I find that there are lots of discussions were going on regarding Humanism and Religion and the importance of one over other. There are extremists in both beliefs and want to insist that they are right.
A few definitions are given below with respect to Humanism and Religion.
- A rationalist outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.
- Humanism is a progressive life stance that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity. • American Humanist Association
- The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
- A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world viewsthat relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that aim to explain the meaning of life, the origin of life, or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people may derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle.
Evolution of Earth and Religion
I believe that the total evolution of various species is due to climate and nourished due to natural activity of the Earth. Man is one of the species evolved during the last 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history.
The first life forms appeared between 3.8 and 3.5 billion years ago and the present humans are branched from a small African ape living around 6 Million years (Ma) ago. The present Homo-sapiens are broadly from about 0.2 million years ago.
During this history of the Earth, many species are born and perished and new species were born out of the evolution process subsequently.
Humans are the latest species on the earth. They may also perish after a few thousand years and a new species would be born in a new mode. This is inevitable.
The only difference between human and other living species is that the humans were provided with a super computer on their head called Brain. Because of this computer, even though, the man is weak physically with compared to many other species, he became strong and can fly, swim and go to moon and return and do anything he wants to do.
The human computer wants to analyze everything it sees, feels and thinks and reason it out. The human computer knows that the humans are born due to nature’s benevolent approach and evolution and knows that there is no GOD other than the nature. But it wants explanations why some are born rich and some or born poor. Why some are intelligent and some are morons. Why some actions bring good feeling and some are bad feelings. It wants to tie up every action and reaction and result to something which it does not know and reason it out.
A good and experienced Doctor does an operation but he prays GOD (Super Human) for the patient’s survival. Why? Because, he knows he has done everything he can do within his knowledge but the result is not in his hands. The patient may die or survive for various reasons which are not controllable, or not in his hands.
A rocket engineer does everything he can do but the success of his experiment is not in his hand as there are thousand parameters that may change the result from success to failure. That is why he prays GOD. Even though, the result is due to his thorough preparation, but he does not know that he has taken all precautions for its success. That is why he prays.
The animals do not have any problem of GOD as nature has provided a small computer (compared to a small calculator) which tells the animal when to eat, sleep, defend and procreate. That is the purpose of its computer and as such it does not reason it out of any action it had done and the result there off.
During the history of humans for the last 2 lakh years, humans realized their power over other species and successfully lived on the food available thereof. He started slowly to build communities to live together to fight the predators and started to raise families. The animal instinct of survival of your community versus my community started wars and killings like any other animal kingdom.
The communities have started becoming bigger and bigger and there was need for some rules and regulations & controls to live amicably. There is a need of a Super Human being who is a GOD and who can do anything, if he or she wants. Different type of GODs has been created as per requirement. Thus religion was born. Many religions are born in different continents as per the requirement of the local people and as per the spiritual leaders of that time.
Basically all religions speak the same language. Love thy neighbourer and be kind and serve others and live under certain rules and regulations to live peacefully. The extremists from each religion have taken the rules so seriously that they become unchangeable over a time and life became miserable to ordinary citizens of the world where ever they are.
The regulations had resulted in a caste system in India. This caste system even though originated based on the work allotment to different communities, but degenerated into air tight caste system which defines a person’s caste by birth. Karna in not a Kshatriya, so he cannot fight war or learn war fare. This has resulted in a big war of MAHABHARATA about 5000 years ago. The story of MAHABHARATA was not told by SRIKRISHNA. It is told by VEDVYASA, the great sage of that period but showed that it is told by GOD himself, so that people follow the path. Ramayana is a story written by Sage Valmiki to say how a king should live for the sake of his people. The story may be true or false. It may be history or may not. That is not important. Various sages or Gurus or Prophets have evolved different guidelines to teach the people how to live in a society/ community harmoniously.
What should we do today?
The rules, regulations and Religions have started since thousands of years ago and they cannot be changed overnight and there is no need to change that also. All religions are good to control and regulate the human behavior.
There is no use in criticizing the religions and GODs, which has become a trend of the present Humanists. This will not have any bearing on the people. When one humanist cries hoarse on TV, that it is not good to take bath in muddy GODAVARI waters, 10 Crore people have immersed themselves in the river expecting some good thing to happen to them. Millions of people visit Sri Venkateswara & Saibaba Temples and wait more than 12 hours to have a Darshan of about a minute. All religious places of different religions are same. Do we need to change that? Can we change?
HUMANISTS even thought cannot change but help in directing the energy into positive action, provided, they realize that God is not against HUMANISM. He is for it. All religions teach HUMANISM. Revive the fundamentals of religions in each religion and explain that HUMANISM and RELIGION are same and that they are two sides of the same coin. Let them pray but do help other humans in misery which is better than praying. Highlight the good and bad points of each religion and guide the population in a positive way. Do not criticize that the people do not know anything.
The present HUMANISTS should study the good points of each religion and spread them among people. They should tell the different leaders of the community and religious leaders that HUMANISTS are not against them and that they want to support them in their endeavor to spread the good points of each religion. It is not sufficient to blame all religions and GODs and say that their HUMANISM is great. It will never work except that a few face book (Yeses) in Social Media.
As far as I am concerned, I believe in a super power (like Gravitation) which makes the planets and stars to be there where they are and controls the whole universe including all living beings. It does not show any distinction between humans and other living creatures. The great sages of various religions also tried to identify the super power and name it on different Gods while the humanists or rationalists try to identify the same in their own minds.
The process of evolution has given the man the super computer for his personal use. It dies when the man dies. The purpose of each individual is to make the evolution one step ahead every time a person is born and travels his life journey.
As such, my philosophy is to do my work the best possible way and help any, if possible or keep quiet, if you cannot help. Let the religion and Gods be in their respective places.