Dear fellow members,

How are you guys doing?

This is Arp here. I am an Indian. I was born in a Hindu family. As I grew up, I found the Hindu beliefs quite ridiculous and also discriminatory, harmful and evil (especially the caste system).

You would imagine, I became an atheist then. Not really. I became an irreligious theist! I didn't have any comprehensive argument in favour of how this complex world could be possible without a creator. Of course, that was because of my ignorance. I didn't have access to the internet until a few years ago. Before my access to the internet, I didn't really have a source to quickly find answers to my questions as they arose.

Even when I started using the internet, the thought about exploring the existence of God never really occurred to me, and I find that quite strange now!

I went to a Christian missionary school. I learned about what the Christian dogmas are. Found them as ridiculous as the Hindu ones, if not more. It was a Roman Catholic school. I find the Eucharist thing really awkward and outright funny!

I found my atheism about a 5-6 months ago, and tell you what, I never had a more enlightened view of the world. My influences have been Sam Harris, and Austin Cline's blog atheism.about.com.

I'm extremely disappointed about the fact that India doesn't recognize atheism. Atheists aren't counted in Indian census. Although India states that it is a secular state, it really isn't. In the Indian context, the meaning of the word "secular" has been distorted. India promotes all religion equally, and I find that shocking! Being an atheist in India is like a fish out of water.

I wonder how can India progress with this kind of stupidity!

Would like to hear your views.

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Caste system is illegal, but hard to eradicate completely because of poor education and massive corruption.  The Sati system is almost dead.........very rarely you hear a case and the culprits get arrested.  More than the caste system, it is the dowry burning that makes everything else look pale in comparison.  According to a Lancet publication (several years of research in India), more than 100,000 brides are burnt to death each year because of dowry problems; to me, this is genocide.  Some believe that this number could be as high as 200,000 per year.  Dowry is illegal in India, but dowry money is exchanged in many forms.  This is something most Indians hate to discuss.  This dirty secret is carefully hidden, thanks to most Indians.  Discussing dowry problem with Indian males is like discussing the theory of evolution with Ken Ham and Ray Comfort.  

Here is the article on Dowry Burning in India:

http://genderbytes.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/video-murder-by-fire-10...

Hi Arp. Glad to have you.

Is India secular in the sense that it attempts to keep religion out of lawmaking and administration? I don't have a problem with the general population being religious on their own time and property, We should have the right to our own brand of crazy, as long as it does not negatively effect others (rights, fists, noses and all that rot). I would prefer government exclude religion from lawmaking. Otherwise, some people believe they are being encouraged to recklessly use laws as a tool to spread their particular infection.

I have no idea why they cannot see a secular government as good for them, good for everyone.

Hi Greg, thanks.

Not at all. Our leaders have distorted the meaning of secularism. Its almost like saying I'm a philanthropist and philanthropist means serial killer.

I'm a bit busy right now, but I'm going to write a blog post in a few days and let you all know my opinion on being an atheist in India.

Hi Arp,

Glad you found us. I look forward to reading your blog.

Welcome to the site. Hope you enjoy it here.

Welcome Arp.  I'm glad you've found us.   Being an atheist, in this area of Ky, is also like being a fish out of water.

Wow. I know little of India but I do know that human beings need community. If you are in the company of people who will make unfair judgements about you because you do not share their religion it is hard to feel like you are a part of any kind of community with them. I'm not sure what to tell you besides seek out others who share your beliefs. With a sense of friends and community you then have a platform to build more areas of your life including atheist activism or not.

welcome Arp, and it's great to see lots of new members around here recently.  

it's also good to hear you say that the internet is what converted you.  most members here would agree that the internet is a powerful force in abandoning belief in the supernatural.  yet i keep reading articles like this:

http://www.salon.com/2014/04/23/the_internet_isnt_killing_religion_...

anyway, enjoy your time at A/N, it's a great place.  

Hey Arp,

Indian Hindus are kind of strange when it comes to religion; they claim to be religious, but behave as though they are not.  They may offer bananas and coconuts to idols, which are eaten by the priest, but they never seem to follow anything in particular.  They use many symbols and colors, but they know nothing about their religion and history.  When outsiders criticize Hinduism, they get very upset; but most of them constantly make fun of their own religion among themselves.  All religions are ridiculous, but Hinduism and Christianity beat others by a clear mile.  Atheism is growing in India, but very slowly.  Strange as it may sound, I feel that it is the fear of Islam that is keeping Hinduism strong in India.  Indian Christians are like Ray Comfort (banana man)........completely illogical and irrational.        

Agree with you for the most part. Thanks for your response.

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