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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very good summation of the social aspects of the religious experience Kirsten. most of us have experienced loss of friends and family due to our choice to live in reality.

tradition is a powerful thing in family and though our society claims that family life is being eroded, it still holds powerful influence in our experience.

Check out the books that Dr. Brian L. Weiss has written. After 50 years as an atheist/agnostic, those are what made me say, "Well, what do you know."
I will never understand that one.  I was a network admin at a geology conference once, and had a Darwin wallpaper on some of the computers that we used.  While most people liked it, there were a few that said it may offend some of the religous people at the conference.  This is a scientific conference of geologists, I would think, they of all people would relate to Atheism, but I guess some of the most brilliant people still cannot break the roots of faith in our society.  I also think that in a public forum, some of them are afraid to admit to Atheism because of what the general public might think.

i hope you didn't change the wallpaper!!??!

people who are that easily offended are not very open, tolerant, or smart!

No I did not change the wallpaper, it was a great conversation starter with intelligent people.  Atheists way outnumbered the uninformed at that conference :)
It's the word itself "atheism, atheist" that has so much stigma attached to it.
Any word we use to identify ourselves would automatically be vilified the next Sunday by the preacher. It doesn't matter what it's called. If it's not Christianity, it's wrong.
Even it it's a 'different brand' of Xianity, it's wrong - if it differs
Robert as a person of faith I simply do not believe that science or reason have not proven that god does not exist. I myself am a christian and when I was nineteen had a time where I believe I encountered Jesus christ in a very real way that was a concrete to my mind as if I met you in person. I imagine you interpret god's reality in light of the "evidence" (I'm not being a smart ass there lol) that you say science gives to show god isn't real. However, that personal encouter I had along with many others in the past ten years is so real to me that I interpret science in light of that. I'm not saying lieing or denying scientific facts in a delusional way either. For the last ten years I know I have had a relationship with god. Without that a christian would be the last thing i would ever decide too be. I can barely tolerate christians myself. For some people yeah it maybe religion" does " something for them. But if you have read the gospels and pauls letters being a christ follower also caused them much horrible suffering. Regardless, I don't believe because it does something for me but because I know him. And that is where our thinking would split and would raise a million questions. I get that. Like all the religions, evolution, science, etc. But please anyone who reads this please don't attack me lol. I'm in no way trying to evangelize or defend god or prove his existence. I just wanted to answer your question from my perspective robert. If you have any questions for me send me a message.
I swear I'm not making fun of anyone here and I'm sure someone more qualified could expound on this. Any claims of people meeting, seeing, knowing Jesus/god are simply a complex chemical reaction your body creates. Science does show that we were not created. That is a fact just as observable as the earth being round and the sun being the center of our solar system.
I think you hit it on the head. We tend to attribute things we don't understand to the supernatural.

Ghosts for example: (see the ghost in the machine section)

I was "saved" once when I was a teen.  I truly thought I knew god and that was the way to go.  Then I started reading the bible and studying a bit more.  Knowledge and fact won me over as an Atheist.  I was brought up in a christian household in the bible belt known as TX.  My roots are deep enough in christianity that I will not tell my mom I am an Atheist, because she could not accept me not going to heaven.  I respect her values and wont try to ruin it for her since she is old now.  :)



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