It's okay that billions of people are into religion

by phil on Saturday Jan 17, 2009 8:38 PM
secular religion

I'm going to make a statement that's bold considering I'm an atheist: I think it's totally relevant that the vast majority of people believe in God, and that billions of people believe in organized religion.

I think a lot of non-believers retort with, "well, who cares" or "people are stupid." But it is relevant. Because that many people can't be stupid.

Now when I say it's relevant, that doesn't mean I take consensus opinion automatically as truth. It just means that despite what I think about the existence of God, the appropriate approach to believers should be charitable. If somebody comes to me, and is trying to convert me, my first reaction in my head isn't, "this guy is stupid." Rather it's, "I wonder what religion does for this person."

I have a belief that some double-digit percentage of people that are into organized religion are smart, intelligent people, who are deriving honest value out of it. And that I have a lot to learn from them.

Do I believe that, perhaps, religion largely exists simply because it plays with our minds? Absolutely.

Do I believe that a lot of people are into religion simply because they're duped? Absolutely.

But I don't think that's the total story. Because so many people are into religion, I'm at the very least curious.

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