Now I am not one of those people who says that modern science has disproven religion. If I said that, it would imply that two thousand years ago, there was not solid evidence against the claims that Jesus was born of a virgin and rose from the dead. But the counter-evidence has always been overwhelming. Everyone else is born of a non-virgin and stays dead. It is absurd to recognize an exception without overwhelming evidence, but all we have is the testimony of a few of his disciples. And yet not only do Christians believe these things; they often claim to know them with certainty, and get angry if you disagree. Christianity has always been irrational, and of course the same goes for Judaism, Islam, Greek mythology, Satanism, and belief in Santa Claus.
The gist of my theory is that people persistently hold wildly irrational religious beliefs because the material cost is usually very low. In terms of daily life, what difference does it make if the earth is 6000 years old or 6 billion? So it's not surprising how readily people shut their eyes to the geological evidence. In contrast, when the cost of irrationality is high, believers conveniently forget the teachings of their religion. Lots of religions promise paradise to martyrs, but adherents eager to die for their beliefs are one-in-a-million.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Why Religious Beliefs Are Irrational
Posted by Hats