By God! We are atheists

science over faith

By God! We are atheists

In a country which is populated by as many gods as people and religion an obsession, it is difficult to believe that there can be atheists. Mo­re so, when you realise that the­se are not 50 plus retired, disappointed-with-life individuals but young students and professionals who ridicule the idea of a God and acknowledge science and rati­onalism.

So, Metrolife attended the meeting of Delhi Freethinkers Society on a muggy Sunday afternoon with some scepticism. Aastha Manocha, a young media professional and a member of the DFS assured us, “It’s ok. Whenever I tell someone that I don’t believe in any God or religion, the first reaction is: kucch hua tha kya? It takes a while for people to realise that we are not upset with God. We just don’t think he exists.”

Aastha informs us that she was 13 when she read a book called Yug Drishti, “It was a book on world religions, their origin, philosophies and especially how they view other religions. It made me realise that religion cannot unite. It has been and will always be a cause for divisions, hatred and war. More so, their views on women – how could God have said women are inferior?”

Aastha, whose name ironically means faith, is not the only one to hold this opinion. It is shared by at least 800 youngsters – girls and boys who are a part of the DFS Facebook group. Then there are hundreds of others who are members of various regional, atheist, agnostic, sceptic and rationalist societies.

A national website Nir­m­u­k­, running since 2008, hosts like-minded individuals in several thousands.

Lalit Chawla, a software engineer and coordinator of DFS, says, “Many more will start thinking on the same lines as they start to ‘question.’ That is how the journey began for most of us. In this day and age, is it justified to believe that the earth is held up by a tortoise, an elephant or a bull, or that humans originated from a ‘God’s’ body parts? Are the explanations provided by science not more believable?”

Tell him that science does not have explanations for everything and he’s quick to add, “Yes. Science says that it does not have all the answers but it’s a work in progress and we can expect justified, measurable reasons in time to come. At least it does not hold a gun to your head and say: ‘if you don’t believe me, you are an apostate and we will behead you for that’.”

Religion does not mean only visiting a temple, mosque or gurdwara, but is a way of life and a set of guiding moral principles for many. Ujwal, an entrepreneur replies, “You don’t require religion for morals. We are areligious but believe that we should do good as we expect from others.”

“And talking about way of life, ceremonies like marriage,” Aastha adds, “We do have to comply with our pare­n­ts and their religious beliefs, but would much prefer to do it our way. For me, a simple co­u­rt marriage is enough. I would much rather place faith in my husband than God if my marriage runs into trouble!”

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