Imagine there's No Heaven by Salman Rushdie

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“Imagine there’s No Heaven” is a letter written by Salman Rushdie who is a British Indian novelist and essayist. He is an atheist and is known for his unflinching criticism of religion. Rushdie contributed this letter to a UN-sponsored anthology, addressed to the six-billionth human child who was expected to be born that year. He attempts to discuss and answer two fundamental questions of life. “How did we get here? And, now that we are here, how shall we live?” However he diverts from his central thesis and most of his text malign and smear all religions while the two questions go almost completely unanswered. His tone is demeaning, scornful and he presents religious beliefs as being ridiculous. He makes absolute statements without any clarification and supporting evidence and his arguments lack logic.

While trying to answer the question of ‘origins’, Rushdie starts with making a mockery of most of the religious beliefs about the creation of universe and life. He calls other people faiths as ‘stories’ and then mentions some mythological beliefs like Bumba, creator god in African mythology vomited the universe ,Shiva Nataraja, the Lord of the Dance danced to create the world in Tamil mythology or another polytheistic belief that god stirred the matter of universe in a giant pot. He declares the primary impulse of creation as lust but then quickly adds love as another motivation. He delves deeper in the mythologies when only a small number of people in particular regions believe in them. He chooses to ignore Christianity and Islam, the most practiced religions in the world both of which agree that God created the universe and God can be understood and identified by His creation.

Rushdie portrays religion as something which imp...

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