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.
This topic is addressed in several decent books- if I recall correctly, these include:
The Religion Virus
Breaking the Spell
The Christian Delusion
If you haven't already read these, they may help answer your questions.
Christians cherry pick. They read the bible and see how they should live. I read the bible and I see horror, stupidy, uneducated, superstitious masses, mysogony, torture, hatred, and men who just want a bigger penis.
After talking to many christians and one muslim, I think, that most fundamental religious people have been indoctrinated and brainwashed from the age of, say three, with very superficial education, but the indoctrination never stops. They become fearful, when people are fearful, they become violent.
This is virtually impossible to ignore what you have been taught, very difficult to get that out of your head, for people who get out from under the fear, vehemence and violence of religions.
Christians need an insurance policy - therefore if they are most of the time good, they will go to heaven, and if they are bad, they will go to hell. So off to church, or pray five times a day, whatever, they will surely go to heaven. It's just such a shame the majority of christians don't follow this. I was bought up catholic in Australia, BUT no brainwashing or indoctrination here. Of course there are some politicians who are hateful, vicious, gay hating christians here - but I can say, without fear or favour, they are hateful, taking up just too much space on the planet. Then there is the pope, the Official Protector of Pedophiles - and his sydney offsider Cardinell Pell. Pedophile Heaven - God will forgive these pedophiles, the harm they have done to thousands of children, their lives they have ruined, the suicides they are responsible for - and off they go again. Off to church we go, say the rosary, kneel and throw some water around, and they are forgiven. Forgiveness is their secret of keeping the insurance policy going.
But I truly have my doubts about all these charletans hiding behind the cloth and cross - I don't think they are christian, I believe they couldn't give a damn about the bible, there are just too many of them.
How could they really 'believe' with god watching from above, and Jesus looking over their shoulder. I think the majority of christians are lying. I think they 'know' full well, it's a load of claptrap, the men in the vatican just don't want to lose their job.
But the true believers, uneducated, non inquiry, fearful. Fearful of getting tossed out of home losing their family, fearful of getting tossed out of school, there goes their education. So atheists who learn the truth just shut up.