Rationalism- the practice and promotion of reason above all else;
rejection of religion on the grounds that it is illogical.
All over the world, people are seen chanting prayers, whispering pleas, joining their hands and staring up at the sky. They are stoically against the realization of the futility of this act, of the actual waste of time. In all, an average god-fearing man probably wastes half his life just murmuring prayers. To turn to an illusion and live your life deluded is no commendable feat and yet is being performed by everyone. Most of them don’t even know the reason to why they're doing this. To confirm this, a few rationalist friends and I recently went around asking people why they believe in religion. We were rather amused by the answers we received some of which were-
"Just like that.."
"Er.. I don't know..."
"I just… you know... like it." *What do you like about it?* "I don't know... I just like it."
"I just believe in it that's it." *But there must be a reason to why you believe in it.* "Everything doesn't have to have a reason."
"...because my parents believe in it."
And there were some who justified their belief with: "Because it gives me peace."
What kind of peace? If religion brings peace, then what's with terrorism? It significantly arises from religion itself no matter how you look at it. What's happening in Mumbai? What was the U.S. 9/11 all about?
We saw the unreasoned in every person. This is how people have become. Billions of people with brains as vestigial as their appendices... It saddens me to see the amount of intelligence that goes waste being suppressed by the imposed principles of blind-faith. No-one reasons anything anymore. They don't even know why they are doing what they're doing.
Sure, India has changed. The literacy rate has gone up. People have been educated. But to what effect? Education has not made them exploit the faculty of reason and thought. Rather, it's been turned into a ritual. Look at the number of kids going to schools these days. How many of them know why they're studying? How many of them know why they're working their butts off to get into IIT or AIIMS? What's it going to get them in the long run? "Money," they answer promptly. But what after you've got the money? You get married and support a family. Then what? You keep working for more money till your life ends. And there... you've completed the ritual. You've fulfilled what everybody else has done. You've lived your life the way you've been told to. And I will question: what, then, has been the difference between your life and anyone else? What distinguishes you? Would it have mattered if you'd been born into another family, another place? You'd have done the same things as you're doing now. There, too, you'd not have known why you're doing it. And you'd probably never have questioned it either. I am not demoting education at all. But one must at least make something of it! There are thousands of men without a single purpose in life. People come and go with nothing to tell them apart. When they depart, they'll have accomplished anything.
Everyone's just desperately trying to fit into the team; thoughtlessly trying to believe the myths that were so conveniently created to explain what could not satisfactorily be explained. Now some idiots have gone and made these myths and principles rigid. We have fairy-tales being referred to as holy texts. Ram, krishna and all such cyanosed creatures being idolized. (Hey, I can start a religion on Harry Potter and call it Potterism maybe!) What's the deal with trying to shape yours and everyone else's lifestyles to match these fictional beings' and call it a cult? Why does everyone find a need to be like everyone else? Aren't they sure of what they want that they need another to dictate their desires and force a particular way of living onto them as they have done to others? So now, a person just believes in prevailing conventions. His incapability and inconsistency is obscured by accepting things that have been dictated to be right. And since he has thousands of such inconsistent brothers to justify these imposed conceptions, he will never have to make the heroic effort of standing firmly by his own opinions on the basis of his own reason.
Both religion and god are nothing more than excuses to cover up the lack of answers to a lot of puzzling questions and a reason to continue a worthless, slothful life of no strife. It’s so much easier to dismiss an unanswered thing by simply handing the credit to god. You don’t need to use your brain and bother yourself.
Now religion is blatantly displaying its lethality. Massacre here, carnage there. Is it leading anyone anywhere. And everyone's talking about Muslims, about jihadis and the terrorists that they become. They talk about brainwashing. Are they any different? What sets them apart from these men? Just the fact that don't possess weapons and they don't go around killing people? How many among them can think for themselves and reason their way out? How many actually have their own convictions rather than those that they’ve been led to believe are supreme? And even among the ones who do think for themselves, how many are able to maintain their convictions? Everyone's so quick to give in to public opinion. Opinions without a rational process are worthless. And the opinions which do come from a reasoning mind are simply suppressed. No-one wants to make the effort of taking responsibility for them. Sticking by your authentic views is better than giving up your integrity and sacrificing your faculty of reason.
I write this just after the attacks on Mumbai. Everyone in the country is demanding and fighting for a solution to this problem of terrorism. I have one which is the simplest to conceive of and most difficult to execute- abolish religion! Ban religion and half the world's problems will be solved. People will start reasoning and so many lives could portray the heroic in man. It'll be total freedom. The nation would progress like never before.
But I know this won't come true in my lifetime. Religion is too deep-rooted even though senseless. Yet, if, even in a single person, I can instigate a thought, a single idea to realize the importance of reason and ultimately the senselessness of the concept of religion, I'll know that my efforts haven't gone waste.