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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I think it is as you suggest, an easy way to deal with their own mortality, and feel that something of their consciousness will survive on past their human death. As an atheist/agnostic....I too feel that urging at times to go back and cling to that belief that there is something more significant waiting for me when I die than this current life has to offer. 38 years of being raised a Christian has done this damage to me. I suspect other's have had similar experiences. It is not easy to rid yourself of delusions that have become such a fabric of your own life and identity. But it can be done, the same way a person can lose weight and keep it off, or kick an addiction.
Chris, I spent almost my entire life (until a couple of years ago)trying to live the Christian life too. To be perfectly honest, my "spouse" still believes all of it,even though she respects the fact, that I don't anymore. I even tried going to church with her, just out of respect, but was bored and very indifferent to everything the preacher was saying. I knew then, that I would NEVER attend ANY worship service again, except maybe, because someone passed away. Even then, I don't to disrespect anybody, but I know I am not going to feel comfortable at ANY traditional, religious memorial service. Most of my family has avoided me completely, and some thin
  I believe it's political, in order to be heard and accepted by a larger audience you have to appeal to the masses, as the religious largely out number the nonreligious the largest audience unfortunately is the believers, and to be accepted by the religious you must claim to be one of them, otherwise you'll have no audience except the smaller numbers of us nonbelievers.  I believe this to be true for most scientists who claim to "Believe".  It's all about acceptance by the masses.

This is a question im sure has always perplexed atheist and I have to say these questions roll around in my head very often. I have come up with several possible explanations id like to share with everyone.

Im only going to briefly lay out 2 points, if I didnt I could probably write endlessly about this issue.

1. Its easier to have faith in something supernatural than it is to carry out some intelligent thought. By easier I mean to say emotionally... its hard for people to accept and come to terms with the ending of there existence. Being religious is also easier because it (at least in most faiths) frees people from personal responsibility, a few hail merrier and a confession or two and all is good. Some people have a hard time comprehending that there moral values come from the need for our species to survive and not from the supernatural.

 

2. More often than not, people who are religious are so because of there upbringing. These upbringings often indoctrinate innocent children who cannot yet reason for themselves... If a child is never told there is no Santa Claus, he would more than likely continue believing. I have no objection with teaching children about religion and the lack of it, the problem arises when a child is presented with these ideas as ultimate truth....

 

 

Bringing a child up in a religion is child abuse.

I think death is a hurdle that some intelligent people simply cannot jump. The notion that when you die is more then likely actually the end is something that most people do no want to come to terms with. I often talk to my father about the existence of God and religious beliefs, he is a very intelligent man and can always understand and accept what I say, but he is in his 60's and often finishes our conversations with "well I dont have to think about it" and a chuckle. I know this is just because he doesnt want to think about his own mortality - the term "ignorance is bliss" always comes to mind.

 

"Within all civiliations, within all societies, the human existence has demonstrated its proclivity to create gods for when we cannot find meaning or understanding" (CJ Werleman). I think in an age where we have more understanding of our universe and origins of life then ever before, it is a terrible shame that many intelligent people accept religious explanations (which of course, dont explain anything!).

Indoctrination is a tough nut to crack. Also, people become offended when you ask them to question something they have believed their entire life.
People are products of their environment. Live in the US and you'll be a christian, India- a hindu, Iraq- a muslim. They never stop to consider that their religious affliation is a result of geography. It's a huge hole in the religion equation.

As a person of reason and logic it befuddles me that people don't take more time to really think and try to understand why they think and believe what they do. Perhaps the mental work involved is not worth the effort; they would rather go with the status quo and be comfortable in their ignorance.
As I've said in another thread, It is far easier to "have faith" than to read, study, learn, digest, etc. ANY believer is saying to us atheists, "I'm too stupid or lazy to bother to be human. Leave me alone. Of course, I can't leave YOU alone, because of my faith."
Ed, I have made the point t

Ed, I have made the point t

 

@ Willaim - You okay there, buddy? You are the old guy on the forum. Just sayin.

 

I look forward to reading the complete post lol.

The rest of my message 'didn't make it'. Just another computer glitch of endless 1,000s.
At 85, I'm lucky to remember my own name.  Have it written down somewhere.

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