- Published on Saturday, 23 June 2012 06:50
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 2466
If someone is comforted by their religion, why not leave them be? If they are not hurting anyone - and most are not although some do - then why try to convince them to give up their beliefs? Jack Vance over at Atheist Revolution had a go at answering this question. First he expanded the question as it might be said by a Christian: "Setting aside for a moment the issue of whether my religious beliefs are true, they bring me comfort and even joy. My faith sustains me in difficult times, providing a sense of connection and resilience when I need it most. I understand that you think what I believe is false. But even if you are right, my faith isn't hurting anyone and it makes me feel better. How can that possibly be a bad thing?"
- Entrusting your life to a lie can't be to your benefit.
- If everyone relies on faith and thinks that anything good came from a god, they won't be as effective in making good things happen, making the right decisions and having a positive opinion of themselves.
If the way to judge the value of something is by the comfort it brings - then maybe I should go on a non-stop drinking binge or perhaps surround myself with people who tell me that all is well, there is nothing to worry about, who shield me from reality. There are any number of things that I could do to bring me comfort. Jack quotes author Isaac Asimov (photo-right) who said:
It is no defense of superstition and pseudoscience to say that it brings solace and comfort to people… If solace and comfort are how we judge the worth of something, then consider that tobacco brings solace and comfort to smokers; alcohol brings it to drinkers; drugs of all kinds bring it to addicts; the fall of cards and the run of horses bring it to gamblers; cruelty and violence bring it to sociopaths. Judge by solace and comfort only and there is no behavior we ought to interfere with. ~ Isaac Asimov
If Karl Marx did not say it, someone should have:
"Religion is the opium of the people"
Is that what Christians and other "faithful" want? To be forever immersed in a haze of not knowing reality? Maybe they just say "what's the harm" so they don't have to seriously think about it, for fear they would lose their crutch.