Thanks to religious Leaders, a cancelled Event made Atheism more popular! – 15 Oct 16

So yesterday was my 45th birthday and definitely a day I won’t forget. Not for my change of age however but for the events of this day.

As I already mentioned, we had planned an atheist meeting on 14th October. A similar meeting in the last year brought together a hundred like-minded people who enjoyed it a lot. When I put out the plan on social media in this year, thousands of people showed interest in coming and people started signing up right away. We had more than 500 confirmed guests – and information of many people coming along with them or coming without registration. So in this way we were expecting a crowd of up to 1000 people. We did our arrangements accordingly, preparing for feeding everyone and accommodating as many as possible.

People started coming already two days before the program to help as volunteers and many were on their way from thousands of kilometers away, by plane and train. Even though our event was to happen on our private premises, we took a legal permission from authorities, just as a precaution. Then we heard of a local event on which religious leaders and some goons with them were planning a protest and even an attack on our event. We were obviously not very happy about this but we thought that we didn’t have any problem with anybody, so why would someone have a problem with us peacefully meeting and discussing our thoughts? Why would believers disturb our calm dialogue if we don’t go to disturb their rituals and ceremonies? Even if they didn’t like us, they could do a peaceful demonstration here while we were inside our Ashram. But things didn’t turn out as we thought.

Yesterday morning, we were busy in the preparations of our event and enjoyed welcoming all those people who had come from all over India just for talking to people who think similarly. It was then that the drama started: a few of Vrindavan’s religious leaders prepared a stage at the other side of the road and began shouting slogans. As it is usual in India, a crowd soon began to form and people were obviously angry. We had prepared with extra security, closed and locked our gate and the shutter in front of our entrance doors.

Then, a bulldozer came and broke a signboard in front of our door as well as the ramp that was leading from the road up to our restaurant!

Those who were already inside watched the destruction in disbelief. We saw how the crowd gathered and shouted and finally started burning a puppet in front of our doorstep! A female reporter who tried to go out was pulled away from our gate by the crowd and was even hit! Also those of our guests who had not made it until our gate were held off by the angry mob!

Police officers were around to prevent bigger damage but unfortunately did not actively keep them away a lot. That’s how they managed to throw stones and break our new first-floor glass windows! They had petrol with them and wanted to set our home on fire. Due to some alert security guards, this could not happen.

Finally, the present police officers came to us and told us to cancel the event in order to be able to maintain law and order. In order to control the mob outside, they suggested a meeting with the leading religious personalities. In this, they tried to get me to promise them in written not only that we would cancel the event but that I would not call myself an atheist and that I would not write about such topics anymore. I replied that we would call off the event but that it was my fundamental right in this democracy to express my opinion and that I would do this further, too.

That’s how we cancelled our event. This news, too, spread like wildfire on social media. A lot of people who were on the way had to turn back. The official program was cancelled but with those who were already here, we decided to enjoy the evening with a birthday cake and dinner!

We wanted to discuss and talk – but these people came with violence! I was wondering: is this what religion wants to show itself? That’s why exactly so many people think it is not right to follow! With all this protest and the attack on this event as well as damage to our property, these people actually made our cancelled event so very popular! We would have peacefully had our program, had they not been there – but in this way, I have to really thank these religious people because the cancelled event spread like wildfire in social media and national and even international newspapers! Thousands more people got to know that an event for atheist or non-religious people was taking place in Vrindavan.

I was busy the whole afternoon with interviews – and below I am giving you the links for the most popular articles.

Of course many people were disappointed because the discussion that they had expected could not take place in the way that it was meant to. However, the message we wanted to give went out: religion does create issues we cannot ignore and atheism is a way that shows you how to get rid of many of these! I can assure those who could not come or who cancelled due to the events that we will meet again – there are already plans for getting together in an even bigger way, but this time in another place, for example in Delhi.

At this point, I want to thank my friends who were here and are still helping us through this time. Another thanks to those who are sending messages and birthday wishes and ask whether my family and I are safe. We are safe and in peace now, with police protection in front of our house. The restaurant is open again.

Of course, my family and I still have other issues now: we don’t need to calculate to see that we have a big financial loss. With the cancellation of the program, we had expenses for things that were not used, people who wanted to contribute could not come, the t-shirts we had printed and which a lot of people wanted to buy could not be sold. On top of it we have to replace windows, make a new ramp and get a new advertising board in front of our restaurant, too!

But life goes on and we are happy as long as we won't be bothered like this in front of our home!

I also want to use a few lines to thank everyone for your support of any kind, be it moral, emotional, mental or financial – it is very much appreciated! It was great to see how many friends we have, standing with us in this time.

 

And here are the news articles:

The Hindu
Times of India
Hindustan Times
Patrika
Indian Express
Scroll.in
India.com
The Wire
Financial Express
 

Dank religiöser Führer machte eine abgesagte Veranstaltung Atheismus noch bekannter! – 15 Okt 16

Gestern war also mein 45. Geburtstag und definitiv ein Tag, den ich nicht vergessen werde. Jedoch nicht, weil ich ein Jahr älter geworden bin, sondern aufgrund der Ereignisse des Tages. Und gleichzeitig möchte ich meinen Freunden danken.

Wie bereits erwähnt, hatten wir am 14. Oktober ein Atheisten-Treffen geplant. Ein ähnliches Treffen brachte im letzten Jahr einhundert Gleichgesinnte zusammen, denen das Treffen viel Freude brachte. Als ich in diesem Jahr den Plan in soziale Netzwerke stellte, zeigten tausende Leute Interesse daran zu kommen und es kamen auch gleich Anmeldungen. Wir hatten mehr als 500 bestätigte Gäste – und Informationen von vielen Leuten, die mit ihnen oder ohne Anmeldung kommen wollten. Auf diese Weise erwarteten wir also eine Menschenmenge von bis zu 1000 Leuten. Wir bereiteten uns dementsprechend vor, auf die Versorgung und Unterkunft so vieler Leute wie möglich.

Bereits zwei Tage vor dem Programm begannen freiwillige Helfer anzukommen und viele machten sich von tausenden Kilometern entfernt per Zug und Flugzeug auf den Weg. Obwohl unsere Veranstaltung auf unserem Privatgrund stattfinden sollte, holten wir uns von den Behörden eine Genehmigung, zur Vorbeugung. Dann hörten wir von einer Veranstaltung vor Ort, auf der religiöse Anführer und einige Rowdys einen Protest und sogar einen Angriff auf unsere Veranstaltung planten. Natürlich freuten wir uns nicht hierüber, dachten jedoch, dass wir mit keinem ein Problem hatten, warum also sollte jemand damit ein Problem haben, dass wir uns friedlich treffen und unsere Gedanken besprechen? Warum würden Gläubige unseren ruhigen Dialog stören, wenn wir ihre Rituale und Zeremonien nicht störten? Selbst wenn sie uns nicht mochten, könnten sie draußen friedlich demonstrieren, während wir hier in unserem Ashram waren. Doch die Dinge liefen nicht, wie wir uns das dachten.

Gestern Früh waren wir mit den Vorbereitungen auf unsere Veranstaltung beschäftigt und begrüßten all die Leute, die aus ganz Indien gekommen waren, nur um sich mit denen zu unterhalten, die ähnlich denken wie sie. Da begann das Drama: einige von Vrindavans religiösen Anführern bereiteten auf der anderen Straßenseite eine Bühne vor und begannen, Parolen zu rufen. Wie üblich in Indien bildete sich schnell eine Menschenmenge und die Leute, die da zusammenkamen erschienen sehr wütend. Wir hatten bereits extra Sicherheitskräfte, verschlossen und verriegelten unser Tor und ließen den Rollladen vor den Türen herunter.

Als Nächstes kam ein Bagger und zerstörte ein Schild vor unserer Tür sowie die Rampe, die von der Straße zum Restaurant führte!

Diejenigen, die bereits drinnen waren, beobachteten ungläubig die Zerstörung. Wir sahen, wie die Menschenmenge zusammenkam, rumschrie und schließlich begann, vor unserer Tür eine Puppe zu verbrennen! Eine Reporterin, die versuchte rauszugehen, wurde von unserem Tor weggezogen und sogar geschlagen! Und diejenigen unserer Gäste, die es nicht bis zu unserem Tor geschafft hatten, wurden von der wütenden Menschenmenge ferngehalten!

Polizeibeamte waren da, um größeren Schaden zu verhindern, doch leider hielten sie die Menge nicht sehr aktiv fern. So konnten es diese schaffen, Steine zu werfen und unsere neuen Glasfenster im ersten Stock kaputt zu schmeißen! Sie hatten auch Benzin dabei und wollten unser Haus anzünden. Aufgrund einiger wacher Sicherheitsmänner konnte das nicht geschehen.

Schließlich kamen die anwesenden Polizeibeamten zu uns und baten uns, die Veranstaltung abzusagen, damit sie Recht und Ordnung bewahren konnten. Um die Menschenmenge draußen unter Kontrolle zu bringen, schlugen sie ein Treffen mit führenden religiösen Persönlichkeiten vor. Dabei versuchten sie mich dazu zu bringen, ihnen schriftlich zu geben, dass wir nicht nur unsere Veranstaltung absagen, sondern dass ich mich nicht mehr als Atheist bezeichnen und nie wieder über solche Themen schreiben würde. Ich antwortete, dass wir die Veranstaltung zwar absagen würden, dass es in dieser Demokratie aber mein Grundrecht wäre, meine Meinung auszudrücken und dass ich das auch in Zukunft weiterhin tun würde.

So sagten wir also dieses Treffen ab. Auch diese Nachricht verbreitete sich in sozialen Netzwerken. Jede Menge Leute, die auf dem Weg waren, mussten umkehren. Das offizielle Programm wurde abgesagt, doch wir beschlossen, mit denen, die bereits da waren, den Abend mit einem Geburtstagskuchen und Abendessen zu beenden!

Wir wollten diskutieren und reden – doch diese Leute kamen mit Gewalt! Man muss sich fragen: will Religion sich selbst so darstellen? Genau darum denken so viele Leute, dass es nicht richtig ist, Religion zu folgen. Mit all diesem Protest und dem Angriff auf diese Veranstaltung sowie dem Schaden an unserem Eigentum haben diese Menschen unsere abgesagt Veranstaltung so bekannt gemacht! Wir hätten hier friedlich unser Programm gehabt, wären sie nicht dagewesen – doch so muss ich diesen religiösen Leuten wirklich danken, weil die abgesagte Veranstaltung sich in sozialen Medien sowie in nationalen und sogar internationalen Zeitungsberichten wie Wildfeuer verbreitet hat! Tausende Leute mehr erfuhren, dass in Vrindavan eine Veranstaltung für Atheisten oder nicht-religiöse Leute stattfinden sollte.

Ich war den ganzen Nachmittag lang mit Interviews beschäftigt – und unten seht ihr die Links für die bekanntesten Artikel.

Natürlich waren viele Leute enttäuscht, weil die Unterhaltungen, die sie erwartet hatten, nicht so stattfinden konnten, wie es gedacht war. Doch die Botschaft, die wir geben wollten, ging raus: Religion schafft Probleme, die wir nicht ignorieren können und der Atheismus ist ein Weg, der dir zeigt, wie man viele dieser Probleme lösen kann! Ich kann diejenigen, die nicht kommen konnten, oder die aufgrund der Ereignisse ihre Reise abgebrochen haben, versichern, dass wir uns wieder treffen – es gibt bereits Pläne für ein noch größeres Treffen, zum Beispiel in Delhi.

An diesem Punkt möchte ich meinen Freunden danken, die hier waren und uns immer noch durch diese schwierige Zeit hindurchhelfen. Ein weiteres Dankeschön an diejenigen, die Geburtstagsgrüße schicken und fragen, ob meine Familie und ich sicher sind. Wir sind nun sicher und haben es hier friedlich, mit Polizeischutz vor unserer Haustür. Das Restaurant ist wieder offen.

Natürlich haben meine Familie und ich nun immer noch andere Themen anstehen: wir müssen nicht viel rechnen um zu sehen, dass wir einen großen finanziellen Verlust haben. Mit der Absage des Programms hatten wir Ausgaben für Dinge, die nicht verwendet wurden, Leute, die beitragen wollten, konnten nicht kommen, die T-Shirts, die wir bedruckt hatten und die viele Leute haben wollten, konnten nicht verkauft werden. Dazu müssen wir nun Scheiben ersetzen, eine neue Rampe machen und auch ein neues Werbeschild vor unsere Tür stellen!

Doch das Leben geht weiter und wir sind froh, solange wir vor unserer Haustür nicht so belästigt werden!

Ich möchte auch ein paar Zeilen darauf verwenden, allen für ihre Unterstützung jeglicher Art zu danken, sei es moralisch, emotional, mental oder finanziell – das schätzen wir sehr! Es war großartig zu sehen, wie viele Freunde wir haben, die uns in dieser Zeit beistehen.

Und hier sind die Zeitungsartikel:

The Hindu
Times of India
Hindustan Times
Patrika
Indian Express
Scroll.in
India.com
The Wire
Financial Express

National Convention on Atheism in religious Town Vrindavan – 6 Oct 16

Until now, I have not told you yet about a program we have now been preparing for quite a while: on 14th and 15th October, we will have a gathering of like-minded people here at our Ashram. An atheist meet in the middle of religious Vrindavan!

Those of you who have been loyal readers may remember a similar event last year, when about a hundred people came together at our Ashram in July 2015. We discussed religion, God and atheism, had a program with poems and music, ate good food and, most of all, shared our thoughts and feelings. Friendships were formed on that day which went very deep, as the participants were connected by common ground: they all didn’t believe in god or at least had doubts whether he existed or not.

As it had been such a great success last year, we decided to make another event this year, inviting people from all over the country to get together! We created a small program with a discussion and question-answer group, a play performed by a theater group and of course tasty meals as well.

When we had decided on our idea, we published the event online – and immediately got a great response! Without having done any advertisement, only by putting it out there online, dozens and then hundreds of people started telling us that they would come! By this date, we expect more than five hundred people to join us on 14th October!

All my friends here in India: if you have any doubt in the religion you see around you, if you have been disappointed by an imaginary god you believed in and have found my writings to be true, you are more than welcome! I know a lot of people who have doubts in Hindu traditions and just don’t dare to go against what has been done for so long. They don’t want to disappoint their family and they feel hesitation in going down a path they might be alone on.

You are not the only one and you can find friends who think the same! Come and join us on 14th and 15th October in Vrindavan!

Nationales Atheisten-Treffen in der religiösen Stadt Vrindavan – 6 Okt 16

Bis jetzt habe ich euch noch nicht von einem Programm erzählt, auf das wir uns nun schon seit einer Weile vorbereiten: am 14. und 15. Oktober haben wir hier im Ashram eine Zusammenkunft Gleichgesinnter organisiert. Ein Atheisten-Treffen inmitten des religiösen Vrindavan!

Meine treuen Leser erinnern sich an eine ähnliche Veranstaltung im letzten Jahr, als etwa hundert Leute im Juli 2015 in unserem Ashram zusammenkamen. Wir haben über Religion, Gott und Atheismus gesprochen, hatten ein Programm mit Gedichten und Musik, hatten gutes Essen und, vor allem, teilten unsere Gedanken und Gefühle. An dem Tag wurden Freundschaften geschlossen, die sehr tief gingen, da die Teilnehmer eine gemeinsame Grundlage hatten: sie alle glaubten nicht an Gott oder hatten zumindest Zweifel daran, ob er wirklich existiert oder nicht.

Da es im letzten Jahr so ein großer Erfolg war, beschlossen wir, auch in diesem Jahr ein solches Treffen zu veranstalten, wofür wir Leute aus dem ganzen Land eingeladen, zusammen zu kommen! Wir haben ein kleines Programm mit einer Diskussion und Frage-Antwort-Gruppe, einem Theaterstück und natürlich auch leckeren Mahlzeiten zusammengestellt.

Als wir die Idee hatten, machten wir die Veranstaltung online öffentlich – und bekamen sofort super Reaktionen! Ohne jegliche Werbung, nur dadurch, dass wir es online stellten, begannen Dutzende und dann Hunderte von Leuten, sich anzumelden! Wir erwarten nun mehr als fünfhundert Leute am 14. Oktober!

All meine Freunde hier in Indien: wer jegliche Zweifel an der Religion um einen herum hat, wer von einem imaginären Gott enttäuscht wurde, an den er mal glaubte und wer das, was ich schreibe, für richtig hält, der ist mehr als willkommen! Ich kenne jede Menge Leute, die Zweifel an hinduistischen Traditionen haben und sich einfach nicht trauen, etwas anderes zu tun als das, was nun schon so lange eben so gemacht wird. Sie wollen ihre Familie nicht enttäuschen und zögern, einen Weg zu gehen, auf dem sie sich vielleicht alleine wiederfinden würden.

Du bist nicht der Einzige und du kannst Freunde finden, die gleich denken! Komm und schließ dich uns am 14. und 15. Oktober hier in Vrindavan an!

Surprising Reactions of Restaurant-goers when I tell I am an Atheist – 29 Jul 16

After having opened our restaurant, I have had several situations in talk with people in which people assumed I was religious. There could now be the question whether I correct this assumption or not. We are in Vrindavan, a lot of our guests have come here for pilgrimage and they are very clearly religious. I tell you that I have, nevertheless, told in nearly every situation that I am actually not religious at all. That I am an atheist.

We all wondered what kind of effect that would have on people. In Vrindavan this is definitely not a common occurrence – and people were surprised. I had thought some people might react in a negative way but here the surprise was on our side: I have not had even one person whose reaction was anything else but interested!

Really, most people express their surprise but are then interested in getting to know more. How come a person in spiritual clothing, born and grown up in Vrindavan, has turned into an atheist?

There are also others who may not approve of the thought of atheism – but they are actually not disturbed by that! And really, why would they be? It is not really any of their matter whether the owner of the restaurant they have come to eat in believes in god or not!

Here I can see one thing: people online, when they act and write from the safe distance of their homes, from in front of the computer, can be rude and insulting. They can write bad things and use language they would never use in person. And that’s something people don’t do in person! Maybe we also have nicer people here in our restaurant than there are generally online – but it is definitely clear that I have had only positive feedback on the news that I am an atheist.

And this gives me hope: even if there are a lot of people who would never dream of leaving their belief in god, they are ready and intellectually advanced enough not to see a problem in the lack of god-awareness of others or the straight-out refusal that there might be a god at all!

Why I feel good about the non-Existence of God or a higher Power – 27 Jul 16

I was recently asked what I, as an atheist, thought about opportunities in life. As I don’t believe in God, I would obviously not thank any divine being for me being able to do things I was wishing for or for my life going in beautiful ways. No, I would not. I can, however be nevertheless thankful and happy!

I have heard a lot of times how religious people called those who don’t believe in God ‘unthankful’. They think everyone should be thankful to God for whatever he or she gets in life. If you are not and anything good happens to you, you commit a sin in their eyes. Obviously however not in yours because you don’t believe in any such being.

I don’t believe that any higher power provides me or anyone else with opportunities. Most of those opportunities are created by yourself through your hard work and your way of seeing things in life. You work towards certain goals in life and you look out for the chances you get. With your effort you create chances and you see them especially because your view is on these topics.

There are other opportunities which simply come into existence by others being kind or things that you have no influence on – and then it is coincidence, nature or another person’s goodwill. That’s it. Yes, things like coincidence exist. Without any god.

This may sound sober, even boring to you but I am generally a very rational person and if there is no higher force for me to bring people into trouble, there is also none that can give you possibilities in life. Of course, that takes the magic out of it, it removes the possibility that someone ‘looks after you’ but you know what? It also answers the question whose fault it is when unfortunate, unstoppable events happen: nobody’s.

To me, that feels good. There is no higher force that wishes for children to die of hunger or for fires to extinguish the base of living for so many people. It is nature, it is the consequences of human actions, it is everything but not some mean kind of omnipotent force that does evil for his own amusement!

I think we are better off without the thought of god – but of course that is everyone’s own decision and thought!

Narendra Nayak’s Presentation at our School exposing popular Magic Tricks of Gurus – 13 Aug 15

Today we had a program at our school which we had, although it was fixed on relatively short notice, anticipated a lot. Narendra Nayak, who is probably India’s most-known rationalist, came to visit us and give a presentation for our school children!

In 2009, when we were in New York, we stumbled upon a video of his early work online. In the video, he and a group of his students showed villagers the tricks of fake gurus and then exposed them, showing that these were not, as claimed, miracles performed with divine powers. I got in touch with him and for the past years, we have been following each other’s work. After our atheist meeting a few weeks ago, we were in touch again. He had plans to come to Delhi and offered to come to our school as well. I said it would be great to welcome him here!

That’s how he was standing in front of our school children this morning and spent three hours telling them that they should think before they believe anything, ask questions if they don’t understand and not worship anybody for allegedly godly powers because these don’t exist and we humans are all the same.

It was a pleasure to watch! The children saw with amazement how Narendra Nayak seemingly materialized a golden necklace, just like the already expired magician and celebrity guru Sathya Sai Baba used to do. They were in awe when one of their classmates could light an oil lamp that was filled with water instead of oil. They gasped when he apparently pushed a trident spear through his tongue. Excitedly, they watched videos of him performing surgery with his bare hands and deep-frying bread in hot oil, again just with his hands.

Several children and even teachers were called to the front and became part of the performance: they held a string that was cut through and then reattached as if it had never happened. They chose cards out of a deck which he then guessed, as if he was reading their minds. He touched their arm with a burning torch and put a burning piece of camphor on several students’ outstretched tongues without any of them being burnt!

Needless to say, everyone loved the show. But it was more than just a magic show! With every trick Narendra Nayak showed our children, he also explained how it worked. This made so many ‘miracles’ all of a sudden simple tricks achieved by speed, the right material or simply the basic laws of physics!

It made our children not only marvel in the tricks but also think about all the things they are told by religious believers about miracles. It made them wonder what is true and what is fake.

I believe it is one further step on the way to teach our children that they have to use their mind. That they should not blindly believe and follow. That they should ask questions and demand answers.

See pictures of Narendra Nayak's presentation here

 

Narendra Nayak show

 

Posted by Swami Balendu on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sorry, I just can’t be an atheist Guru – 6 Aug 15

You have already read that I have absolutely no wish or intention to found an organization for atheists. Yesterday I explained that the risk for this to turn into a religion was too high and that we should not stick to traditional ways of defining atheism. Today I would like to tell you about another reason: I just don’t like the structure that such an organization would require!

You already know that I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting of so many atheists at our Ashram. I will also in future like to invite atheists to our Ashram to bring them together and provide a space where such meetings can happen. I love talking to them, be it online or in person, to tell them of my views, listen to theirs and help them with their issues if I can. But I don’t want to found an organization for all of this!

There have been a lot of personal requests for this and that’s why I think I should also reply to exactly these people who asked for it: you want to have a system into which you can fit your atheism. The point of atheism is however that it is against the existing system!

One reason for many people to be atheists is that they don’t like the hierarchy that religion provides! I would not enjoy being the head of such an organization because for many years, in my youth and young adulthood, I was something very similar: a religious, spiritual guru! I was the one telling religious people what to do. I have left this behind, among other reasons because I wanted to be equal! I wanted to be able to have a normal conversation with another person without him or her kissing my feet!

So if I now started an organization, I would be head of it. There would be other directors. There would be people managing it, who would be one level lower, the second-highest in this organization. And it would go further like this, making some people higher and others lower. I believe we all are humans and we should all be the same. Such structures may be necessary in companies in order to run business properly but I would hate to see this among my atheist friends! Because that is one of the things that is so horribly wrong in religions all over the world!

Why do you need someone to tell you what to do or where to go? Why are you even looking for such a person or group? I think you can spread the message better if you believe in yourself and your individual experience! Why can you not tell others about atheism without an organization?

I don’t want this. I think if we did that, we would be in no way better than organized religion and believers are.

So believe me when I say I will never found such an organization. I find it funny when someone jokingly calls me ‘the atheist guru’ but I cannot really be one!

Why I won’t found an Organization of Atheism – nor a Religion! – 5 Aug 15

I have told you about our atheist meeting at the Ashram and wrote some of my thoughts to the topic of atheism into my blog. At that meeting as well as afterwards on social media, I was asked several times whether I would now start an atheist organization. The whole experience has actually confirmed me in my previous decision to never do such a thing!

I believe that the risk of such a venture turning into a full-fledged religion someday is just too high! You all know what I think of religion – and I would never want that! Oh, people said it would not be like a religion because I don’t believe in god! If you think of the beginnings of Buddhism however, that is exactly what happened there as well! Buddha said you should be your own light – today Buddhism is called the fifth world religion!

Not every religion is necessary based on the belief in god. There are many people, sects and also religions that do have a concept without god. They believe in a lot of different nonsense however! For me, atheism is not only the belief that god doesn’t exist. I refuse all superstition and with it ideas of reincarnation, heaven, karma and everything similar.

Some people told me that the Vedas, old Hindu scriptures, already contain verses which seem at least agnostic, doubting the existence of god. Especially the Rig Veda tells that we don’t know who created this world. I replied that you may not know who but it still feels as though there is at least ‘someone’ who created, right? Some people say that the concept of a world without god has existed for a very long time already, referencing several other old scriptures as well.

I just don’t see why we would need these examples! The people who wrote those scriptures, no matter how long ago, were just people like you and me. They had thoughts and they wrote them down. If you take their written words however and study them, trying to prove or find truth, you will go the same way that all religions went. You are trying to make these scriptures an anchor to hold on to, a guideline that tells you what to believe.

In my eyes, atheism can never be that. It is not something to lead people’s thoughts completely from zero for simply one reason: it is reactionary! It is not a path that you decide from step one but a way that you choose to take when you refuse the way of religion! It goes against the fake illusion of god, a rebellious thought against the order of religion. You are reacting on religion, superstition and the fictional image of God. If there is no theism, there cannot be atheism. A child that grows up without religion or the impression of god won’t be an atheist. He will just be natural.

Atheism is a reaction. And that’s why I want to tell all atheists who read me: please don’t try to find an atheist scripture for an atheist religion. Atheism does not follow a tradition, it is completely individual. Talk about your own experience, about your feelings and your thoughts. Talk about now, not age-old writings! It is about you.

No organization can bring all these different individual feelings together and create rules or a framework for them all. That again would force people to comply and not be themselves. And that is religion. So no, I won’t create an atheist religion!

Can we make the World a better Place by spreading Atheism? – 4 Aug 15

I yesterday explained why the question of atheism and belief is more important in India than it is in the west. People just care much more about god and religion here! I mentioned that I believe the world will be better when more and more people leave religion and become atheists. Today I would like to illustrate this statement a bit and explain why it is not your belief or non-belief in god that will make the difference!

I want to make this clear once more: I don’t actually care much whether you believe in god or not. I can be friends with you either way – and I might not be friends with you either way. Only the fact that twenty, hundred or a thousand people say they don’t believe in god will not make the world a better place either. It is not really this belief that I am against, it is the exploitation of people, the manipulation of their minds and the incredible cheating that happens with this belief!

This is why I also don’t only limit all my thoughts and words to Hinduism and India! I think they are relevant and important for all other religions and beliefs as well, as people are exploited in so many ways when it comes to their faith! I want to explicitly include esoteric practices and ‘spirituality’ in here!

It is all the same: a group of men who write a book which becomes a scripture that others should follow. The head of a religion that publishes rules that others should follow. Gurus that tell their followers what they should do. Sect-leaders that guide their sheep-like devotees. Clairvoyants that claim to see what the future will bring. Psychics that reveal believers what their dead ancestors want them to do.

When I say I am an atheist, I also don’t believe in ‘the universe’ or any higher energy that directs us all. Others may think different. Only from the fact that a person doesn’t believe in god or any similar entity, the world won’t be a better place.

When I say however that I will do what feels good for me and which brings good to others, not harming anybody and not manipulating anybody and someone tells me he recently came to the same conclusion, I think this makes the world a better place!

As there is so much manipulation in religion and also spirituality however, the chances that this happens when you leave religion and god are high. I tell and write down my thoughts so more people may reach to the same thought and not have others exploit them anymore!