At the outset, I would like to clarify my stand regarding God. I am not a self-effacing believer nor am I an atheist. I would like to undertake this article as an objective venture into understanding the ‘concept’ behind G-O-D. Wikipedia defines Deity as – a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers, often religiously referred to as a god.
WHY BELIEVE IN GOD?
When most people around you believe in God (including your family), it would be rather problematic to wish away his existence. At the expense of coming across as insensitive, I’d like to say that some people believe in God because it would be inconvenient not to.
Some people choose to use God as a defense mechanism. Some people seek refuge in God in order to cope with an otherwise difficult situation. People invest a lot of faith in God and pass on their incompetence to Him.
Most of us like to see it as a question of faith. While scientific logic cannot prove the existence of God, it can’t disprove it either. It could be used as a way to unify people within certain beliefs. Tolerance is necessary for this model to work.
Many religions humanize the image of God. This has a high aspirational value. People are encouraged to follow in the steps of God (morally) while remembering that they themselves are mortal and, can’t possibly reach his level. It ensures a way of maintaining a certain moral code in society. It also ensures that mere mortals are held in the fear of God and society doesn’t descend into anarchy.
HOW IT AFFECTS SOCIETY
God, in all his glory, is often used as an agent for suppression. From family to society, many use God to suppress instinctive actions. In certain cultures, patriarchy uses God to control its women. They are told to stay within religious boundaries in order to avoid damnation.
The mainstay of religious manipulation is, obviously, politics. From Islamic terror organizations to our native Hindutva faction, politicians use various methods to employ religion in their agenda. There is also a hollow belief system in which belief is kept up for convenience. In some cases, the crusaders for religion don’t even believe in what they preach.
Religion also aids the sprouting of morally superior, tactically tight spiritual gurus. They politicize their agendas and end up having a huge following. Communalism stems from intolerance of other religions. Politics taps into this intolerance in order to meet its ends. It would, nonetheless, be utopian to dream of a world where all religions co-exist peacefully. A Godless world would put an end to religious manipulation but that seems too farfetched.
Superstition also comes mainly from God. Many cultures follow superstitious rituals and condone inhuman practices in the name of religion.
There are both positives and negatives to adopting the concept of GOD. It is ultimately in the hands of the believers to ensure that their religious beliefs do not influence their decision-making in other walks of life. There is a thin line between belief and fanaticism. Respect it.