Friday, April 27, 2007

Pray a little...


Excerpt from “It’s not about the bike” by Lance Armstrong, page 116.

I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped a lot, I wished a lot, but I didn’t pray. I had developed a certain distrust for organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that I meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn’t a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I’d been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn’t say, “But you were never a Christian, so you’re going the other way from heaven.” If so I was going to reply, “You know what? You’re right. Fine.”

In one paragraph this man has summed up the entire philosophy of a large number of people in this world. A lot of people question the benchmark against which it will be decided whether they should go to heaven or hell. A lot of people don’t care about heaven or hell! “You’ll be dead, how does it matter?”

In a nutshell, the one thing in common between all religions is that, if you do good to people you earn plus points. If you do bad, you earn negative points. In the end you need to have a positive balance. That easy enough to understand. What I don’t understand is how these same religions preach that by performing certain rituals you can undo all the bad you have done in life. How can you take back the harm you have inflicted on others by a ceremony? If there is a God that you need to please, and God is everything they say He is, then does performing these rituals to the letter get you off the hook? Isn’t it a bit like saying, I’ve been making a lot of withdrawals on my bank account these days. Let me do something to increase my balance. Then I can go about withdrawing money. That’s because the bank rule says that you need to have a certain minimum balance in the account.

Is that how life works? Like a bank account? Why do we need a group of priests scaring us into doing good? What happens to the people who go about doing horrid things and then at the end of the day just pray to absolve themselves of their sins and then repeat the cycle all over again? Why do good people need to be felt guilty about not praying?

I’ve taken to praying to God for awhile now. I believe in God because I’ve been blessed in so many ways that plain coincidence or luck just doesn’t cover it. I pray to God to thank Him for everything He has done for me not because it will ensure a place in Heaven for me.


I’m sure that if the entire concept of God and Heaven and Hell were taken away, people would still do good for society, that kindness will still persist. But then I guess all of it does have its utility. It might be the only thing keeping a lot of people in check. It might also be the reason why a lot of people turn good.

3 comments:

Alien I said...

Life is a Bank Account

Lance is an Inspiration ..
"...I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that I meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable....

I relate to this so much .. and not just me .. I believe all from the genX believe and follow these lines ..Not God, Not Praying .. but Human Values and Character .. and that line defines it all ..

NO! life aint a bank account ..

SANE:
"..I’m sure that if the entire concept of God and Heaven and Hell were taken away, people would still do good for society, that kindness will still persist.."

Undoubtedly .. this equilibrium .. of good and bad .. will aways be maintained .. even if you take out GOD/RELIGION/HEAVEN/HELL/PRAYING from the equation.

I don't believe in God, religion, Praying .. I believe in following the Laws of the Land .. be Honest .. [:)]

Done .. Awesome Post ..

--Over n Out--

Shashank said...

Hey, overall a really well written and well thought out post...seems there has been some hard thinking (cuddled up in a corner sorts) going on recently...which is good!!

"What I don’t understand is how these same religions preach that by performing certain rituals you can undo all the bad you have done in life. How can you take back the harm you have inflicted on others by a ceremony? " ....

i guess thats the whole point...we humans realised very early on that WE CAN'T take back the harm we have inflicted on others...problem was...this truth was unacceptable...beacause another truth - that power, greed etc would keep on luring man...and on the way he wouldn't hesitate to do certain 'bad' things - was also realised by us long ago!!

So the only way out was that the Powerful(ones who are normally responsible for most of the 'bad' things done)told us (thorough priests,clergy etc) that certain 'ceremonies' could be performed to absolve ourselves of r sins!! It's a win win situation...its like saying - i give u a way to wash off ur wrongs...which means that the way applies to me too - difference is - i already have a lot of wrongs to wash off...u may or may not!!

Also, i think you know about the God Vs Randomness thing...so i wouldnt delve into that...I believe u have every right to think d way you do...n given the fact that 95pc of the world is on ur side...its highly probable that am on the wrong side...but we gotta stick to what we believe ..RIGHT!! ;)

so all in all...a gr8 read...very intelligent...
Never stop writin...

Shashank

?? said...

hmmmmm....