June 22, 2018
Religion is a Fantasy!
Religion is a fantasy based upon assumed or subjective beliefs and rituals. Most probably the religions have been created by the human beings themselves to justify the creation that we see around us and live in. The creation of the universe is an insoluble riddle. The only solution that comes to mind is that a great creator created it. The self-creation of the creator is yet another mystery.
It is mentioned in the scriptures and religious holy books that the universe came into being when God uttered the word “be and it came into being”. There is no evidence of the belief that at some point of time God uttered the words to create it. Uttering of words looks like some human being or a magician speaking. The universe has been in existence for billions of years and going through a continuous evolutionary process which is entirely based upon absolute scientific principles.
For a creation there must be a creator. God’s concept, presumably, evolved by the early apostles, thinkers and the religious scholars to be in the image of a powerful monarch with limitless powers such as creation, pardoning, sentencing, bestowing and withdrawing the favors. A worldly king sends his emissaries to other kings or his governors. Same concept was applied to god that he also sends angels on the back of a horse to his chosen individuals or apostles. In case of God it is the angel Gabriel who performs such roles.
In religions, the attributes of God have been multifarious. But all the attributes than one can find in the religions about God are humans. These traits have been outlined and scribed by the human writers mostly the prophets who would be the sole recipient of the messengers and commandments from God. For instance, God talks to the prophets and angels. he gets happy and angry for good or bad deeds. He gave command to the angels to kneel before the Adam. He deputes angels to take the messages to the prophets. It is written in the scriptures that God has never revealed himself or talked to the human beings directly except to Satan, Adam and Eve and the angels living in the paradise.
In the old Testament or the Bible and the Muslims’ holy book Quran, the story of creation of Adam and Eve is given which is as follows. There was a garden or paradise somewhere in the Heavens where angels and chief of the angels, later known as Satan lived along with God. God revealed his intention to the angels including chief angel (later Satan) to create the man from clay which he stated would be more superior and knowledgeable than the angles. This divine declaration led to a dialogue between the angels and the Satan on one side and God on the other. God tried to convince the angels that his decision was right and would be proven in the time to come.
After making the first man Adam, from the clay, over a period of seven days, god asked the angels and the chief angel (later)Satan to kneel before his creation. The angels obeyed while the chief Angel refused arguing that he cannot prostrate before a being who is made of clay which goes down while he was from fire that goes up.
He was cursed by god and was projected to be the embodiment of evils. He became the perpetual opponent and enemy of God as well as the human beings. It is not known where the Satan resides after being expelled from the paradise. It looks odd that mighty god would do such things as the humans do. There is no evidence that such a dialogue or a dispute took place except that the writers of the ancient gospels, narrated it as such as if they were watching all those events.
Later god walks (walks like human beings) into the paradise to find that Adam and Eve have been misled by Satan and they had eaten the forbidden fruit (god didn’t know prior to that Eve and Adam would eat the forbidden fruit)
As a punishment Adam and Eve were expelled by God and thrown upon the earth which must already be existing. Ever since, Satan as the sworn enemy of both God and the human beings is misleading the progeny of Adam and Eve from the righteous and divine path not identified at the time of their expulsion.
It shows that God was living like a powerful king who talks and gives commands and gets annoyed and pleased. I would not contend that god can have a physical body and moves around like a custodian of a wonderful place called paradise.
The commandments of God are directly revealed on the prophets at any time, whether day or night. But those are narrated as if the receivers have imbibed and memorized those all which in those times was impossible. Should we say then that most of the contents in the scriptures were dictated or mentioned by the writers of those books and attributed to the angels or god. The Bible has innumerable stories of the battles, kings, tribes, prophets, traditions religious and social customs and so one. Are those too commanded and conveyed to the human beings through Gabriel and other communication channels. Or else these were written by the human authors. Same question applies to the Muslims’ holy book Quran.
The second question is as to why intermediaries such as prophets, angles and holy figures were essential for God to convey his commandments. Or else the intermediaries have been professing or claiming to be in touch and in communication with God and that God only talks to them directly and sends his angels to them with messages. It can also be believed that god would never want obedience and to follow religions from other creatures such as animals.
While God is omni-potent and omni-present, he could have the powers to converse or communicate with all the human beings directly. God can send the messages without a medium like Gabriel and instill those in the hearts and minds of the people. By belief we know that the evil and good have been created by God. Even Satan has been created by God almighty and allowed freely to defy and mislead the human beings. He was appointed by god as the leader of the angels all living in heaven along with god.
By banishing Adam and Eve from the paradise, God’s claim about the superiority of Adam was nullified. Yet Satan was allowed to mislead human beings. Thus, Satan is a villain and rival of both God and the humanity and would remain so till eternity. Satan may be the symbol of wickedness but it is presented in the Bible and Quran having immortal life and amazing powers of remaining hidden and taking any physical form. One may therefore, infer that God himself initiated the tussle between Satan and Humans or between a wicked yet immortal villain with enormous powers and his prey the weak and mortal human beings
Religions are prone to countless divisions and diverse interpretations. These interpretations can be witnessed within religions and among the religions. As far the test of being good and bad is concerned, if God removes his rival Satan who is fountainhead of all the wrong doings and sufferings, the humanity would become obedient and sinless. Yet Satan has been let loose by God himself with enormous powers to mislead the humans who are powerless and weaker than the Satan. As such the evil deeds and ungodly acts that man commits can be termed to carry the approval of almighty God through the Satan.
The attainment of paradise and hell is dependent upon what kind of behavior a person displays in this transitory abode of the world. Does God believe that humans are so strong that they can defy and match the powers possessed by the Arch enemy Satan? Satan is invisible, can enter the minds of the people, pollute their thoughts and seduce them to commit ungodly acts and the sins which have been mentioned in the scriptures particularly in the Muslims’ holy book Quran.
Man looks like a lamb and the Satan like a lion. There is no comparison between these two rivals as far possession of powers is concerned. If God eliminates Satan who is the source of evil acts and wickedness then humans would be as pious and obedient as he wants them to be. Otherwise he could have bestowed matching powers upon the human beings to face Satan and browbeat him (Satan is a male). If it is a test of the humans to stand by goodness then this test is entirely unequal as for powers endowed to the humans and their rival Satan are concerned.
Now this story has travelled to all the succeeding generations from the old testament written by the early authors who were primitive Jews and later followed by the Christian priests and scholars one of which was saint Paul. Later on, this episode was also narrated in Quran. First of all, didn’t God know in advance that Satan or the arch angel would be defying his order. If Satan had defied order of prostrating before Adam then instead of being given carte-blanche to become God’s rival and mislead the human beings with massive power and at his free will, he should have been readily eliminated. As a matter of fact, such a vicious villain should not have been created by the Lord of the world at all. It may indicate that the tussle between god and the progeny of Adam and Eve or human being had divine approval.
To be continued …………
The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat.