I can only imagine that the dismissiveness some Atheists, Free Thinkers and others feel toward religious people is based on a simple point:
How can a rational mind believe such illusions?
I also imagine that their answer is:
A rational mind cannot hold such an illusion.
Religious people are irrational.
That’s all fine and good. It’s actually true. The problem: they assume rationality is something normal to humans. It isn’t.
Have you ever felt like you were being followed when you weren’t? Did you ever hear a sound that wasn’t there, or glimpse a shadow that wasn’t?
Rhetorical questions. The answer is obviously yes. In fact, I can show you tons of illusions (visual, semantic, auditory, probability, etc) that everyone usually falls victim to.
So I put the questions back at you: how can a rational mind believe such illusions? It can’t. You are irrational. Humans are irrational. By applying rationality to one domain (God), we have succeeded in only doing just that: applying rationality to ONE domain. The others… who knows.
I forgot where I remember this from, but I recall reading or hearing something about what makes life so beautiful is its transient nature; it doesn’t last. Ultimately, we struggle against death, in temporary defiance of the natural workings of the universe toward dispersed energy.
And for humans, we strive dearly to avoid both deaths: our bodies and our spirits. Whether we think of spirits as supernatural or metaphorical (relating to our struggle with love, hate, belonging, etc) doesn’t really matter. The point is that we have an extra dimension of struggle.
Maybe that’s what art is really about, capturing struggle in all its forms through the creation of knowledge or representation of conscious will, whether concrete or abstract.
I have no idea where these thoughts are going. Hopefully, you’ll find them entertaining or figure out their destination for yourself.
Except for God, do you believe in anything supernatural or pseudoscientific?
This is a silly question.
Like I’ve said before, I’m a Psychology major. So I’ve learned about the way humans think. And from that information, it’s pretty clear that we all believe in things that are pseudo-scientific no matter what we try to do about it. Anyone who claims not to believe in a single pseudoscientific thing is mistaken (which is also something I learned from Psychology, people do not necessarily understand themselves).
This is one of those things that annoy me sometimes about some other Atheists. They act like they are super-rational and that not being rational is unbecoming of a human. This completely ignores our evolution as a species.
We didn’t evolve to be truth-finding machines, we evolved because we survived and adapted. We are not logical beings, we are emotional and rule using ones (called Heuristics). Most of the times, these Heuristics are functional, but sometimes they cause us to systematically process information incorrectly.
Religion didn’t happen by accident. It makes complete sense given humanity’s social nature, limited cognitive resources, systematic errors in processing and dislike of uncertainty (need for structure/closure).