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Why I am not Atheist

I say things – things that would most gloriously make me appear as an atheist to people, such as – “God is a human creation” – “scriptures come from humans” – “forget the gods and pay attention to humans”. However I never hail myself as atheist, and you never hear me saying out loud that I am an atheist. And it is because one simple reason, I hate discrimination, I hate bigotry and I hate creating walls. I don’t want to create a wall between me and all the peace loving people in the world who are just happy with their religiousness and they are not trying to impose on anybody’s else’s beliefs. Now, these are the people are I work for, just like I work for all other humans who want progress, who want the world to be a better place, if not for us, at least for our children. That’s why I don’t call myself an atheist.

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Because when you put a label on yourself, that label comes along with a log of psychological baggage. And in most cases you may not be aware of these correlated psychological elements, but those who listen to you may do. So in their brain they would draw an image of your personality. And they will give that image qualities based on their subjective understanding of the label that you imposed on yourself. Like when you say you are an atheist, usually the religious population of the planet would very easily deem you to be against all of their religiousness – religiousness that is a part of their identity. And you cannot take away that identity – if you try, then there would be no difference between you and the religious fundamentalism.

And though I am not anti-religion, I am anti-fundamentalism. Fundamentalists do not make up the whole religious population on earth. As a scientist, as an educator, of course I am against indoctrinating children, I am against teaching them biblical stories as factual truth, I am against prayer given more attention than actual human contribution in the society. Still I am not against religion, because of those people who identify themselves as religious but do not take their scriptures literally and have the brain capacity to think which part of those books are good and which are not. And this process of taking the good things from the scriptures and ignoring the primitive ones, happens in most of the religious psyches of the world quite unconsciously.

I am not an atheist, because of these peace-loving religious people who are simply good people and they accept people from different religious orientation as equal. And no, not all religious people go around their neighborhood screaming the exclusive superiority of their religion and God over all others. They love their religion, but they don’t make a fuss over it, like the fundamentalists do. Religion is simply a part of their cultural identity, nothing more – it is fostered as a supremacist ideology only in the head of the fundamentalists. The fundamentalists are the enemy because they are driven by the elementary primitive notion of their religion being superior to all others, and hence other people are lesser humans. Fundamentalism is the enemy, not religion. In fact, fundamentalism is an enemy of religion itself, because in a progressive civilized society religion means realization of your inner divinity, not meek obedience to books of the dead people.

I am a scientist, and as such one of my core purposes is to understand the truth behind various phenomena of the universe with as much accuracy as possible And one of those phenomena is religion. And in order to understand it with as less subjective biases as possible, I must refrain from being called either “religious” or “atheist”. Now that’s the scientific reason for me to not hail myself as either atheist or religious. And as for the humane reason, which is more appealing to me as a human being, it is that the only label I go with is “human” – because that’s the label I received from Mother Nature. And that’s the label that makes me a part of human lives in human society, regardless of religion, regardless of race, regardless of gender and regardless of sexual orientation. The label of human is beyond race, beyond religion, beyond gender and beyond sexual orientation.

 

(Simultaneously published on Goodreads.)

Further Reading

Abhijit Naskar, 2017, Principia Humanitas

Abhijit Naskar, 2017, Illusion of Religion: A Treatise on Religious Fundamentalism

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Science & Religion – Why the conflicts remain?

Science and Religion – why are there so many conflicts between these two? Why do these two distinct feats of the human mind has not yet been able to join hands in the name of harmony? The answer is simple. The conflicts between science and religion still remain in this day and age, because though most people understand what science means, they do not have a clue what religion means – and they do not even have a clue that they do not have a clue.

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I do not expect anything from those in the side of religion, or to be specific, from those who hail themselves as “fundamentalists”, because they are incapable of bringing the faculty of reasoning into action when it comes to the authenticity of their doctrines. In simple terms, the fundamentalists are mentally ill people. So when you encounter such individual, wear a smile on your face and simply say to them – “get well soon.” This would probably not turn them instantly into some sort of sentient humans, but at least you would know that you did your part in the name of sweet harmony.

Now let’s turn to the other side – the side that I think you are on. Those on the side of science, i.e. on the side of rational thinking, are the ones I have the most expectations from. They can think for themselves, unlike the fundamentalist patients on the other side. You do not even know my friend, even you are on the side of true religion. Rational thinkers simply are not aware of this fact, because of the definition of religion that has been imposed on all of us by our deluded society. Even the atheists would start to see religion as a positive element of the human society once they recognize what true religion really means. So, let me give you the simplest definition of religion which I proposed in my treatise on religious fundamentalism entitled “Illusion of Religion”.

“Religion is the process of internal growth, not a lifeless bag of foolish words.”

So, far from what we all have been taught by our ancestors, that when you follow your cultural scripture, you are being religious, real religion has never really been attempted to understand by most of the human population. You are religious when you care about your fellow humans influenced by your own conscience, not due to obedience to your scripture. That’s why, the atheists and agnostics are the greatest religious people on earth. Remember this my friend, true religion has to do with humans, not with books. And that’s the religion I advocate, and indeed that’s the religion which most of the prophets of human history tried to spread. But due to the human craving for a messiah and secure doctrines, those prophets became divine figures and their teachings combined with later incorporation, ended up being divine irrefutable gospel.

So, you see, religion has nothing to do with scriptures. Religion is what your conscience constructs as your baseline behavior in your society. As I have said in “Illusion of Religion” –

“Whether you call yourself a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu or an Atheist, if you have kindness in your heart and compassion in your act, you are on the right path of religion.”

So my dear humans, the true reformation of religion lies in your hands. You are the most capable people to do so, because the fundamentalists on the other side, are too deluded to think anything productive and healthy, that concerns all humanity. Their illness makes them concerned only of the exclusive survival of their dearest scripture. Hence, the fate of humanity lies in the hands of civilized, conscientious and compassionate humans.

 

(Simultaneously published on Goodreads)

Further Reading

Abhijit Naskar, 2017, Illusion of Religion: A Treatise on Religious Fundamentalism

Abhijit Naskar, 2017, Principia Humanitas

Mission of The Scientist

What is the purpose of a scientist? It is the search for truth of course. But is it all that a scientist is supposed to work for! The question that I shall be addressing in this article is what is the purpose of a humanist scientist? Now, here you may wonder, what the heck is a humanist scientist? Aren’t all scientists humanists?

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A person can be a humanist in his or her personal life, but in professional life the sole identity of a scientist is a scientist. Now in this case, there is a small proportion of scientists, whom I call “humanist scientists”. The goal of a scientist is to dedicate himself or herself to the search of the raw, unfiltered, pure truth. Here comes the twist. The purpose of a humanist scientist is to discover the purest form of truth possible, and then apply it to the human society in a way that brings most positive outcome in the path of global progress.

For example, the idea of God which has been imposed on us by our society, has nothing to do with the reality. God is not an Supernatural Entity watching over earth and its inhabitants. God is exclusively a part of human consciousness. Without the humans there is no God. Without us, there is no God, that any living creature should be concerned of. However, I never attempt to take away people’s God from them, because that God is associated with a lot of human sentiments in the human psyche that act as fuel in daily survival. If you try to take away some hungry man’s stale bread, he would fight back, but if you give him something healthier and more substantial than the bread, then he would throw away the bread himself and accept your better food. The same is for God. So, instead of adamantly trying to demolish that God, I rather attempt to channel those sentiments associated with it in the human psyche towards something more productive and humane.

My mission is to make the external God of human society obsolete in front of humanity’s internal Godliness.

As a humanist scientist I focus on giving humanity something rejuvenating, healthy and productive, instead of wasting my energy on the negative elements of the man-made God. Remember, negativity cannot be destroyed with negativity. Fill the humans with positivity and the negative elements would eventually become powerless. Darkness cannot be repelled with darkness. It takes light to do that.

Being a scientist does not mean simply saying the hard truth. You can do that in your journal publications, for later scientists to have the raw data to scrutinize and then draw conclusions from. But other than that you have another important job, that is to represent the truth to people beyond the bounds of journal articles, in a way that brings most positive outcome in the society. And that’s where you turn from a run of the mill scientist into a glorious humanist scientist – a thinker by all means.

Humanism itself is the basic quality that defines us humans. And every human who gives humans preference over everything else is a humanist. And when a scientist turns this simple internal character into an important part of his or her work, that scientist becomes a humanist scientist. Then on, his work is no longer purely about the discovery of truth, but also to mould that truth in a proper fashion before presenting it to the humans. Mind you o brave scientist, your job may be to find the truth, but the purpose behind that finding is to take the human civilization a few steps forward. You are a scientist, which means, you have the most effective tool in the entire world, that can actually shape the world, both literally and metaphorically. So, use that tool called science wisely. Science is like religion – in the wrong hands, they both do more harm than good.

So, make sure that your hands are the right hands. The world is filled with scientists, yet it is suffering from the agonies caused by its people. It’s because the world lacks courageous humanist scientists. What the world needs today my friend, is not yet another researcher of science, but a conscientious scientific researcher of humanism. Now, my question to you is – are you that person whom the world is desperately searching for? Are you?

Remember, as long as you deem science and philosophy merely as your work, such work shall only be a drop in a giant unfathomable ocean. You need to make science and philosophy your life, and only then you shall give rise to a tsunami of humanistic progress. It is a tsunami waiting to happen. It’s only a matter of time that you realize the true purpose of your life and make that tsunami manifest, first within and then without. Become the tsunami of practical optimistic truth and wash away all the weaknesses and horrible stains of the human world.

 

(Simultaneously published on Goodreads)

Further Reading

Abhijit Naskar, 2017, Principia Humanitas

Abhijit Naskar, 2016, Love, God & Neurons: Memoir of a scientist who found himself by getting lost