What these Pew Research results mean for India and Indians:
615 million x 0.02 = 12 million Hindu Atheists
97 million x 0.06 = 5 million Muslim Atheists
18.5 million x 0.02 = 370,000 Christian Atheists
14 million x 0.06 = 865,000 Sikh Atheists
5.6 million x 0.33 = 1.8 million Buddhist Atheists
3.3 million x .01 = 33,000 Jain Atheists
In total: Slightly over 20 million Atheists of different faith traditions ranging from Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, and Christians who are part of Religious Atheism in India. Now, I’m using the 2011 data set provided by the Government of India, so it is entirely possible that any updated population consensus would yield more accurate numbers and each of these subsets of their specific religious groups could be around 1.5 to twice as high as what I’ve written down. So, for example, if the population of Hindus is closer to 630 million in a future consensus, then we’d multiply 0.02 from that population size and get a greater and more accurate number of Hindu Atheists.
What we don’t see from this dataset is any significant population of “No Religion” from the Pew Research survey. What this means: there are more Hindu Atheists than Ex-Hindus period, there are more Muslim Atheists currently today than there will be Western Ex-Muslim Atheists in the US in the next decade, and there are possibly more Christian Atheists in India proportionally higher than the percentages in Western countries. Of course, Christian Atheists in Western countries outnumber Christian Atheists in India by absolute numbers of population. Also, to be clear, Dharmic faiths see each other more as different sects than different religions, so it isn’t exactly correct to label them as different religious faiths. As such, Dharmic Atheism is very much a fact of life in India. In fact, far from the Western Atheist accusations that Indians didn’t understand atheism because it involved science and Western values of the Enlightenment, we know that Abrahamic Atheism joins them in India and it is a fact of life in India. What does this all mean for India? Indians of India are the most tolerant and accepting of Atheists in the world. Arguably, what Westerners acknowledge as the most religious country in the world, is the most accepting of atheists. Why and how can you be sure I’m not speaking nonsense? Nearly half of Indians of India accept atheists within their respective religions and faith traditions. Not simply accept them as people to live amongst without discrimination, they accept them in their religion. Of course, this is more likely to be the case among Dharmic faith traditions than Abrahamic faith traditions since atheism has existed and been an acceptable point of view in Dharmic faith traditions (originating from the Vedic traditions like the Upanishads, very likely before Buddhism existed) since approximately 600 BCE in ancient India.
Half of Hindus who believe in God with absolute certainty Accept Hindu Atheism as a valid point of view
Approximately 45 percent of Hindus accept that you can be a Hindu and not believe in God. That means approximately 277 million Hindus of India accept that Hindu Atheism is a valid point of view for their fellow Hindus and is part of Hinduism. Interestingly, the “depends on the situation” answers probably swing towards making that 45 percent higher in percentage points, because the following questions had to do with going to mandir, praying, celebrating Hindu holidays, and so on. We Hindus are a pretty accepting bunch and Pew Research uncovering this percentage really does mean that atheism is not just a lived reality among a minority of Hindus who take an atheist viewpoint, but an accepted reality among half of Hindus towards their fellow Hindus. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since Mimamsa and Samkhya Darshana’s accept atheism in their philosophies and the oldest suggestion for agnosticism is probably the Rig Veda. Furthermore, ancient India’s attitudes towards Charvakas and Vedic practitioners questioning of the existence of God suggests that they were embraced wholeheartedly by ancient Vedic society approximately around 600 BCE. Even the Bhagavad Gita, despite holding a more dismissive attitude towards atheist viewpoints, states that all viewpoints can achieve Moksha so long as they remain good moral people regardless of what they believe.
This vindicates all of my arguments favoring Hindu Atheism. I can also see why certain Hindus of India were confused by Hindu Atheist identity. One particular person I spoke to thought that atheism could only be part of Buddhism because they’d known of and met Buddhist atheists, yet the fact that Buddhism’s acceptance of an atheist viewpoint came from the Vedic traditions of Hinduism specifically had sounded alien to him. I suspect that many Western atheists (especially the bigoted Western Ex-Muslim atheists), the more Liberal and pro-Western Hindus, and a miniscule amount of Conservative Hindus had perceived me as some confused Western atheist at a crossroads between Western and Hindu identity; either because they had never read Hindu scriptures or because they could only compare it to their own faith traditions and assumed the same bigotry existed in Dharmic faith traditions. Well, half of Hindus in India – which means half of Hindus in the entire world – have made it clear that Hindu Atheism is a completely valid point of view . . . probably because they’ve actually read or have some knowledge of their own faith tradition. Honestly, the ones stating repeating mantras and requiring an instructor for specifics should probably feel a bit embarrassed; for my part, I read the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Samkhya-Karika twice. I feel understanding the concepts in the theology are more important than simply repeating a bunch of mantras. Regardless, thanks to these honest results of this survey by the non-partisan Pew Research Center, we Hindus can honestly claim to be the most accepting of atheists . . . in the entire world. Perhaps some could argue the percentage in Buddhism is higher. Very well! In which case, Dharmic religion has the highest tolerance and acceptance for atheists in the entire world.
Why Do 6 Percent of Muslim Atheists in India matter compared to Western Ex-Muslim Atheists in the United States?
6 Percent of Muslim Indians who don’t believe in God is approximately 5 million people. To give a straightforward comparison of how significant this number is. There are 3.35 million Muslims in the United States and 23% leave Islam yearly (770,500) with 55% of that subset becoming Atheist/Agnostic (423,775). There are more Muslim Atheists in India living today than there will be Ex-Muslim Atheists in the US in the next decade based on current projections.
Ah, but so what? A miniscule percentage of so-called Muslims are just confused before they imbibe Western Ex-Muslim Atheism, right? They would still be discriminated, killed, or thrown out by their own families; just like Ex-Muslims in the US, Canada, Pakistan, Britain, France, and Bangladesh because nobody would accept them anyway, right? Well, as it turns out:
34 percent of Muslims in India say you can be a Muslim and not believe in God. Yes, you read that right. Many of them believe in God with absolute certainty and Muslim Indians are more likely to attend Mosque weekly than Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslims. 34 percent of Muslims in India means approximately 33 million Muslim Indians of India say Muslim Atheism is valid and part of Islam.
The Western Ex-Muslim Atheist movement never had a chance in India, because Muslim Indians are too compassionate and have much more love for their Muslim Atheist family members than the majority of Arab Muslims, Pakistani Muslims, Bangladeshi Muslims, Canadian Muslims, and Western Muslims have for theirs. This further clarifies why I, as a Hindu, never witnessed anything as toxic and violent as the descriptions of other South Asian and Arab Muslim families. A large minority of Indian Muslims simply don’t have any such issues and may never have had it since as far back as the 1990s. It probably, and sadly, isn’t non-existent and might be the majority, but a third of Muslim Indians quite clearly have no such behavior or hateful attitudes towards atheism and they’ve achieved something that the rest of the world thought impossible. So, while Bangladeshi Ex-Muslim Atheists flee to the West because of legitimate threats to their lives, Western Ex-Muslims get thrown out of their own homes and vilified by their families, and Arabs and Pakistani Muslims jail or kill Ex-Muslims at far higher degrees than other places; one-third of Muslim Indians live in harmony and compassion with their atheist family members who identify as Muslim Atheists.
If you’re a Pakistani or Bangladeshi, how does it feel to know that this level of harmony, love, and compassion for atheists in a civilization is what your ancestors or your grandparents willingly walked away from? This culture and civilization you’ve all been shitting on as backwards and inferior throughout social media, this culture and civilization that you just assumed had the same or even worse problems because your country of birth had such grotesque hatred and bigotry towards atheists, and so you just had to believe that this culture and civilization your forebears walked away from had to be inferior; how does it feel to know how wrong you were? How does it feel to know Muslim Indians are the most tolerant and accepting of atheists of all Muslims across the world? What the hell were you Arab, Pakistani, Western, and Bangladeshi Ex-Muslims all expecting from a population of Muslims who strongly supported democracy for over 70 years? How does it feel to know Indians (of all religious backgrounds, Hindus and Muslims included) have achieved a level of intellectual sophistication, love, and harmony that the vast majority of the Western world has still yet to achieve towards atheists? Go back to begging the Western world for help as their democracies slowly wither and fall to ruin while you harp on about how Western values are superior as it crumbles all around you.
Oh, the poor Western Barbarians, so fundamentally incapable of rational thought, having their negative aspersions about India shattered over and over. You’d think after such repeated defeats, Western Barbarians would accept the facts, but instead they resort to spreading Fake News everywhere about India through nonsense like memes and insulting jokes. Perhaps encouraged by Pakistani influence, or perhaps simply covetous or resentful of India’s intellectual history, since India repeatedly proves that it doesn’t need the assistance of Western Barbarians when it comes to intellectual pursuits and only ever needs assistance and expertise in the only thing Western Barbarians are good at: War and power struggles against other countries. The only thing Western Barbarians have ever proved to be experts at is war and violence, after all.
Let’s all celebrate those salty Ex-Muslim Atheist and Western Barbarian tears by sticking this into their faces:
Oh, but wait! How about that Khalistani movement constantly harped about by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and other Western News media outlets?
Oh look, the Western National News Media has been spreading Fake News about India . . . for close to two decades. The Khalistani movement is the equivalent of paranoid conspiracy theories about extra-terrestrial UFOs. If that doesn’t shatter the credibility of the Western media and make them learn from their idiotic behavior, I don’t know what will. Frankly, I no longer believe the majority of Western Barbarians are capable of rational thought. There’s no other explanation of the level of dishonesty and farce with how they’ve been depicting India, Native Americans, and ethnic minorities who subscribe to atheism in the US.
Here’s the source, feel free to read yourselves: