The internet caters to almost every fantasy known to mankind so it is no surprise that there are websites dedicated to man’s ultimate fantasy – god belief. About a year or so ago I was egged on by a few rationalist friends to join a website dedicated to this fantasy so we could keep abreast on how new marketing techniques were being developed by religious salesmen targeting those who have grown up taught to believe that a spiritual leader is a necessity. I became a member of the Speaking Tree.
I had lost interest almost instantly akin to someone walking into a lunatic asylum where the immediate threat to one’s sanity was far more pressing than the desire to connect with someone. The place is filled with self styled swamis and gurus. People calling themselves Double Misters aka Sri Sri Ravishankar to those titling themselves with grand sounding names like Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. In the real world we’d have to earn titles from institutions based on our prowess in a particular subject like in engineering or medicine to call oneself a doctor for example but these people are in the wild west of a fantasy world and can self title themselves. If Karl Marx, the man who said, ‘religion is the opium of the masses’, were to be alive today, he’d refer to the Speaking Tree website as a drug store.
Out of the numerous alerts that fill my inbox from this website, one in particular caught my eye. It was titled ‘Whether God Exists OrNot?‘. I was curious, read it and was terribly disappointed. The write up was terribly flawed and after a long time I felt the need to make some noise to warn unsuspecting people that there was bovine excreta in their path. I continued to read through some of the other comments subsequently and found most amusing the degree to which believers will bend in order to protect their delusions.
Through the various posts that these self styled gurus are posting there, the one thing you will notice in common is the arrogance with which they speak. Without a shadow of a doubt they know there is a supernatural force, a power that can interfere with your life, either positively or negatively. They will repackage and define it back to you in many ways where one moment the god is within you and then contradict it soon after by asking you to bow to a deity but at the end of it all they are convinced that this power is responsible for everything. Rationalists on the other hand are the opposite. They admit that they don't have answers to so many things unknown and don't claim to know the answer to how everything came into being. Rationalists are in a quest to find answers based on observable and verifiable evidence and never assert anything till they can backup their claim.
By this yardstick no evidence has yet been found to support the deluded beliefs offered by these so called swamis and gurus and yet without a shred of proof they arrogantly assert that there is an almighty that is responsible for everything. Of course the 'absence of evidence is not necessarily the evidence of absence' but then the absence of evidence does not give us a reason to blindly believe in something either. All it does is to leave us without the knowledge to assert anything. I cannot assert there is no god just as much as I cannot assert that there is no Santa Claus. Popular folklore provides us with detail on where Santa stays and how he travels. I have no evidence for this but that does not mean it cannot be true. Every fantasy story in the world is like this but as you can very well see there is no practical application in believing in something that has no evidence. It is wise to believe in phenomenon and claims that can be verified and all else is just a waste of time.
The hapless addicts hang around the website for their dose of spirituality from the spiritual drug peddlers. The website automatically grades these people based on the number of followers they have. This is where you find the wannabe gurus who shamelessly ask you to follow them, those who throw scientific jargon at you in an apparent bid to claim that they are scientifically literate and cherry pick on scientific discoveries to bolster their deluded conclusions, to the compulsive folk whose purpose is to comment on anything that contradict and threaten their delusions. These people claim to be seeking the truth as well but they have already closed their minds. How will they ever find the truth when they believe they already have the answer to everything in their god?
I know I am trying to compete with belief systems that have taken thousands of years to filter itself and plug all the holes of logical reasoning. A single point answer to all questions will be that it is god’s will. The theist does not search for answers except for in his scriptural books and on the guide lines offered by the book where you are required to hallucinate in the belief that you are experiencing a god. Personal experiences are meaningless to a rationalist. They may fool the gullible but a real truth seeker will not buy into their dream where a god spoke to them. Such phenomenon can be observed in all the world religions and can also be seen at rave parties where people are high on drugs while listening to psychedelic music. Next time watch a bhajan or stasang or a religious gathering of any religion and you will notice the similarities with a rave party. The dynamics are the same.
I feel sympathetic toward theists. They have spent their whole lives building their beliefs on fantasy stories offered by earlier generations. Stories written in an era when there was no knowledge on most of what happened in nature. Stories written under the illumination of oil lamps and not electric bulbs, in an era where they had to go to a pond to wash their orifices after natures call as piped water supply was still eons away. It is quite obvious that those who have grown up fed on a diet of 'surrender to the supernatural' will fall into depression at the realisation that they have wasted their whole lives believing in holy versions of superman and spiderman?