“One of my friends asked me to pray. When informed of my atheism, he said, “When your last days come, you will begin to believe.” I said, “No, dear sir, Never shall it happen. I consider it to be an act of degradation and demoralization. For such petty selfish motives, I shall never pray.” Is it vanity? If it is, I stand for it”
Let me start by defining the terms for you:
- Vanity is excessive belief in one’s own abilities to others. Others may include anybody even God but not necessarily God.
- Atheism is originated from a Greek term called ‘Atheos’ which means ‘Without God’. So Atheism commonly means the rejection in existence of omnipresent.
Now when we have understood what the basic meaning of the terms is, it seems juvenile to relate them both. An atheist does not declare himself above everybody or does not boast of being above the human follies. I have never been able to understand how unfounded, baseless pride or empty vanity can hinder a person from believing in God. It is easy to understand but how is it possible that a believer can turn into a non-believer because of his vanity? Only two things are possible: either a man seems himself to be in possession of Godly qualities, or he goes a step further and declares himself to be a god. In both these states of mind he cannot be an atheist in the true sense of the word.
Firstly he is not out rightly denying the existence of God. In declaring himself above God he is affirming his presence in our Universe. Either he believes in God being the supreme power or he considers himself above him. In both he is a theist, a believer.
An atheist totally rejects the existence of the all-knowing, all powerful God. And it is far beyond the thought of pride or vanity. Atheist believes that
“Religion is an outcome of human weakness or limitation of human knowledge.”
After a long study on the topic of God and Religion, Bhagat Singh (one of the most courageous freedom fighters India had ever seen.) declared that “By the end of 1926, I was convinced that the belief in an Almighty, Supreme Being who created, guided and controlled the universe had no sound foundations.”
Belief makes it easier for a person to go through the hardships of his life. A man can find a strong support in God and an encouraging consolation in his name. If you do not believe in him, the almighty than there is no other way than to believe in yourself and lead the path you have selected for yourself. You are the leader in that case.
It is a man’s duty to come to reason. It is a man’s duty to try and make efforts. After all success depends on chance and circumstances. It is a duty of every man to stand for progress and criticize every tenet of old beliefs. Any person who claims himself to be a realist should try and challenge the old beliefs. If faith cannot withstand the onslaught of reason, it falls.
In the most difficult times, vanity evaporates and man cannot find the courage to defy the beliefs commonly held among people. If still a man can gather courage to defy it, we cannot call it shear vanity.
3 thoughts on “Vanity vs Atheism!”
Its a nice topic of discussion and a good blog. But I think there needs to be a distinction in the blog between religion and atheism as they seem to be interchangeably used here. I believe atheism is your own belief of non existence of the omnipresence as per things you believe in now but it turns into a grey line of vanity when u say the belief shall always be true till eternity no matter what. After all all beliefs including a belief of non-belief should always be open for challenge.
I am not exactly sure what message you are attempting to communicate in this post. Is it simply a defensive stance against those who may consider atheism to be a form of vanity, and thus declare it somehow morally inferior? I see it more like this: there are some who believe in God, and in that belief, elevate themselves above others, including nonbelievers. That is a form of vanity. There are some who do not believe in God and look down on those who do as though they are intellectually inferior. That, too, is vanity. We can argue all day which side is more vain, but isn’t that, too, nothing more than vanity?
Rather than spend our energy in debating whether it is theists or atheists who are somehow morally inferior or superior, we could invest that energy in helping the poor, caring for the sick, loving those who are unkind to us, treating people the way we would like to be treated, and other actions which lead us to become the best humans we can be, whether we choose to do so to serve a God or not.
Additionally, I’m inclined to agree with the last commenter in that any person, whether a theist or atheist, should be willing to confront and question his or her own beliefs from time to time.
Now the thing is.. The point of this article was never to care for sick or love those who are unkind to us or becoming The best humans.. I could have written another article for that and there you could have commented the same there and I would have gladly accepted your point.
It was the basic difference in atheism and vanity through some instances which I Wanted to explain( for those who don’t know)( especially not for those who knows too much or maybe pretend to be).