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. 

What are your thoughts with this? Why does intelligence, reason, intelligent thoughts more often than not, lost out to religion? I would love to hear from of our friends of faith on here as well.

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Utah and many parts of n. California are in the "south"?????
My church taught me to "rebound" (i.e. confess your sin directly to god) as written in 1 John: 1:9 to-wit:  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness".  Makes me want to puke now when I look back at my life and all the time I "rebounded".
The human animal is aware of it's own mortality therefore it knows it's life cycle is finite. A belief in an afterlife is reassuring and comforting to people who don't want to accept that one day in the future they will not exist. The fear of dying is at the core of all belief systems.even for intelligent people. To overcome a fear you must confront it . By believing in supernatural all powerful entities such as gods you are avoiding the bigger question .Why are we here? Some people are willing to confront their fears head-on while others are not so inclined. Intelligent or not.
We are born dying, like everything else. What's the problem?   We missed out on all those centuries prior to our existence.  Why worry about all those problems that will continue after we 'depart' ?

I think we better start thinking about living in another country, like Sweden. It has a very high percentage of atheists. I hear Seattle, Washington has a lot of atheists too!

After that it's Vermont, New Hampshire, Mass and Rhode Island!

What a fantasy...being surrounded by Swedish female atheist blonds!  Now that I could accept as a sort of true 'heaven'.
Robert, me too, ha, ha!
Actually Robert, right now I am in a relation with a "somewhat" religious woman. I love her dearly, but I see "hypocrisy" when she claims to believe in God, the Bible, Jesus, and Heaven. She even thinks that I will come back to "believing" again. I really feel bad for her, because she is a very loving and giving lady. She was just "raised" that way and she doesn't want to read anything about considering life without religion. I share this, in the hope, that others share their present situations so that it can help us all. At my age (64), it may not be worth, moving to Sweden. But perhaps we can still help the younger people, decide, if living in the US is the best for them.

Back when I was a religious quack out to save the world, the girl I loved (I still love her today from afar) was Catholic and I was a non-denominational fundamentalist.  I refused to sign anything in the Catholic setting that said I would commit raising my children to be Catholics.  Her parents pressured her not to leave the church.

 It breaks my heart to this day that we split up over religion.  It leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

 We talk occasionally (we live in different parts of Texas) and both admit that we fanatics about religion back then.  So stupid and such a waste.  Whenever I can I do advise others that the only true spiritual   reality is a  love of nature and a romantic love between two individuals.

Geoff, I agree with you on some things. Those of us who have children (I have one daughter 41) need to make the effort to speak to them about "the other side of life". Be ready to be rejected (my daughter did, even though her and husband never go to church) but do it anyway. "Marriage" is another story. It's MORE, than just, NOT being unequally yoked together. Yes, being "married" implies that you both are going to stay together and raise those kids, and that would be the "correct" thing to do. However, in the "traditional marriage ceremony" they always include "god", or some words to that effect. That is where the mistake is. "Marriage ceremonies" should NOW be based, on "what matters most" (Hyrum W Smith) to JUST those two (2) individuals, that are saying they want a permanent relationship under one roof. They have to sit down, and share, in an honest way, what they want to see happen in THEIR relationship, and how they are going to do it. Not on "God's blessing".
Should have made myself more clear.  Not looking to get back together.  Definitely don't desire to have any more children nor ever marry again. I was just discussing what 'theism' had cost me in my younger days.
Robert, sounds like we have some things in common. Here's my true story. At 13, I fell in love with a catholic girl (I was already "born-again"). I studied the Bible seriously (noting some strange things) and preached and sang in choirs through high school. The girl kept breaking up with me because of my "religion" (her words). Through the Air Force I preached and sang some more, especially in Tucson(64-66). We kept breaking up. There was a "catholic" boy she knew way back too. When we broke up, she would date him. Twenty years later, I happen to tell her that all "religions are fake" even though I was still going to church. By then, she had two children I had one (separate marriages). She divorces, I divorce and we talk on the phone, long distance. I tell her again that "all churches are out for the money". She marries that first boy. She still talks to my mother.

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