The following is a passage from a recent read of mine: “God’s Funeral” by John Higgins
“I really don”t understand why religious people are so defensive. They have the greatest gift that those sorts of people can imagine, an affinity with God, a gift that probably makes them piss themselves with delirium. However that’s not enough for them unfortunately; they need everyone else to believe in it for it to have any validity. Does questioning their belief upset them because they know, in their hearts, that what they have been indoctrinated into all of their lives is clearly fantasy? 1Is it a fear that we might rumble them in front of others? Personally I believe it is because regardless of whatever crime they commit, they can always go and atone for that crime by going into a dark room, confessing to a stranger and doing a penance of prayers that allows them to be monsters to others but if they say sorry to some man floating up in the sky, they do not have to worry about being immoral.”2
1Humans have reasoning logical minds. Through repetition, reinforcement, and fear, a logical reasoned mind can be derailed. Though damaged, the reasoning human mind remains intact and because it does, those that have been indoctrinated with information that is in truth fantasy have an inner struggle constantly in progress between the reasoning logical mind and that part of the mind that has been compromised by religion. The instillation of religion by repetition of phrases, reinforcement by association with like-minded individuals, and by constant reminders of the consequences and rewards of belief maintenance, is a very powerful programming process. If some information presents itself that is regarded as a threat to the programmed belief, the believer’s mind exhibits something similar to a flight or fight reaction.
2Holy hypocrites. With this recipe of committing immoralities and begging forgiveness the Christian reveals the true nature of his faith: Faith is an illusion. If you can behave like an average human being 6 days a week, lying, cheating, and stealing, but then on the 7th day confess your “sins” and be forgiven, of what value is faith? What improvements are imparted to the individual as a result of faith? Six days a week the Christian is totally indistinguishable from the general population (except perhaps being a little more annoying), but on the seventh… he/she becomes squeaky clean? This problem with Christianity has been a thorn in the side of the faithful ever since it was proclaimed that only faith was required for salvation. One can imagine Hitler on his knees in his bunker, a gun held to his head, praying for forgiveness. Bingo… ticket to heaven. If heaven did exist, I wonder how the faithful would react, upon arriving at the pearly gates, to the sight of Hitler among the crowd.
->In answer to John Higgins lack of understanding as to why the faithful must be so defensive I must reply that they simply have no other choice. If they had no doubts then there would be no need to be defensive in the face of contradictory information. Instead they would be serene in their knowledge that all is as they believe and it does not matter in the least what any one says to the contrary. The doubts, however, are real. The only way to allay the fear that they might be wrong is to experience constant reinforcement and to eliminate contrary information. In the past they would act quickly to eliminate contrary information by simply punishing the perpetrator of such into submission. Burning at the stake and hanging also provided needed relief. Now, since the laws of the land decree that such punishment is inappropriate, the only way the believer has of eliminating the offensive contradictory information is to persuade the perpetrator to join the fold. Who knows what they might do should Christianity again gain real power?