Friday, 25 July 2014

THE INSIGHTFUL MORTAL




    





    




    

    


    

    



 
                                                                                                       





            
                 
                       THE
    INSIGHTFUL    MORTAL







                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                          Shivam
                                        
                                               










                                              



                                              

                                                     CONTENT

                      Preface
 Page  3-4
Chapter 1      Cognition
 Page  6-8
Chapter 2      Inception
 Page  9-11
Chapter 3      Old Wives’ Tale
 Page  12-15
Chapter 4      Satan
 Page   16-22
Chapter 5      Morality  

 Page   23-25
Chapter 6     The Curious Case of 
                      Indian Mythology
 Page  26-28
Chapter 7     Debunking Astrology
 Page  29-31
Chapter 8     YOLO
 Page  32-34
Books and Websites Cited
 Page  35


                                      






















                                            PREFACE

Being born into a Hindu household, I had no other options than to just blindly believe in Gods, and I bet there are hundreds of them. I remember the time of my blame game, anything I couldn’t get, was because God didn’t want me to. Also, I remember begging to God for marks when I hadn’t fared well in tests. With passage of time, these things started to look stupid. For how long are you going to play the blame game. When I started my engineering in Manipal University, I still was a believer.
Now engineering teaches you to apply logic to everything. How could I not apply that logic in religion, and question its existence. I started googling stuff and then I found a great book from Richard Dawkins- “The God Delusion”. Believe me, it was worth it. All my doubts had been clarified. If I still had some, I used to reason it with my friend Vishal. This definitely took time. It was not in a matter of seconds, that I became an atheist. I think it took almost a year to totally not believe in that.
On a scale of 0-10 in atheism, with 0 being very less and 10 being hardcore. I would rate myself as 9. I do not completely deny the existence of God, there might be something supernatural that has taken care of the intelligent design on Earth, but I definitely do not believe in the concept of religion. And when I say God, I don’t mean a big old man with big white beard on his face. If anything like that exists, there could just be a supernatural force causing the Big Bang, everything after that is clear as Ice. And I believe Science will soon find about that too like its counterparts. I would say, religion was the worst thing that could have happened to mankind. It has created so many boundaries. Imagine a world without 26/11, 9/11, Hindu Muslim never ending wars.  Imagine no Taliban to blow up ancient statues, no public beheadings of blasphemers, no flogging of female skin for the crime of showing an inch of it. The root to everything was religion.
I have completely written this book keeping in mind the Indian mindset.  Things would be much different in India now if there was no religion based culture or division of people based on caste. It’s like the whole society is divided into different groups and one group making its supremacy over the others.
You must have got an idea of what this book is about. If u are a deeply religious person and can’t hear anything against religion, I would prefer you quit right now. This is not a place for you. This is aimed at people who have some doubts in mind, but can’t clear it or are afraid to come out of the closet. This is the perfect opportunity for you to grasp the logic behind everything, and question “GOD”
If you feel trapped in your religion, just ask yourself, how did you become one? Just because you were born into a Hindu family, doesn’t make you a Hindu, in the same way, being brought up in a Muslim family doesn’t make you a Muslim. No child is born into a particular religion, it’s just that you were accidently born up there, and u become one. I would suggest no religion for any child until they attain an age in which they can think properly and let them decide, what they want to take up, life full of rules, and complexity or a life where you are your own master and you govern your life.
Another thing, I would like to talk about is atheist pride. I know people who can think logically, but are afraid to come out of the closet, as they are afraid of its consequences and they will bring shame to the family. Believe me, being an atheist could turn out the best decision in your life. You can think rationally and have a logic behind everything that happens. No one wants to die without actually living their life on their own terms and purposes. I know, it can be a bit difficult at start, especially in India because of its typical culture, but remember India is full of youngsters who are willing to think and take their pride to the next level. I believe there are plenty of open-minded people out there. People whose childhood indoctrination was not too insidious, or for other reasons didn't 'take', or whose intelligence is strong enough to overcome it. Such free spirits just need only a little encouragement to break from the concept of religion.
The title of the book “The Insightful Mortal” signifies the contribution of a logical person to the universe. According to Google, Insightful means “having or showing an accurate and deep understanding, perceptive” and Mortal means “ a human being subject to death, as opposed to a divine being”. It definitely means that you are here for a certain amount of time, and one day everyone has to die. What’s the use of all these violence and commitment to God when there is none, and no afterlife as well. Just spend your life for the truth, discovering the real answers, the logic behind everything. This book urges every reader to read this with open mind and think “ Is this all worth it?”
Chapter one talks about cognition. Cognition is defined in dictionary as “The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning and judgment. Chapter two talks about the inception i.e. the start of the religion system, it’s base and how has it developed with time. Chapter Three is the Old Wives’ Tale. It talks about all the superstitions existing in our country and in fact the world. Chapter Four talks about Satan. Although the name looks scary, it’s not. It clears all the doubts in human mind on the existence of devil in this universe, how does that happen? It undermines the secret behind everything. Chapter Five talks about Morality, which is a common doubt among the masses. “If you don’t believe in God, where does your morality come from?” Well, we will discuss that too. Chapter Six is “The curious case of Indian Mythology”. It talks about different problems pertaining in India; root of all is religion and caste. The Chapter Seven is “Debunking Astrology”. It discusses all the myths existing in India about the effect of stars and planets on you, and the scientific reason, why it can’t be possible. Chapter 8 is YOLO. Do I need to say more?
For the help in the preparation of this book, I would definitely like to thanks Richard Dawkins whom I obviously don’t know personally, but he was my mentor. I read his books; saw his videos on YouTube destroying creationists. That was all for me. He provided me the courage to stand up and write this book. Also, I would like to thank my friends with whom I have had many debates and reasoning especially Vishal and Balaji, who also liked to question the existence of God. How can I forget Google though, It gave me all the missing pieces I needed to write this Book. At last, I would like to thank God for his blessing, just kidding. Thanks evolution.














                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
        
            
           CHAPTER 1                             
       COGNITION






“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
                                      ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion



























Okay.. Start, that’s the problem, how do I start? Especially when you have things in mind that can shatter enough of the stereotypical minds.  I feel like “God” now, name it according to your convenience, trying to preach something to the mankind. Oh wait, this is real though. This is the place where problem starts, “How can u not believe God is real?” Well, I have got the same question here, “How can u believe God is real”.
So, Time to get on point, no more bragging, no more stories, time for evidence
Loopholes, yeah u read it right, our whole religious system is full of loopholes. Let’s start with the most basic and the most common question, “How was universe created?” Now again, we might get different sets of answers here. Creationists claim to believe in Bible, Geeta, Quran or any holy book to be true, so, according to them, the universe was created by god .Cool, then who created God? We, Atheists on the other hand believe in the Big Bang Theory, seems legit enough, whole universe formed out of nothing. “But there is a problem here too”, Creationist says,” You say Universe was created by Big Bang, Fine, what before Big Bang?”  Well, the surprised atheist, smiling on the sound of some logic “finally”, responds” Yeah, Science has not been able to find that yet, but at least we can explain that there was a singularity of infinite density that created everything after that”, “You on the other hand, believe in some magic to happen to create the whole universe,” the atheist continues. “But God works in mysterious ways!!”, creationist replies. “Yeah, that’s the answer to everything, isn’t it” answered the atheist exclaiming.
“What next? You talk about evolution, But what’s the guiding force behind that”, says the creationist. “There must be something intelligent, superpower to design the evolution process so tidy and so perfect”  the creationist continues, “Yeah, that’s completely right, and it’s nice to hear u rely on some logic”, answers the atheist  “Science has not been able to find about the guiding force of evolution yet, but that too will be found out soon”








“The real problem due to which atheists disprove GOD is not the concept of god but the consequences afterwards, we basically hate the concept of religion.” the atheist finally bursts out.
According to your logic of God and religion, you ALL are atheists too. A baby born in a Christian family is Christian; baby born in Hindu family is Hindu, and so on. Just think what was the probability that you were born at that place, to be part of that religion. Another great logic less point is, Christians worship Jesus as their god, Muslims the Allah, and Hindus, well u can’t count them, the list goes on and on.
The point is what if your God is not real, and u have been worshipping the wrong god all along, u will be an atheist for not believing In Allah, or Jesus as a matter of fact. Turns out, everyone is an atheist from the other religion’s perspective.
This doesn’t even stop here; People leave no stones unturned to criticize other religions, and praising their lord for everything, just because they happened to be born in that religion sounds pretty weird.
“Well, if u don’t believe in God? Where does your morality come from?” questions the creationist. “Aah, I have been waiting for this question all day long and here it comes” continues the atheist “Don’t get me started on that. Have you ever seen any atheist kill anyone because of “morality”? “But yeah, u might have totally heard this, Terrorist hijacking planes and killing so many innocent lives, just on the name of religion, communal violence between Sikhs and Hindus, Hindus and Muslims, in India, just on one basis “RELIGION”, which itself is totally baseless, the irony.”
People have become so blind in faith, that can’t even think properly. That’s where Cognition comes into picture. The effort is to make every reader know what they do, and let them think on that. The subsequent chapters will again focus on the effects, or side-effects, if u prefer; the religion system, and the logic to why everything happens.























     
    
        CHAPTER 2    
        INCEPTION  


“The more thoroughly I conduct scientific research, the more I believe that science excludes atheism.”
                                                                        Lord Kelvin

       





Not the inception of the universe, but a much greater deal, inception of religion, how did it start?
Very Very long ago, when human mind had lot to explore, they might have created some thumb rules which had to be followed to be part of a community, since primates have evolved that way, they have always needed the warmth of company. There would have been lots of chaos before, and once the rules were created, it would have created much civilized community. But that does not explain different religions existing on Earth. Or wait, does it? Earth has been divided in various landforms and oceans, and the people existing on different landforms had no contact whatsoever with the other community. So, there exists, another set of rules for another community.
Humans have always feared the things that they did not know about. There was a time when stars, sun and moon were considered to be monsters. Whenever eclipse used to come, people feared that the sun would eat the moon, and they shouted continuously for 2-3 nights, hoping the moon is spared. And to their surprise, in that interval, moon used to appear again, and they thought the trick worked. And then Galileo came. He observed the celestial objects, studied there patterns, and tried to explain people about what it is. People on the other hand, tied to their superstitious belief, ordered him death, since he was questioning their god.
It has been working on like this. People are still counting on their superstitious beliefs and criticizing the people who are doubting the integrity and thinking logically. Although the recent trend has been pretty good, People have started thinking, and they have begun questioning the existence of God or various superstitions at least.
The roots of religion are firm in India, Pakistan and other neibhouring countries as ever. Remember, India and Pakistan partitioned due to religion in the first place, which accounted for so many losses. All this was done, just because of the thinking that the imaginary god they are worshipping is the greatest.
The origin of the religion might have started in a good way, but it has definitely crossed lines now. Instead of stopping chaos, they are spreading it more than ever, just because of people who cannot think of their own and have been believing stuff written in a book, countless years ago.
I am waiting for the time when an apocalypse comes, everyone dies, and a book of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings gets buried under rocks, and when another civilization comes and finds the book, there will be whole new GOD, assuming the intellect level to be same as of present human being. What a fun it would be imagining Gandalf, as the supreme God, and Bilbo Baggins his messenger. And yeah, Harry Potter, the wizard boy, son of God. How can I forget Emma Watson being the beauty Goddess, although she is one now too!!








It sounds pretty funny but things are no different even now, People are literally worshipping characters based on some fiction work. No one would have any problem if they just worship, problem comes after that, people are forced to pray a certain god. Children are killed; Girls are raped just because of this imaginary character.
The only solution to this problem is to let children be independent of any religion till they attain an age when they can think on their own. The main reason of people getting into religion is that they have been brought up that way since childhood, they have always seen that. So, they grow up worshipping, damaging their thinking process.
The incognitive thinking can only come if children are raised to think and question everything they so or do. They are born that way, they question everything, and when they question about God, the common answer is “He is your imaginary guide, and you have to worship him or he will curse you”. One hell of logic, that is.
Another common question arises in every atheist mind is” If God is indeed a super creature and has worked everything out so complex with such ease and flawlessness, he is bound to be a highly logical person, wouldn’t he like his disciples to be logical too, thinking about everything”














     



        CHAPTER 3                        

        OLD WIVES’ TALE




"The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church."
                                                             --Ferdinand Magellan
























Superstitions, we are all aware that superstition is a popular belief held by people without any reason or logic; i.e., it is an irrational belief system without any proof practiced by the ignorant mass. This type of superstition is basically divided into two subparts, first being folklores, which are essentially irrational stories that are accepted by the general population. The other type of superstition is the religious false notion which is rooted in the belief of supernatural divinity.

These counts of superstition are pretty less in Christian countries, while in a country like India, Pakistan, it is uncountable.  Right from the birth of a child to puberty to death, each of them has superstitious belief attached to it. The Indians are superstitious in the extreme- believers in dreams and observers of omens. No enterprise is inaugurated, nor is journey commenced by them, without consulting of signs and portents.

The first thing that many parents in the west will do when they know that a baby is on its way is to buy a set of clothes. Parents here would never do this. Why? Because it is believed that you should not dress your newborn baby in new clothes for approximately one and a half months. Babies will wear only old clothes, worn by their siblings, relatives or friends. If there are no old clothes in the house, people take old sheets or adult clothes, cut them in pieces and sew something for the baby which is then not new but already worn.

Then there is all the things that people believe a new mother should do or better not do. The first 45 days after the birth of the child are a time in which the mother is not allowed to enter the kitchen. She will actually stay in one room and eat and sleep there. Just like in the time of menstruation, this time after childbirth is a time in which she is ‘impure’. The most interesting thing is that it is still being followed in most part of India, despite of people being fully aware and educated, as if Indian minds are forced not to think of their own, just follow the traditions blindly.

The taboo of menstruation in India causes real harm. Women in some tribes are forced to live in a cowshed throughout their periods. There are health issues, like infections caused by using dirty rags, and horror stories, like that of one girl who was too embarrassed to ask her mother for a clean cloth, and used one she found without knowing it had lizard eggs in it. When you menstruate, don’t cook food because you will pollute it. Don’t touch idols because you will defile them. Don’t handle pickles because they will go rotten with your touch.





Superstition is a really big problem in India. I think it is much worse than what would be predicted purely by the poverty level. I wonder why. Another difference is that while in the US, and I imagine in most countries, superstitious beliefs decline sharply with education level, the correlation seems mild or nonexistent in India. There are many people in my family with one or more post-college degrees, and they are just as superstitious as anyone else.

According to record, 80 percent of the population of India is Hindus and the Hindus have caste system among themselves which is deeply rooted in superstitious belief. Now, there are not 1-2 caste prevalent in India, but there are lots of them, and guess what, there are subcategories in that too, caste within caste within religion. What is this, a casteption?

The division gets interesting here. People were divided according to the basis of their work, when this all started. So, a person doing religious work was put under one genre, person washing clothes under one, cobblers under another category and so on. You can calculate the no. of possible castes now. This is all in order. The person doing religious work, or “Pundit” was the sacred of them all, and apparently “nearest to GOD”, and the distance from God increases with the level. This is some complex ordering, I must say. I mean, seriously, people can’t digest the existence of God, and there are people fighting over distance from God. So, the people from lower castes are not supposed to hang out with person of lower caste, because apparently they are “impure”. Not cool, bro!!

Nearer to God, more humble one becomes. “I belong to higher caste and you belong to lower caste; I am holier than thou” is not the voice of humanity but of Lucifer. There is no superlative degree of human class. If certain human beings are untouchable lest to be defiled by the touch, such persons are lower than animals such as snakes, monkeys, rates etc. which are worshipped as sacred animals. Any human being is higher than all living creatures in the world.

Now read this!!  According to Nagaland Post August 29. 2013 “A Dalit was killed. His house was destroyed and his family including a 10 year old was thrown out. The upper caste members did not like his audacity to hoist the national flag on the Independence Day at a disputed property which they appropriated forcibly.






The discrimination is the bane of India where the caste prejudiced Hindus constitutes 80 percent of the population. The story of the Dalit came to light because one TV channel highlighted it. Otherwise thousands of dalits undergo similar rigors every day. They face the arrogance and power of upper caste. And there is not light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Irony, all these things are happening in a developing country like India, whose only aim should now be too overcome poverty, illiteracy, and so many problems like that.  But still, caste system is highly functional here, People actually feel good and try to suppress the people of lower caste, even now. There are caste-based politics, caste based division. People from lower caste are not able to live in an equal environment because the society won’t approve of them. Eventually, they live in slums, without schooling, and the whole new generation goes on the same way.

See the change involved here, it all started with religion, and it has firmed its root so deep, that there is no stopping it. The newer generation has a tough task in hand, to actually upset the trend and try to think of their own, rather than following the same principles over and over again.

The funniest superstitious belief ever heard ought to be this: How does our enormous Earth stand flat?
According to some Sahih Hadith (authentic tradition), Hazrat Abdullah Muslim asked Muhammad: “Ya Rasul Allah! Please tell us, on what does this vast earth is standing?” Muhammad replied: “Allah has placed this seven-layered, huge earth on the horn of a cow. This cow has four thousand such horns, and the distance from one horn to another is a journey of five hundred years. This gigantic cow is standing on the back of a giant fish. This fish is floating on glutinous water; the depth of this water is the distance of a journey of forty years. The glutinous water is resting on floating air. This air or atmosphere is resting on darkness. The darkness rests upon the Hell and that Hell is placed on a massive stone. This massive stone is resting on the head of an enormous Farishta (angel); the Farishta is standing on wind and the wind is resting on the empty world of Allah’s Kudrat (glory).

Seriously?? This is the most mind blowing piece of fiction I have ever heard. Firstly, The Earth is not flat and gigantic cows!! This has really got too far. The guy who wrote the Quran must have smoked a few puff of marijuana or ganja before he could invent such a complicated explanation on the structure of the earth system.







There is another pretty funny superstition on how the Sun was created? Take a read.
Intense darkness prevailed on earth when Adam and Eve were sent. Adam and Eve passed three hundred years under this darkness, when one morning, Allah granted their prayer and forgave their sins. Then, to express his gratitude Adam promptly offered two prostrations to Allah. When Adam raised his head from the prostration he beheld the sun rising from the East. The entire world was dazzling under the brilliant sunlight. From that very day the sun has been rising every day.

Subhan Allah! What a great scientific truth I have learned through these Islamic teachings!































       CHAPTER  4   
           SATAN     





"The atheist does not say 'there is no God,' but he says 'I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God'; the word 'God' is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. ... The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me."
                                    -- Charles Bradlaugh, 'Plea for Atheism'   




























“All atheists worship and believe in Satan”- Anonymous

Here’s the thing. Atheists are not believer of anything “supernatural” and things which cannot be explained, and if u can understand, Satan comes under that category too. So, the whole basis of this quote goes wrong. Atheists neither believe in God nor Satan.

That’s how it started, a/c to some mythological books, Satan was once an angel sent by God to Earth and he started enjoying his life, got into divergence, and so he became Satan, symbol of evil. Seriously? If u enjoy your life, u will be a representative of Satan, what happened to YOLO dude!! And by that logic, every person on this Earth becomes Satan. Wait What?? And there’s another saying that “God” exists under each one of us. That means, we are Satans and we have God inside us. Great Paradox!!

Now people have this general question, if Satan doesn’t exist, what do u say about all the paranormal activities and demon possession inside a human body taking place every day?
Well, I would say, that’s a very good question, and to the contrary of your thoughts, everything has a scientific base behind these activities. This chapter will highlight the scientific reasoning behind each of the activities. Behind every shadow, poltergeist, and disembodied voice, there’s a perfectly rational explanation.










10. Electric Simulation of the Brain-

Frightened witnesses all over the world have seen shadows copying their moves. These dark beings are glimpsed out of the corner of the eye only to vanish when confronted. Many believe them to be demons and some think they’re astral bodies, here for a second and gone. However, scientists have a different view on that.
When Swiss scientists electrically stimulated an epileptic patient’s brain, things got really spooky. The patient reported a shadow person sitting behind her, copying her every move. When she sat up, it also sat up. When she bent forward and grabbed her knees, it reached around her body and held her. The doctors then told her to read a card, but the shadow person tried to take it out of her hand.
What happened was the scientists had stimulated the left temporoparietal junction, the part of the brain that defines the idea of self. By interfering with the area that helps us tell the difference between ourselves and others, the doctors screwed up the brain’s ability to understand its own body, thus leading to the creation of a copycat shadow person. Researchers are hoping this is the key to understanding why so many people, both schizophrenic and healthy, encounter shadow beings and other creatures like aliens.







9. Ideomotor Effect-

The Spiritualist movement was pretty big in the 1840s and 1850s. It provided a way for people to talk to their dead loved ones. One method of communication was the Ouija board. Still popular today, the board was covered in letters, numbers, and simple words (like “yes” or “no”). People would then place their hands on a wooden piece called a planchette and ask the spirits a question. A ghost would respond by moving the planchette from letter to letter, spelling out a response (or unleashing Captain Howdy).
Another creepy method for interacting with spirits was table tilting. During a séance, people would gather round a table and place their hands on the tabletop. To everyone’s surprise, the table would start moving by itself. It might tilt up on one leg, levitate off the ground or scoot around the room.
Con men were definitely involved in some of these incidents, but were all these encounters frauds? Renowned physicist Michael Faraday wanted to find out. Through clever experimentation, Faraday discovered that the tables were often moving thanks to the ideomotor effect. This is when the power of suggestion causes our muscles to move unconsciously. People expected a table to move so they unintentionally moved it. A similar event took place in 1853 when four doctors held an experimental séance. When they secretly told half the participants the table would move to the right and half it would move left, the table didn’t budge. But when they told everyone it would move in one direction, the ideomotor effect struck again! This same principle applies to the Ouija board. It’s our own muscles that are doing the spelling, not the spirits.







8. Infrasound-

After seeing a gray ghost near his desk, researcher Vic Tandy was worried his laboratory might be haunted. But the next day, Tandy made an interesting discovery. While preparing for a fencing match, Tandy placed his sword in a vise. He then noticed the blade was vibrating on its own. All of a sudden, everything clicked. He realized the force causing his sword to shake was the same force haunting his lab. Vic Tandy was dealing with infrasound.
Humans can hear sounds up to 20,000 Hertz, but we’re unable to detect anything lower than 20 Hz. These “silent” noises are called infrasound, and while we can’t hear them, we can feel them in the form of vibrations. Dr. Richard Wiseman says we can feel these waves, especially in our stomachs, and this can create either a positive feeling (such as awe) or a negative feeling (such as unease). In the right surroundings, this might create a sense of panic.
Infrasound can be produced by storms, wind, weather patterns, and even everyday appliances. Returning to Vic Tandy, after witnessing his wobbling sword, he learned that a new fan had been installed in his laboratory, and sure enough, it was issuing vibrations of about 19 Hz. Since our eyeballs have a resonant frequency around 20 Hz, the infrasound was vibrating Tandy’s eyeballs and creating images that weren’t really there. When Tandy turned off the fan, presto: no more ghost.
Similarly, Dr. Wiseman believes these vibrations are responsible for paranormal activity in “haunted” locations. For example, when investigating two underground sites, he discovered evidence of infrasound coming from the traffic overhead. Wiseman thinks this explains the ghostly figures and creepy footsteps in these areas, proving there’s nothing good about these vibrations. No you can understand why all these horror movies are filmed in terrible weather conditons.

7. Automatism-

What do witch doctors and Shirley MacLaine have in common? They’re all big into channeling! Channeling is one of mankind’s oldest attempts to reach the spirit world. The idea is to clear the mind, connect with some sort of cosmic consciousness and let a centuries-old spirit possess your body, which doesn’t sound creepy at all. The shamans of ancient religions were believed to channel the dead, TV psychic John Edward says he can speak to those who’ve crossed over, and medium J.Z. Knight claims she channels a spirit named Ramtha, a 35,000-year-old spirit from Atlantis. Obviously, there are quite a few frauds in the channeling community, but what about the people who sincerely believe in what they’re doing?
The answer is automatism, an “altered state of consciousness” where people say things and think things they’re not aware of. So when a psychic clears his mind, he starts searching for a friendly spirit guide. The spirit guide is supposed to enter his body and then provide secret knowledge about the universe. When the psychic clears his mind, random ideas and images start popping up in his head, and the medium assumes these thoughts are coming from another entity. However, these ideas are just coming from his mind. Our brains are capable of coming up with all kinds of crazy stuff without any conscious effort on our part. How many times has something inspired you out of the blue? How many times have you had totally bizarre nightmares or daydreams? That’s not the work of an otherworldly guide. That’s your brain, working overtime all the time.






6. Drafts

You’re exploring a creepy, run-down mansion in the middle of the night when suddenly the air grows cold. However, if you take a few steps to the left or right, the temperature returns to normal. This is what parapsychologists call a cold spot. According to ghost hunters, a cold spot is a sign of paranormal activity. When a ghost has nothing better to do than appear out of thin air and scare people to death, it needs energy. So the ghost draws heat from its surroundings (including people) in order to manifest.
However, scientists have a much simpler (and much more boring) explanation. When skeptics investigate “haunted” houses, they usually find cool air entering the house through a chimney or window. But even if the room is sealed off, there’s still a perfectly rational explanation. Every object has its own temperature, and some surfaces are hotter than others. In an attempt to equalize the room temperature, the objects try to lose heat in a process called convection. This is where hot air rises, and cool air drops. Similarly, when dry air enters a humid room, the dry air sinks to the floor and the humid air rises to the ceiling. This swirling air will feel cool against a person’s skin, giving the impression of a cold spot. Next time you feel a ghostly presence, turn on the heater.


5. Camera Issues

Ghost hunters have a love-hate relationship with orbs. These glowing balls of light are supposedly the spirits of people who’ve passed away, but haven’t quite passed on. Invisible to the eye, orbs can only be seen in photographs, and that’s where things get tricky. Skeptic Brian Dunning says when a dust speck or bug is too close to the camera, it will show up in the photo as a blurry, out-of-focus circle. And thanks to the camera flash, the orb will appear to be glowing and is thus mistaken for a ghost. Perfectly reasonable mistake, right?
Even most believers are pretty skeptical about orb photography. While she thinks some real photos exist, parapsychologist Pamela Heath points out several natural causes of orbs such as fine hairs, dirty or wet lenses, lens reflection, or movement during exposure. Many paranormal websites have stopped accepting these photos because they say there are just too many false ones. So thanks to a basic understanding of how technology works, orb photos seem to be giving up the ghost.

4. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In 1921, ophthalmologist William Wilmer published a bizarre paper in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. It told the story of the “H” family and their haunted house. Their hell home was plagued with the sounds of slamming doors, moving furniture and footsteps in empty rooms. One of the children felt something sitting on him while the other was attacked by a mysterious stranger. During the night, the woman of the house awoke to see a man and a woman standing at the foot of her bed, only to watch them vanish moments later. As the hauntings continued, the family grew tired and depressed, and then their plants started to die. It was then they discovered the faulty furnace. The furnace was supposed to send its fumes up the chimney, but instead the gas was pouring into the house. It turns out the family was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas, which makes it really hard to detect. It’s dangerous because our red blood cells absorb CO much easier than they do oxygen, and this oxygen deprivation leads to symptoms such as weakness, nausea, confusion, and eventually death. But before you kick the bucket, you might experience hallucinations, just like the “H” family. For example, in 2005, a woman called the authorities after seeing a spirit in her bathroom. It turned out the paranormal activity was due to her leaky water heater which was filling the house with CO. Bottom line: Stay away from carbon monoxide, folks, because one way or another, it’ll have you seeing ghosts.






3.  Mass Hysteria

In June 2013, over 3,000 workers went on strike at a garment factory in Gazipur, Bangladesh. They weren’t protesting against long working hours, and they weren’t demanding better wages. They wanted someone to do something about the ghost in the restroom. An angry spirit had attacked a worker in the lady’s room, causing everyone to panic. A riot ensued, and the police had to restore order. A similar event took place at a school in Patong, Phuket when 22 students were hospitalized after seeing the ghost of an old woman. But while the Bangladeshi factory owner ordered an exorcism, perhaps he should have called a counselor instead.
Both the workers and the students experienced a psychological phenomenon known as mass hysteria. These collective delusions occur when people are really stressed out, usually thanks to their oppressive environments (like a strict school or busy workplace). This pent-up stress then turns into physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, or violent spasms. Throw in religious and cultural beliefs, a relatively isolated environment and the always-busy rumor mill, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Other people will “catch” the same strange symptoms, they’ll spread like a disease, and panic ensues.
It’s interesting to note that very few of the 3,000 factory workers actually encountered the ghost. Even the woman who sparked the frenzy didn’t actually see anything. She got sick and just assumed it was the work of an evil spirit, but the suggestion was so powerful and the circumstances were so perfect that everyone freaked out. Fortunately, it didn’t end with human sacrifices or dogs and cats living together.

2. Ions

Unfortunately, real ghost hunters don’t carry proton packs. However, they do use tools such as the ion counter. The ion counter, well, counts ions. An ion is an atom with an uneven amount of protons and electrons. If an atom gains an electron, it becomes a negative ion, and if it loses an electron, it becomes positive.
Ghost hunters go crazy over ions because they supposedly show a paranormal presence. Some say a spirit’s presence interferes with the normal ion count in the atmosphere while others say ghosts draw upon ionic energy when they want to appear and scare people to death. However, ion counters are really pretty lousy when it comes to detecting ghosts. Ions are caused by all kinds of natural phenomena like weather, solar radiation, and radon gas. So it basically comes down to how someone interprets the evidence. Scientists see ions and think, “Natural.” Ghost hunters see ions and think, “Paranormal!”
Interestingly, both positive and negative ions can affect our moods. Negative ions can make us feel calm and relaxed while positive ions can give us headaches and make us feel lousy. This might explain why people who live in “haunted” houses describe feeling tired and tense, as well as having headaches.





1. Quantum Mechanics

Quantum mechanics is the study of the smallest types of matter, and it has led to some pretty awesome inventions. However, it can get pretty weird when physicists start talking about souls and ghosts. Take, for example, Dr. Stuart Hameroff and his physicist friend Roger Penrose. Hameroff and Penrose theorize that human consciousness comes from microtubules inside our brain cells, and these tubules are responsible for quantum processing (our souls basically). Hameroff and Penrose believe when people have a near-death experience, all that quantum information leaves the brain, yet continue to exist, which is why some people report out-of-body experiences and lights at the end of tunnels.
As you might expect, a lot of scientists have problems with Hameroff and Penrose’s theory. But Dr. Henry Stapp isn’t one of them. As a respected quantum physicist who worked with the famous Heisenberg, Stapp believes that a person’s personality might be able to survive death and exist as a “mental entity.” Stapp theorizes if these entities could return to the physical world, then concepts like possession and channeling could really be possible. Are men like Stapp, Hameroff, and Penrose just wishful thinkers? Or are they modern day Galileos?
Nolan Moore was once bitten on the foot by an alligator, but he survived to become an ESL teacher. He hopes to avoid future alligator encounters and one day make it as a writer.

This is all you needed to take one leap of faith ahead in favor of Science and start thinking rationally. So, if there is no Satan, there should be no God too, right?


























































       
        CHAPTER 5  
         MORALITY





“You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion.”
                                                                             -Anonymous


















“Satan worshiping scum . . . Please die and go to hell . . . I hope you get a painful disease like rectal cancer and die a slow painful death, so you can meet your God, SATAN . . . Hey dude this freedom from religion thing sux . . . So you fags and dykes take it easy and watch where you go
cuz whenever you least expect it god will get you . . . If you don't like this country and what it was founded on & for, get the fuck out of it and go straight to hell. PS Fuck you, you communist whore . . . Get your black asses out of the U.S.A. . . . You are without excuse. Creation is more than enough evidence of the LORD JESUS CHRIST'S omnipotent power.”

These were the exact words used by some creationist found on the internet. And they ask, where does your morality come from? Need I say more? And does your God need so extreme defense just to prove him.

This is the most common question asked by almost all the people “If you don’t believe in God, what do u live for, and where does your morality come from? And yeah, you must be very selfish”.

Well, I have a questions from Atheists too “Do u need a religion to be moral? Is it necessary to be connected to “God” to do things of sympathy, and kindness”, if your answer is yes to these questions, there is lack of morality and empathy in you, my friend, not atheists. We can still have dignity, sympathy and other traits without any religion to cling to..

Some intelligent creationist might ask, if u believe in Darwin’s Theory and theory of natural selection, then you must be utterly selfish, and should not at all care about others.
Well, yes, there is logic behind that too. There is a saying in English “You scratch my back, I will scratch yours”. The whole reason lies behind this simple sentence. Evolution has always worked out this way. Primates were evolved to live in groups. So, with passage of time, they have started to feel the need for empathy.  This explains the reason, why you feel sad, looking at a homeless child begging, or a dog being hit.

Other emotions like sexual desire, happiness, and sadness have all been evolved from scratch. The theory of natural selection states that to stay in the environment, you have to dominate over other organisms. So to survive over other organisms, humans needed to grow in number, this caused the desire for sexual intercourse and hence reproduction. The best way for natural selection to build in both kinds of lust in ancestral times was to install rules of thumb in the brain. Those rules still influence us today, even where circumstances make them inappropriate to their original functions.







Evolutionary Biologist Richard Dawkins in his book “The God Delusion” has explained all about the Darwinian Theory and detailed reasoning for the sympathy we have developed. He has also explained in his book, about mathematical game theory in this study. “Mathematical theory allows two broad classes of stable solution to 'games' of this kind. ‘Always be nasty' is stable in that, if everybody else is doing it, a single nice individual cannot do better. But there is another strategy which is also stable. ('Stable' means that, once it exceeds a critical frequency in the population, no alternative does better.) This is the strategy, Start out being nice, and give others the benefit of the doubt. Then repay good deeds with good, but avenge bad deeds.' In game theory language, this strategy (or family of related strategies) goes under various names, including Tit-for-Tat, Retaliator and Reciprocator. It is evolutionarily stable under some conditions in the sense that, given a population dominated by reciprocators, no single nasty individual, and no single unconditionally nice individual, will do better. There are other, more complicated variants of Tit-for-Tat which can in some circumstances do better.

Another thing from human society has been build is trust. People who have gained trust among other beings, tend to get more generosity and the one who cheat, and go against society rules are punished. This causes the humans to behave accordingly with compassion to gain an important trust in the society.

The Harvard biologist Marc Hauser, in his book Moral Minds: How Nature Designed our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong has said “Driving our moral judgments is a universal moral grammar, a faculty of the mind that evolved over millions of years to include a set of principles for building a range of possible moral systems. As with language, the principles that make up our moral grammar fly beneath the radar of our awareness.”

I guess it might be an elaborate and detailed answer to the question “Where does your morality come from”. It’s Science. If u just need religion to be moral, and to be approved by God, you have serious concerns to worry about, other than questioning science..
































      CHAPTER  6 

THE CURIOUS CASE
               OF  
           INDIAN   
      MYTHOLOGY  



"One's convictions should be proportional to one's evidence."
                                                                            -- Sam Harris




















India is a secular state. Secular means everyone has the right to choose their own religion and have the right the practice it.  In the first place, India was basically full of Hindus. Later came Muslims, Buddhist, Sikh, Christians and so on. If they are to be believed, Hinduism was one of the first religions in the World and apparently it’s billions of years old, much longer than what evolution dictates.

Like any other religion in the world, Hinduism is also full of loopholes and details that can make you wonder.  According to Hinduism, the duration has been divided into yugs. And the current time is kalyug which is full of Maya ‘traps’ and very less of reality. According to them, to connect to God, one must leave all materialistic possessions and concentrate on connection with God. Maya will make us to believe and see many things which are not truthfully present or are not real.

Also, apparently Ascent Hindu tradition is believed to be full of all this gadgets like flying aircraft, long distance communication systems (where people can call or see each other while they are kilometers apart). However with time degradation was believed to come in our religion and we lost all this. People could change their appearance like Mystique, could have claws too like Wolverine, and there is literally one form of Vishnu which is exactly “The Beast”. Leaving nothing behind, there is Hawk Eye too, who can turn the arrows in any direction they want or take any shape. It totally sounds like all the superheroes combined.





Another interesting thing is life after death. In Hindu culture, there is a concept of reincarnation. When people die, they are reborn again into a different organism depending on their karma. Now “karma” is basically the deed that you do on Earth. If it’s good according to “God”, you might be born into human form again and if u have done some bad deeds, you would be born as a lower creature on Earth. This cycle goes on and on forever.

According to the scriptures, a Hindu marriage is in dissolvable in life. Nevertheless, polygamy was rampantly practiced in ancient Hindu society. An address by Bhīma to King Yudhishthira in the Mahabharata, succinctly endorses this fact: "A Brahman can take three wives. A Kshatriya can take two wives. As regards the Vaishya, he should take a wife from only his own order. The children born of these wives should be regarded as equal." (Anusasana Parva, Section XLIV). Now, these are the exact written words in Vedas, which truly discriminate one human against the other. The root for all the caste based evils taking place in India is some Vedas, whose source is unknown. People believe the Vedas blindly and take part in all the insane crimes possible.

“For taking refuge in me, they also, O Son of Prtha, who might be of inferior birth-women, vaisyas as well as sudras- even they attain to the supreme goal”
These are the exact quotes written in Indian Vedas. This definitely broadcasts your God as sexist, racist, and casteist as he is perfectly implying that women and some caste are inferior to others. This is the source of all problems emanating in India. Still, People take pride in what the Geeta says and they follow it without giving it any second thoughts.





In India, women have always been discriminated and they have suffered from many disabilities and social injustice. This is true for all Indian women, despite of which caste or religion they may belong to. Indian women rank high in terms of no. of prostitutes in the world, girl child neglected, abused, or often sold for economic purposes.
Education is not widely attained by Indian women. Although literacy rates are increasing, female literacy rate lags behind the male literacy rate. Literacy for females stands at 65.46%, compared to 82.14% for males An underlying factor for such low literacy rates are parents' perceptions that education for girls are a waste of resources as their daughters would eventually live with their husbands' families and they will not benefit directly from the education investment.

Another problem with Indian system is dowry. In India, dowry is the payment in cash or some kind of gifts given to bridegroom's family along with the bride. Generally, they include cash, jewelry, electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils and other household items that help the newlywed set up her home. 
Anthropologist Jack Goody's comparative study of dowry systems around the world utilizing the Ethnographic Atlas demonstrated that dowry is a form of inheritance found in the broad swath of Eurasian societies from Japan to Ireland that practice "diverging devolution", i.e. that allow property to be inherited by children of both sexes. This practice differs from the majority of Sub-Saharan African societies that practice "homogenous inheritance" in which property is transmitted only to children of the same sex as the property holder. These latter African societies are characterized by the transmission of the ill-named "bride price," the money, goods or property given by the groom or his family to the parents of the bride (not the bride herself).

The sad part is that, although the dowry system originated in other corners of the world, it has now almost been insignificant everywhere but India. It’s still very much an active process in India and takes place everywhere although there are laws against it.





There are various other issues prevalent in India like illiteracy, overpopulation, health, rape, security, terrorism and the underlying cause behind all of these is religion and caste system. People turn into terrorists because by killing, they have served their “God”. Women are discriminated and raped, who is to blame, if the vedas they are following teaches them that. It is really important in India to enlighten the people and make them believe in themselves, apply sound logic to everything, and then there could be a better and uprising India which would focus only on development and self-growth. That way, we could create a better and shining India..











      









      CHAPTER  7

      DEBUNKING
      ASTROLOGY




"In the absence of fear there is little faith."
                                                                -- Michael Pain

















Not to be confused with Astronomy, Astrology is a different thing. Astronomy deals with study of celestial objects while Astronomy deals with the effect of these bodies on a human. It all started about 2300 years ago when Babylonians came up with the idea that the gods lived among the stars and other celestial objects, and were able to impose their will on humanity by controlling the destinies of individuals and nations alike.  The Babylonians divided the sky into 12 “slices”:  which we now know as the signs of the zodiac… Taurus, Pisces, etc.

As elementary Physics would tell you, the force of gravity is inversely proportional to the distance of the two bodies. You can guess by yourself, what’s the distance between you and the planets, and what will be the force exerted!!

There was an interesting study done in 1948 by psychologist Bertram R. Forer.  Forer gave a personality test to each of his students. Afterward, he told his students they were each receiving a unique personality analysis that was based on the test’s results, and to rate their analysis on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) on how well it applied to themselves.
The analysis presented to the students was as follows:

You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life.







The results were pretty promising. Each student received the exact same analysis:  On average, the rating was4.26/5 (that is, the students found their “personal” analysis to be 85% accurate).  It was only after the ratings were turned in was it revealed that each student had received identical copies assembled by Forer from various horoscopes.

In another experiment, the famous French Astrologer, Michael Gauquelin, offered free horoscopes to any reader of Ici Paris, if they would give feedback on the accuracy of his supposedly “individual” analysis. He wanted to scientifically test the profession of astrology. As with Forer’s experiment, there was a trick:  he sent out thousands of copies of the same horoscope to people of various astrological signs – and 94% of the readers replied that his reading was very accurate and insightful.

What they didn’t know was that the horoscope was that of a local mass murderer, Dr. Petiot, who had admitted during his trial that he had killed 63 people.  This is clearly another case of subjective validation where subjects focus on the hits of some general analysis that’s supposed to be unique to them.

Now moving to the scientific details. There is no force, known or unknown that could possibly affect us here on Earth the way astrologers claim.  Known forces weaken too fast, letting one source utterly dominate (the Moon for gravity, the Sun for electromagnetism).  An unknown force would allow asteroids and extra solar planets to totally overwhelm the nearby planets

Another great loophole is that the planets were named based upon Roman Gods. That was completely arbitrary. There might have been some logic behind it (Mars is red, war has blood, etc.), but overall there is no real reason to think that just because Venus was named after the goddess of love, that it should hold any sway over one’s relationships. If the “effects” of the planets on people, had any real relationship to the planets themselves, then Venus should be the ruler of bad gas, not love.

What about Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, which were only discovered within the past 250 years?  In ancient times, these outer planets were unobservable with the naked eye. Astrologer’s based their system and equations upon the seven planets they believed revolved around the Earth.  If the position of the planets has an influence upon human behavior and events, then how could any of the beliefs have been correct, if these celestial objects were missing from the “equation”?



























          

      CHAPTER   8
            YOLO   










“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” 
                                                                   -Christopher Hitchens
















You Only Live Once. It was pretty funny for me to put a slang word in a book like this. But there were no other options visible to convey what I had to say. In this chapter, I will be focusing only on my opinion not any scientific reasoning or something. So there is pretty high probability that large number of people might get offended or might not like this chapter. But who cares. YOLO right?

I have lived 21 years of my life trying to impress others, doing what others say, or want me to do, crushing my dreams and the list goes on and on. People would say you have quite much left to see and you would eventually like the path you have followed. Well Yeah, People with long experiences obviously have a better outlook on life and most of them are right too.  But again as I said You only live once and there is no guarantee of your life, people should pursue their dreams and follow the path they wish to aspire. Anyways this is a topic completely off the road. But to start the chapter, a basic outline of the term should be explained.

There are lots of temples, churches, mosque and other religious places all over the world. And to worship the God, they have representatives in their respective places, named as Pundit or Father or anything as a matter of fact. Now, there are several organizations existing in India and Worldwide focusing on creating awareness about the lord. One such example is ISKCON. It talks about Krishna Consciousness, and how you should surrender to God to find eternal freedom. According to them, our whole life, we crave for materialistic possessions and die wishing for it too. According to them instead of craving for physical satisfaction, we should urge for mental satisfaction; and that can only be achieved by surrendering to the supreme God Krishna.







They also talk about ‘Karma’ and how you can improve it by worshipping Krishna. And if u don’t you will eventually end up screwing your karma, and in the next birth, you will be punished for the karma which you did in your last birth. It sounds pretty funny though. You will be punished in this life for the things you did in your past life, and wait, you can improve it too, if you start praying to the god Krishna. According to them, the body which you possess is just a support for your soul. It’s the soul which goes on and on. It’s very unfair though, getting punished for things you have not done, and about the soul, it does not remember things it has done in its past life, why is it being punished now?

The thing about materialistic possession and crave for physical need seems somewhat true, but that’s what we have. We just have our body and our mind. It’s one life and you have to live it, do what you want and die. The worst part about that concept is that, you have to surrender yourself to the God, just to get a better next life, the proof of which exists nowhere.  And is you God so shallow, that he might need smothering like this from so many people, just to give you a better life. So what’s the point in doing that? Fulfill your materialistic wishes, achieve your goals, and like all men, finally die. This is the process which is not going to change for anyone.

I have seen devotees in that organization of all ages, of all races just repeating “Hare Krishna Hare Ram” around like thousand times, to smother him, to get a better life, and better “karma”.
Their life could be a much lot better if they believe in science and knew that this is their only opportunity “Use it or waste it in search of some fantasies”.

Believe me or not, that organization if full of lots of educational people, with masters and PhD and still no clue about life. Their life could have been well spent doing some research, contributing to Science, and obviously humanity. Praying to God has never served the poor, but yes doing something valuable has.

India is an over populated country, and quite religious too, so you could definitely guess the number of people rushing to temple to pray for their future, family, themselves, blah blah. This is not the end of it; this temple thing is a business in India. Devotees spend lakhs and crores of rupees submitting to God, and if you visit any major temple in India, they earn daily thousands of crore Rupees. Even in ISKCON, there are lots of people pounding everywhere and there are the temple agents who mean pure business. They trick you something on the name of God, and make you in buying books, and bracelets and obviously you can’t say no to them, because the name of God is written on it, and you definitely can’t say No to god.





I have been brought up in the state of Bihar. Well for dummies, who don’t know much about India; just imagine what you think about India, that’s the exact same thing, people from other states think about Bihar. It’s one of the poorest state of the country, poor GDP, illiteracy are the common problems there. But, that’s not what we are focusing on. This State is developing the largest Hindu temple of the World, which will cost thousands of crores of Rupees. In a state like that, when there are major issues, we need to overcome, and with the amount of money you are spending on temples, If u just distribute it among the poor, all the problems will be solved. But no, this is not going to happen. That way, you can upset the God, and you must know how ruthless can he be. Sometimes I just ponder “When is this madness going to stop?” and the answer to it seems nowhere to be found..






















                           
                          BOOKS OR WEBSITES CITED



1. The God Delusion- Richard Dawkins
4. India Today- List of Superstitions





            
                    
                  You can download the PDF of this book here