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Can you ever question your belief in God?

Your religion is decided for you based on the family you're born into almost immediately after your birth. This is further reinforced during your childhood with the various customs and rituals that you're part of, each one involving prayers to a higher being. Then, it is no surprise that you get brainwashed into believing in God. After all, it is the biggest fantasy or myth that your parents and your community have indulged in and have made you a part of, so much so, that it becomes part of your identity.
Later when you experience more of the world, learn more science, see more sense in logic than unfounded beliefs, you start to question the existence of God. You notice how the fallacy of the religious belief begs the question that if God created man, who created God? You probably have already imbibed so much of the belief both consciously and sub-consciously that any loss in this faith comes across to you as a desertion of your own identity. How then can you ever break away from it? How can you ever make the distinction that your identity is also defined by other things like your personality and your thoughts?
I myself managed to make a break from religious beliefs only when I moved away from home, even though I was always questioning things way earlier than that. This personality growth happened as a result of the freedom of thought and being that I experienced when I first moved away from my family. It is probably a natural process in the so called "coming of age", a time when I started formulating my own likes and dislikes, my own opinions and my own personality. 
What then, I wonder, makes some people not see what I see? What makes them practice science in their daily work life and yet not question the existence of God? How is it that so far away from home, some of these PhD students and postdocs organize and attend spiritual chantings with a passion I doubt they had when in India. I wonder if it is not sub-consciously just to feel part of a community that they know of from birth. Why is it that some of them will even live in a temple, be vegetarians (only to justify their religious beliefs) and not eat garlic and onions even when they are in a new country, in a new environment? How is experiencing new things not part of their spiritual and mental growth? 
I can only attribute one reason to all of this and that's an unwillingness to come out of their comfort zone, an unwillingness to question beliefs and trust logic, an unwillingness to be part of a newer community. I have no qualms with them, but it's interesting to watch this group just as a case study. But, I do wish for their own sake, that they be part of other communities as well, communities that cater to more general interests of sports, music, literature, etc that cater to a much more diverse audience. Until then, "happy chanting" I guess. :P
-RS

Comments

  1. "There are eight and sixty ways of inventing tribal lays,
    And every single one of them is right!" -- Kipling.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, I think, to a few minds, religion is just too deep-seated to be questioned. There is just one right! Ya to aap Musallmaan ho ya kaafir ho - nothing in between. That's the sentiment amongst Hindu sub-sects as well.
    For example, in some parts of North India, Navratri is a time of fasting. If you must eat, eat fruits. Want more? Go saatvik. Eat without garlic and onion. When I say that Biharis and Bengalis gorge on chicken, mutton and fish during the very same time, I was told, "Hum Durgaa Maa ko bahut maantey hain"
    The ideal response is, Bloody Hell! aap to Vaishnav ho! Hum shaakt hain! She is our ruling deity. But there is no point arguing.
    Tell a Tam Brahm you are a Hindu Brahmin and eat non-veg, he'll tell you, it's an oxymoron.
    Best is to let them be! Sensitive topic. Don't argue. Just run for the hills as fast and as far as your legs can carry you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah true. I was reading a book called "Homo Deus", where it argued that anything can take the form of religion like blind faith -- communism, patriotism, etc -- just about anything if you start to do or follow something blindly just because the leader said so. Anyway, it's an interesting book.

      Delete

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