Monday, October 17, 2011

Some thoughts on religion

When it comes to believing something that you can't experience with your five senses, may people assume that the choice is to either (1) believe the predominate religion of your geographical area or (2) believe no religion.  But why should one believe the predominant religion?  Is it because it is the easiest to do?  Probably.

There is quite a smorgasbord of beliefs to choose from.  The one that is closest to you (the religion of your family) is probably the one you will choose.  That seems to be the case with most people.  If your parents were Southern Baptist, you will probably be Southern Baptist.  If your parents were Roman Catholic, you are likely to be so also.  I think most people know this, but it doesn't seem to cause them to reflect on the accuracy of their choice of religion.  Most people adopt the religion of their parents.

There seems to be one exception to this rule: marriage.  Oft times a woman (less so, a man) will switch to the religion of her (or his) spouse.  Such is the case with my sister-in-law.  She was a Methodist, but when she married a Catholic, she switched to Catholicism.  When such a switch occurs, it make you wonder just how devoted a believer the "switcher" was to begin with.

In a recent book, Michael Shermer reports that a person first adopts his beliefs (most likely from family), and then he spends time thereafter seeking confirmatory evidence to prop up those beliefs.  He is quick to remember whatever confirms those beliefs, while easily dismissing evidence which tends to not confirm his beliefs.  Is that why we have so many religions today?  Could be.

It is rare for a person to adopt a religion that is foreign to his environment.  When was the last time you ran into a convert to Hinduism?

There seems to come a point where seeking to reason with someone regarding their religion is futile.  Ever try to get a Muslim to consider some other point of view?  After so many years in a religious milieu, conversion (or opening up one's mind to other possibilities) is well nigh impossible.

1 comment:

Pastor Galen said...

Yes, I do agree with what you said.