Monday, December 21, 2009

Do you believe in God?

Often times when one is asked this question he or she replies "Yes, of course! Don't you?" or "No. God doesn't exist." But have you ever pondered whether the definition of 'God' as we have in our dictionaries is even correct?

I believe in God. But I don't believe in God. "How can you believe and not believe at the same time?" you may ask. Well, you should define 'God' and then I'll tell you if I believe (or not believe) in the 'God' you have defined. I can take the most common definitions and give you an explanation.

Do I believe in God in the traditional sense of the word? You know, like those churches, temples and the M places teach you? If you mean God as people normally define it, in a traditional or religious sense, the answer of my belief is a strict NO.

The reason? To think that a blatantly self-proclaimed 'messenger' of God would have all the answers we ever need to live our lives is simply a clear insult to our own (religious people claim God-given) intelligence. I would rather listen to Symantec than to a 'messenger' of God about cyber security.

Does 'not believing in a religious God' make me an atheist or an agnostic? Neither! You see, an atheist you meet on the street is as arrogant as a 'messenger' of God. He is a messenger of "no God," if you will. He says, "Look, there is no God. You better believe me." While atheist thinkers like Richard Dawkins present credible evidence and acknowledge that the existence of God is very very very extremely highly improbable (that would be an exaggeration, for all you know), your everyday atheist simply says existence of God is impossible. I'd rather be on the humbler side of atheists and stick with the improbability, because the impossibility of it is not proven.

So then if impossibility of God's existence can't be proven, does that mean I doubt its existence? Does that make me an agnostic? I don't doubt God's existence. (Absence of doubt does not mean belief.) The thing I doubt is what you thought the word 'God' means in the last sentence you just read. As you already know, if you thought of a bearded man in the sky, I'm an atheist. If you thought of someone 'great' watching over you with invisible surveillance cameras, recording your every move, I'm an atheist.

OK so, I'm not an atheist, I'm not an agnostic, and I don't believe in 'God' as the word is commonly defined. Where does that put me?

Perhaps I'm an Einsteinian. I believe Einstein was the messenger of God. His holy book is, well, he has not been inspired by God to write any holy book. But his religion involves doubting, testing, learning and inventing (among other related things). There was never any element of faith or believing in his religion. (I chuckle at the term 'blind faith' because all faith is blind anyway. Faith means to believe in things you don't see. Right?)

There is a name for the religion of Einstein. It's called SCIENCE. And Einstein was not the founder of this religion. If we will ever reach the true God (assuming he/she/it exists), it is going to be through Science.

Finally I'd like to remind you that if we can ever accurately and completely define what the word 'God' means, we would be greater than 'God'. This is what Science tries to achieve and other religions try to prevent.

PS: This has nothing to do with Scientology, which is a bad joke or a beefed-up version of Christianity.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Is this insanity or religion?

“Clearly there is sanity in numbers.”
- Sam Harris, author and philosopher.
[Read full quote]
Sam Harris says, and many other philosophers agree, that when one or a few people commit insane acts, we call them insane. When enough number of people commit the same insane acts, we term the group as a cult. When a large number of people commit the same insane acts (specifically as justified by their group leaders' so-called 'holy' books), we call it a religion. And religion automatically bestows a clearly undeserved sanity upon its followers. Clearly, there is sanity in numbers. Check out the following news article. Ponder over how a man can endanger the life of a toddler simply in the name of his own beliefs. Does a cult or a religion have any true morality?

Man confesses to impaling toddler with 40 needles
Mother tells newspaper she suspected ex-husband had been involved in ‘black magic'
RIO DE JANEIRO — Reuters Published on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 9:23AM EST

A Brazilian man confessed to putting more than 40 metal sewing needles into the body of a 2-year-old boy in what may have been a cult or religious act, media reported on Thursday.

The boy, whose condition is serious but stable, was being transferred on Thursday to a specialist medical centre in Salvador, the state capital of northeastern Bahia state, after doctors found two needles were dangerously close to his heart.

The boy was brought to a hospital in the remote town of Ibotirama by his mother last week after he complained of pain.

X-rays taken by doctors, and shown on Brazil's Globo news network's website, clearly show dozens of needles deep in his body, some clustered near his lungs and others in his abdomen, neck and legs.

According to Globo television, police in Ibotirama said that the boy's ex-stepfather, 30-year-old Roberto Carlos Magalhaes, had been arrested and confessed to putting the needles into the boy's body. They reportedly said he was helped by two women, one of whom was involved in a religious group.

Surgeons had planned to operate on the boy but cancelled the surgery after deciding it was too dangerous, Dr Fabio Contelle at the hospital in Barreiras town said in an interview with Globo TV. The boy was moved to Barreiras from the smaller hospital in Ibotirama after doctors realized the seriousness of his condition.

The A Tarde newspaper in Bahia quoted the boy's mother, Maria Souza Santos, as saying she suspected Mr. Magalhaes had been involved in some kind of “black magic.”

“My son didn't like to go out with Roberto. I didn't think he was capable of doing something bad to him,” she was quoted as saying.

Police in Ibotirama could not be immediately reached.

Bahia is the heart of African influence in Brazil, where many people practice Afro-Brazilian religions that combine spiritism, indigenous and African beliefs.

Source: Man confesses to impaling toddler with 40 needles - The Globe and Mail

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm glad we have good Muslims :-)

Disclaimer: To the best of my belief, this post is not in violation of any act. I am merely relaying what an Islamic cleric is teaching his Muslim viewers through an Islamic channel. Anyone who believes this to be a violation, please contact me and describe exactly how it is a violation.

Watch this (or read transcript below):

Youtube video link: YouTube - Trick Jews into becoming Mohammedans
Original video at MEMRI: MEMRI: Egyptian Cleric Mahmoud Al-Masri Recommends Tricking Jews into Becoming Muslims
Original transcript at MEMRI: Clip Transcript

Following are excerpts from a sermon delivered by Egyptian cleric Mahmoud Al-Masri, which aired on Al-Nas TV on August 10, 2009.

Mahmoud Al-Masri: My dear brothers, we want to repent, and we want to take by the hand those people who have not yet repented. We should feel pity for them. By Allah, we should not be tough with them. These people are sick. They are sinners. We should feel pity for them, we should care for them. We should act like doctors who care for the sick. You should care for them and feel great pity for them, and seek any ingenious way to make a person repent.

I’d like to tell you a very nice story. Once there was a Muslim who lived next to a Jew. The Muslim saw in the Jew a measure of goodheartedness – however small – and he wanted to find any way to make him convert to Islam. So he went to him and asked: “Don’t you feel the need for Islam? Why don’t you become a Muslim?” The Jew said: “The only thing preventing me from becoming a Muslim is that I love drinking alcohol. I would have become a Muslim ages ago, but the only thing stopping me is that I am an alcoholic.”

The Muslim devised a plan. He said: “No problem – become a Muslim, and continue to drink.” The Muslim didn’t meant this, of course, but he said to him: “Become a Muslim, and continue to drink.” The Jews said: “Fine.” He said: “I proclaim that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” The Muslim said to him: “Now you have become a Muslim. If you drink alcohol, we will carry out the punishment for drinking alcohol on you, and if you renounce Islam, we will kill you.” So the man remained a Muslim and never drank alcohol again. This was a nice trick by this good Muslim.

End of Transcript