Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why, Damn It, Why?

I have a really hard time understanding how people can cling to religion when it is so obvious that it is false.



The Bible proves that god is evil.

Common sense tells you that it is impossible to walk on water.

You never see mountains being moved by someone with a little bit of faith.

The stories told by religion are ridiculous and poorly written.

And yet, in spite of all this, they cling to it desperately.

Why is the human mind so gullible?

I asked a believer once to give me one good reason to believe.

They starting with "It makes me happy. It makes me feel good".

I stopped them and told them that was not a reason.

They then admitted to me that there is no good reason to believe; however, they still choose to believe.

I don't understand it.

Even when the stories are comically stupid, when the beliefs are irrational, and the evidence doesn't exist, their mind just can't let it go.

Why? Why do people insist on believing in bullshit when the evidence is slapping them in the face?

Why is it so difficult for a person to accept reality?

I honestly don't understand it.

I changed my entire belief structure when I was presented with the facts.

I accepted it after thinking it through very carefully.

So when I ask "why?" to a believer, it is not so I can trap them.

It is because I genuinely would like to know.

I truly want to understand the mind of a believer.

I want to know how they can knowingly choose myth and superstition over evidence, logic, common sense, and reason.

They can't tell me.

I'm stumped. Speechless. Why?

Can anyone out there help me out here?

14 comments:

Michael Taylor said...

Confirmation Bias: My father-in-law has a truck that he bough the same year I bought my truck. In that time he has put about half the miles on it that I have on my truck. I’ve done nothing but the routine maintenance on my truck and had very few problems. In the same time he has had multiple problems with his. It was recalled twice, once for a brake problem and once for steering issues. He has had to replace the exhaust manifold twice. He’s also had a several small nitpicky issues. Yet he has invested so much time, energy and money in it now that he can’t admit it was a lemon.
The LDS church is a lemon. It just takes some of us a little longer than others to recognize it.

Brad said...

When I was a full believer in the Mormon church, no doubt I felt good and I felt like that if I did everything right I will have a chance to become like god and my life will continue. This interview was taken prior to the last election but it still applies to the way people think. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fear-death-and-politics

Also, when you get a chance check out the DVD called "Flight from death". Good stuff.

Mormon411 said...

Thank you both for your excellent comments. I wrote a post years ago about once being in contact with a Nigerian scammer. Even when someone pointed out to me that it was a scam, I had a hard time accepting that they were telling me a bunch of lies, even though the evidence was right there. It must be human nature to just believe anything you're told, especially if it sounds really good.

Thanks for the referrals, Brad. I'll check them out.

cara lou said...

Amen!

The farther and farther I get away from Mormonism, and religion in general, the more baffling it is that anyone can believe in it. It's all so obvious!! I hate thinking badly of people, but it really makes me think some people are just morons. To see what seems so clear to us now, it really does entail taking a step back...and that first step back to look at religion objectively, is a hard one to take.

Michael Taylor said...

Perhaps sticking to a religion is an evolutionary misfire.
As a parent there is a need to stick with your child through thick or thin. Evolutionarily speaking this makes sense. If you don’t your genes don’t get passed on. We’ve developed a trait that keeps us loyal to the things that we have created. It also makes it very hard for us to give up on them. There is no reason that this same trait should be applied to our superstitions. Perhaps that’s the misfire. It may be just as hard to free yourself form a religion as it is to separate yourself from your child because it’s the same genes causing the behavior.

Honest Hypocrite said...

I think 'It feels good' is one of the best reasons I've heard to stick to a religion. That's how people who don't have religions (or culture) to dictate their morals decide what's right and what's wrong.

Joe Sixtop said...

I think that there's something in peoples' DNA that makes them believe in stuff.

Mormon411 said...

Most elements of human behavior can be understood when viewed from an evolutionary point of view. Back in the day before mankind was the dominant species on this planet, they survived by working in groups. Small children died if they did not strictly adhere to the directions of their parents. It is bred into us to trust our parents and our leaders, of this I have no doubt.

However, nowdays it is no longer necessary to strictly comply with directions from elders in order to survive; however, that trait is still in us. So we (generally speaking) believe anything we are told no matter how ridiculous or stupid it is.

Honest Hypocrite, feeling good about religion might be the most COMMON reason for believing, but I strongly disagree that it is the best reason (unless it is the ONLY reason, making it the best by default).

I am non religious and I do not use good feelings to make my decisions. Again, the innate, built-in knowledge of right and wrong can be explained by understanding evolution.

Mormon411 said...

Most elements of human behavior can be understood when viewed from an evolutionary point of view. Back in the day before mankind was the dominant species on this planet, they survived by working in groups. Small children died if they did not strictly adhere to the directions of their parents. It is bred into us to trust our parents and our leaders, of this I have no doubt.

However, nowdays it is no longer necessary to strictly comply with directions from elders in order to survive; however, that trait is still in us. So we (generally speaking) believe anything we are told no matter how ridiculous or stupid it is.

Honest Hypocrite, feeling good about religion might be the most COMMON reason for believing, but I strongly disagree that it is the best reason (unless it is the ONLY reason, making it the best by default).

I am non religious and I do not use good feelings to make my decisions. Again, the innate, built-in knowledge of right and wrong can be explained by understanding evolution.

luksky said...

There is a book I read not long ago that explained why otherwise intelligent people will believe the most ridiculous things. It's called the Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton.
http://www.brucelipton.com/

Mormon411 said...

Thank you, Luksky (is that short for Luke Skywalker?)

Richard Dawkins has written books on this subject as well, and I'm sure there are others.

luksky said...

Lol...no, it is actually a combo of my two kids names..Luke and Sky

Mormon411 said...

Cute!

EriK said...

I have exactly the same frustration, but my views are exactly opposite. Interesting, eh? That tells me that it's not a question of evidence, but of interpretation of the evidence.