The existence and the belief in God is the most contested debate since forever. The dilemma of what came before, a chick or an egg, sometimes seems answerable, but not the question of is there even a God? Whatever be the fact, whether God actually is an entity or not, but the dialogue that it incites has divided and united people in different ways. Some have firm faith in God and religion, while others deny religion but believe in God. And then there are those who choose to believe in none. What is the reality then? The point is, what one believes in, is the reality for him or her. To each, her or his own. However despite all our modernity and shifting beliefs the time tested conversation around faith has manged to stay relevant. So we reached out to millennials to know their views on the subject.
- Is being an atheist really a strong stand for the self? Does it indicate a freedom of choice alone or a way to escape the insecurities of self?
- Even if a person is an atheist, can he or she be severed from the “documented” religious identity?
- When a millennial firmly denies any belief in God, does he or she stop being a part of the family rituals and festivals and boycott it?
- Is the constitutional freedom to practice any belief or no beliefs at all being utilised?
Why are millennials becoming atheists?
A recent survey has shown that the millennials are becoming increasingly atheist or non-believer of god or religion in India and all over the world. The survey is not shocking because evidently the millennials today are capable of taking a strong and sometimes radical stand in the society. But, is being an atheist really a strong stand for the self? Does it indicate a freedom choice alone or a way to escape the insecurities of self?
A recent survey has shown that the millennials are becoming increasingly atheist or non-believer of god or religion in India and all over the world.
What does faith lie, for millennials
To Charvi Kathuria, God seems unapproachable. “I rather believe in hard work, good deeds and destiny. These are in my hands. This ideology makes me believe that my life is in my control and no one else is responsible for it,” says she.
While Charvi denies religion or God any control on her life and seeks to steer her journey on her own, Prapti Sarkar considers herself as an agnostic. She is torn between the reality of God and that which is man-made.
She says, “I don’t call myself an atheist but rather, agnostic. I don’t think I have studied enough to be able to decide whether God exists or not. I definitely believe in science more than I believe in God, but rather than saying that God doesn’t exist, I like to say that I don’t believe in religion. Man-made religion is what I have a problem with. I don’t believe in dividing people on the basis of religion. So I think that even though there may be some supernatural entity, I don’t think it operates in the ways we as a society assume it to.”
Drawing on a similar line, Saumya and Anushika talk about their personal beliefs and how the concept of religion and its myths don’t represent what God means to them.
In the name of God, zillions of illogical beliefs are thriving in our society. I’m completely against them. I do worship God, but I don’t believe in beliefs related to him. – Anushika Shrivastava
Saumya Rastogi says, “I do believe in God as a universal consciousness and energy. While I do not believe in the practices prescribed by religion. So in a way, I’m agnostic. I identify with real people who existed as Gods like Sai Baba. They were ordinary men who had godly attributes. Not mythological characters”
Anushika Shrivastava also says that she believes in God, but not like the way our society portrays it. “You see, in the name of God, zillions of illogical beliefs are thriving in our society. I’m completely against them. I do worship God, but I don’t believe in beliefs related to him. One of them is not worshipping God during periods. I do that, since I don’t think periods to be impure. There’s a divine positivity linked with the name of God. I worship that. Whenever I’m stressed, I visit a small temple near my house. And believe me, it really soothes my mind. This positivity is what I worship. So yes I might be an atheist from the perspective of this society since God and religion for many are one and the same,” she says, resting her case.
It is human nature to look for something, a belief, an idol or anything, to depend upon for inspiration and motivation. If religion or God, that has always occupied a significant space in someone’s life, is denied to that person, it creates a vaccum. To fill this emptiness, humans tend to imbibe certain philosophies of life.
Raghav Dubey, a GATE aspirant, reveals, “I believe in internal energy, a motivation that keeps me going. It does not really have a face or structure. Rather, I find that inspiration in every person and things of nature. Millennials are becoming atheists because we believe in evidence. Since there is no evidence of the existence of God, it is difficult to believe in anything that comes out of it.”
While, Virat, a 21-year-old English Honors graduate from Delhi University says, “Human beings always look for personal gains. Some want to believe in divine power to feel less pain. On the other hand, some take pride in declaring themselves as atheists. It has almost become a trend among millennials to call themselves atheists because they do not want to be restricted by the philosophies of the innate religious identity. Well, it just proves a point that human beings change their philosophies according to their own needs.”
Picture Credit: CNN
Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.