Another routine debate on religion versus science (I am getting better at it, as a result). And this time it wasn’t about the evidence, but ethics.
‘If religion is purged, who will teach moral values, imbibe ethics and hold people accountable for their actions’, was the question posed.
Firstly, I was keen on knowing how religion supposedly accomplished these (apart from my own limited personal, religious experience).
The natural, yet artificial answer given was – ‘Fear of God’. People would curtail from doing bad because of the fear of God and the impending punishment. Ironically, all that the all-pardoning deity would have in store for the sinners would prevent them from wrongdoing. This well instituted belief of the existence of heavens and hells for the righteous and the wrong-doers, respectively, according to all their theories prevents people from doing wrong – a moral policing in place, in the name of God.
Even before I could take this ludicrous argument to debate, the whole big conundrum of this perception that is ubiquitous made me realise the ghastly reality, yet another time. This peril is deep rooted and wide spread.
The claim that religious people are in some holy sense of being holy are more righteous when compared to the rationals who dispel the existence of God, is a notion being perpetrated for a long time now. As a corollary to this claim, also the baseless accusation that the greatest villains of humanity have all been “atheists” is something that has to be countered.
The most convenient example theists delve upon is Adolf Hitler and his Holocaust murders. While this gory incident of human annihilation is hard to fathom to any human, a claim that Hitler was an atheist and hence he committed these atrocities is ridiculous – he was a Roman Catholic, and because he was religious did the animosity against the Jews, the antisemitism rose to maddening heights in him. This is nothing but a purely religious prejudice.
This being the fact, although there is no supernatural power admonishing atheists, what binds them to sanity and to live a sensible life?
“You are not not afraid of anything, so how can you remain obedient?”, is what the theists ask atheists !
Again this interrogation is absurd, to say the least, but, because it was posed I shall try answering it.
- I do not go kill another human being, or rob someone to impoverishment because I have a well developed social consciousness that can very well gauge what is right and wrong, without religion having to tell me how to discern them based on biased metrics.
- I empathise an ailing human, not because I hope to score off points and increase my chances of making to the fictitious heaven, but only because I find it obligatory and more of a responsibility on my part.
- I help someone in trouble, not because I expect the cycle to go one full round and when I am in trouble I would be served in return, only because I am a social being.
- I do not worship a religious deity or the God because I might better direct those resources (money,time and effort) in directly impacting a person in need.
- I am at awe of nature not because a religious text personifies Mother Nature as another deity and imposes stringent mannerism of worshiping her. I am at awe of her because I simply understand the role she plays every moment in my existence.
- I do not pray because, I know I am responsible for myself and no super power can do what I am supposed to for myself.
- I simply do not shrug away my responsibilities, because I hold only myself accountable.
The way Science is perceived is as if it is void of any emotions or values at all. I fail to see how this could be possible. And Douglas Adams has already encapsulated this expression handicap of mine effectively:
Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
The awe and responsibility Science bestows us with, with its wave of cognisance is unparalleled and no amount of religious preaching can match up to the grandeur one feels to stand on the platform of rationalism.
Likewise, no amount of elucidation can clarify what we rational disbelievers, the atheists feel.
Morpheus in The Matrix, says something quite apt about the Matrix ,
Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
Likewise, for rationalism 🙂