The modern consumer culture is indeed defined by opinions. It’s defined on the assumption that economic growth is the main goal of society. Everything else is secondary. This opinion forms the underlying reality of the global culture
Furthermore, many people are of the opinion that evolution has resulted in the world, as we perceive it. These same people are of the opinion that the idea of God is an imagination with no basis in reality.
Other people think that God is defined by certain religions. These people are of the opinion that the God of Abraham is the only true manifestation of God. In fact, the reality of the majority of people on the planet is formed on that assumption.
What’s wrong with that whole scenario is that it is based on opinion only. Even if you can convince almost everyone of an opinion, it is still just that - an opinion.
Reality as it is, however, is not formed by opinion. Reality is reality regardless of what somebody may think of it. You may have your opinion about it, but that doesn’t change reality.
Reality, as it is, obviously, can only be established by God. If reality is based on human opinions and speculations, that would make reality relative. That’s why those who subscribe to a relative reality are very eager to convince everyone that there is nothing beyond the physical reality of the world.
In this connection, Srila Prabhupada says:
"What is the value of opinion when the people are like dogs and asses? What is the use of taking the opinion of an ass?
"This vox populi - taking the opinion of the public - is degrading modern society. If the public is composed of drunkards, smokers, meat eaters, gamblers, and woman hunters, then what is the value of their opinion? Why take the opinion of fourth-class men? What Krishna says -- that is the standard. Krishna is the supreme, and His version is final. No other opinion is allowed. When I introduced the principle "No illicit sex life," I didn't ask for opinions - "It must be done." Our program is not vox populi. We are saying only what the authoritative scriptures say. If you actually want to do social welfare, then you must take to the standard formula as given in the scriptures."
-- Room Conversation with Director of Research of the Dept. of Social Welfare. May 21, 1975, Melbourne
So it is only an absolute, almighty being that can establish reality as it is. Anything else is relative human speculation.
As the subjective living entities we are, the only thing we can do is having opinions about reality.
Objective reality isn’t something that can be decided by vote. Modern science, for instance, cannot be objective because it is being conducted by subjective beings, who evaluate everything with their subjective minds. Where and how does objective reality enter the equation?
Someone may object (pun intended), that I know two plus two is four. That's objective. Everyone knows the numbers. We learned about it in school.
The thing is, though, that the only reason we know 2+2=4, is because someone has taught us. And who taught us? We were taught by someone who was taught by someone, who was taught by someone, and so on. It is an indisputable fact that the only reason we know two plus two equals four, is because someone has informed us about it.
Imagine having grown up without any human stimuli. No one had ever talked to you. What would you know? You would know next to nothing.
So then the question is, who was the first one? Who said it the first time?
Lets examine the modern, so-called scientific explanation.
In the theory of evolution according to Darwin - first there were some chemicals. Then, by the interaction of those chemicals over long, long time, an amoeba-like creature was formed. Then this amoeba gradually grew legs and learned to talk. I
It’s really of no significance that it happened over vast spans of time, and through countless, gradual mutations of life. This is evolution In a nutshell.
If we were somehow able to film evolution from start to finish, then run the film on fast forward (like it’s sometimes done in nature movies showing plants growing), it would show an amoeba that gradually grew legs and learned to talk.
So how did the first humans learn to talk? Remember, the first human who popped out of evolution was completely alone. No one to tell him anything. How did the first human, who had just evolved through millions of transformations in different species, how did this being learn to talk, when there was nobody to talk to?
And let us not complicate matters even further, by asking if the first human was male or female. How did the first human manage to procreate and perpetuate the species?
--but, but, it happened by the law of necessity. There was a necessity, survival of the fittest, and that's how the first human learned to formulate himself rationally.
Really? Necessity? And who determines that necessity? The Chemicals?
But this is what they want you to believe - originally there were only chemicals, and then these chemicals over vast spans of time transformed into a human being. It doesn't matter how many transformations this human had to evolve through, the question still remains - how did the first human learn to talk?
The first human is just an animal. No precognition, no recollection, no memory of past experience. the first human had to start from scratch.
Seriously? Does this sound like science to you?
Note, in contrast, the logical, coherent and authentic explanation we are offered in the Vedic tradition - time is eternal. And the first human was taught by the Supreme, and that human in turn told his fellow humans. At least that explanation makes sense.
The modern explanation of creation is not only improbable and highly speculative, it is also subjective. Still, it is being taught in all universities as an objective, scientific fact. It is considered rational and highly probable. See the fun?
"The probability that life arose by a coincidence can be likened to the probability that a voluminous encyclopedia be the result of an explosion in a print shop." - Biologist Edwin Conklin
Krishna offers a process by which He can be realized, and He has made that process of knowledge available to all. Of course, He establishes some conditions. One condition is that to realize the truth about God, one cannot be envious of Him. Another condition is that one cannot know God on the basis of an atheistic mindset. It's all thoroughly explained in the Bhagavad Gita.
My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding. (Bg. 11.54)
If one insists that God should be available on his or her own terms, one will never understand God. Is that God's fault? Nope. Krishna has already explained the process by which to contact Him, so it's up to oneself to take advantage of that, and engage in the process. That's the truth, and anyone who is truthful will accept it.
There is no go reason to think that all religions are false and without evidence. Granted, most religions have been subjected to distortions over time, but the purpose of all religions are the same - to unite a people through a common adherence to a superior set of principles of life.
And the Vedas constitute those superior principles and knowledge of life. Also, if there is a God, as logic tells us there is, is it not reasonable to assume He would reveal Himself via the right process, and tell us what He wants with us?
If one wants to approach the eternal religion, one should do so scientifically with an open mind, free from prejudice. One must investigate existing religions and find out which one offers the best explanations and answers to questions about God and nature.
It's rather peculiar how those who claim to be scientifically oriented, when it comes to God and religion, the scientific approach is totally dispensed with. A dogma has been created in modern society - religion is myth and science is real, and the population eats it raw.
I can understand if one is an agnostic, ie. ignorant about God, but to downright deny the existence of a Supreme Being is simply irrational. It’s the indication of an unevolved intellect.
There is nothing healthy or open-minded about being an atheist, and the proof is that at the same rate society dispenses with its former religious values, at the same rate the culture becomes destructive towards nature and her inhabitants.
Besides, it should be noted, that whether one calls himself a Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, Democrat, Republican or whatever, one can still be possessed by an atheistic mentality. It is not the designations we put on ourselves, that determine our identity. It's our mindsets and actions, and the knowledge we cultivate that define who we are.
There is a Bengali saying - phalena parichiyate - something is judged by its result.
Or, like Jesus said - you judge a tree by its fruits. So things are judged and understood, not by their names, but by their effects and influence.
I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices. Therefore, those who do not recognize My true transcendental nature fall down. (Bg. 9.24)