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Are You a Theist or an Atheist?
Ninety nine percent People are not atheists but at the same time they can not swear to be theists. An instructive story illustrates this condition of uncertainty of the people in general with respect to their belief in God.
Once upon a time, a saintly person visited a village. The villagers invited him to give a discourse. Just before beginning his discourse he asked them, "How many of you believe in God?" No one raised his hand. The saint said, "If none of you believe in God, what is the use of my giving a discourse?" He then got down from his seat and started walking away. Some villagers ran after him and persuaded him to come back. Again he asked the same question, "How many of you believe in God?" This time, all of them raised their hands. On seeing this, he said. "If all of you believe in God. what is the need for me discourse?" And he got down from his seat and started walking away. He was again brought back. When he repeated his question again, this time, by previous agreement, half of the people raised their hands and half of them did not. When the saint saw this, he said, "Those who have faith teaeh those who don't have faith" and walked away.
In this way we can see that most people don't have proper knowledge about God and so they neither disbelieve in Him, nor have complete faith in Him. Even those who profess to be theists maintain some faith only due to fear of the unknown or due to considerations of mundane piety or social pressure. For example, We find some people engaged in the so-called worship of Kali or Ganesh due to social pressure. They celebrate pompous festivals in which raucous rock music is played and where people of similar social status come together to share food and drinks with no discussion whatsoever about God or the purpose of life. How unfortunate it is - blatant gross enjoyment in the guise of religion! And even in the student community, most of the students today who visit temples do so as a ritual due to family tradition or habit from childhood. Though they are certainly better than the downright atheists who deny the existence of God, their ignorance in the matter of a scientific understanding of God is certainly a sorry state of affairs.Thus we can see that a superficial understanding about God is not of much use. In this course, we want to get an in-depth understanding about God.