I seem drawn toward this particular topic time and time again: Why and how does religious belief persist? In the short time I have studied different aspects of religion (since late 2007) I have seen more than sufficient information to invalidate the three major religions, the Abrahamic religions. I am sure that this information is available to everyone, in books and on the internet. Yet, these persistent believers either must be refusing to look, cannot understand, or refuse to understand, and refuse to accept. I am presently reading a book titled The Evolution of God, by Robert Wright. I bought the book thinking that it was an atheist that wrote the book. Sometimes, on my Kindle I fail to look at the cover or see the purpose of a book and read it soon making the discovery it was not what I thought. The author supports belief. With this book I read through a great number of pages before making the discovery, by looking online and seeing the cover. Up till that point the author seemed to be making an excellent point of destroying everything people believe about the Bible. He exposes the fabrication of the Christian religion, the Jewish religion, and hence the Islamic religion, from previous belief systems. On this book alone one could make the deduction that the whole shebang, the entirety of the Christian religion, was a product carefully crafted so that the rulers of different groups of people could exercise control over their people.
I have written before about how much religion resembles in many ways a computer virus. It is much like a program, a mind washing program, presented orally and through written words. A virus capable of infiltrating the organic computers we call brains. Like computer programs that are guarded by sophisticated Antivirus programs, information that contradicts the ‘program’ is rejected. The natural inherent reasoning and logic centers we all possess are over-ridden on any information that pertains to the religious programming. Those ideas and concepts that do not pertain to the religious programming are left unfettered by the protections allowing logic and reason to prevail.
The protective ‘anti-virus’ part of this programming lies latent until needed. A believer receiving information that contradicts the actual program momentarily sees the merit of the contradictory information. Then the protective element of the religious infection breaks to the surface viciously, denouncing the contradictory information, asserting that it cannot be true, as it would otherwise invalidate the word of god. The religiously compromised individual at this point might form a cross with his or her fingers and shout “Be gone from me Satan!” After all, human knowledge cannot compare with the perfect knowledge given by god.
This protective ‘anti-virus’ quality combined with the individual’s fear of death and desire for immortality is a nearly unbeatable combination. Most of the infected remain infected for life. Yet, some do get the cure.
Those ensconced in the belief almost never make an escape. For others simple research and appropriate thought are sufficient to effect a cure. Some find release after a personal tragedy, during which, despite persistent pleading, god failed to answer. Sometimes the implantation of the programming is thwarted by a child possessing a curious mind filled with questions, questions left unanswered. The program does not like questions.
Despite escape the program may persist; it may generate guilt for its host. Thoughts that some eternal being is staring over your shoulder expressing displeasure at your chosen course may linger. The temptation to transfer your responsibilities to some imagined fatherly figure may plague you for some time. Most likely this delusion will fade with time but it may never fully go away. The maturation process is never easy, it is much easier to be the child protected by the parent and remain carefree.
I think it better to live your only life in the best possible way. It is depressing to think so many spend this only life in spiritual delusion instead.