“They say that this world is unreal, that there is no foundation and that there is no God in control. It is produced of sex desire, and has no cause other than lust.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 16.8)
You join your friend for a meal. It is a pleasant day outside, so you decide to do al fresco. Sit outside. Enjoy the weather. Take shade from an umbrella and leisurely go about consuming your meal, drinks and all.
To enhance the mood, you decide to engage in conversation. Present a particular point of view or philosophy and see what your friend has to say. Today doesn’t go so well, however. The friend is not interested in hearing your viewpoints. In fact, they have no idea what you think. They have formed their own beliefs. Their mind is made up. Nothing can change the fact.
You are a little perplexed. At least in a formal debate both sides get to state their opinion. Everything is laid on the table. The participants report and the audience decides. How is a person going to acquire real intelligence if they refuse to listen to opposing view points?
In the Bhagavad-gita we see that the speaker amazingly knows the mentality of the opponents very well. That is to say He knows the arguments against religion, spiritual life, God-worship, or whatever the preferred term. Interestingly, the opposition knows little to nothing about Him. They say that Krishna is a myth, an imaginary friend that science and technology have long since proven to be false.
1. They think that the world is unreal
Not in truth. Like a dream. Sometimes people dressed in spiritual attire push forward this opinion, also. Everything is maya, which is illusion. Just like we wouldn’t be excited from winning a million dollars in a dream, no need to get too up or down about events in this lifetime. As everything will be finished eventually, what reality is there?
2. They think there is no foundation
This refers to the origin. The spiritually aware person understands that there is a beginning to everything. The smartphone didn’t come about on its own. Intelligent designers conceived the idea and then engineers went to work. Even after that there were constant revisions, fixing errors and making improvements.
How, then, could this amazing nature we see around us come about from randomness? Yet this is the mentality of the staunch atheist. In truth, they are paying homage to nature, which they consider to be impersonal. The opinion is that the origin of everything is matter, and since matter is dull and lifeless, i.e. lacking intelligence, there is essentially no foundation.
3. They think there is no God in control
The Sanskrit word is Ishvara. As there is no foundation, or origin, afterwards there is no controlling authority. Never mind that everyone succumbs to death eventually, which sadly is the only face of the Divine the atheists notice, for which they are impelled to view. Never mind that the same actions don’t produce the same results in every single person. Never mind that not everyone looks exactly the same, despite the same union of a man and woman causing the birth in the first place.
The speculation is that there is no one controlling. This leaves the post of Ishvara vacant. Up for grabs, anyone can chase after it. Enough money, power, and fame and the world will be under your control. This was the mentality of both Hiranyakashipu and Ravana, two infamous atheists described in Vedic literature.
4. This world is produced of sex desire only
Lust is the cause. Nothing else. Sex is everything. The body is a bag of chemicals. There is no soul. Nothing really matters. Do whatever you want, since everyone is going to die eventually.
This is a philosophy, based on various sentiments. Atheism can be presented in the arena of ideas, to be judged by others. But see how Krishna knows all sides so well. His philosophy is not based on sentiment. It is not based on mental speculation. He is the original guru, and so His word is the ultimate authority. He could simply say that He is Supreme and be done with it. No need to explain further.
Knowing the enhanced intelligence of the human being, and the curiosity to understand the complex world in which they live, the Supreme Personality of Godhead presents the highest philosophy. He explains the origin of the universe, the position of the individual living entity, the controlling force known as karma, the different kinds of material elements [subtle and gross], and the meaning of life.
Let everyone know every supporting and opposing viewpoint. Then allow a sober decision to be made, considering the facts. This was the manner in which the Bhagavad-gita was presented to the disciple Arjuna, and his subsequent choice to follow Krishna was a wise and logically sound one.
This world of controller bereft,
Changing nature to attest.
Atheists this and that to believe,
But never opposing side to receive.
Whereas Krishna knowing already,
Both pious and in sinful ways steady.
From choice with intelligence more,
In bhakti confident and sure.
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