(This is quite long, but it is good that you read on if you’d started. And I will not posting for quite a few days after this so you can read this slowly. And this is something remotely lengthy and thought-about I have written in a long time. I do not mind if anyone brings up any inconsistencies or loopholes or seeks for a debate. But I would like to say: I don’t ‘own’ these thoughts, they don’t exactly represent me. They represent me when I am faced with someone who requires such a reply. I will not say these to define myself in my daily life.)
I have been talking to a lot of people about religious faith because I am curious as to how people can commit themselves to something that has not proven itself to not be a lie. To this question, I am aware of an ubiquitous answer— faith does not need evidence and proof; it’s pure belief. I would have let it go and given it my fullest respect at that if faith only appeals to the psychological realm. However, religions like Christianity appeals to the physical reality.
It makes claims like a certain event happened in a certain year and even if some smart-aleck who do not feel content just indulging in his own religion but wants to engage the non-believers tell you that oh, the parting of the red sea is shown to be possible, it was also shown that a flood in the whatever-year did happen, there sure are many chances for you to argue back or find more flaws with the physical biblical landscape and so on. I do not understand why these people want to do things like that— you can simply state, like some of your religious peers how miracles happen and something seemingly impossible is a miracle and also, the bible illustrates metaphors! And so they do. After they start trying to engage you scientifically and get bashed around a little, they will ultimately retreat to those ‘explanations’.
And I do not understand the significance of arguing against the correctness of the physical reality painted by the bible. It does not make a difference to faith. Even if the Earth were a sphere instead of a square, even if floods of such a magnitude and uniqueness etc could not have happened, it would not damage faith in almost any ways. Faith does not hinge on these physical evidences. And so, faith cannot be ‘proven’.
Well, that’s alright. However, knowing this, religion goes on to claim the fulfillment of occurrences related to the physical reality if faith is held— such as the afterlife, rewards, punishments etc. How am I supposed to believe you? You said that you are not grounded in physical reality— and now, you say that you can CREATE one?
Also, another MAJOR problem is how they ‘justify’ their ‘beliefs’. Some of the people I’ve talked to say that god shows *insert pronoun + self (e.g. itself, himself, herself)* through miracles, through periods where you are praying, where you believe. And an annoying friend of mine (atheist-turned-christian) told me that— just believe in it for once, what’s wrong? No harm. You need to be open-minded and see if something comes to you when you believe. What the fuk.
Most seem to say:
1. There can be no evidence and belief unless you believe in it first
2. It will not work for you unless you believe in it.
So, on what grounds should I believe in it? It seems like there are no real grounds for me to believe in it other than to just believe it if it were in my nature to do so. Obviously not. Knowledge is defined as justified true belief. Justification is dead and truth can be said to be dead for non-believers and alive for believers. It appears to me that it is in believers’ nature to commit themselves to faith.
This threads on this question: You must believe it for it to work for you but do you need it to work for you?
To me, no.
I believe that religion is a lifestyle choice and from the many people I have talked to, most of them seem to have really committed themselves to religion after going through a period of crisis in their lives. And I have pried deeper into that irritating friend of mine and he said: There will be a point in time in your life where you feel that you yourself alone cannot handle the crisis you are facing.
Like duh. And you can interpret it in so many different ways. That one-liner can be used for a mother’s day card or for a really good friend, whatever. Oh, so that god person is omnipotent— always be there? [You are so delusional, you are such a sad person— you have to internalise that god person into your head so you’ll never be ‘alone’.]
But this is where the forked roads appear. People like himself (weaklings) who do not know how exactly or are overdependent and helpless will commit themselves to something else outside of themselves, thinking that they have outsourced or at least shared the problem when they are eventually using an aesthetic device to cope better. I really think that the voice replying to them during prayers are part of themselves. If not, what would they think of lucid dreams— a part of Dream World?
(This portion is not meant to be analysed and taken literally) These are also the kind of people who go to the psychiatrist for drugs for mild depression, eat chocolates to make themselves feel better and are better off dead without their ‘friends’ around them anytime, anywhere in the day. I am highly against appealing to external ‘agents’ to ‘solve’ a problem— you are really ignoring it.
Take note: I never argue about religious issues with anyone unless they aim to displace my own beliefs, or the lack of. Although what I thought above applies to most or all believers if they believe that they ascribe to something I have voiced out against, I will never raise issues like that to undeserving people— religious folks who keep it to themselves and respects everyone else even though they might not find other religions ‘true’.