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← What leads some to never accept religion at all?

DaveUK9xx's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by DaveUK9xx

It's an excellent question and one which I also don't know the answer to. I believe IQ does factor into this to some extent but perhaps more important is having a strictly logical mindset that relies on evidence and fact based reasoning rather than gullible acceptance of illogical premises. Whether this sort of mindset comes from nature or nurture I'm not sure but I have always been fascinated with how things work and I'd dismantle things as a kid to fathom their function for myself rather than relying on what anyone told me who didn't really understand mechanics. I too have always been a sci fi fan and maybe this also plays a part.

From a fairly early age, certainly by my early teens and probably before that I was fully convinced that religion was no more than fables and allegories and that it was all very obviously the writings of ordinary men who were just "making shit up" rather than some sort of divine dictation from on high. I could see no proof to support the stories and it seemed absurd to me that an all powerful superbeing who supposedly kept appearing to people during the stone and bronze age and telling them what to do should just disappear without trace thereafter.

I had a very similar upbringing with a mild religious content and a brief foray into Sunday School until I made it very clear I wanted no part of this and from then on it played no part in my life for many years. I had little to do with anyone who practiced it or talked about it until my mid thirties when I became friends with a fundie who lived in my village. I was briefly fascinated as to how someone could take all this nonsense so completely literally and believe that the world, in fact the whole universe, was only 6000 years old, that the Flood really happened despite it leaving no trace evidence on the ground and there being nowhere near enough water on the planet to raise sea level high enough to cover all the mountains.

However every logical argument I presented to refute these things was countered by a completely illogical one to try and support them.

"God just magicked the extra water into existence until sea level was high enough and then magicked it away again afterwards." Why FFS? Why not just click his fingers and make everyone except Noah disappear as an omnipotent being could so easily do? Why go through the pointless charade?

"We can see the light from stars that are more than 6000 light years away because God magicked the universe into existence with the light already having travelled most of the way here." Why FFS?

"We find dinosaur fossils that appear to be millions of years old when they can only really be 6000 years old because God magicked them into existence like that when he created the planet." Why FFS?

Why all this sleight of hand and misdirection to make everything appear much older than it is for no apparent purpose? The stock answer to this and every other unanswerable question was "God has his own purposes which we can only pray will one day be revealed to us and then it will all become clear." Bollocks! It already is clear. Science is right and the Buy Bull is just made up stories.

I finally sussed out that he wasn't coming up with all this stuff off his own bat. There was an entire industry devoted to refuting science wherever it contradicted the Buy Bull and an endless stream of anti-science books sold in churches and at fundie gathering places written by nutcases who devoted their lives to trying to prove the impossible was true or at least to give enough pseudo plausible arguments that the hard of thinking could trot out like mantras to try and counter the irrefutable logic of science to some small extent.

At that stage I lost interest in the pointless debates. I also started to realise just how dangerous religion was and how much it held human development back. How it demonised and ridiculed anyone who dared to suggest something in the "holey" books wasn't true like Galileo or Darwin had. How it set man against man, nation against nation and caused people to slaughter others for having trivially different beliefs or for drawing cartoons of someone they had arbitrarily decided you couldn't draw cartoons of because it "offended them". Well killing other people for no good reason offends me! Discriminating against homosexuals because the Buy Bull says they are evil and should be put to death offends me. Discriminating against women, making them cover themselves from head to toe in public and amputating their clitorises without anaesthetic offends me. Flying planes into skyscrapers because your invisible sky pixie doesn't like their invisible sky pixie offends me. Call me old fashioned.

Humanity will only be able to call itself truly civilised when religion has been wiped off the face of the planet.

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 06:20:44 UTC | #922345