I am an atheist.
For a long time, I have been passionately angry.
Not because of random school work or the fact that my phone privileges have been taken away or because my stupid friend is acting all weird. No, this is some burden that I have been carrying for a long time now. And I feel now is the time to give an answer to everyone I know.
Because for a long time, I have been condemned, mocked at, made fun of, and have been judged because I am an atheist.
Dictionaries define an atheist as someone who denies the existence of God. Not religion. Muse over this.
All such thoughts came into my mind one year back, when I was filling out an information form. There came a field called religion. Always being a rebellious child, I asked my mother why I should fill it as ‘Hindu’ instead of simply putting a ‘dash’. And the perfunctory answer I got was, “Just fill it. “
But my thirst wasn’t quenched. I wanted to know why.
And here I am with my thought out decision of being an atheist for one year now.
Religion and God are two very different things. This difference is very confounding for almost 99% of today’s population. Religion is a system of beliefs. A carefully planned and worked out propaganda. To reel in the masses. And amazingly, we have countless scholars and learned men who have interpreted religion for us in their own words. And we? We aren’t learned enough. So we have succumbed to this herd mentality and follow them. Over time I have learned that religion is hard work. It involves plenty of self-discipline and persistence. Religion just can’t be blindly followed. It has rules and regulations. It plays a part in shaping our moral compasses. It teaches us how to live life beautifully. It’s like a routine, and we still follow it even when we don’t know who exactly has advocated our own routines and ideals. Beautiful right?
God on the other hand, is many things to many people. We humans have made God according to our whims and fancies, just like religion. For some of us, he was just a human who attained enlightenment and become our ‘God’. Some have braved through tough times and have come to become ‘God’. Some have a halo around their head with supernatural powers and such omnipotent vibes so are called ‘God’. But what is God?
The problem arises because we attribute religion to a particular God. We have manipulated religion to great lengths. Which has led to some cunning opportunists in the world to exploit poor, uneducated people who rely on God or religion to help them out of their miseries. But these are not the only reasons why I have lost faith in both.
Whenever I open my History book and read the chapters, vexation hits me right in the abdomen. Religion had led to so many conflicts and wars! People dying on both sides and people being killed to make them shut up about their radical unorthodoxed ideas. Religion leads to such generalizations! I detest anything that gains too much power than is required. And that is exactly what religion has done to us then and even now.
And then there was a deeper, more personal reason as to why I lost hope in God. I felt angry. I was a good devotee, and loved him as much as I could. But for some time, he hadn’t been listening to me anymore. I started harbouring these feelings that he hated me now and with the cosmos never being in my favour, God too had left my side. So I felt lonely and deserted. And slowly came to disliking him. Because he just wasn’t there for me anymore.
Now when I had decided neither to follow any religion nor believe in God, reactions from people came in stages. First, they didn’t believe me and took it as a joke. Why? Because I have always been an overly dramatic person, and really impulsive one too. So they thought it was a phase that would soon pass. When some people close to me comprehended the fact that I was serious, they thought I became an atheist because of the usual reasons: Temples that are built are stupid, God is everywhere..(You get the drift). When they finally realized that this wasn’t something that I did just for the sake of it, came the stage of mockery and ridicule. I was told that I lived in India, so all this didn’t work here. I was too young to make such ‘important’ decisions. According to them, I hadn’t seen much hardship in life, so I was no judge to decide. And this wasn’t something that came from adults and mentors, but my friends alike. I was told that there are limits to me being negative and that not believing in God meant that I had lost hope, which made me less of a human being. Lastly, they all tried to convince me to change my belief system. Which somehow was the worst thing yet.But what one doesn’t realize is this: Being an atheist didn’t mean that I didn’t believe in anything, because I did.
I felt a deep sense of trust in karma.
And I knew that I was a good person. And being a good person to others made me feel happy. They were and are times still; when I feel that this belief system of mine is slowly weakening, crumbling. It happens when I see mean, cunning, egomaniacal opportunists stepping over me and getting what they want in life all the time. It makes me feel that good things always happen to bad people; and vice versa. But what we don’t get is this: we need to give it time. Because we are doing good actions in life and we shall be rewarded. Sometimes we are, but we are so consumed in the negatives in life that we often fail to look at the small doses of happiness that our karma is throwing at us. Be more alert, and you will see. And karma shall make those people according to their karma. What one does always reflects back to them. You don’t know everything about their lives, do you? How do you know that good is happening to them all the time? So yes, thinking sadistically about this is good.
So karma became my knight in shining armour. That doesn’t mean I condemn God or religion. I just don’t advocate it. And have come to respect those who do.
In a whole, what I am trying to say is this: I am an atheist, and it doesn’t make me a bad person.
Ps. This above article is my own work and therefore, my own views and opinions. Please don’t get offended anyhow by it. It was really personal for me and I felt really vulnerable after writing this. I hope you appreciate that. 🙂