Doubt about God’s existence? The first thought that came to your mind was probably of fear! Remember the movie Oh! My God where Mithun’s character says, “India is a God fearing country and not a God believing country.” He was absolutely right, of course. Because right from childhood, most of our parents’ teach us to fear the superior power rather than believing in it or questioning it.
But like me, I am sure that, once you ventured out into the world on your own, you came across at least a handful of instances which seriously made you doubt about God’s existence. That hasn’t happened? Well, maybe you’re lucky. At least your belief systems didn’t come crashing down like mine. Yours might become shaky too because I’ll share a few of these instances here!
1. No protection for messengers of God
When I was in school, I read about a nun getting gang raped and this piece of news messed big time with my belief in God. Majorly because Nuns and Priests are considered messengers of God and if such a person could not be protected, then does God really exist? The horror was even more because I was studying in a convent school.
2. Business in the name of God
There are so many businesses in India which thrive on the name of God and religion. From business names to the core business activities, a lot circles around the agenda of getting more business by telling people (or letting them believe) that they’re doing it for the greater good. But what shook my belief in such businesses that though they were apparently doing it for ‘God’ and claiming that all our problems would be resolved if we pay them. Their own problems weren’t sorted at all. Their personal lives seemed to be in shambles itself, right from financial to emotional problems, I saw it all. I had a serious doubt about God’s existence here!
I cheated in an exam once and was highly reprimanded for it. Yes, I accept that it was wrong and I’m till date ashamed about it. But, it’s nothing we haven’t all done during our academic years. What really made me doubt about God’s existence in this instance was that there were others who cheated in the same examination, but one particular person was let off easy because his father was a religious messiah of sorts. Apparently, nobody wanted to be on the bad side of him because it would somehow lead to offending God himself.
4. Godmen, sages, and saints committing rapes
The arrests of Godmen have shed light on what actually goes on in the name of religion and God in the most religious places. I had a serious doubt about God’s existence when these Godmen, sages, and saints committed rapes. Not only that they were engaged in pedophilia and even claimed that they did such acts because God told them to.
5. When someone was punished wrongly
“Acche logo ke saath accha hi hota hai” is something we all have been taught from childhood. This is also claimed to be a manifestation of God and religion. I do believe this today too, but in my growing up years, it made me doubt about God’s existence because someone I knew was wrongly punished for something he did not do. After that, for a long time, I constantly asked myself “Why couldn’t God save him?” and I questioned the authenticity of “acche logo ke saath accha hi hota hai.”
6. Died while praying
Though this did not happen to someone I knew personally, a distant relative told me about the death of someone in their family. We were discussing on the same topic about ‘religion and God’. And this was during my teenage years so I was still under the influence of parents and elders around me who thought it’s wrong to not believe in God. This relative told us an uncle of his died in a fire while he was praying. One of the lamps lit for the prayer had fallen off and it led to a huge fire. This made me really doubt about God’s existence!
7. Which God to believe
I belonged to a Hindu family and studied in a convent school. So while we prayed to Gods like Ganpati, Shiva and Lord Rama at home, I sang Catholic hymns and attended prayer meetings at school. And to add to that, we even had Muslims in our school who believed in and prayed to a completely different God. The teenage me, at one point was so confused that I really started to doubt God’s existence, as I was confused as to which God to believe in.
8. Losing/ getting a job because of faith
At a job interview once, I was asked whether I believed in a particular community. Though I had nothing against them or their beliefs, I honestly told them that I did not believe in a particular community, God or faith as according to me belief and faith lies in one’s karma. Apparently, that was not the answer they wanted and I was promptly rejected. The crack in my faith widened as my doubt about God’s existence intensified.
9. When most things I believed in were explained by science and not faith or God
From a baby being born to the movement of planets, most things which at home were considered to be miraculous and taught to us as being ‘God’s doing’, in the later years were, however, very logically explained by science. Most of these were enough to make me question and doubt about God’s existence.
10. When religion became greater than anything else
Since the past few years, the entire nation seems to have taken up ‘religion’ as the only way to prove their patriotism and belief in God. When speaking against someone or expressing your views started being termed as ‘anti-nationalism’ it really made me doubt God’s existence.
11. The sufferings
Let’s take the very recent example of the Kerala floods. The suffering was massive. It was a natural calamity, wasn’t it? And the place in itself is called ‘God’s Own Country’. Isn’t it paradoxical that God couldn’t save his own land?
12. When my prayers weren’t answered
While I do believe that there is stronger than human force out there, I am really beginning to doubt whether that force is ‘God’. The believer in me is holding on to the faith so I’m not a complete atheist yet. But I have, however, moved on to being an agnostic.
Yes, I do believe in actions speaking louder than words and even the circle of ‘karma’, but do we really need the manifestation of ‘God’ as such for justifying everything? These are just my views, as a liberal citizen with freedom of thought and speech. What are yours?