The God Delusion


Question

Humans are capable of deriving mental peace, security, and a basis for better loving dealings with others from a variety of convictions.
For example:
“My parents are protecting me, therefore I have nothing to worry about.”
“My guardian angel is always with me looking out for me.”
“Commander Zargon from planet D3 with his subtle storm troopers are surrounding the planet to protect me, thus I have nothing to fear and can peacefully carry on my life.”
“Jesus Christ is taking me to heaven, thus I have nothing to fear.”
Humans regularly derive a good measure of deep peace and fearlessness through these types of convictions. Those who embrace Krishna consciousness, exhibit a similar state of tranquility.
Aside from the seemingly circular statements of Vedic scriptures that assert to a large extent the veracity of its truth with references to statements within the texts themselves, what can be said on the basis of logic and reason to refute the feeling that Krishna consciousness may be merely another useful tool, another peace-of-mind formula, that one might take recourse of Commander Zargon or Jesus and get the same effect.

Answer

H.D. Goswami Profile Picture

Here are a few points:

  1. Krishna clearly explains in the Gita that a person becomes relatively peaceful, happy, and wise by living in the material mode of goodness. There are many people around the world, practicing many different traditions, that cultivate goodness and derive the benefits.
  2. The argument below assumes, falsely, that the ultimate goal of spirituality or religion is to live peacefully in this world. In fact, the ultimate goal is full self-realization and God-realization which go far beyond mere peace, security, etc. Thus, we must go beyond mere psychology and discuss serious theology in order to grasp higher truths.
  3. Regarding belief in Captain Zargon, history and social science show that people derive benefit from a belief that is categorically correct, even if the category is filled in with dubious details. Thus, there are, in fact, powerful beings in the universe who will help us if we appeal to them. One may call such a being Captain Zargon. Even if that is not, technically, the real name of a powerful, celestial being, the category of higher protector is valid and therefore bestows tranquility even if the details are muddled. So the believer in Zargon is ‘categorically’ correct and higher beings make allowance for technical errors if one’s heart is in the right place.