Chapter 4: Education and Religion
The directions of belief and thinking are opposite. Belief is blindness; thinking is finding one’s own eyes. By being blinded with belief, the children are deprived of their eyes forever. It is for such a harmful purpose that the so-called religious people are so keen to give religious education. This keenness is not good. Actually there is no greater sin than killing the capacity to think. But parents have been constantly committing the same sin with their children, and this is the basic reason why the birth of true religion has not taken place.
Thinking is to be taught, not belief.
Right reasoning is to be taught, not trust.
Then only will religion cease to be blind faith and become a supreme science. With such a science, education can have a beneficial relationship. It is not by blind faith, but by testing the scientific truths on the touchstone of discriminatory thinking that man can be benefited.
Are you not aware that people living in the darkness of belief slowly become incapable of coming into the light of thinking? Their eyes become incapable of seeing anything but darkness. And they are training their children in this darkness so that they do not need to accept that they are blind themselves. It is convenient this way to believe that they are right. Whenever some child is able to save his eyes, in spite of this collective conspiracy, it is well known what they do with him. They do what they have done with Socrates and with Christ.
So while thinking about imparting education in religion, it is necessary to make sure that we are not planning to teach darkness in the name of light. So far, in the name of being given eyes, people are deprived of eyes. All beliefs are nothing but ignorance and darkness, so it is necessary to save children from beliefs.
It is possible to save children only if they are made capable of sharp and deep thinking. So develop the power of thinking in them. Don’t give them thoughts, but give them the power to think. Giving thoughts is as good as giving beliefs. Given thoughts will be yours; the power of thinking will be their own. Only the full development of the power of thinking can make children capable of discovering the truth of life. Thinking is the path; belief is going astray.
So I say that whoever is bound in belief can never think. Neither a Hindu, nor a Jaina, nor a communist, can think; his belief is his bondage. Since thinking may destroy his beliefs, he prefers not to think. It may become his protective amulet, but in fact such an amulet is nothing but suicide.
Is not belief the murder of thinking? But this murder is committed knowingly or unknowingly. A Hindu father wants to make his son a Hindu, and a Mohammedan father wants to make his son a Mohammedan that too when the child is very small and incapable of thinking and understanding. Such a wrong thing can only be done at an unripe age; it is difficult to do so afterwards. Once the power of thinking and logic has arisen it is not possible to throw dust in his eyes. The ability to think protects the individual, so it is no wonder if the so-called religious people are against reasoning. Actually, they are against intelligence as such, because where there is logic, thinking and intelligence, there is rebellion.
Rebellion means looking for new ways of life.
Rebellion means a journey from the known to the unknown.