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← India: atheism in the land of a thousand gods

iamvik's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by iamvik

I was born in India have lived there for most of my adult life. I am also an atheist and a vocal one at that - never had to face anything other than astonishment from others or mild rebuke from my family elders. I guess it must be something to do with the educated, urban background I was part of.

But Hinduism per se does not have an established notion of considering people as heretic and punishing them for it. The kind of reception you get for your (ungodly) beliefs depends upon the kind of environment you are in. In some very rigidly religious family/community a father may feel compelled enough to renounce his first born, an on others he will merely smile indulgently. You could be perceived as evil, or merely a fool. Painting a society/country of more than a billion people with one swift broad brush-stroke is going to achieve nothing.

@drumdaddy: The concept of a multi-armed elephant god is not so outlandish. The problem starts with the concept of got itself. If god is all powerful and created this wonderful world, then you think growing a few extra pairs of arms for himself would be beyond him? Is it more outlandish than dying on a cross and coming back from the dead?

@sandman67: Every society has its lunatic fringes, and with a billion people, even a small proportion runs into thousands. The practices you have cited like Kali worship with human sacrifice, Suttee (Sati) and Thugee happen once in a blue moon. And the trend is declining not increasing, so no need to read too much in it. Just as a few blacks roughed up by some rednecks do not announce imminent return of slavery in the US. All these should not happen, but it does. And thankfully, happens in isolation.

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 14:05:39 UTC | #637924