While coming back from India, my flight was delayed by two hours and as a habit, I reached airport three hours earlier to the departure of my flight. There was very less crowd on the airport and in less than one hour, I checked in. After roaming inside the duty-free and finishing my tea with Mexican sandwich, I was getting bore. Still I have to wait for three hours due to delay in my flight. While sitting with other people in waiting area I met with this interesting person named Atul.
Atul was going to Singapore and his flight too delayed by few hours. I am not very talkative person until there is something interesting to talk about. And I find that something interesting as I start asking about him.
Me: So, you are Ganesh devotee ( as he was wearing a Ganesh locket )
Atul: Oh no, never judge people by their appearance. It just look cool and my sister gifted me so I wear it. Otherwise I am quite secular person.
Me: I see. So you support congress party.
Atul: (Laughing) That is the problem in India, people think secular means Congress party. That is not true. Being secular means having no affiliation with any religion. Better, you can call me an Atheist.
Me: (Excitedly) Wow! I always wanted to meet an Atheist. I have so many questions to ask you if you allow me please.
Atul: It is quite surprising that you never met any Atheist before. Anyhow, I have a couple of hours, so you can ask anything. Please do not feel offended if I speak against any religion.
Me: I am quite a tolerant person. I do not think there will be any such issue. Here is my first question. If religion is a faith-based position as many atheist assert, how not believing in creator is not faith-based. I mean, if you have not seen Kangaroos that does not mean such creature does not exist. It simply means that you never go to Australia or you are ignorant about its existence.
Atul: Oh yeah, you have a valid point. Most of the atheist are actually agnostic like me. For simplicity, I call myself Atheist. Agnosticism is the default position. However, for all practical purpose we live like atheist. Secondly, you gave a good example of Kangaroos. They are very different from other animals and thus believing without seeing is difficult. Therefore, the default position is they may or may not exist but I do not know about such things. In case of God, more appropriate example will be a unicorn or fairies. Do you think unicorns exists?
Me: No, I don’t think they exist.
Atul: Bingo, you have not seen the whole universe or even this planet; still you are sure such thing does not exist. In similar fashion, existence of God is so unlikely that many non-believer comfortably call himself or herself confirmed Atheist. I personally think Agnostic is right word for non-believers.
Me: What makes you so confident about your position? Are you from an Atheist Family?
Atul: No. Certainly not. My parents and my sister are religious. I studies international history.
In addition, I studied religious scriptures too. I was not impressed with any divine scripture. They are outdated ancient books written by some intellectuals of that time.
Me: You must study Quran. You will definitely find it logical and meaningful.
Atul: I am sorry but I already studied Quran and let’s not discuss it. You are a nice person. I know Muslims love Quran and their Prophet more than they love themselves. Even mild criticize will hurt your emotions. Ask me something else.
Me: No problem, I have more things to ask. Are you not afraid? What will happen if you are wrong?
Atul: My friend, we all can be wrong. However, we must live as per best information and knowledge available. Living in ignorance and thinking of heavens will not make your life successful. Even if I will be wrong, I will live my life in accordance with best available facts and evidence. I live with open eyes and mind. I live my life to fullest and make most out of it. How about you? If you are wrong, you waste whole life, which you will never get again!
ME: Please do not be worry about me. I have full confidence over my religion. More than a billion people follow my religion. They are not fool. Many of them are scientist, engineer and doctors. Moreover, if I was wrong, I will waste only this small life but if I will be right, I will be in eternity of bliss and enjoyment.
Atul: Pascal Wager! My friend PW does not make proper sense until you already know which religion is correct. Your overconfidence based on faith not on evidence and thus you can be wrong. There are several religions and every religious person think that he is right.
Me: Pls explain me how PW does not make sense?
Atul: The biggest problem with this argument is that first of all we do not know which religion and which god to follow? Can a person follow Roman and Greek gods will be saved by god?????
Me: Tell me how this world come into existence if there is no creator.
Atul: Ha, ha ha. Why you all religious people ask same question? Anyhow. You answer me first. If without creator nothing can exist then who created the God? How he can exist without creator? I can explain existence of universe without God using Science.
Me: (I interrupted ) God does not need creator by definition. He is neither born and nor created. He existed for even.
Atul: How do you know that?
ME: It is written in Quran and hadees books.
Atul: This is call circular argument. Without proving your scripture, you are using it as authority.
To be continue…