The biggest mystery in life to me is still why otherwise intelligent people believe in a god.
I’m not talking about just believing in a creator, or in being “spiritual,” but in all the religious stuff: heaven and hell, angels, demons, formalities, rituals, rules that he will punish you forever with… All the kinds of cliches you see in fantasy novels.
They have no problem believing in evolution and the earth being older than 4000 years and an expanding universe, but they still believe their god made this gigantically huge universe, stuck the earth in some corner of some minor galaxy, had dinosaurs running the place for 165 million years or so, and then finally decided to have humans evolve in the last half a million years or so.
They will laugh at people who believe in the healing power of crystals or Bigfoot or aliens decorating fields with crop circles, but have no problem believing in a human-like creator who performed many miracles a few thousand years ago, but only in this one small part of the planet.
They will find ways to explain away every inconsistency to themselves that convinces them, yet will laugh at any other religion’s inconsistencies.
I honestly just don’t get it. How can you be a logical, intelligent person who believes in evidence and proof and still be religious?
I know, I know — some people are angry that I implied that belief in religion isn’t “intelligent.” What I mean by that is this:
When I asked this on Facebook, I got hundreds of replies, with most of them saying that it was about “faith” which is different. I agree it’s different. But no scientific advancement was ever made by having faith. Faith isn’t evidence. Faith isn’t factual.
I’m just trying to understand how people who are logical and demand evidence for everything else can make an exception for their religious beliefs. “I make an exception because I want to” is what it sounds like to me.
Some said the universe is just too beautiful and there are things that can’t be explained, and therefore that’s why they believe. But to me, that’s such a jump. “I can’t understand how the universe could be this beautiful. Therefore it HAD to be designed and created that way.”
That’s no different to me from ancient Greeks saying “Lighting is so mysterious. Therefore it HAS to be Zeus shooting lightning bolts from a tall mountain.”
There’s nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know. Maybe some day we will figure it out.”
Some say that religion provides them comfort. I’m not willing to believe impossible things just because they make me comfortable.
My point isn’t addressed to those people who believe in Adam and Eve and a young earth and who deny evolution.
It’s addressed at friends who are otherwise intelligent, logical, and rational who still believe despite lack of any evidence to support that belief.
They deny Nessie and Bigfoot and the Tooth Fairy for lack of evidence but have no problem believing in a god.
That just mystifies me.