I used to believe in God when I was little. Mom taught me to pray every morning and I was happy to accept the ritual as it somewhat soothed my childish mind from my childish troubles. Some of the earliest and fondest memories I have are of granddad, Mom and I, singing odes in the old praying room at Mom’s maiden house back at Ushagram. Those songs are still some of the sweetest pieces of Bengali music I know.
Dad, on the other hand, always liked to stay away from prayers. It is a little strange to have one parent as a believer and the other as indifferent. It fills a child’s mind with questions. And so I began doubting God by the time I was in third grade or so. Somehow I always favored logic, as everyone seemingly does, and walked down a line of thought which rooted in me a firm faith that God exists.
The logic was simple and went as follows: it might be possible that the earth and water and all non-living things were formed randomly, but it is impossible to create living plants and animals without the touch of another living being. By all means, this seemed to be rationally flawless and I chucked aside the issue as if it were a resolved matter. Yes, I used to be quite an arrogant kid. But then came in more knowledge, disrupting my delusional world of peace. Minute life-forms did originate from lifeless atoms and molecules.
As I grew older, my faith took shelter in the fact that the very first particle could not have created itself. No one can possibly argue against this, I thought. It is kind of a stalemate. About the time when I reached my first boards’ exam, I became an agnostic. For those who are not familiar with agnosticism, it is a philosophy which states that existence of God can never be proved or known, and hence is baseless to ponder over. This, again, put an end to the issue for few days.
By the time I entered college, I had become a hardcore believer of the fact that all of life’s actions are aimed solely for the gain of happiness at some level or the other. I doubt anyone will ever talk me out of believing this. Anyway, I finally had the basic theory of life. This proved to be a great simplifier, kind of like a road to enlightenment which sages preach of. And I became an atheist.
Case 1: God created the first particle. But since then, whatever has happened can more or less be logically explained, and hence has happened without divine interference. In this case, our life remains independent of whether we believe in him/her or not. In short, believing is pointless.
Case 2: The first particle got created somehow, and God is a creation of man. Long, long ago there was a kingdom which was preparing for a sure-to-lose war. Everyone was sad since their own people were heading for slaughter. The head priest rose up and shouted “Fear not! There is a God and He shall protect us all!” Now, none had heard anything about this mysterious God previously, but they all agreed in unity. Why? Because it gave them hope and made them happy. Some of them did survive somehow, and the message of God as the savior was passed down generations, magnified at each step, until the origin was forgotten.
For me, case 2 is more likely. God is a path to delusional happiness. But happiness, nonetheless. Now, the times are well and I can manage without delusions, and hence I am an atheist. But having said so, I may undoubtedly and unashamedly revert back to faith when needed. That would be during pain, war, or heartbreak, if ever.
In any case, I certainly do not object or discourage anyone from being a believer without thinking pointlessly about it so much. Being uncomplicated is the best, as long as one doesn’t get maneuvered by people.
If I change my beliefs again, I’ll surely jot down and let you read a firm criticism of this post. Ciao.