I’m only addressing those who were born into a particular religion and have accepted it without taking the time to venture out with no bias and really assess other religions.
We see these people all the time. The majority of people who follow a particular religion were born into it. I was, you probably are…and if you’re not you either left religion altogether or went to another.
I had a conversation about this with my friend just today. She is Hindu and knows I’m an Atheist. Funnily enough she is frightened of speaking to me on the subject of religion for too long because what I say gets her thinking about the rationality of her own belief in God (s). She often has this glassy stare on her face and I can clearly tell that she wants to both continue to speak on the subject but also run away.
So I asked her, As Richard Dawkins famously did. “Why do you believe in the Gods you do? Why don’t you believe in Thor or Zeus or even Apollo?”
To which she had no answer. She opened her mouth to speak and subsequently shut up.
The answer was quite clear really. She believed what she did because she had been told to…because it had been passed along like bread at the dinner table. She’d just accepted it and eaten it right up.
After-all, in a regular home, the good points of religion are focused on. I’m not saying the bad ones aren’t but the scriptures are thought to be a source of morality. We as humans want to believe we’re special. We want to have a purpose and we very strongly desire life after death. These aren’t all the reasons it is so easy to accept. For one, childrens’ brains are easily susceptible and they will believe what they are told. It’s one of those things that made our ancestors survive. “Don’t touch that it’ll kill you,” must have saved many childrens’ lives.
So we accept what we are told. Hell is a bad place to go. Heaven is a good place to go. Be good and you’ll be eternally happy. Be bad and you’ll burn in hell.
Jeez! What child isn’t frightened out of their mind by that? This is why you believe in Allah. This is why you believe in Jesus. Why don’t you believe in Zeus?
Zeus is old news of course. Get with the program!
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