It’s been almost two years I’ve been writing my thoughts out via this blog. Although writing, for me, has never been much of a passion as an occasional hobby. I blog when there’s something I feel like writing about; something I feel like sharing my views or opinions about. There have been quite a few things I have written about in these couple of years. I know for a fact that I haven’t got lot many readers. But again, writing for me is just putting my thoughts out there. I know I’m not very good at it. But it’s something that makes me happy. I love writing on the topics I have a say about. But then, there’s this one topic I’ve always had very strong opinions and my own perspective about. But somehow I could never get myself in to writing about it. May be I did not consider myself to be capable enough to effectively communicate those views through my writing. Not that I’m in any better position now. My only thought-process behind writing this piece is ‘Let’s give it a try.’ And the reason I’ve had to really keep contemplating about my decision to write on this topic is because; it can get really sensitive. If you are going to publicly voice your opinions about the ‘concept’ of God, or about the whole idea of worship, you may be at a risk of offending the faiths and beliefs of a group at large. So am I here to in any way offend their devotion? No. In fact the utter sincerity in their reverence always leaves me a lot impressed. They are so passionate about it. And just to clarify I’m referring to only those who are truly genuine in their devotion and admiration for Him; not those who just use His name to nurture their selfish interests. But am I passionate about devotion? I don’t think so.
Truth be told, I’m not a believer. And I’m usually very frank about it. My parents know about it. Many of my friends obviously know about it. And I rarely shy away from being open about it. Somehow, my thought-process doesn’t make me a believer. And I like to keep the reasoning behind me being a non-believer to myself. Because I don’t really want to force my thought-process on to anyone else; neither do I need to reason myself and defend my though-process. Then if I’m not here to write about I being a non-believer then why am I here? I’m here not to write about how ‘theism’ doesn’t work for me, but am here to write how ‘atheism’ doesn’t suit me either. What is atheism? If you ask me, it is just a fancy word. Me being having atheist-like qualities myself, it would make more sense to write against those who believe. But, I have always had a lot of admiration for the believers. It’s these self-proclaimed atheists I have a problem with.
Who is an Atheist? A dictionary will tell you ‘A person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God’. Fair enough. Going by the words of the dictionary, I’m an atheist. But somehow when I come across the views and opinions of ‘atheists’ in general, I find my views and opinions a lot differing. For me, being a non-believer is a very personal and intimate feeling or rather a choice of living. That’s something I think is good for me. But, that doesn’t essentially necessitate me to be really adamant about it. If I am a non-believer, that doesn’t mean I should oppose anything and everything that even remotely resembles theistic tendencies. I being a non-believer do not obligate me to talk against or ridicule those who believe. In fact like I have reiterated, the passion the believers have is something I consider of the highest form. Nobody can be as passionate about anything as a believer is about his faith in Him. And I really adore that. I really respect that. And I being a non-believer do not make me any superior than them. If anything, I’m missing out on that feeling of happiness and contentment they gain through their reverence. And that’s, for starters, is something I hate about the ideologies these ‘atheists’ have. They are of the opinion that, since they have supposedly risen above any want of divine or spiritual inspirations, they are somehow more-evolved beings. Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t permit you to question the beliefs of those who do believe. Aren’t you being a total hypocrite when your beliefs are freedom of expression and their beliefs are an apparent exploitation of that freedom?
I’ve tried to be a part of many of these atheist forums just to get a flavor of how they think and what they think. I was under the impression that I’m among a group of like-minded people. But somehow, these atheists tend to be more anti-theists than atheists. I think they have completely lost it with their idea of atheism, which is more concentrated on targeting the believers rather than understanding the ethos of being a non-believer. Being a non-believer, for me, is not about being total big-head about it. I being a non-believer do not stop me from visiting temples. Are my visits to the temples triggered by a sense of devotion? No, it’s more of a social obligation. I visit temples, I take part in religious activities, and I offer my worships to Him, not because I believe in Him. It’s because I don’t want my beliefs to offend the beliefs of those who do believe in Him. My parents know that I’m a non-believer. But that doesn’t give me any right to oppose any of their beliefs. If their beliefs demand me to visit temples with them, take part in their religious activities and offer worships to their Gods, and if that makes them happy, I’ll not let my beliefs to come in way of their happiness. Being a non-believer is a belief in itself. And somehow the way in which others are okay with my belief in being a non-believer, I’ll be okay with their beliefs too. But this is a quality I found to be missing in these atheists I came across on these forums. For them, being a non-believer is a two-point agenda; Firstly, to consider their belief to be of the highest standard, and secondly, to not let go a single opportunity to prove the apparent superiority of their beliefs. It’s too important for them to project their beliefs through actions. So, visiting a temple is a complete taboo. Visiting a temple is equated to being a believer. Though I do agree if our beliefs aren’t reflected through our actions, those beliefs lose their essence. But that doesn’t mean we have to a really adamant about it. When we are sharing a life with a society comprising of people of all the beliefs, we should learn to respect and appreciate their beliefs too. For me, beliefs are a highly personal prerogative. They aren’t and shouldn’t be a substance of projection or show-off. And this applies to both theistic and atheistic beliefs. If I believe in something, I shouldn’t try to shove it down the throat of those whose beliefs don’t conform to mine. If even pretending to be a believer somehow helps maintain that decorum, I don’t mind it. That doesn’t necessarily change my core beliefs. They are still intact. I am just trying not to enforce them on others through my actions.
And another thing that surprises me about these atheists is that their whole atheistic ideologies are based upon the rationality or irrationality of doing something. They try to seek reasoning for everything they do. One thing they tend to forget is that, while we have evolved in to these brainy creatures that can care for rationality and reasoning, but at the very core we also have a mind which is capable of perceiving the emotions which surpasses the confines of rational thinking. Like, say, worshiping the forces of nature; I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with worshiping all these forces which we know exist, and in fact help in making our lives sustainable. We won’t be able to live a life if it wasn’t for these forces, the sun, the rains, the winds. Although rationality dictates that worshiping these forces as a feeling of gratefulness is pointless since these forces don’t have the ability to receive that gratitude. But we tend to forget that we, the humans, do have the ability to convey that gratitude, and nothings really lost if we do convey it to these forces, via worship. The want for reasoning in anything and everything we do, reminds me of robots. Robots work in complete accordance with logic. They can perceive only those things which are reasonable. If humans start looking for reasoning in everything they do, they are no better than robots. And these are just a few of the things that I think differentiate me from these ‘atheists’. I remember my friend once saying to me, these so-called atheists are so busy in religiously opposing the constitution of religion, that they tend to forget that their own rigid ideologies about the concept of atheism makes atheism a religion in itself. And I find it so very true. But then, like any other religion, the followers seldom try to be flexible with their ideologies. So, I don’t care what the dictionary says about being an atheist. According to me being an atheist is being anti-theist, which I’m not. Sure, I’m a non-believer; but atheist I’m not.