A recent conversation with a Hindu reader on what I feel about the existence of the god and why I feel satisfied about living my life without having a religion...
Recently Mr. Gupta, a reader from Delhi, having landed on our site, found it “eye opening” and wondered how could we continue running this site, without being attacked or murdered by the Jihadis. He ended the email querying:
What is the alternative? Is Hinduism is a possible alternative?
In response I wrote:
This site is based in the West and we it anonymously. So, we can escape the sword of Jihadis.
Islam is obviously softening down. Another 'Satanic Verses' or Muhammad's cartoon would not raise the same uproar as it did in the first time. Every time it's repeated, Muslim's reaction would become softer. That's how 'freedom expression' works toward civilizing humanity.
Concerning alternative to Islam, we run this site from an atheistic standpoint, and we are quite happy with that. Muslims are leaving Islam, thanks to many efforts like ours. Many of them becoming atheists like us, other spiritualist, some joining other faiths: Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism etc.
Our observation suggests that Muslims of the subcontinent, when they leave Islam, become more respectful of Hinduism, simply because it's their civilizational religion. But they are not joining it in large numbers as full believers for the salvation of their soul or whatsoever.
However, we are not concerned about that. Our campaign is that Muslim leave Islam in the first place. Under any other category—believer of nonbeliever—they will obviously be more peaceful and productive. That’s all that count and important.MA Khan
It turned out that Mr. Gupta is an enlightened Hindu. He wrote back the following response:
I appreciate your have courage to follow the truth whatever the price is for it. Till yesterday, you were a Muslim, and you were with them. But when you find that they are not true to what they say and what they believe and what they actually do, then you had enough courage to leave them. And today you are a true atheist.
As a born Hindu, I was like you, and like rest of 99.99% Hindu public, who do not know what actually Hinduism is all about.
Yesterday, I had a false ego that anybody, who is not a Hindu, is a traitor, misguided and low-minded person. But today after going a little bit in my books and learned people, I have learned that all human are equal. And unless they harm others in thought and practice, it is O.K. with them and us. But if they do harm the others, they should be stopped, as much as you can.
I believe that there is a power which controls everything: we name it God, ishwar, allah or nature. Since I trust you to be a truthful person, I want some reflection from you on this matter.
Please write me, what do you think about it? Is there such a power or personality, which is super human? We may call it by any name. And it is not a property of any group of people. It belongs to every creature on this earth. Does something like this exists, or not.
Or you think, this world is by chance or unknown principles, which we need not to worry. But then in this case, this world would be all a result of unknown combination of unplanned acts, and ‘being good to others’ would be again an institution just to benefit the so-called already benefiting republics, and institution. They just want this system to run like this, irrespective of whatever they believe or not.
I know what you are doing: making a site, effective writing, showing light to others, itself means that you are a believer of the institution ‘be good to others, without believing in god’.
I wish you all the success in your aim, goal and mission.
Concerning your query about a superpower god controlling the universe, it's all our guess. There is no evidence for that. If we feel that the universe cannot come to existence without a creator, the creator himself cannot come into being without the hand of a higher creator... That way we end up in an infinite hierarchy of creators with no end.
On this ground, I am happy to be an atheist. And even if a god exist, I don't think he cares at all what we do or how we live our life. If he is the supreme creator and everything is under his control, then whatever we do, good or bad, is also under his control; he guides us into doing those. We can't be punished by him for that.
Most of all, the cultic establishments and rituals, as innumerable as they are and have been, that surround the institution of god, are obviously of no use to an all-powerful and self-sufficient creator. Humans are the most intelligent of creatures of the Mother Nature. They can the most stupid, superstitious and irrational too, and have created all these wasteful edifices of immense cost.
To my observation, humans, whether religious and nonreligious, are capable of doing, indeed do, good and bad things. And of course, religions have added to miseries to humanity too. History, past or present, is a testimony to that.
As an atheist and a rationalist, I think humans are capable of creating their own good ethical standards by applying their thinking ability rationally. Even what have been passed on as religious or revealed from god, are all basically human creations; nothing ever fell from the sky or heaven. If we study the society in historical context, we find that even the allegedly revealed creeds—like Judaism, Christianity or Islam—basically incorporated humanity's already accumulated social and cultural traditions, customs and ethical values: all these were combined together and passed on as revealed from the heaven. Those prophets created hardly anything new and value-adding to humanity, and certainly not civilization changing.
While humanity will never have perfect a society, indeed there's no such thing as 'perfect', because the standard of 'perfect' continues evolving as society evolves—still we can create a good society by following the teachings of sages like Socrates, who taught that we must live an ethical life, just because it is our responsibility for being a rational creation of nature. In his teachings, there was no divine 'will' or 'command' to do so, or no reward from god to be reaped for living the ethical life. Humans must live good life as part of her/his human responsibility; and also because, it makes one feel good. By harming others, one will never feel good about it; by doing good to others, one certainly will. Living a good ethical life was in the interest of ones own good and happiness and fulfilling one’s responsibility as the rational and ethical creature of nature.
Mr. Gupta replied saying that he would love one day to do something like our effort at islam-watch.org, but directed at the religion of his birth, Hinduism. He mentioned that 'islam-watch' was an inspiration for him to undertake his own mission.