Huff Post: by Deepak Chopra —
In every spiritual tradition, different as they are, God is taken to be the moral compass for human beings. He may or may not be a punisher. He may or may not sit in judgment, watching and weighing our every move. He may or may not be a He, since the God of Judaism, for example, is without form. But in some way the notion of good and evil, right and wrong, the light versus the dark, goes back to a divine source.
In secular society this link isn’t as strong, and for someone with no religious beliefs, morality has no connection to God. Yet the connection has been crucial for at least two thousand years in the Judeo-Christian world. In the Indian spiritual tradition, particularly Vedanta, God is not personified. The deity is conceived as cosmic consciousness. One of the strongest arguments offered by atheists is that a just and loving God doesn’t exist. If God did exist, why do bad things happen to good people? If there is divine love, how can the Holocaust even be conceivable? For opponents or religion as well as mild, everyday doubters, a God who sits back and permits wholesale suffering is on shaky ground.
Is there a deeper mystery here, or have we been duped into accepting a myth, as militant atheists insist?
We must approach the question without assumptions, and as it happens, both sides of the debate stubbornly cling to a large number of assumptions. Sometimes these preconceived notions overlap, which further muddies the waters. Here are some preconceived ideas that you may well believe: