I had a very interesting conversation today with people of rich history and wisdom. These people hail from a diverse set of philosophies and outsets. The conversation about does God exist? What is life? What is the point of all of this? An answer to these fundamental questions is a prerequisite for answering the other big questions of life: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Do we serve a purpose? Do we have any intrinsic value? What happens after we die?
These are the questions I always wriggled with while growing up. The question of the existence of God is fundamental. The questions I had when faced with such claims was, how could I know whether it was true or not? For one thing, how can I know that God exists only because people are telling you to? Does one have to believe in the existence of God before one makes up her own mind? After all, lots of holy books and even religious leaders make similar claims.
I initially decided to put down bits of conversation in the blog post like a good blogger but on the way to do that, I chose to halt and think a little too hard.
The existence of God is a subject of debate in the philosophy of religion, popular culture, philosophy and regular conversations. We are all trying very hard to convince and persuade people to agree with our beliefs and dogmas. We prefer to be around people with similar interests and sentiments to evade differences leading to monotony and life in a bubble. We strictly don’t want anyone to oppose our fixed beliefs and regulations. People that believe in God are trying to persuade non-believers and vice versa. It’s a constant fight all over the world. How do you believe in God when you read, hear and see three-year-olds are brutally raped, attacked, cut in halves and thrown away to melt in acid? Where does God go when his loyalists pray for basic amenities in life or results? Where does God hide when wrong happens to nicest people? And, people answer- “You just have to believe and he is there.” Other arguments for the existence of God have been cliché. “To you, I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the loyal opposition?” Everybody presents their own version of the cosmological argument. We are all different and we present arguments against or in favor of the existence of God. One person recently said we are mere humans and we can’t define him. Ok, that’s just absurd.
However, it all comes down to karma. I believe “Karma is the law of cause and effect.” A loyal believer of God will suffer the consequences of his wrongdoings as much as a non-believer will.
A loyal believer of God can’t be acquitted of a criminal offense only because he believes in God. We can’t sit in relaxation and wait for God to do magical things for us. Believers or non- believers, Theist or atheists, our world is the result of causes and conditions. Each individual comes into being and each disintegrates and ceases to exist, and if we trace the continuum of causes and conditions, it comes down to karma, whether positive or negative. Karma itself is rooted in intention and motivation, so in effect, it all comes down to our state of mind. Positive consequences follow from a disciplined, calm and composed mind while undesirable experiences of pain and suffering follow from an undisciplined.
It would be comforting to know that people who commit bad karma get punished at last and that those who treat others well are happier than those who don’t. I would love to believe it, but in real life, I don’t often see actual examples of karma. Now the next question is Karma real?