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A posting to his personal Facebook page shared by Venu P. Gopal

"Why I am a religion-agnostic"

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Here, Venu Gopal uses the term "religion-agnostic" to refer to a lack of belief in any one religion.

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Today seems as good as any other day *to explain* to all my friends why I am a 'religion-agnostic' person and have been since the age of twelve - for many of them wonder why I am so -- and I have been meaning to explain why. I am doing so via this public post.

(Kindly note that I do not want to influence anyone to be religion-agnostic like me. I have zero desire to change anyone's religious beliefs - even though I do hope that people will, eventually at least, have a high degree of religious tolerance. Religions tend to play a positive role in most people's lives, with the notable exception of hatred for people of other religions).

It would *appear* that I am part of a small *minority* and seem like an odd person out to most of my friends of various religions. But I am anything but odd (in this regard only). Consider the data for some of the top religions of the world (by number of believers).

If you are Bahai, the majority of the world - 99.9% - does not share your beliefs.

If you are Jewish, the majority of the world - 99.8% - does not share your beliefs.

If you are Sikh, the majority of the world - 99.7% - does not share your beliefs.

If you are Buddhist, the majority of the world - 94.6% - does not share your beliefs.

If you believe in the Chinese Traditional religion, the majority of the world - 94.3% - does not share your beliefs.

If you are Hindu, the majority of the world - 85% - does not share your beliefs.

If you are Muslim, the majority of the world - 76% - does not share your beliefs.

If you are Christian, the majority of the world - 68% - does not share your beliefs.

Most people generally believe in one religion, but what I am trying to point out here is that they do not believe in 99% of the religions of this world. What is the big difference between a person who does not believe in 99% of the religions and one that does not believe in 99.9% or 100%? Precious little. Most people seem to be *very similar* to me - I just happen to be only 'slightly different' - instead of being a non-follower of, say, 30 religions, I may be a non-follower of 31 i.e. just one more.

And, looking at the percentages above, my views seem to align with that of the majority in every case. I don't feel like I am the odd person out.

(Note: Nothing in this post is about "God" - that is a different subject.)

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So what happened at the age of twelve? Nothing in particular. I happened to grow up in a multi-religious society and the situation I describe above started being glaringly obvious to me at around that time -- even though I did not have any numbers behind my thoughts till recent times.

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Originally published: 2015-MAY-30
Last updated 2015-MAY-30
Author: Bruce A Robinson
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