A conversation with an Atheist (Part-II)

For part-I Click here.

Me: Tell me how this world come into existence if there is no creator.

Atul: Ha, ha ha. Why you all religious peoples 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. By definition is not a logical answer. Show me the evidence.

Me: God is transidendent . He created the universe so he must be out of the universe right.

Atul: Now you are making special pledging. When everything else exist inside the universe, how you can possibly claim that something exists outside it. My friend extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. But I am sorry you have produce nothing to support your belief. You just have a blind faith on your religion.

Me: Do you have proof of evolution? Or what happened before big bang?

Atul: We are talking about Atheism not about Science. This is common misconception that atheism depends on Science specially evolution. However, that is not true. There were atheist in Roman, Greek and ancient Indian civilizations. Atheism did not came from science. Science came from atheism. When people started asking question and searching for answers without invoking god, then science came into existence. Science gives rational and logical answer and most importantly, results are experimentally verifiable. Religions are only based on blind faith. I believe so it is.

ME: So if you do not need science, tell me how you come to this world. Who made it and why there is something rather than nothing.

Atul: Now you are asking question from classical philosophy-why there is something. My friend there can be two condition. 1) There exist something, 2) Nothing exist. If there will be nothing we will not sit here and discuss about something. Nothing can exist but fortunately or unfortunately something exists and we are here.  Our existence is a proof that something always existed. Whether it was low energy level quantum fluctuations or hydrogen gas or dark matter and energy or whatever say creator for your sake. Because logically, something cannot come from absolute nothing. You must be aware of law of conservation of mass and energy. Matter and energy keep on transforming. Coming back to your question, just because you can frame a grammatically correct question does not mean that question is logical. For example: If I ask you what is the size of your sorrow? Philosophically, you can think over it for ages, but logically it has not meaning. What is the color of jealousy? This is another such question.

Regarding your first question, I came from my parents. I was not present when this world was formed. I do not know can be my answer as an Atheist. However, science is my best bet to know about formation of world because science is testable.

Me: How you can rely on science when it keep changing. Newtonian Physics replaced by Einstein theory of relativity.  Every day we see someone proving some scientific theory wrong and proposing new theory.

Atul: This is the beauty of science that we can challenge wrong theory or better call hypothesis. Even today we use Newtonian Physics for all practical purposes even for launching rockets or for sending probes to mars. Einstein only prove that when we reach speed of light, Newtonian Physics does not gives accurate result. So, it is an approximation of theory of relativity. Scientist are also human. Do not expect divinity from them. I do not rely on Science. I rely on my senses.

Me: Earlier you said your Atheism does not depend on science, so why are you Atheist? Just to enjoy your life?

Atul: (Smilingly) I have many religious friends who are enjoying life equally because they do not take religion seriously to die for. So, I do not have to be atheist to enjoy life. I am atheist because religions and their so called divine scriptures like Vedas for Hindus does not make sense for me. They are outdated books written by some intellectuals of that time. However, at present they do not contain any truth. Science has surpass all the information available in these scriptures. There is nothing in scriptures that point to divine revelation.

I am agnostic because there is no point in living in ignorance and dreaming about a world, which does not exist. Religion is like opium. It gives you fake consolation and dreams of heaven and hell.

Me: You agree that Religion gives consolation. Whether fake or real is different story. What your issue is in becoming religious even if it is not true. There is always some chances that it may be true.

Atul: Answer will be very long; I will try to explain in short. Firstly, mind once stretch by an idea never regain its original shape. I tried one time to be religious again for the sake of my parents and sister. They love me so much and keep insisting me to come back to religious faith. I tried hard but something inside my mind rebel strongly. Every time I went to temple, my mind start asking question why I am here. Why I am praying to a stone idol? When I read my scripture or someone praise religion in our home for some stupid reason I feel very angry. Finally I give up. I can’t even pretend to be religious. I said sorry to my parents and luckily they understand my situation. I am lucky that I have so much loving parents and sister. I know many Atheist, mostly Muslims whom their parents and family members never accept. This is not good.

Me: If you find your son drinking poison, will you not stop him.

Atul: Yes, I will, but who are you to judge what poison is for him. May be what you are offering him is a slow poison. Also, I am not talking about kids, I am talking about adults. At least they should have freedom to choose what is right for them.

Me: Parents always know better. They think for your good.

Atul: Not always. Actually new generation in most of the cases is smarter than old generation. Because new generation has knowledge of old generation. Thus, It will be wrong to assert that parents are always right or they know more than us. Yes, they can have more experience in some field but not in all.

Me: Are you suggesting that parents should let their children to do whatever they want to do. Whether moral or immoral?

Atul: No, I am not saying that. Parents should always be there to guide them but must not force them. Encourage them to ask question and find solutions. Once they reach critical thinking age, let them decide for themselves. One that is force is never forceful. Parents must stop indoctrinating their children.

Me: I do not have blind faith in my religion; I read my holy book and find many scientific things written in Quran 1400 years ago. How it can be possible if it is not from creator? For example: It is mention in Quran that earth is spherical and everything revolve it its orbit. These are recent discoveries. How they can be found in Quran?

Atul: You seems to watch Zakir Naik videos. I too saw some of his videos. He has good memories but always misguide people using wrong information. All this claims you are making are already de-bunk on internet. Please watch them yourself. Further, tell me one thing. If everything was written clearly in your Quran, why no come up with heliocentric model of solar system? Why till 15th century people keep believing in geocentric model? Give me name of one arab scientist who was confirmed about the shape of earth in 12 th century when Arabs were most advance.

Me: I have to check that. I am sure there must be some.

Atul: Sure, please google it and do your research first before telling me stories.

Me: Why you are talking in such a rude manner? I am not telling you stories. It is fact. Many doctors convert to Islam after reading Quran.

Atul: People convert for different reason, but it does not prove anything. Many people leave religion as well. People are afraid to come out in public because of fear of being killed. Religious people always dominate the world.

Me: Yes because religion is true and Atheism is false. Why majority of world population believe in religion if religion is not true?

Atul: Do you think majority is always right? Truth is majority is always wrong until educated properly. Majority is illiterate. Majority lives in villages where there is no access to scientific education. Until 15th century for majority of earth population, universe was as big as our solar system. Everything what we know today is discovered in last 200 years. There was a time when majority believed that earth is flat. Let me try to make you understand from another perspective. Tell me how many religions are true in this world.

Me: Islam is the only true religion in the world.

Atul: How many people follow Islam?

Me: around 1.2 billion. What is your point?

Atul: Just wait please. This population contain both Shia and sunni right.

Me: yes.

Atul: Do you believe either are correct or any one?

Me: Of course, Sunni are correct. Shia came later.

Atul: There are around 200 million Shia in world. Correct me if I am wrong. Thus, total sunni’s will be 1 billion. Total world population is 7 billion. Hence, majority is not following Islam. Roughly, 15% follow Islam. According to you only Sunni Muslims are correct. Hence, majority is not following true religion that means majority is wrong according to your belief.

ME: That is very clever. However, Majority believe in some sort of Creator where as you do not.

Atul: I am agnostic. Therefore, I do not negate creator. However, there can be two type of god. Theist and Deist. Theist is like god you believe in. He is sustainer and creator. Whereas Deist God is creator but does not interfere in created world.  Creator may exist but I have problem with religion. Religions are manmade. See, one of the reason you believe in religion is that it gives you answers about creation of world. However, world can be created by a deist god too or perhaps by some Aliens far more advance than we do. Who knows, life on earth might be result of some experiment! I do not find any strong reason to believe in theist god.

Me: I disagree. If you will make something, you will care for it and look out for it. You care about your children or not. By children, I remember one more thing. I heard some atheist eat babies. I do not believe that, but without religion how they can be moral being.

Atul: I wanted to finish this debate here, but you bring something horrible. Have you seen any cat eating a cat? A loin eating its own babies? Thinking that someone is eating babies because he or she does not follow a religion is the most stupid thing. You do not need religion to be morals. Indeed, some religious morals are disgusting. Like in Hinduism, there is cast system, In Islam there is sex slavery. In Christianity, your confession will wipe out your sins. Using contraceptives is consider as against will of god. What kind of morality is this? Slavery was allowed in almost all-major religion at one point of time. Do you believe slavery is moral?  Owning one person as property is ethical for you. We are human and me and people like me drive morals from humanity using logical arguments and debates. I personally do not know anyone eating babies. However, I know many religious people who killed babies to make god happy.

Final Part:

Coming back to first part to your question about caring for things we made, firstly you should stop equating god with some common human. Because you believe in a god who created billions and billions of galaxies consists of billions of stars and each star has some planets and each planet has different size and geography. Out of all these planet at least on one planet life exists. Millions of animals are living on this planet. Each animal is different from other and contain microscopic gene which contain DNA and this DNA contain instruction for life.

Anyone who has so much power to create such a big and complex universe will not be similar to us. He will be infinite times intelligent and more powerful than any human on earth. Hence thinking about him in human term is absolutely wrong.

If we leave aside religious information about God, we know nothing about him or her. We can only predict his behaviour by looking to his creation. Look at the world population. Millions of babies are dying every year from starvation and disease. Many species extinct every year. Thousands of people dies every year due to natural calamities like flood, earthquake, Storm and extreme cold and hot temperature. If god is sustainer and loved humans, there will not be any of these. For me better explanation will be that the creator created the universe, set its rules and left it. Or, some Aliens created life on earth and later on they might be exterminated. There is no reason to believe in theist god who care about human being after observing the condition of this world. Why a benign god will let children die.

Me: Everything happens for a reason. When peoples start indulging in sin, then only God destroy them. Those children who die early will directly go to heaven. God did everything for good. We do not have so much intelligence to understand it.

Atul: Why those children were even born if they have to go to heavens without doing anything? What about their parents who suffer so much due to their child’s illness and finally death?

Me: My friend, as you might know, this life is a test. Those who are true to their lord remain steadfast and always praise god whatever be the situation. God will reward such people with rewards more than they ever think in after life.

Atul: Again, you are going in the realm of faith, which I cannot check objectively. You can believe anything that does not hurt others. However, I am not convince. You asked me so many question, can I ask you some question. We still have an hour.

Me: You can ask question, but just remember one thing. I am not expert (Aalim) of my religion, so I may not be able to answer your entire question. If you really want to learn about Islam, I can give you nos. and address of experts.

Atul: No, I do not need experts. Most of your religious experts I saw on tv does not know about science. Don’t worry we are not playing game where if you were not able to answer then you will lose and I will win. Let us do friendly discussion with open mind. I have no interest in making you atheist.

Me: I have very strong faith, so do not worry, you cannot change my mind. J I will be happy to answer your question.

Atul: You just now said that life is a test and this is very important idea in Judeo-Christian and Islamic theology. When god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, why didn’t he knew before starting the world who will pass the test and who will fail in the test. He is the one who created human . If you create something, you must know about it. If he knew everything in advance, which he must as he is the creator, then what is the point of making this world?

Me: God has all the answers. I am just a human with limited knowledge. Pls. ask something else.

Atul: Is faith right way to follow religion? I mean, all religious people follow their religion based on faith. Why they are wrong and you are right?

Me: I am fortunate to born in true religion. I am not blindly following my religion. I read Quran and other religious books. They actually make sense. No one has answers to every question. However, when I read other religious scripture, I find lot of inhuman, immoral and illogical things.

Atul: Have you ever think why you can see those immoral things in others religion but followers of that religion do not?

Me: Yes, because they are bias towards their religion.

Atul: Right. And what about you? Are you not bias about your religion? May be you are not able to see what’s wrong in your religion because you too are bias!

Me: I never think about it. Moreover, not everyone is born Muslim; Islam is one of the fastest growing religion. Definitely, those new convert to Islam from other religions are not bias about Islam. They read, understand, ask questions and then embrace Islam.

Atul: Even Atheism is spreading very fast. Does that make Atheism true if it is not true already? As I said earlier, people convert for various reason. In South India, so called untouchable and backward class Hindus are embracing Christianity and Buddhism in protest for their human rights. Some Christians also offer jobs and money to poor non-Christian to convert. In some Muslim Arab countries non-Muslim, embrace Islam for getting better facilities and benefits. In US and Europe, African American are mostly embracing Islam because of discrimination they face by white people.

Most of the peoples convert to other religion because of emotional reasons rather than logical reason. Therefore, please come out of your imagination and face the reality.

ME: We all will face reality after we die. Nice meeting you. I am a blogger; if you permit, I would like to publish our conversation.

Atul: Sure. Please publish without editing any part, so that readers can decide on their own.

Me: Rest assure about it. Here is the link for my website. Can I have your mail id or Mobile no?

Atul: I prefer to remain anonymous. Thanks for bearing with me. I enjoy talking to you.

Me: Pleasure is all mine. Any time you want to learn about Islam, please message me and I will arrange some expert for you.

Atul: Oh, thanks. Keep reading books.

Me: Thanks for your advice. Good luck for your future. Hope we meet some day.

Atul: Good Bye!!!

He moved to his path and I moved to mine.

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A Conversation with an Atheist

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…

Read second part here

Why you believe what you believe?

 

It is a common experience that we trust our parents and close friends much easily than strangers. However, sometimes it may happen that a stranger is telling you truth and your parents are lying with you. Mare thought of such situation make us rebel. Even if that stranger is right, we will not believe him until and unless he come up with some undeniable evidence. In that condition too, we find some excuses to cover up our parents.

To understand how we believe over one thing and disbelieve other, we need to understand our mind. There are two important theories that can make us understand why we believe what we believe.

 

Both theories deals with our behaviour based on our indoctrination and upbringing. We are bias and deluded without knowing about it. We live in a delusion that what we follow is the right path and what we believe is correct by default. Similarly, we are bias towards our family and society. We think that we are right and everyone is wrong without any evidence and proof. We need a paradigm shift. We need to see world as it exist, not as we perceive due to indoctrination and unconscious biases.

How to come out of delusion?

After recognising that you are living in delusion, it is time to come out of it and see the real world as it exist. Learn about different philosophies and interact with people of different faith, culture and ethnicity and countries. Stop judging people by their name, caste, color and religion. Read books of different authors. Let your mind to absorb different views of different great personalities across the globe. By doing so, you might come out of delusion and will be able to see the world differently and correctly.

You can change the world.

Close your eyes, and think for a moment that this life is first and the last chance for you to make your mark on earth! Are you doing your best? Look at animals, they breed, eat, drink, sleep, breath and finally die. They do not have even half of intelligence that human has, still they do more than half of similar works we do in our life. We breed, eat, drink, sleep, breath and finally die.

What is the benefit of being most intelligent species on earth if we live same life as animals do? What we achieved in last 10, 000 years is nothing compare to what we could have achieved if every human had contributed equally.  Just look at the below pictures and think, how many Einstein and Newton’s we have lost.

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Power of religion

Why Creator gave us so much intelligence if he wanted us to live like this? No true religion can degrade humans to this level. A true religion must teach us how to live an organised, progressive, purposeful, meaningful and happy life. It should treat everyone equal. No slavery, no caste system, no difference between black and white. When Creator created everyone, there should not be any difference. All humans must be treated equal.

Present population of earth exceeds seven billion. How many persons do you know? If you are well-informed and socially and politically active, you might know maximum of 1000 persons by name and recognise their face too. What about other 6.9999 billion people? Are they live on some other planet?

World knows only those people who are famous and those who achieved something in their life. We all have equal potential to grow and to succeed in life, however, only few of us dare to take calculated risk. Still few dream and think big. And least of us never give up. They are those who change the world.

Human mind has tremendous power. We only need to realise it, focus on it and channelized it in right direction. You can change the world. You just need to believe in your capabilities. A wise man is one who has full control of himself. Before knowing other things, you must know yourself. You can do whatever you want to do. Believe in yourself and think before acting. Do not wait for tomorrow to start anything. Do it now. First plan it and then execute your plan.

Nothing is impossible for a determined person. Never underestimate yourself. Never be afraid of challenges life throws towards you. Only tough situation brings out best of you. Treat every problem as an opportunity.

Human beings are superior to all creatures, because of our ability to reason and self-control in any situation.

Be Positive:

 

 

Most of the peoples around you are pessimist. They fail to see colourful, bright and joyful side of life. Not only such people waste their lives but also they keep discouraging others on trivial issues. Do not let yourself down; do not let your confidence broken by such small thinkers.

Make sure what you are doing is right and do it. No one in the world has done something worthwhile for which he or she is not criticised initially. However, those who remain determine and confident even after discouragement and criticism, always attain their goals.

Be positive and think big. We create things in two steps, first mentally and then physically. Therefore, to achieving big, thinking big is very important. Negative thoughts drain your energy and destroy your confidence. Be an optimist. 

Creativity requires freedom:

 

We are living in a free world; most of the countries obtain their freedom more than fifty years back. Most of us living today are born in free countries. But are we really free? Relations, religions, caste, society, nationality and morality everything put restriction on us. Although we are living in free nations, yet we are enslaved by different restrictions.

As soon as you impose restriction on an artist, (s)he cease to give extraordinary performances. If a writer starts thinking that I must not write on this topic else someone might be offended then ultimately he will not be able to write anything. Creativity demands freedom. That is the reason, why we find all development in liberal and open societies.

My geographical location restricts me from openly writing about religion. Even mild criticism, for bringing positive outcome, can be dangerous. On top of that, I have self-imposed restriction of not writing anything derogatory or hateful about anyone. From last three days I am looking for something positive and motivating but unfortunately I am still struggling.

What is the purpose of freedom of speech if people are not able to digest mild criticism of their faith or opinion? If you will hide behind your private wall of faith and does not listen to others, you will never know whether you are wrong or other person are wrong. Just by chance, you born in your present religion. Without knowing it, how you can be certain that you were born in right religion. Read your religious books yourself. Learn about it before blindly believing on it.  Be a truth seeker, not a blind believer.

Disproportionate distribution of money

With the advancement in technology and increasing literate population it is becoming very difficult for illiterate people to survive in such world. Without any technical skill, no one can find the good job. Even in agriculture new machines and high-tech equipment are required and being used to increase productivity.

Gap between rich and poor is more dangerous than Global warming: For rich people it is easier to give education to their kids or even if they didn’t complete education, their rich dad can arrange source of income for them. But for poor kids, there is only darkness! They do not know how they can finish education without money and even after finishing education if their grades are little less, whether they will get good job or not! They have to suffer for under under-qualified job.

We are living in a world where rich are becoming richer and poor are becoming poorer. On top of that, robots and artificial intelligence is reducing jobs. This scenario needs to be change. This is not the future we want for our coming generation. We need to find a mechanism to distribute wealth equally. There are two things we can do. First is for those employees who lost jobs due to automation must be compensated by providing some kind of pension from the profit company is earning by using automatic machines and AI. Second thing which can be done is by limiting maximum wealth a person can leave as legacy to hairs. We all earn everything from this world and from people living on it. Why should legacy be transferred to few people? It belongs to people from whom (S)he earns it. This rule must be implemented on billionaires. All excess money above the prescribed limit must go to charity or to government for welfare of poor family. This way we can reduce disproportionate distribution of money and live in better world.