Saturday, February 06, 2010

Paradox of religion and God

I have always been fascinated by this paradox about religion and God.

If God does not exist, then there is no need for a religion. If God does exist and he is all that any religion (Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, take-your-pick) say he is, then he would have to be a pretty mean person to have such extreme expectations from his devotees or a conceited and self-centered or insecure person to want people to give him money, time and praise in order to grant wishes!

I am what you may call a non practising Hindu. The thing that drives me crazy is watching people put lakhs of rupees in a temple hundi such as at Tirupathi to seek His blessings. I can guarantee (of course without proof!) that more than 50% of those donations are ill-gotten wealth. So, basically it all amounts to a bribe to the almighty to avoid being cursed. If they are that afraid then they should stop being greedy and getting wealth by dubious means. If they are not afraid then why bother offering this "bribe"? Another Paradox!

Or putting it another way. If they believe God is omnipresent and omniscient then they should be shit scared of cheating people and offering part of the profits to Him and if they didn't, ya, why offer anything?

So, I present you with this theory of mine about religion and God.

Long long time ago, God was created in the minds of some pretty smart people in power. They probably did it to make the people scared about this powerful person or thing so that they will follow the rules which they felt was good and beneficial for the larger community. The rules of course metamorphosed into respective religions. Initially, God was forces of nature such as Sun, Moon, Stars, Trees, Rain, Mountains, Rivers, Planets, Comets, etc. Later, maybe for easier representation in stories and myths, they became persons. This worked well to keep the community or tribes in harmony and does even today to some extent.

But where it has gone wrong is that most have figured out or comforted themselves that as long as they pay the perceived donations or perform rituals to Him, they can get away with anything including murder. This is because there is no real proof that He does exist and will punish! So, the powerful now use Religion and God to pursue their own interests and not for the good of the community. That is they can say anything they wish in His name

In a way religion has lost the reason it was "invented" for leaving us with the paradoxes that I started with...


Pushpa said...

questioning pahse. i have been there and i am still studying teh answers. there is a wealth of reading material in hinduism which i suggest you should read to understand the concept of paramatma and jiva. the concept of karma, prarabdha and purushartha is yet another wonderful solution to a mystery. READ! yes, what you see around you - temple hundis, fake Gurus, corrupt priests may dis-illusion you but thats good that you are not blindly accepting it. i wish you were hereabouts - i would have loved to chat :)

Nanda said...

thanks for stopping by. ya, questioning phase, its that age I suppose. :)
I read bits and pieces of philosophy including hinduism whenever I come across though not in a focused way. Will try to read up more on the keywords you gave here.
I have pretty much given up on any concept of the supernatural which means all religions. But that would leave so many unanswerable questions, huh?
ya..real chat would have been fun..but all this internet social not that bad for now. :)