Friday, January 6, 2012

God Delusion, Mount Abu and Atheism

For a welcome change, I celebrated New Year's Eve at Mount Abu and Udaipur and I would write on it elsewhere. Here in brief, I would pen down an interesting phenomenon which happened to me during the journey relating to atheism.

Despite being the capital of 2 states,

Chandigarh's connectivity with the rest of India mainly depends on Ambala Cantt and Delhi, and the case here was no different as on 30th December, I was supposed to catch the train from Delhi at 7:55 pm for which train from Chandigarh was scheduled to arrive at 4:30. A big gap it seems, but I had to dump the bulk of my luggage in my campus (to-fro journey needs at least 1 hour 30 mins), leaving me with lesser time. To pass my time in the train, I begun the novel- God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, a work of non-fiction rationally and probabilistically analyzing God's existence. I was liking the read. However at Ambala, the train kept waiting for a long time- 30 mins, 1 hour but I started fretting when ever after an hour-and-a-half it didn't show signs of movement. After all, I couldn't afford much delay. Instinctively I kept down the book after an hour due to anxiety. However the train resumed services after 1 hour, 45 minutes of stoppage at Ambala. When I thought of resuming the book, I somehow decided against it. Was it the anxiety leading to half-concentration which influenced the decision? Alas, no!

I didn't read it since whether the train reached in time wasn't in my hands, and I had no power over it letting God be the decisive player (despite knowing the power lay with train driver, signal-controllers: humans, not God). Believing that while reading a piece on Atheism, my prayers would be futile I chose to keep it down. And thus despite Dawkins' beliefs on his book making even religious people into atheists his claim in that moment was far from true, as despite my affinity towards rationality I succumbed to being God-fearing and superstitions. In the past, I have been a very firm believer. Strangely despite lack in firm belief now, somewhere the tendency to believe does lurk.

PS. On my return journey which seemed to be sailing smoothly, I finished 90-odd pages without disruption.

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