After reading a blog post of mine (Legal Lawbreakers), an ex-colleague of mine sent me a message yesterday that the criminals would be punished by God. She has absolute faith in her God, she wrote.
Is there any justification for such faith? Nowhere in the history of mankind do we get any reason to believe that divine intervention has awarded justice to any people at any time. On the contrary, we have infinite examples to show how the wicked flourish and the naive perish.
It is easy to delude ourselves with such beliefs as divine justice after death. Hell and heaven, the Judgment Day, Karmic consequences, and other such religious carrots-and-sticks don’t serve any purpose to make human life more equitable on the planet. Religions also offer believers ways to circumvent the stick and secure the carrot: a confession or a bath in the Ganga or some other ritual can wash away your sins.
If religion were indeed effective in helping people resist evil with the carrot-and-stick eschatology, the world would have been a holy place long, long ago. For centuries, religions brought terrifying notions about life after death. But the evil in the world has only increased by diabolic leaps and bounds. The situation is as hilarious today as it is alarming because it is the religious people themselves who are the biggest swindlers. Examine the assets of some of the religious institutions in India, for example, and one will be astounded by their enormity. Even the Ambanis and Adanis would want to rethink about their entrepreneurial strategies!
That’s why I always recommend the cultivation of rational skills. People should be taught to use their rational faculties in order to understand why evil is undesirable and how goodness can be cultivated if we all choose to leave gods and demons to themselves and exercise our reason and imagination.
Have you ever wondered why religions never encourage people to think?