Saturday, December 12, 2009

Discombobulated

Today I watched a documentary titled “The root of all evil: The God delusion”, played at the movie club of our institute. Made by a American scientist, it hit out at the institution of religion, basically Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The man explained how the Theory of Evolution explains all the complexities of life present on the earth. He brought out the contrast of the explanation of genesis of life by religion and by science by pointing to a massive cliff. He said that religion says that the world, its life and man was created by God in six days, so it explains the point from ground (nothing) to another at the top of the cliff (everything) in one simple way: God created it. Then he walks to the backside of the cliff that has a gradual inclination leading to the top of the cliff and says this is the way that science explains it, by evolution, the gradual development of complexity of life on earth over billions of years. He said that the Christians in the US were becoming extremists, preventing evolution from being taught at schools. He drove past a street which had numerous churches and billboards saying Jesus this, Jesus that, and said that there were nothing but four walls meant to mislead the masses and make money. He even drove past and then into the campus of a humungous, billion dollar church being run by a very politically powerful evangelist. Inside of the building was dazzling with halls for music, prayer service etc (frankly I found it sickening too). When this fellow went to interview the evangelist, he was forthcoming at first but as the questions became sharp, so did the answers and tone of the priest. The priest then cross questioned, “I can’t believe that this (pointing to his eye) just happened by accident”, to which the director/interviewer snapped, “We never said that it’s an accident, it’s all been a gradual development. Evolution never says that such things happened by accident, in fact it’s explained in a much better way than the way religion does.” Soon the priest lost his temper and ordered them all to get lost. As they scampered away, he chased them shouting, “get off my property or I’ll have your tapes seized. You can’t tell my flock that they’re animals.” (This was repulsive too).
This scientist guy had some pretty sharp invectives hurled at religion. He then traveled to Jerusalem and found out that the holy city is but fraught hatred of the three religions towards each other. He even interviewed an Islam convert (from Judaism!! He was an American!!) to ask him why was there so much of hatred there. He said that I am an atheist and I don’t hate anybody to which the angry man spontaneously replied, “I hate atheist because they live by the law of man whereas we live by the law of Allah. Why are you doing so many injustices to the Arabs and Muslims? Why do you go around drinking while your women walk in the streets dressed like prostitutes?”
The man replied, “We don’t dress our women, they dress themselves, it’s their business”
The convert replied “Then you should take care of what they wear”
The man asked, “It seems like you want Islam to capture the whole world”
The convert replied “Yes I do and that will happen.”
Then he showed videos of some place in America where the “free minded” atheists lived, almost ostracized by the community. They were all planning to move to Canada.

I watched it all and sighed; I was born and raised in a Christian family. I might be influenced by it but I stay away from any form of “~ism”. I couldn’t help but notice the frequent sneering snuffs from the audience as they watched the documentary. We as Indians should be more reserved in such regards, this is a place where some people are burnt alive, raped, tortured and discriminated against not just on the basis of religion but also on the basis of colour, sex, caste etc. We live in a secular, democratic country and can act the way we want, sometimes without the slightest compunction. This was a documentary, like literature it reflected and was aimed at projecting one part of the story, the side of the evolutionists. Whether to take it as totally correct or totally baseless is at the discretion of the viewer. The debate will never end. Whether Allah will come, or Jesus will come or somebody from the realms of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism will come to save/destroy the world and I really do not see the point in cerebrating over it. I do not know if there’s a God or there’s been a dynamic biological evolution to have finally created me, all I know is that my tea is colder than it was when I started to write. Phuh!
I’ll end this with a brilliant quote by Ashleigh Brilliant “Hate me if you must but please don’t misunderstand me.”

5 comments:

Ashish said...

God Delusions is also a famous book by Richard Dawkins. But these discussions are much too West-centric and I wonder if we in India can gain much therefrom. For that to happen, someone must script and make a film with Indian background in mind.

Bharat Panwar said...

Hey Jesse, very nice, i enjoyed it. Evolution is more easy way to understand the creation and complexity of life in compare to seven-day theory. Interestingly, "God" itself has been created.

I do agree with you.

cheers!

bharat

jesse said...

Richard Dawkins it was, True, that's what I felt too, the discussion was too west centric. An informal conversation with some of the members of the audience revealed that they were being too critical of these unscientific religions talked about in the show :) which really amused me for obvious reasons.

jesse said...

Bharat you don't agree with me, you agree with Richard Dawkins then. I follow no theories on creation: evolutionary or creationist.
I just know that I exist and the world exists, and I gotta do my positive bit in here.
Cheers

the saint said...

I find myself too small to have an opinion on either Creation or evolution..In the absence of any explanation, theories will evolve and over time these theories will become the accepted truth.. whether we are intelligent yet to understand the complete truth is the question. even if we are, are we ready to accept the truth? until such time, I shall take refuge under "ignorance is bliss". However I must admit that the God Delusion was a compelling read. ( as compelling as the holy books) but convincing it is not. So, I shall continue living my life and leave the burden of solving this puzzle to more enlightened folks