1) How would you separate the definition of religious vigor from that of a spiritual life?
There is a big difference between spirituality and religiosity. Let me first define what I mean by spirituality. This term is so vague that every person interprets it differently. I often have discussions with religious people who tell me something utterly absurd and when I question the rationality of it they say, you have to understand it spiritually. That is not my definition of spirituality. Blind faith in absurdities does not mean spirituality in my book. I understand spirituality as the expression of love – love for our fellow humans, animals, nature and ourselves. Mother Teresa’s service to the needy was a spiritual work.
Religiosity is adherence to certain ideologies and dogma that often foment haltered of the outsider, and make one less spiritual. Any belief that divides mankind into “us” versus”them” is an obstacle to spirituality. As long as I believe in love I consider myself a spiritual being. Since love defines everything I do I see myself as primarily a spiritual person, or as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin put it, I see myself as a spiritual being, having a physical experience. Maybe that is why I am not religious. Most religions make their followers feel righteous and superior; they promote paranoia, distrust, disunity and discord and the result is impediment to spirituality. Religion, unfortunately, is too often an instrument of discord and disunity.
2) Do you feel life is a gift, a punishment or a lesson?
Life is what you want it to be. You can take it as a gift, a punishment, a lesson or even a curse.
3) Does life have a purpose?
Yes, but it is you who gives purpose to it. Life without a purpose is empty and joyless. If you have a purpose then your life becomes fulfilling. People who suffer from depression often have a lot of potential that has remained untapped. They see the train of life is passing by and they are not on it. These people need a purpose in their lives, something meaningful to live for. They need love. Love can be expressed in many forms.
- It can be lofty, like love for knowledge, for service to humanity, etc.
- It can be personal, like love for another person or persons.
- It can be mundane, like love for wealth, fame, and power.
- It can be imaginary, like love for god.
All these manifestations of love give meaning to our life. When life has a purpose, it becomes joyous. Living a thousand years of a fulfilling life does not seem to be enough, while living one day of an unfulfilling life appears to be a torment. To make your life happy and fulfilling, you need someone or something to love.
The choice is yours. Love for lofty objects is better than love for mundane or imaginary ones. Even though the object of love is imaginary, it gives meaning to life. It is your involvement, dedication and the intensity of your love that counts, not its object.
4) Most people find inspiration in their faith, what would you say to those who find their inspiration through life experiences?
However, I acknowledge that faith is a source of inspiration for many people. It does not matter whether the object of your love is imaginary, mundane, personal or lofty. Whatever the case, you can find inspiration and meaning in life. That is why I am not against religion. Loving an imaginary being like God can be life transforming. I believe those who fight religion and the belief in God are mistaken. Faith in God has a tremendous placebo effect. It should not be undermined.
I don’t advocate atheism, even though I don’t believe in God as a being. My hope is that believers worship a loving god, rather than a vindictive and sadistic one.
To say “God is one” is the biggest lie. There are as many gods as there are people, or at least believers. God is our creation. Every person envisions his or her God in accordance to their own penchant. Allah is the figment of Muhammad’s sick mind. Muhammad suffered from narcissistic personality disorder. Consequently, Allah is haughty, paranoid, vindictive and deceitful, because he is molded after Muhammad. The God of Jesus is a loving Father. He resembles Jesus. He too has his flaws. He is jealous and will punish those who don’t love him with eternal damnation.
While I understand the importance of the belief in God, we must invent one that is an embodiment of everything that is noble, beautiful and lofty. The belief in evil gods makes us do evil things. Civilized societies should repudiate such gods and eschew the belief in them. The Aztecs believed in Huitzilopochtli, a war god. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 people per year were sacrificed by the Aztec royalty to appease this deity. Does Huitzilopochtli have any place in our world? Of course not! We must not accept that god or tolerate the belief in him. Allah is no less bloodthirsty than Huitzilopochtli. Allah is an evil deity. Good people must reject diabolical gods.
5) Do you feel religions look at humanity as willful children or something to be exploited?
Most religions treat humans as wayward and willful children that need to be disciplined. Many people want to be disciplined and be told what to do and what not to do, even though they know the difference between right and wrong on their own. For these people religion is godsend, please forgive the pun. I know many people who say, “I am a better person because of my religion; my religion teaches me to be honest; my religion prohibits me to lie; my religion instructs me to be kind, etc.” The question I’d ask these people is, would they be dishonest, deceitful or unkind if they were not believers? One person wrote, without religion nothing will stop people from fornicating with their mothers. I asked him whether he lusted after his mother and whether his religion is the only thing that stops him from jumping to bed with her. The absurdity of this argument is self explanatory.
I even received an email from an Obama worshipper who said he is a better person because of Obama. Go figure! Some people are so weak that they need to lean on an imaginary crutch, even though this imaginary crutch is a buffoon like Obama whose entire life is filled with chicanery and crime. These people stand up on their own, but the idea that they are empowered by someone much greater than them gives them strength. It boosts their morals.
The object of faith is irrelevant. As long as you believe in it, it can inspire you. The problem is when the object of belief is evil. Then you do evil. If you believe in a loving god you become loving and if you believe in a hateful god you learn to hate.
I recognize the importance of faith. I am not against it. I am against hate. I am the enemy of all the ideologies that promote hate, be it Nazism, communism, racism, or Islam.
6) Do religions exploit their followers?
That is their raison d’être. Religions were created and are perpetuated to exploit. In exchange they give you hope. You surrender your rational thinking, and fill the pockets of the faith brokers. In return, they give you promises of afterlife, an imaginary god that takes care of you and make you feel good. The feel good factor is important. I don’t see anything wrong it that, as long as you don’t pay too much for it.
I usually don’t buy lottery tickets. I know the odds don’t warrant risking my two dollars. However, when the jackpot grows to thirty million dollars or more, I buy a ticket. The odds have not changed and I don’t expect to win. It is the dream that I buy. I spend two dollars and for a few days I dream about what I would do with millions of dollars. It is a sweet dream, worth the price of the ticket. But it would be foolish if I spent my life saving on that dream or bought hundreds of tickets to improve the odds of winning.
Playing lottery should not be seen as investment. Likewise giving up this life for the promise of something uncertain and unproven as the next life is equally foolish. It is okay to dream about the afterlife. But don’t give up this life for it. It could be the only one you’ll ever have. I have seen people who have won the big jackpot, but no one, as far as we know for certain, has come back from the other world to tell us about it.
7) Should every soul be accountable for ending the life of another?
Life is sacred and those who take it away should be accountable. An ideology or a religion that tells you to kill others is an evil ideology and has no place in our world. Not only do I value human life, I also value animal life. I am a vegan. I hope everyone becomes a vegan. It is good for your body and soul and it is good for our planet.
8) Can a person have the power to change the world if they desire to do so?
One person cannot change the world, but any person can influence others so together they can change the world. The idea and the initiative come from one person but it is the power of the multitude that makes that idea advance.
The world is what it is because of those who, for good or bad, changed it. Some were good people and they changed the word for the better and some were evil people who brought discord, wars, death and destruction. Plato, Aristotle, Buddha, Jesus, Copernicus, Gutenberg, Newton and Einstein changed the world. Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Genghis Khan and Muhammad also changed the world. The first group changed the world for the better and the latter changed it for the worse.
9) When you pass from this world to the other what do you feel your legacy will be, and would you be proud of it?
I would like to be one of those people who have changed the world for the better. We all have this potential within us. I have finally found a way to do it. If I awaken a few thousand people (I have done that already) who will each awaken others, the world will change. Whether my name is remembered or not is unimportant. The important thing is to change the world for the better. The goal is to leave a trace, not necessarily a name.
Today, the disease that is threatening the survival of our civilization and even our species is Islam. Islam is a murderous ideology. It is a diabolic faith. Muslims are normal people who are transformed into monsters once they are possessed by the demonic spirit of the madman of the desert, Muhammad. Now that deadly weapons of mass destruction are falling into the hands of Muslims the future of mankind is uncertain. Exposing Islam and eradicating it will halt its progress and may impede, even stop a calamitous destruction of the Earth. If you prevent a disaster from happening no one will know it and no one will thank you for it. But that does not diminish the importance of what you did. I want all those who fight against Islam to know that they are unsung heroes and the real savors of mankind. I would like to be one of them. That is the greatest legacy one can leave behind.
10) If all of humanity values the same basic “need to live”, then why do we quarrel so much?
We quarrel because we disagree. People in the past fought over territory. Now we have international courts and don’t need to resort to arms to defend our rights, unless of course, you don’t give a hoot about the law and the only law you recognize is the law of the jungle, where “might is right”, as generally Muslims do.
Most of the bloodshed in recent history is caused by differences in ideologies. Almost all of today’s wars are inspired by ideologies. An ideology can be atheistic, like Nazism and communism, or theistic like Islam. Theistic ideologies are a lot more dangerous because they don’t allow dialogue and questioning. Their truth is based on divine revelation, which is hocus-pocus. To disagree with it is too often called by the believers “blasphemy” and viewed as punishable, especially in the case of Islam. If we get rid of ideologies, particularly the self righteous ones that encourage fighting, we will then start seeing that we humans are all the same. The oneness of mankind is possible when we get rid of spurious beliefs. No belief can be proven. If they did they would not be called belief, but fact.
All beliefs are not equal. In India there are thousands of religions. Many of them are irrational, but they are not violent and supremacists. False beliefs don’t harm anyone. It is violent beliefs that are dangerous. Although I don’t believe in any religion, I defend their right of people to believe them. I oppose only Islam, Nazism, and communism. These three big ideologies are nefarious. Because they are intolerant they should not be tolerated.
11 ) If you learned that someone is about to hurt a friend or loved one what would you do to him?
Evil should be stopped with force. Turning the other cheek will encourage the bully. This philosophy presumes that the person who slaps you has a conscience and becomes remorseful when you turn the other cheek. That is generally not the case. The person who has a conscience will not slap you in the first place. Abusers are sociopaths. By turning the other cheek they become emboldened. They interpret your tolerance as sign of weakness. They feel empowered and intensify their abuse. Pacifism is impractical in most cases.
Gandhi’s pacifist resistance against the British government bore fruit because he appealed to the conscience of the ordinary British. He would have never succeeded had he to deal with people like Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer who ordered his Indian solders to shoot into an unarmed crowd of men, women and children in Jallianwala Bagh, without warning, killing and injuring over 1500 unarmed people.
Reginald Dyer was a man bereft of humanity and conscience. After each round of shooting, he ordered his fifty solders to reload magazines into their rifles several times and shoot people trapped in the square.
A man like Dyer would have killed fifteen thousand or fifteen million people. You cannot expect a man with no conscience to come to his senses. History is full of people like him. Hitler, Stalin. Mao, Pol Pot and Muhammad, are just few examples.
Let us assume after killing tens of thousands of people the criminal realizes what he is doing is wrong. Who cares? Why saving the soul of a monster should matter more than saving the lives of his victims?
Bullies must be stopped by force. That is the only language they understand and speak.
Muhammad was a narcissist bully and Muslims are like him. They advance through terror and continue to do so. They must be stopped with force. They were stopped in Europe by the crusaders and in Granada by force. Today, we have to do the same.
Nature does not recognize good and evil. It responds to force. If good people remain pacifist, evil people will win. It is foolish to say we don’t want to use force because we will be like them (the bad guys). This is extremely foolish. Violence must be stopped with force.