Thursday, September 14, 2023

It's Your Own Self That Rewards and Punishes

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 14 September 2023 "Are rewards and punishments the only thing life is all about? Did God create this magnificent universe and all earthly creatures just in order to sit in judgment on man?" A perceptive reader's comment "It's your own self that rewards and punishes. I don't know of any other agency or authority that does this." Buddha (this quote is also attributed to Mahavir) This very concept of a punitive god is so damn disgusting. You call your god the epitome of love and also believe that it punishes you when you go awry. Ridiculously ironic! Isn't it? The idea of divine rewards and punishments is the manifestation of a cult behaviour. Out of Allah's 99 predominant names, two are redolent of a dreadful being up in some obscure cranny of the sky: Al-Qahhar (The Subduer/The All-Prevailing One) and Al-Jabbaar (The All-Compelling). The agnostic Albert Einstein would often say, "There're two Semitic religious beliefs I've never believed in: Belief in a personal God and also in a punishing god." This concept of a personal god is exclusive to Christianity that makes you believe that once you accept Jesus as your Saviour, he along with his heavenly Daddy (sorry, Father) and the Holy Ghost or Spirit will be at your beck and call. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Also Read: Why Should Allah Almighty Punish His Servants for Their Sins When Everything Happens as He Wills? ------------------------------------------------------------------ Humans, with their limited vision and understanding, have envisaged god as their celestial manifestation. So, all the traits’ humans are saddled with are superimposed on a creation that was concocted by our prehistoric ancestors. Rewarding and punishing are typical human attributes. So, humans thought that god would also behave just like them and reward for good deeds and punish for misdeeds. What nonsense! This sounds so primitive. More or less, this notion of a punishing god is prevalent in all faiths, though Quran and the Old Testament have drilled it into the malleable brains of the asinine followers more effectively. Since humans are still not fully evolved or developed, they constantly require some sort of incentives and a constant fear of punishment to behave properly. Projecting god as a draconian martinet is creating an image you cannot relate to. An average human is too much worried about what'll happen after this life and how god will treat him or her in an imaginary world. Why do you require divine incentives and fear of punishment? Drink life to the lees. Be good to others. Don't do anything that goes against your conscience. The voice of conscience is the voice of god. Do we require a litany of abstruse eschatological explanations and exhortations to live our lives? Do we require scriptural dictums and decrees for a conscientious existence on earth? Can't we use our brains? Are we so vacuous? Ask yourself. ------- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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