We humans have always had this indomitable quest to make sense of the world as we experience it. And we explained it all away within the limits of our understanding of nature at the time. Our fear made us appeal to forces of nature that, at the time, must have been quite terrifying to live through. Like the darkness that set in, after the sun seemed to disappear in the evening. Trying to stumble in the dark towards our caves, in the moonlight or just starlight. Trying to find shelter from a raging storm. It’s not surprising then, that we worshiped the sun, the moon, thunder, lightning, snakes, indescribable monsters, real and imagined, anything that terrified us. We learnt to deal with our fears by appealing to their mercy, by praying, begging to be considerate to us, to spare us this once.
And some, I imagine, understood that they could take it upon themselves to intercede with these powerful ‘beings’ on our behalf: Priests. Whether they all believed that they could actually speak to the sun or snakes, some of their predictions did seem to work, through sheer coincidences. Random acts of nature. Someone had a close call with death and was ‘miraculously’ saved by the ‘priest(ess).’ And thus we began to cling to ‘faith.’ Religion. This gave the leaders of such religions immense power over people.
Over the years, we’ve slowly come to understand the world around us a bit better. And therefore, no one worships the sun anymore. At least not without some note-to-self about how it’s all about the Vitamin D and we don’t really believe that the sun is an actual humanoid God character floating in the sky. Same with the Moon God or the God of Thunder. We now know that there’s no Palatial ‘Heaven’ or ‘Pearly Gates’ above the clouds. We can tell for sure, you know. We’ve been there. And beyond.
The God Concept then, begins to shrink. What used to encompass everything from the sun and the moon to standard features of nature that we couldn’t, at the time, explain, have been condensed into “whatever started the Universe.” Whatever triggered the Big Bang is now considered God. And that maybe so. We’re yet to find out. And we shall continue to strive towards finding that without copping out to some lame ‘Hand of God’ answer to anything we can’t yet explain. Heck, we even have a definitive Theory of Relativity to explain the Universe since about a hundred and fifteen years that has remarkably stayed true via numerous experiments that weren’t even possible when it was postulated!
And now, the priests who peddled Thor have lost their power over people.
Except Stan Lee of course, he’s definitely the Almighty, Creator of the Universe, but I digress…
That quantifiable God seems inversely proportional to our understanding of our Universe. As a pure placebo, which are known to work for real no doubt, in some cases, if you choose to believe in an unfathomable being that’s in control of your life and you could pray to it and it will sort your life for you, that’s cool. It makes you feel better. It works for you. You may even rationalize it to yourself saying, hey what’s the harm in trying prayer? And that’s cool too. I respect that even. But what’s worrying is when Babas & Godmen take over our daily lives to the point where we’re willing to demolish, destroy even kill other humans. Allow them to systematically dismantle democratic institutions. Atrocities that were maybe understandable, but by no means forgivable, at a time when our comprehension of these seemingly supernatural phenomena was woefully inadequate. But not now, not when we have a much better understanding of the world around us.
So, where we need to draw the line, without exceptions, is when we try to impose this placebo of ours onto people who actually don’t need one. Or people who need a real cure and the placebo just won’t help. And be aware of the folly of modern day Holy Men. To continue with this ignorance coupled with arrogance in 2019 is just baffling, sad, and frankly, quite dangerous.
Let’s encourage a temperament, you know, on the subject we called ‘Natural Philosophy,’ the study of nature and unraveling it’s phenomena, like how the Sun actually works, and the Moon, the Stars, the Universe, things that were once worshiped as ‘Gods.’ The study we now call Science.
And as far as morality is concerned, that’s not too complicated either. Love with passion. Live life. And most importantly, don’t be an asshole. It’s really as simple as that!