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November 12 , 2008

The Grand Illusion

Homo-sapiens Trapped in the Mire of Irrationality


In “The Grand Illusion” professor Singh offers unbiased comments from the rationalist’s point of view on the concepts of God, belief, customs and ceremonies- which we collectively call “religion.” His comments are quite comprehensive, embracing worship, prayer, holy books and places, miracles and salvation, as well as the theory of karma, attributes of God and life's purpose.

The author’s goal is to shed light on the absurdity of certain ideas, attitudes, and activities in the spiritual realm of religion and faith, thus helping mankind free its thinking from the stifling grip of irrationality, i.e., to become its own helper and savior. His reasoning demonstrates that- just as religious followers believe that "God only helps those who help themselves"- it is humankind, and not God, who is responsible for saving itself. In other words, a spiritual entity saving mankind is an historical absurdity; humanity must be its own savior.

The author wants to awaken humanity from its spiritual slumber and open its eyes so that people see for themselves how their behavior is steeped in irrationality. Man is a rational being and his cognition and behavior should confirm and justify rationality.

Unfortunately, in any conflict between emotions and intellect, the former invariably wins. Why is that? Emotion (irrationality) is as old as life itself, whereas intellect (rationality) is comparatively an infant on the life's evolutionary scale. Humanity must recognize and nourish this infant so that it develops and becomes our dependable guide.

It is not the author's intention to criticize or condemn any religion; religion stands condemned by the behavior of its own followers. In truth, religion has failed in raising man to any higher level and humanity has remained unsaved despite a horde of saviors. The path to progress, enlightenment or further evolutionary growth, without a doubt, lies through reason and rationality - not through religious fervor. The only religion worthy of mankind is "Rationalism and Humanism."
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