Are you a proud Indian yet?

Superstitious India (Image credit, Reuters, and The Citizen)

Welcome to India, where any congenital malformation is de-facto evidence of gods, and be it any animal, including humans with such congenital anomalies and some without are worshiped while the rest are killed for various reasons.
That is how scientifically advanced we are, only thing that was missing was Wi-Fi at railway stations and in villages… we have everything figured out, you know, Vedas they contain all the information you will ever need, with the help of Vedas we will use the internet to download food for our poor people, we will use digital network (and of course cow urine and cow dung) to cure HIV, malnutrition, diabetes, cancers and every other medical illness.
We will hold candle light vigils for gang rape victims, and molest girls who are holding candles next to us.
We are a very tolerant country, you only need to respect our mobs killing those who question our tolerance.
We have a very rich culture, our culture needs protection, how else could one go about witch hunting, widow burning if there is no protection.
We love our Bollywood/Tollywood etc. (Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam) movies which portray young people falling in love and fighting against all odds and the casteist parents and societies to finally win… hey that is only for movies, my daughter is my property, she will marry the guy I, (I mean, our entire family) select for her.
And to top it all, we are a civilized country that has a secular constitution. (Secular stands for those Muslim loving anti-nationals only). We vote on the basis of who bribes us the previous night with some liquor and some money, we want development, so we voted for Modi in the last election, those people saying that in Gujarat the malnourished children outnumber some sub Saharan countries put together are lairs and anti-poor, they are paid by the foreign CIA etc.

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Argument for “No GOD”

The most compelling argument for “No god” is, history, paleontology, archaeology and biology.

If you study history carefully and understand archaeology, add evolution to that knowledge, you can not believe in something supernatural.. What I mean by this is…. In the history books we read how the civilizations came and went and along with the civilizations the gods of those civilizations have vanished, and this has been going on over and over again, new gods are invented and killed off, now keep this in mind and consider evolution of varied life forms on the planet, as far as you can see, no other animal worships or believes in any god, so why do humans believe in such supernatural things? it is because of the crucial differentiating factor between humans and other living beings, the crucial differentiating thing is how the brain works, the propensity or the capacity to form complex theories about the surroundings and to assign causality to events…

This particular characteristic is very useful for survival, so natural selection kicks in and selects individuals who form reasonable theories about their surroundings that help in their survival… The human brain goes on discovering more and more, and explains some things that are easy to understand, and then there are events that happen in his/her surroundings that s/he can not explain, he can’t find any causal relationship with anything else that is around, since the brain is getting good at forming theories, it starts making theories about the difficult events, (the human brain would rather have a conspiracy theory to no theory at all, that is how evolution has crafted our brains).

This is the reason humans invent gods, which again was a slow and gradual process, and this is the reason why you see gods or thunder, rain, light earthquakes and rivers and mountains in all civilizations and tribes, each inventing their own versions and giving these phenomenon a name in their own language… Then all this process goes into hyper drive when the communication between individuals becomes more understandable due to developing language…

Now comes the part of evidence to support this theory, and the evidence is in archaeology and paleontology, and evolutionary biology. So, if you combine all these disciplines you will see that gods were man made so you don’t need to believe in those folklore anymore because science can explain the unexplained phenomena, certainly there are some things we still have no clue about, but we don’t need to substitute god for the unknown because there is no need for it, as our history should make it clear. This is why I say there is no way any supernatural entity exists.

Consciousness

 

Human brain
Human brain

 

Consciousness is a loosely defined or ill defined term in most instances. Here I would like to make my contribution to that confusion.

 

In almost all cases, when we try to define consciousness, what we inadvertently do is to think only about the human beings and their capacity for consciousness. Till date most leading philosophers and biologists have mostly failed to apply that concept to organisms other than primates at the most.

 

For the purpose of encompassing the experiences of all living organisms I would define consciousness as “The awareness of any organism to its surroundings”. This definition does not include the quantitative measure of consciousness and the levels of consciousness in any particular species.

 

What use does this definition have? By defining this way, I would like to point out the basic physiologic processes of consciousness in any species and this will in turn lead to applying the concept not only to beings with a brain but to all living organisms and cells.

 

I will give you a few examples to illustrate my point. Take for example a bacterium, it is a prokaryotic single celled organism which, can we consider this as capable of having any consciousness? Not if you define consciousness as a product of neurons.

 

Now let us consider what this individual bacterium does and how it interacts with its surroundings. A bacterium needs to feed, so it needs to correctly identify which is food and which is not, it needs to identify what is there in its’ surroundings in order to survive and replicate, so how does it achieve this?

The answer to that is in the multitude of chemical interactions that occur on the surface of the bacterial cell wall as well as inside this bacteria. Bacteria have numerous cell surface proteins and other molecules which help the bacteria in identifying different types of other molecules, including other bacteria and viruses and even many eukaryotic cells which it comes in contact with, thus leading to chnages inside this single celled organism either to gulp in the molecule, or to replicate, or to secrete toxins and so on.

 

Now, the bacteria is reacting to the external factors in its surroundings, even though its capacity to identify the other molecules is limited by the space and it being a single celled organism, but it still does interact with a variety of other molecules, all that is happening inside and on the cell surface of this bacterium is plain chemical interactions, it does not think as we do, but it does not need to do the complex thinking because it is a simple single celled organism, on the other hand complex, multicellular organisms need better capabilities than that because of the difference in supplying the required nutrition to the cells which are arranged in differing variations. The cells in us differentiate during embryo genesis to form particular types of cells with set functions. The work of supplying nutrition and other things are taken care by a different type of cells.

 

Even in multicellular organisms, each individual cell is aware of its’ surroundings through intercellular and many other types of interactions such as hormonal, neuronal interactions. They are aware of their surroundings with the help of same molecules that help the bacteria, in some cases a slightly different type of molecule with differing modes of working , this can also be called as awareness of the cell. As demonstrated in the case of cancers, where in the cells lose these particular molecules or their functions due to mutations.

 

Consciousness applies to single cells and it applies to multicellular organisms with brains such as humans, but the capacity varies based on the requirements.

 

We humans have highly evolved brains, which is a collection of neurons which have a particular function. That is cognition, memory, homeostasis, language, integration of sensory inputs and so on, this evolution has made it necessary for human beings to develop a process of thinking to survive and adapt efficiently to varying environments. This also gives us the capacity to think abstract things such as mathematics, cosmology and the very process of evolution that lead to such beings, capable of reflection and theorization.

 

A human being develops from two half cells which unite to become one cell and go on multiplying and differentiating to finally produce a complete organism, and throughout this process and till the time we die, all that happens in our bodies is chemical interactions and reactions to different stimuli.

 

Each species has a different capacity for consciousness dependent on the constitution of the body, be it unicellular or multicellular, there is no need for mystifying the concept of consciousness for all practical purposes, be it philosophical or medical.

The super story of Ganesha… re interpreted and analysed

First of all, let me just write the popular version of the myth and then let us see what is absurd and to what degree.

Image

MYTHOLOGICAL FANTASY :HOW GANESHA GOT HIS ELEPHANT HEAD ?
According to a Puranic tale, once Parvati was alone in the houseand wanted to take bath. So taking the dirt from her body she created a boy and ordered him.Image “To keep a watch at the door, and don’t allow anybody to enter the palace without my permission. Thus instructing the boy. Mother Parvati went in to take her bath. Meanwhile Lord Shiva too arrived at the scene. He saw a boy sitting at the doorway, but ignoring him he proceeded to enter the palace. At that the boy stood up and stopped Lord Shiva and Said, “My mother has instructed me not to allow anybody to enter the palace without her permission. Hence, I will not let you enter the palace. ImageFirst tell me who are you? Instead of answering, Lor Shiva asked, who are you? Who is your Mother? As no one was eager to answer first so the dispute grew to the point of a fierce battle. Ultimately cutting the head of the boy,Image Lord Shiva entered the palace. Seeing Him, Parvati asked surprisingly! “How did you enter? Has nobody stopped you?” At that Lord Shiva asked, “Who was that boy? I have cut his head.

Hearing this, mother Parvati began to cry and said, “He was my own son. Now you give him a new lease of life” Lord Shiva then ordered his Ganas to go out and bring the head of any creature they saw first. It was an elephant that the Ganas found first. So they cut its head and brought it to Lord Shiva. Putting the elephant head at the boy’s torso, ImageLord Shiva infused a new lease of life in him. Thus, Ganesha got the head of an elephant and came to be known as Gajanana Ganesha one with an elephant head.

Happy ending  Image

Now, let’s see how coherent this story is..

1. why does a goddess need to take bath? How did she get dirty? can Gods also get dirty, gods are supposedly all powerful and stuff, I just can’t grasp the idea that a powerful goddess like Parvati was living in a house (Where is this house? isn’t her house Kailash, whatever that means) and why did she need to go anywhere to take a bath? couldn’t she just become invisible?

2. Why the hell did Parvati create anything from the dirt from her body? If all she wanted was to create someone, why didn’t she just create him from nothing? She created someone so large as to fit an elephants head later on, then one can only guess how much dirt she needed to create him and shows how filthy this lady was… no wonder she needed a bath….

3. Aren’t gods supposed to know past, future and present, then she very well knew her husband Shiva is going to come while she was taking bath and is going to kill her creation, then why the fuck did she even create him?

4. Now coming to Shiva and Ganesha’s fight, why did they even fight? didn’t Shiva know that this poor piece of dirt sitting at the gate was created by his wife and that wife of his was taking bath, how moronic can a story get or a god?

5. Why the hell did Shiva send his ganas to kill a poor animal and get its head? why couldn’t he pick up the severed head and fix it with some (quickfix maybe) of his magic? was he a moron not to use his magic? or was he just another mythical character who was over hyped???????

After all this, he shows extraordinary surgical skills and transplants an elephant’s head on to that poor product of dirt…

What an amazing story… This can only be believed in India..

What will I say if I were to meet any god?

As per the abrahamic religions if a judgement day ever comes, or as per Hinduism if I were to ever attain moksha (I should, as per the texts, because all I have done in my life is save people’s lives and be honest) and meet any of the gods, I will spit in his face and ask him,

1. How dare you create all the universe and animals capable of thinking just because you had nothing better to do and wanted to enjoy the misery of countless beings when you being all powerful and all knowing could have chosen either not to create anything at all or create a perfect universe filled with happiness.

2. If anybody has done anything wrong in their lives, it is not their fault because you chose to create them that way, so you are responsible for everything hence you deserve to be in hell not them.

3. I have better morality than you so it will be better for you as well every living thing in the universe if you gave all your power to me so that I can undo what you have done.

What do you say people, would this be a good opening statement with any “god”?

EVOLUTION EXPLAINED

For the sake of those interested I want to  make a very small correction to your notion of evolution.

First thing, all living organisms have evolved to the same degree.. It’s characteristics are determined by the usefulness of the characteristic that living organism has.. If there is no rate limiting characteristic to an evolutionary change, it might get preserved over generations due to various interacting factors or it might get lost at some point, the rate limiting ones are the ones that matter in evolution mostly, because, for example, if an evolutionary change means that the organism with that trait lives longer and produces many offsprings, then that will eliminate most of the species which do not carry that genotype, hence it is rate limiting.. others which do not have such rate limiting effect will have no effect on continuation of species, and such will be just evolutionary byproducts, which might be very useful, like language in humans… but that is not a very good rate limiting factor..

And for your information, many animals do have some sort of communicating powers, we just don’t understand their language all the time, we do understand some very faintly, but not all,

And one more important thing is, speciation occurs because of accumulated genetic changes, and these genetic changes are dependent on environmental factors, exposure to radiation, genetic replication and such factors, and contrary to popular belief among theists, it is not just a random and chance occurrence.. and these genetic changes happen differently in different geographic, environmental conditions, that is why we see certain marsupials specific to certain areas and so on.. so based on these changes and evolution by natural selection, we get equally evolved species at any given point in time, but we erroneously favor certain particular characteristics that make us human as the yardsticks to measure evolution. That in my opinion is not correct. Just because we love some things about ourselves like overt reasoning and language does not make us superior to any other living organisms.

My best example would be compare yourselves to HIV, it is highly successful at replicating itself and continuing its progeny and it is ruthless at it, but it does not have any language or thought process, which does not matter to it at all.. not even remotely, it is highly evolved to sustain its replication cycle, there is no need for it acquire language.

I hope this is sufficient.

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