In the Print 2:Our Beliefs must be Open to Change

Reproducing my letter published in today’s Navhind Times:

THIS is in response to ‘Bible and Science Compatible’ (NT, November 11). The concept of ‘the book’ in monotheist religions is based on a completely unscientific premise that there exists a God, who writes books through writers referred to as prophets, messengers or messiahs. Most of the things in these books are to be accepted as true purely because of the premise that it is the Word of God. Let us say the God indeed felt the need to give a message. Consider the second commandment ‘Thou shall not erect any graven images’. Is this really the second most important thing that the God wanted future generations of human beings to believe in? Is this as good as it gets spiritually and ethically? But more than the actual content, the subscription to the idea that a particular book is not merely a piece of literature but a product of some omnipotent power is more dangerous. All the progress, scientific as well as non-scientific is a search, where one is expected to constantly challenge previously held beliefs in the light of new facts and improve the collective understanding of humanity. The idea of a sacrosanct book is a barrier to our growth. Science may not have all the answers or it may not have any answers to some of the most profound questions about life and happiness. Spirituality might be one way. But whatever way we chose needs to be open to change, improvement, reason and experimentation. It should not be based on beliefs that are to be assumed true on the merit of some book or person.

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