Nothing helps better to see the inner workings of religious phenomena than studying faiths outside of your own natural domain. I enjoy reading about Hinduism as it was one of the main factors in helping me see through my Christianity. And today I read this post of Arun Madhavan , a Hindu-born South Indian, where he discusses his Atheism.
I thought I’d share three short thoughts I had while reading his story:
(1) The Mahabharata & The Ramayana
“My earliest introduction to Hinduism was through Mahabharata and Ramayana , the big Hindu (Indian) epics. I liked the Mahabharatha very much because it was a gripping tale with huge variety of characters, umpteen number of sub plots and a mega scale.”
(2) Reclaiming Villains
Arun, like my post here about Judas and Ravana, illustrates the value of challenging religious myths with counter stories. He discusses how he began to see behind his childhood stories.
“My mother encouraged me to read alternate view points about the epics in which the ‘good’ guys like Pandavas and Rama were not that good and the ‘bad’ guys like Kauravas and Ravana clan were not that bad.”
(3) Natural vs Unnatural Atheists
It seems Arun is a “natural atheist” — never embracing Hinduism as an adult. Maybe Arun’s natural atheism flavors his criticisms of theism (albeit Hindu Theism). Maybe Arun would think differently about about religion in general is he weren’t a Natural Atheist. Perhaps that is why it is so easy for his
naive optimism when he says:
“The way things are progressing, atheism may become the default position of all human beings.”