18 January, 2007

Slightly Random Thoughts

Note: I don't feel up to writing limericks today... I'm too uninspired. I'm at the nadir of limerick-ness. Sorry, readers, I'll write some soon. Tomorrow, maybe. :)

I know I have been ignoring this blog, dunno why. Anne and Absconding haven't posted in a while too... The blogs appear to be stasis, and it's hard to gain lost momentum. But let me make an effort.

Movies and Stories

I have tried to post intermittently on my favourite movies... and there have been three posts so far: Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, The Godfather and Anand. Two are still to come, and there will be a final post on other good movies. Hope you like my recommendations. I'm also going to review a film sometime in the future: just a test review, some film which I haven't heard a good or bad word about.

I posted a story a few back on the blog... and I got good feedback. I am working on a few more ideas, and an unfinished story. I may not be able to write serious poems, but I hope I can write stories well, and creatively. I'm not going to stop writing poems; atleast don't plan to. Besides, I don't get much time, storywriting or poem-writing is a time-consuming process. I also have to make up for my poor knowledge of fiction if I want to write some.


Recently I saw a very interesting article on Anne's blog about agnostism and the "new atheism". For starters, "agnostics"are people who don't accept or deny the existence of God, and won't until there is evidence for or against. Basically they are in favour of an empirical answer, not an argumentative one.

I used to call myself an Atheist, now I prefer agnostic. The difference is not just in the noncommittance, it's in the way one views the world. For an agnostic, atheists fall in the same group as believers: after, their beliefs aren't based on reason either. Both sides are equally dogmatic, for me.

When you read some atheists, like Russell, it becomes apparent their problem is not with God: it has to do with religion. Many see religion as harmful, a vice. Arguments that it helps people are shoven to the side. We are shown evidence of religion breeding dogmatism, cruelty, and hampering right actions and new discoveries.

It not evident which side to take. This is different from the problem of God: it isn't just scientific evidence. It's the problem of determining whether a world can live without religion. I personally believe it can be done: but I don't think it can be done quickly, or with a call to atheism. It can be done with the gradual awakening of a scientific and moral sense in us.

But all of us need faith and the ability to distinguish between good and bad. It is feared that in a world of atheists, there will be no moral boundaries. But every thinking atheist or agnostic will tell you that he or she has aview of good and bad, right and wrong. It may not be based on a holy book, but it will be subject to change and argument. Even holy books have different interpretations.

I'm done with my rant. To those who survived: think about religion, God, and it's importance in the modern world, and discuss it with others. It's not an unimportant issue, I feel. Religion dictates how (and where!) millions live, and loathe. It should not escape scrutiny.

Article in focus

This is just... sad. Banning the letter x.


  1. I hate religion. Period. And I really do not have the inclination or feel the need to ask questions about 'God'. I give a damn to agnosticism, atheism and the rest of the mumb0 jumbo too. Thoughts about religion make me sick.

    And I hate posts without limericks. Period.

  2. You forgot the category of agnostic religious people like myself :D.

    Dogmatism is always wrong in my view, but doctrine isn't necessarily so. For instance, the society of Northern Europe is based on Christian Social tradition, and it was a revolution in those days. For the first time it became a rule that people were taken care of in a community even if they had no one to provide for them. This revolution lead to the forming of city states (where rich landowners had the sole power before) and their welfare systems and this probably was an important factor for the economic success of the region.

    It would be very narrow minded to just focus on the negative sides of religion. It's not religion that does things, it's always people. You can't blame religion, but you CAN blame people. In MY doctrine (agnotic protestantism) all people are held accountable for their own deeds. But on the other hand, taking care of ME is not all there is. Where would we the weaker people in our society be if not for the often culturally induced (and therefore based on a Christian tradition!) care by our society?

    In my view, people that say they hate religion are quite a bit behind on thinking things carefully through. I think you're right, Anonick, it IS a good idea to discuss religion and get rid of the inane bromides and see all sides.

  3. Wow, you guys really take this religion thing seriously, don't you?
    I'm a Catholic that essentially just pays lip service to the church and it's teachings (actually I went to Church yesterday). Don't get me wrong, I believe in God and everything (I believe I've mentioned my love of "blind faith" before). But all these questions of religion seem a bit futile and pointless to me (hence the blind faith - it's easier). People have been trying to prove or disprove the existance of deities for, like, ever! Waiting for proof of there being a God (or otherwise) is just an excuse to fence sit (it's more scientific than all out atheism, I grant you, but still...) Anyway isn't analysing how you live your life and the way you treat others more constructive than asking questions about the existance of a higher power that you will - realisticly - never see any proof of, what so ever, in this lifetime (unless you believe in intelligent design or witness a miracle... or you take the fact that there's war and disease and famine in the world as proof that there isn't a God)
    Gah! Now I'm all confused! Believe what you want - just be nice :)

  4. Actually, I think agnosticism is the most scientific approach, but it is more difficult than blind faith, I cofness.

    But as I said in the post, (maybe I didn't underline it) religion is more than just a God. It's a doctrine that people live by, and it shouldn't escape scrutiny. Lots of silly beliefs are defended on the basis of them being "religious". Like the veil for women in Islam, or animal sacrifice in Hinduism, etc.

    "God" is uncertain, but religion has to be examined.

    Saskia, I agree there have been many benefecial effects of religion. I haven't said religion is bad, just that it shouldn't escape examination. It should be subject to change, reform.

    But, if you want to not think too much, I agree with Charmaine: Just be Nice. :-)

  5. I don't get how you could be so... impartial. I mean, even scientists are biased (even if it is just a little) when they research something. But, yeah, it is the most scientific.

    I like blind faith coz I don't have to question whether I believe in God, just whether I made the world just a little bit nicer :)

    And I don't feel comfortable criticising other peoples religions and religious practice (usually because I feel as a non follower I'm not that informed). I mean I picked something, so can they. And besides a religion is only as good as it's followers. If the people are nuts it doesn't mean the whole religion is.

  6. I'm not very fixed with what I have to say... There are a lot of tribes in Asia and Africa of the indigenous people who are very removed from urbanization and prefer their own ways of life living in complete harmony with the environment that surrounds them... It's religion which inspires them to this... If we take their religions beliefs for study - we may find that they have very simple, noble, possible a bit stupid but in essence
    good ideas of conservation of the ecology... I feel that these cultures and people also deserve our attention...

    And what's more - there are many such simple people living in the complex civilizations around the world as well.. Religion helps them as well...

    But all the same - religion does have its negative side... Actually - the last sentence is undertoneded - religion has had a HELLUVA negative impact on people around the world... If we want to eradicate it - well - it can come with education that this will stop... Many more youngsters in India are taking to the less traditional religious beliefs today and this trend will continue... And why India? As very beautifully put by someone

    'A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.'

    – Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot (1994)

    I agree with this. Education can be an effective way. And it's not formal education only - it's what children will learn from their parents and the environment around them when they live in such an environment which inspires them to think and get to conclusions with a logical sequence of thought...

    Somehow I believe that in the end - all the problems of the planet come down to population... If population is curbed - the load of education the masses decreases enormously (plus due to decrease in consumption and demand - there's decrease in environmental pollution and interference with the otherwise-self-sustaining-natural-cycles that have persisted since long... It's population... If we reserve to decline in number - a lot of problems can be solved... But that would take ages... In the meantime - join efforts to educate and help...

    er... how does that sound? lol... anycase...

    - Tanmay Singal

  7. Also I'd like to add something more...

    One does not have to conform to the logical ideas of ppl like Neitzche - to understand his theories like 'why God is Dead' - to arrive at these conclusions...

    these are just the simple thoughts of an incorrigible non-conformist... (curtesy Einstein)...