry in front of my mother while I pretended to be asleep. He used to wonder why the Lord Rama & Shirdi Saibaba whose bhajans we used to sing so reverently every day, did not help him to…Continue
I am from the land of India, proud to be an atheist cum secular humanist and am convinced that one can be a good and compassionate human being irrespective of whether we have faith in god(s) or not.
For some, the benefits one gets from an implicit faith in God & Religion cannot be matched by any secular philosophies. Such persons would say “I have made up my mind that Gods exist, so don’t confuse me with facts”.…
To retain his sanity in this mad mad world, man has to have some delusions in his life and God delusion happens to be one of them. Some of us need the reassurance the God delusion gives them that there is a father-figure or mother-figure (albeit invisible), to give protection to them in this life and in the afterlife. And to hell with the truth.
If we are totally convinced that there are omniscient, omnipotent & omnipresent forces…
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 &…
When a snail sheds its shell, it still remains a snail -- Albert Einstein
Sreekanta Swamy (SS): Prof.Kumar, you call yourself a Hindu Brahmin but you seldom visit our Ganapathi temple and pray. I know you call yourself a Secular Humanist. But does this mean you are no longer a Hindu?
Me: My dear friend, the short answer is “No”. The long answer is: I was born a Hindu Brahmin. I still am one. What is …
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?
We can roughly say that Happiness comes from ‘Taking from others’ (e.g., Getting the love, trust or respect from significant others) and Meaning in life comes from ‘Giving to others’ ( e.g., Bringing up children, donating to charities or doing Voluntary work).
Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 8, 2014 at 1:55am — No Comments
"Prof. Kumar", my walking friend Sreeni asked " what were the initial emotions in you when you felt you have lost faith in gods, soul, afterlife & the works?"
I said, " Well, I soon realized that I was a free bird! I was accountable to myself, not to some divine voyeur constantly looking over my shoulder and marking down my every transgression, no matter how insignificant, to use against me later. A picture came in front of my eyes. I am writing an…
A. What benefits do people get from their faith in God ?
First, the social support and sense of identity provided by belonging to a close-knit group belonging to a temple, church or mosque could be the operative mechanisms. After all, religion is usually not practiced in isolation but within a “fellowship of kindred spirits,” who share one another’s burdens, reach out to those in need, and offer friendship and companionship. Indeed, people who attend…Continue
Makes me sad to think that most people waste so much of their time, energies & monetary resources on religion related activities like attending churches, doing mass prayers or listening to the inane sermons etc. 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 and males might drink excessively, gamble and seek other unhealthy ephemeral pleasures. So there are…Continue
Because it is more pleasing to the eye ?
I discovered this secret of life a while ago. It is worth more because there is less of it. This is a universal principle that applies to anything that can be quantified, the less there is of something, the more it is worth. It applies to goods and currency, to materials, to human skills and qualifications. Anything of which we have an infinite supply is worthless.…
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.
We have seen that simple molecules combine to make powerful chemicals.…
Added by V.N.K.Kumar on June 21, 2013 at 6:19am — No Comments
Of all the comforting promises religion offers its believers, the most desperately cherished one, everlasting life after death, is the toughest to truly believe. If the faithful truly believe in a Utopian afterlife, then they should be anxious to get to it and death should be the most anticipated event of their earthly lives.
The sheer intensity with which believers work and pray to prolong their time here on earth,…
Added by V.N.K.Kumar on June 8, 2013 at 12:30am — No Comments