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The theological concept of salvation
All religions have salvation as their goal for their followers. The human being as the creation of God should seek and attain salvation (liberation or deliverance). As Radhakrishnan, the Indian philosopher says in his book, An Idealist View of Life: “It is the moksha of the Hindus, the nirvana of the Buddhists, the kingdom of heaven of Christians.” And: “It is a supreme status of being in which the individual knows himself to be superior to time, to birth and death.”
According to the Indian mystic, Sadhguru, “Freedom- mukti or moksha– is seen as the natural longing in every human being and our ultimate destination.” The Sanskrit words moksha, nirvana, and mukti mean scriptural salvation. Hindu thinkers claim that it is the end of the human quest.
For the human being, salvation is the end of his suffering in his life and his past sin and the beginning of the life of infinite joy in the spiritual world. It means union of his soul or energy with the universal soul (called God), existence, universal consciousness or source, nature or energy, and so on or eternally blissful divine life in the heaven or the spiritual world of God.
But now more people are questioning and not admitting the concept of the religious or theological salvation: Has it any meaning? Is it true?
Salvation in theology enslaves the human being by depriving him of his free will. The human being is born-free and not a puppet in the hands of a God or his messengers and not bound by the scriptures.
Rational concept of salvation
As Dan Barker, the thinker eloquently puts it: “We do not think there is a purpose ‘of ’ life. If there were, that would cheapen life, making us tools or slaves of a master. We think there is purpose ‘in’ life. As long as there are problems to solve, hunger to feed, illness to cure, pain to lessen, inequality to eradicate, oppression to resist, knowledge to gain, and beauty to create, there will be meaning in life.”
None in the human history who accomplished salvation and lived or lives in the divinely ecstatic spiritual world has returned to the human world or sent a message to tell his divinized life story, in a universally intelligible and acceptable way, to the common people in the mundane world. Why is it impossible for the salvaged individual to reveal his message of the divine life to the people with whom he physically lived?
Why this age-old secrecy? Why this mystery behind the salvaged life?
None so far.
People, for an example, universally accept human travel to, and his footprints on, the moon, whereas the rationalists, skeptics, and other non-believers reject the religious salvation as unreal. The only reason for the rejection is the total absence of acceptable proof of the salvaged life.
The mystics, saints, sages, and prophets claim that they have the experience of the mystery of the spiritual world ineffable to others. Ineffable.
Many religiously oriented people now accept what Radhakrishnan says: “To be saved is not to be moved from the world. Salvation is not escape from life.” The life of ordinary people in the world. It is a solid declaration that theological salvation can happen on this earth and is earthly. But it is not the real individual or social salvation.
All life is the product of nature. All life arises from the earth and returns to the earth. No theological salvation. No afterlife or life after death. Then the end.
Belief in anything including salvation preached by saints, prophets or god-men without supporting evidence is irrational. Irrational because it has no evidence of its existence.
We gain knowledge of a thing, animate or inanimate, through three ways: 1) the five senses, 2) use of scientific instruments like microscope, telescope, etc. by the senses and 3) applying the testing process of hypothetical models by the senses. None has established, in one of these three ways, the fact of salvation in religion. So none has the evidence.
For a rationalist like me, salvation in religion is an illusion. It is a religious fantasy. It does not exist.
Salvation is to be, in fact, an effective solution of social problems
Salvation is to solve any problem of humanity: Problems like poverty, illiteracy, disease (like Covid19), religious bigotry and lunatic violence, crippling absence of basic public roads and other infrastructural facilities and pure drinking water, electricity, malnutrition, housing, gender inequality, etc.
The proof of the existence of these chronic mass problems is evident in Pew research.
Seeking for and finding salvation is to be here on the earth. Salvation has social meaning and purpose. Salvation is not only individual but also collective.
We have conquered plague, polio, smallpox, controlled TB, malaria, cancer, and diabetes and will vanquish the coronavirus.
Though the extra-sensory mental power mystics claim to have is a fact, that is only for them (who are few). The human power of transcending the senses or the self is a superior mental achievement through the practice of yoga which is a psychological science. This too is sometimes wrongly elevated to the position of moksha. Yoga never mentions the soul or God in its book.
The individual and collective salvation lie in the humanist solution of the heart- breaking and massive problems of the people in most of the countries of the world.
The real salvation is the solution of the above gigantic and chronic human problems to deliver the people from the social scourges. This deliverance will be their freedom.
The people have to end the scourges.
People have to set up the real heaven on the earth.
We hope to see the earth becoming heaven.