April 22, 2009

The Heavenly Spammer (or The 'Belief' Scandal)

As usual, I opened my mailbox first thing in the morning, and amidst the pile of e-mails, found one from a close friend with whom I had not communicated for quite some time. Eagerly I opened it, and found a forwarded mail. Most of us would have received such a mail at some point or the other, a mail that carries the picture of a god or a goddess, or some sloka (religious chant), the forwarding of which mail if you failed to do, would bring you untold misery. Or great luck if you did.

Well, I would agree I am not that much of a sucker for the idea of God and such things in the way many others are (I am not an atheist too, for that matter :) ), and also hate the principle that good thngs and bad things in our life can be influenced by such scandalaous bull***t like forwarding a "good luck" mail or not doing it. But many times in the past I have succumbed to the blackmail found in those letters, and forwarded them to my close friends and relatives. Like, if you don't forward it to 15 or 20 people (depending on the 'mood' of that particular deity) within a stipulated time, you would land into trouble big time. Au contraire, if you did, then all the riches of this world would be showered upon you within a short time.

Well, I fell for this scandal, yes I did indeed call this a scandal, and used to forward it sincerely to many people. But see the fallacy in this principle. Such mails force you to send it to atleast 15 or 20 people, and most of us either flood our entire address book, or forward it to the same select set of people. And the theory of probability says that there is more than a fair chance that at least 1 out of these 20 people would surely have us in their own select set!!! So the cycle goes on and on and on....

And I did indeed, like a fool, wish for some good luck before forwarding such mails, as demanded by such 'deities', for fear of losing something that I cherished. And lo behold! True to my guess, nothing of that sort ever happened. In fact, quite a few times, I got 'bad luck' the moment I forwarded such mails. Ah..there I caught you, I told myself.

So what is this scandal all about? Should I just trash such mails, unafraid of the deity in question? Na, we always have this sense of bhakthi (devotion) ingrained into us since childhood, which prevents you from trashing such mails. So I used to forward such mails dutifully. And after making a wish!!!

That is, till recently. Why this Gnyanodhaya (enlightenment) suddenly? Probably I became a quasi-rationalist in the recent past. By that I mean that I started questioning my own belief systems and values. Including God and the like. For the moment, I am still "in the fold", and am a border-line believer. But I am not sure that I will stay so for long. No, I may not become an "atheist", since I believe that the opposite of a "God-Believer" is NOT an "atheist".

I jut felt that I should stop using God as an excuse to do good to others, and also to stop blaming God for all my ill-luck. If I wanted to do good to others, I would rather go ahead and do it, wthout attributing it to any higher authority - anything higher than my conscience. After all, did Abraham Lincoln not say,
If I do good, I feel good. If I do bad, I feel bad. And that's my religion... ?

And, forwarding such 'belief' mails would not bring me any good luck. But what if it brought me bad luck for not forwarding it? Simple logic, my dear Watson!!! If God were such a hypocrite that (s)he would punish me for not doing such a triviality like forwarding bulk mails, then I would rather call her (him) the Heavenly Spammer. And no use in believing in such deity anyway :)

More about my beliefs and such stuff later...

For now, I have to get on with my work of deleting, or rather trashing, more such junk mails. Amen!!!


G said...

Hey , was this email from Veena ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Bhuvan,

here's an Article I wrote about that subject:


Greetings, Marco

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Muhammad Amir said...

I would rather go how do you stop spam ahead and do it, wthout attributing it to any higher authority - anything higher than my conscience. After all, did Abraham Lincoln not say,