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.
We have a consciousness and an ego which says to us that we must be more important than what the evidence shows: we lead useless, empty, meaningless, pointless lives in an utterly indifferent universe which is out to kill us and will go on for billions of years after our entire species has been gone for billions of years.
Surely all the reading I've done, the knowledge I've gained, what little wisdom I've achieved isn't going to just STOP.
Well, I'll tend my garden and love my loved ones, but I know it don't mean squat, as they say.
You really need to read a book called "The God Virus." It explains how and why even people of high intelligence can be unable to see the unreasonableness of their own beliefs. The God Virus - Amazon Link
The author creates an interesting and unique perspective of religion. When religion is looked at as a virus, things begin to make sense that wouldn't otherwise.
Unfortunately, despite what atheists may want to believe, the link between faith and intelligence seems to be only a coincidental correlation. And besides, intelligence is notoriously hard to measure. Many religious people aren't stupid. But, as the book "The God Virus" demonstrates, once the mind of a person has been infected and taken over by a "god virus," the virus makes it impossible for them to critically analyze their own faith, yet they still can critically analyze other "god viruses" [other religions]. The god viruses described in the book act as parasitic infections that invade the host, take over the brain, and focus on nothing but propagating and expanding the populations of hosts for that particular virus. The hosts are usually unaware that their minds are being controlled. [also explained in the book]. The god viruses [especially Islam and Christianity - which are particularly good at this] immediately create "anti-bodies" against ideas that contradict the doctrine of the virus and program the host to protect the virus at all costs [even if it costs the host their life - suicide bombers...]. The usual way that an infected host will defend their virus against an idea that threatens the virus' survival is either by 1. Denying/ dismissing the idea or 2. [very common among intelligent theists] Twisting their own faith to fit the new information and "cherry picking" their religious texts to fit their current reality.
Unfortunately, it appears to be impossible to reach most hosts infected with God viruses. It appears they have to break free on their own... as I did.
Seriously... read the book! ^_^
Wow! Jacob, I lived like that too! I wasted my adult life, living a big lie! I was 13 when I "accepted Jesus Christ into my heart". It's only been a couple of years that I have finally "come out of the closet" and told everybody that I don't believe in Fairy Tales anymore. Sure, I have lost the friendships and family connections of many, many people. But I am very happy and at peace with myself.
Folks, this is SO important for EVERYBODY to know about. Why is it SO hard for them to understand? It's logical. It's rational. It's reality! Are we going to have to move to another country, to live in peace???