There was a significant uproar and trolling on social media when different ISRO officials visited temples to offer prayers for the success of Chandrayan-3 and Aditya-L1 mission, calling it superstitious, unscientific and outdated. Let us study the impetus fueling this opposition – atheism, whether it makes sense or not.
Is Atheism a fact?
Proving God’s non-existence is as difficult as proving God’s existence. As theism demands one to develop faith that God exists, so atheism demands one to develop faith that God does not exist. It is beyond the limits of empirical and deductive science to find about the origin of universe and origin of life. The current theories on origin of universe and origin of life are based on speculation, abduction and induction in some cases. These theories are incomplete and also incorrect. They are not accepted by all the scientific community.
According to a Pew Research, 59% of scientists believe there is a God or higher power. Science and Spirituality are two different fields with different jurisdictions. There is nothing in science that inherently disproves existence of God. Even renowned scientists like Galileo, Issac Newton and Albert Einstein believed in God. There are many scientific arguments like the ‘Design’ argument, “Consciousness” argument and teleological argument indicating the existence of God.
Atheism as a fashion
In this age of social media, attention is the most sought after commodity. Attention-seeking is eulogized and glamorized. One of the ways to seek attention is to stand out. 84% of the people of the world follow a religion. An easy way to stand out is to reject religion and spirituality and brand oneself as an atheist. It is being glamorized as a sign of being modern and liberal. Though atheism is seen as a fashion, it comes with its own side-effects. A University of Michigan study involving 19,775 individuals found that religious people are less likely than atheists to suffer depression when they are alone.
Atheism as a façade
Religion, acceptance of God’s existence and spirituality entails one to follow ethics, be dutiful and sense controlled. Religion and spirituality are meant to foster happiness and harmony in the world. They are meant to bring both happiness within and without. However, this poses an obstacle for one who is inclined to be selfish and sensuous which is the case for many today. Atheism serves as a good façade to avoid religion and spirituality all-together (BG 16.8). Then one can skillfully evade ethics, duties and social responsibility. A recent Gallup study reveals how atheism is detrimental to individual health and national economy. The study shows that the more religious one is, the more likely it is that one will have good habits that prolong life and promote health. Very religious people smoke less, eat more vegetables and exercise more than non-religious people do. Atheism costs the state millions of dollars in health care costs, absenteeism on the job and other costs.