It is slightly difficult being an Atheist, I feel. Without enraging a lot of people, one cannot follow/unfollow what one wants, when one wants, religion-wise. Personally, I do think there’s a higher (or lower but what is up and down) power which somehow controls things to avoid falling into one another but I also think that for the higher power, I am equally important as the electric poles which are used by dogs. So I am confused about the category of my religious inclination towards something I don’t understand.
In few years I will be reaching 30. Sigh. (And you’re not getting any younger either by the way, so don’t smirk). And since I can conclude that I have lived at least 1/3rd of my life already, I have become more confused than clear about the concept of religion. Too much Breaking Bad, South Park, Game of Thrones and real life examples of dwindling morals seen in the trailing part of 20s did me in. I decided that I am now going to question my beliefs and ask questions, wherever possible. Except Quora as I mostly see joke answers there now.
It was observed that most of the beliefs I had (as a Hindu) are just because of traditions. Since it is traditionally been followed since years, we have to follow it. May be they started as suggestions to keep people disciplined and that was that. But now people follow them just following the herd mentality. Don’t get haircut on Tuesday. Why? May be in the Vedas, it was mentioned that barbers had an off day on Tuesday which turned to a superstition eventually. Don’t eat certain things in Navratra and other times, it is alright to do anything. Moreover, I don’t feel like pleasing Gods to get things done for myself. What is the need to bribe God through praying? God is like your traffic police, is it? Going to temples is anyways not a necessity in my religion (yes seriously) because if God is omnipresent, he/she can directly understand what you’re thinking anyways. And how selfish are you to ask things from God again and again? Not a good habit. Religions have mostly led to hatred and illogical debates which pleased nobody except the politicians. It has always created divide and disharmony among humans, isn’t it? Morality and religion need not coincide and as Rust Cohle says ‘If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of shit.’.
But then important question is that what is the need of religion. Why do we need to be tethered to a religion to keep ourselves grounded?
There are so many advantages of Religion as well, aren’t there? The advantages outnumber the disadvantages? Let me try to list them and see.
1. Stress Buster
When one is down and out (because of traffic and life in general) and have nobody around to share, a shoulder to care (for the rhymes), a temple be it of any religion can be a great place for solace. The silence there can cure stress better than paying loads of cash at some Ashram++ to detox yourself. Oh, Internet works in that case too by the way. (I should mention that I don’t support the culture of preaching and loud speakers reciting parody songs at religious places.)
2. Underground Bunkers
When wars happen, places of worship are spared for sometime (I may be wrong) because most of the non-atheists fears God. So that place can be safer than the rest. Unless of course the war is itself religion based. In that case, build an underground bunker and stay there for minimum 18 days and don’t come out even if I say it is safe to come out.
3. Holiday Planning
But the best part about religion are the Holidays and the Festivals. We get at max 10 official holidays, 3 of which happened to be Secular (read Indian National) holidays. Now as an atheist, what right do I have to ask for such Holidays. I once wished someone Happy Diwali on Whatsapp and the reply I got was ‘Happy Holiday’. Anyways, if we followed more than one religion, we would enjoy a lot more. With religious holidays comes great sweets and other eatables. And the purpose of life is to relish those sweets, isn’t it? The buildup to these festivals is exciting in itself. Who cares that why the festival is celebrated. Important is that it is celebrated and we get a chance pollute environment and waste water! If Crime is done as a religious belief, everything is spared, right? But getting holidays is always welcome, isn’t it?
We have to decide ourselves whether we want long weekends or unnecessary stress because we didn’t fast on Karwachauth.
P.S.: Don’t confuse the title with Confucianism but may be they’re confused too. Ooh.