Yes, I have seen people act selflessly in the name of god, I have seen people act selflessly in the name of love, in the name of country or in the name of children. And for the sake of closing a small argument, I am going out of a limb to say that selflessness has nothing to do with any of the “properties” of the person, it is the circumstances that lead a person to act, sometimes selfishly, sometimes selflessly.
These extreme cases are not the acts of selfishness that I want to talk about here. What I am talking about is the innate, horrible and totally inhuman way people say that ” God helped me to bat good today, god took away my headache, god does Tebow-ing, people find lost jewelry because god helped, god helped people to pass exams”. Really? That is what your god does? And of course crying blood and tears from statues and appearing on toasts, just for the heck of it.
Everyday people go sleep thanking a deity for helping them get through a generally “bland” day, people who have food, thank the god for the food, people who have shelter thank the god for the shelter, people who have nothing, thank the god for nothing. If anyone asks, why is it so? It is god’s mysterious plan. Or another way of saying, the fuck is like the fuck it is, whatever that fuck is thank the god, be content in your awesome or pathetic life, that is god’s plan. I have seen people thank the god in their worst and their best, all at the hope that there is something after this life that is going to make up for all this.
Without that non-verified hypothesis, which no one has seen, no one has experience or no one has any reason to consider it real, the whole concept of a “fair” god breaks down. I have read a facebook share that goes, ” If I could, I would have stopped the innocent child from getting raped. That is the difference between me and your god”.
When I look around in this world, human race is just like any other species. Take monkeys for instance, some of them live the high rise lives at prime spots, hot water springs and abundant food reserves. Others live off the waste of human civilization, dried out deserts and by stealing from the abundant groups, they die more frequently of death by hardship than alpha male gang wars.
We are just like that, some starts their life with a silver spoon in their mouth, goes on to change it to a brass spoon or a golden spoon for the next generation, some starts without a spoon at all and works hard to get the next generation atleast a plastic spoon, others starts without a mouth and die even without realizing the existence of even the concept of spoons. That is life, it has been going on like this for thousands of years. There is a god to pray for who takes sides in a sport, take the side of a person who wants rain against that of the person who does not want it. Always, any random incident results in some person wanting to thank for because probability says there is only so much different things that people can pray for and generally some of them are bound to happen, just for the sake of probability.
We have an interesting trait as well and it is purely psychological. We NEED to have positives in our lives more than negatives and evolution has made sure that we carry over the positives that has happend to us much more than the negatives. We wont survive a massive onslaught of negativity. The people who goes into depression are the ones who lost the race between positives and negatives in their lives.
We will look into a whole load of Horoscopes, day after day and will remember the one generic line that went and touched a specific spot. After all, the gods of probability says a scattershot has a higher probability of hitting the target than a single bullet. ( Fired by people with same expertise level that is and i am not talking about a fruit seller and a Delta here ).
We all remember that single prayer that god answered, may be about an examination, may be about getting a promotion at work or may be about having a baby and forget and forgive god for all others because “they were not part of his plan”. ( Hmmm, if the other WAS part of his plan, then prayer wouldn’t make any difference would it ? )
No, before you jump thy horses and say that I went out of religion due to the unanswered prayers, I did not. My answered prayers, at the time when I did pray outweighed the unanswered ones. What I forgot during those days was the people who did the real answering for me. When I got good marks scored in my 10th and 12th exams, it was not god but my hardwork and the studies I had done with my friend Joseph, when I wanted money, it was my dad who answered it, not the god. Even though even he would say it was answered by god.
When I was in college, during the brief time I was spiritual, the exams I passed were because of my friends who helped me study, the cricket matches India won and the centuries Sachin scored were due to their talent, not my prayer. When I got the greatest girl in the world, it had nothing to do with god and if I remember it right, a self professed godman had actually asked me to leave Preethi because it was not what god wanted. I told the guy “Fuck off”.
Almost all my friends are religious and some are not. Everyone has a religious story or a personal experience to talk about when it comes to god. And so do I. I have felt god. When I was a child there was this proposed sacred item that was deemed holy by thousands of people. I touched it, prayed and the thing went alive! It started pulsing in my hands. It was an amazing experience. And when I think of it now?
1. I was pressing onto the object.
2. I am a live person and I have blood flowing in my hand.
3. I felt my own pulse and deemed it was coming from the object. Silly mistake. But in that mood of incense and godawesomeness? Revelation.
I have seen people start people in tongues. And one day when I was a kid, I also started speaking in tongues. Then again, once I was so angry at something and I was speaking, I spoke in the same tongue. Then I realized, my mouth is not as fast as my head, I can think of the line I want to say, but if I try to say it as fast as I think it, what I get is a set of jumbled words and noises. They are not spoken properly and the cue for the next tone change comes along with the previous sound inflection. Speaking in tongues or just speaking too fast for your own tongue to handle it. Some people do listen to the noises and learn the noises and then slow it down to make it sound much refined as well.
Every thing that we feel without our senses are processed by our brain. And no matter how you believe that they are the pure live/ realtime inputs from your eyes and nose and ear and touch, they are all processed and the output is served along side with your own personal wants and bias. Studies show ( you can google about these and it is not like the “Many scientists say” lines used by, well you-know-who’s ) that eye witness testimonies are not as fool proof as people though they are. That the event can be moulded differently to a person’s mind with the right set of questions. Yes, we cannot trust our senses. But we have to make do with what he have. Also, brain has such power over the body that we can make the brain force feelings for us, we can force ourselves to be standing in blinding light, we can force ourselves to feel the touch which is not there, we can have orgasms by just thinking, there are fake pregnancies that are “willed” into existence which shrinks after 9 months and 9 days. Our brain is an amazing tool at our disposal. We read in our head, we think in our head, it is like a second voice, we really do not have an idea about how our own voices sound like because almost every time we hear our voices, we hear it through our jawbones and not exclusively through our ears. ( That is why people like me think we can sing, while people who listens with their ears don’t think I can ).
Then there are the inexplicable medical cases, stories about cancers that were cured miraculously. What if that was simply a wrong diagnosis? What if the doctor was wrong? I would call a backup doctor, but his studies almost always gets influenced by the previous doctor. What if the machine was wrong? We have accepted in almost everything that people and machines are fallible. Unless a mistaken diagnosis was “miraculously” cured. Case in point, Teresa ( Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu ) from Calcutta was made a saint citing that a miracle that “she did” about a non existent cancer. Adrenaline and will power can make people instantaneously better. Ever thought about why we scream when we are in pain? We forget the pain and re-concentrates on screaming, blocking the pain. Screaming increases heart rate, pumps adrenaline and makes a person psychologically functional. More often than not, the healing ceremonies are a scream fest. Check the video Marjoe, which won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
We all look for answers in this world and if we can’t find them, we try to invent the answers. A simple minded nomad or a caveman would have associated everything happening around him which was not in his control to a super being who dictated to thunderstorms and lightning, volcanoes and earthquakes, rain and draught. But sometimes, we grow out of that and realize the real reasons why all the “Acts of God” happens. We are in that thin line where all the major acts of god has been diminished to a few questions.
If we live our lives based on giving silly answers to the questions that are being asked, like our great grandfathers did we would never go anywhere.
Sometimes we have to embrace the questions, live it, be guided by the questions and search for answers. Answers that are peer reviewed and reproduced. Look up at the sky, people. That holds more power than anything any book has ever told us. We are human race, for a short while stranded on Planet Earth. When we stop living in the past, tomorrow welcomes us with hope and answers.
Oh yeah, what did I start the writing about? Belief in God and Selfishness. Aren’t you, dear believer, ashamed to think that this almighty being took time to make your team win when millions of innocents are dying?
If not, something is wrong with you.