Are you an atheist ?


"Do you believe in god?". Duh ! What a question to start with..........

There I was sitting with her on a sunny day of a "planned to be a good" weekend, sipping a nice little hot cuppa, and then like a loud thunder , her question goes inside my ears vibrating every inch of my left over ear drums (Yeah, I listen to a lot of music, loud ones the most).

"Ahem ! Not, I mean, Not much, you..you know, n..not..not really," Holy crap !! This guilt sometimes makes people the super-stammerers of the world. I knew she was an ardent devotee, a god fearing person to the core, every inch of it.

"So you are an atheist?", Why, Why, Why people are so keen on making me start with a lecture when they clearly know, I wont even stop to breathe if I launch myself. I tried to cajole the orator in me, with a silent lullaby.

"Anything else ?", "No, cheque please", For the first time, I started to see waiters as life guards. Here was I, saved by a waiter from drowning myself into an eternal abyss of arguments.

Atheism has been the most controversial term, raped extensively to the whims and fancies over the time immemorial. Being born to a strong atheist father and an equally orthodox and god-loving mother, it has been a confusing world for me.

"Ma, what is the benefit of praying to god?", with an agarbatthi(incense stick, in our language, dont ask why is it called so) in my hand encircling in front of an idol, still confused in which direction should I go about? clockwise or anti....?. I remember this episode during my school days, like it happened few days back. She, with a Puja-ki-thali (No synonyms in english, My bad!!) in her hand, calmly asked back, "Why do you want to see benefits in everything you do?". Great ! A counter question. I have been bred upon a constant diet of debating in my family. FYI, Whenever we used to watch tv, for instance, even a comedy show, we went to the extent of seeing pros and cons of a joke. thats how we are?

But that question still remained unanswered. Is it in the nature of the human race that we try to see what we get, in everything we do, rather than see what others can get from it. Its not that I am an ardent philanthropist. You know I have the looks of a "Miser-next-door". Probably even my heart thinks twice before beating, what will it get in turn for its efforts.

I know, I have been going around lots of things in this post. But I would sum it up in a while, I swear.

Worshiping God or not, theism should not be connected to the supreme soul. Let me reveal something, I am neither a believer nor a god-hater, if there is any word like that. You can call me agnostic, a confused man as I described before. I do not want to give a shape and a size to him. I even know that it has become a fashion statement to the people to call themselves atheist. Believe me, I am not in that crowd. What I want to express here is that one should not relate the notion of theism to god, but to the concept of Altruism or Selflessness.

I feel, our ancestors created this concept of "GOD" only to encourage people to indulge in good deeds and create fears among them from doing the more attractive opposite of the former. But this rationale had been manipulated to largest possible extent worldwide which gave rise to different flavors of religion and caste. This was bound to happen, because when anything so subjective is conceived, then you are nothing but sure to have different versions of the same perception. In this, the overriding purpose was forgotten or perhaps lost in the transition.

It is the sense of selflessness that matters the most than the belief in god. If we start doing anything that would benefit others, then we are justifying the very existence of God, fulfilling the rationale. If you feel not worshiping god is atheism, then yes I am an atheist. Because I dont feel any benefit either to me or to any other person. I have seen devote worshipers doing unbelievably evil deeds to the society. There's no point in calling themselves believers of god, no matter how many zillions of donation they give.

"You didn't answer my question, Are you an atheist ?" The look I saw in her eyes was enough for my adam's apple to give out a gulp. Classic sign of timidity ! I started looking here and there to see if any waiter sees me and gives another try !!!! But even they were probably with her and were waiting to corner me.....

Provocations and nature's call, No one can hold it for a long time, neither cud I ! You were the one who provoked me, dont make me responsible for the aftermath. Here I go, " See, Atheism cannot be defined in one sentence. It all depends on the perception of the people. A thing may be good to you, but not for me.. One cannot.."

"No ! Here you go ! Not again, Whats wrong with you? why do you start giving sermons always. Cant you answer this simple question? Now move fast, we are gettin late."

No one would feel happy getting loathed. But I did that day. I felt she understood me completely. There I was shamelessly smiling on being scolded, shaking my bike's fuel tank to guess the hole that was about to dent my wallet and getting ready for a looooong drive........

6 Responses
  1. rAHUL Says:

    Bravo!A provocative concept handled with the maturity it deserves. Impressive.


  2. Thanks man !! This is actually kinda confusion, I had been dealing for the entire life of mine.....

    I was very skeptical of how to put it in words, bring out the real me and yet be subtle on this hot issue...

    Gracias !!!


  3. HS Says:

    Good one - I hope you might like this also (being like a cat on the wall its easy to understand both views I hope).

    http://globalz.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/is-it-necessary-to-pray/


  4. Sujith Says:

    I read it... But I had a doubt !

    To remain spiritually alive, one need not pray. Spirituality is so relative that, people tend to find very weird and unique ways to keep themselves spiritual. Praying might be one of them as it gives a sense of protection that there is someone who is there to protect me in this big bad world.

    So I feel its not fair to compare praying with food, as food has got no alternative and one has no choice but to take its resort to remain physically alive... What say?

    Dont blast me in office tomorrow after reading this !!!


  5. Hey,
    I like the thoughts you have presented in the post. Some of them are discussed very often though I haven't seen them in a written form.

    However, I feel that your narration gets overboard at times and is stretched unnecessarily. Remember, allow your readers to infer/discern a bit from your post. Don't give away everything. You would definitely want your readers to ponder over something or allow your post to bring home the message it tries to convey. But, if you "give away" everything that has to be known then there is no fun.

    Best wishes. Cheers!


  6. Chhaya Says:

    I can understand you are trying to talk about a topic that has had the best philosophers of the world thinking their way to madness.
    Who is the creator?
    God created Man or was it the other way round?
    I had my interest up as you picked up the conversation, but I was kinda disappointed when I read the line Let me sum it up
    I hope u don’t mind me saying/suggesting that you shud have more faith in your readers. They would have understood you PoV with just the conversation part :)
    about defining Atheism in one line, why would you say it’s not possible?
    Atheist, in one sentence means a person who does not believe in existence of God or equivalent supreme being
    Pros and Cons of Atheism or the moral status of it, are a different topic altogether.
    One last feedback,
    You are saying in one of your lines - I am neither a believer nor a god-hater
    Now, how can you hate something you don’t even blv in? It would be better if you changed God-hater to non believer

    Hope you didn’t mind my words.. You did direct me t this post.. so I felt compelled to give a thorough feedback
    I had loved your traffic light post!
    :)
    keep writing