One of my favorite people of all time is Cornel West. Two of his most well known books are Race Matters and Democracy Matters where his views on society are for the most part, incredibly on the mark. I've heard him live a couple of times and he is wonderful to listen to. He is also a frequent quest on Real Time with Bill Maher where he rails against the right yet at the same time has been known to call out Obama. Anyway as I was listening to him the other day, I started to think, how could a man of such intelligence, hold onto something as unintelligent as religion? He is a man of deep faith. Expanding on this idea, why is it that many people of incredible intelligence are people of religion? What is it about what they get from religion that allows them all to suspend reason on one day a week and give themselves to the land of the make-believe? One of the main doctors who is treating Hitchens is a man of faith. This is a guy who has studied science in depth and has seen cells divide. He knows there is no scientific basis for his beliefs. Yet he believes. Is it because all these people need to religion to deal with death? Is because it is what is expected in our society and to be otherwise is too difficult? I just don't understand.
Sort of. I should be more clear and write that critical thinking is hard. Intelligent people can be completely hoodwinked or self-delusional. In fact, it takes some measure of intelligence to rationalize something like religion. So, what is easy is for people is to find reasons to support a priori beliefs, which in many cases are established by way of childhood indoctrination. It is much harder to critically examine long held or cherished beliefs. Crticial thinking takes effort and practice to wield effectively.
I think that is a great clarification, Reggie. Sometimes I find myself wondering how I see the obvious holes in dogma whereas so many others either don't or don't care to.
The answer is not that I'm more intelligent, because I most certainly am not. The differentiating factor is my ceaseless desire to see things as they actually are...ie, think critically and skeptically.
Similar scenario here so I don't bring it up in family discussions.
This is one aspect of religion that really pisses me off. This promise of reunion with the dead that arrests bereavement. It is yet another example of the subtle, immoral salesmanship of most religions.
There is not much you can do about this directly without reopening old wounds that never healed completely, thanks to false promises.