Rationalizing Faith

January 9, 2008 at 1:18 pm 6 comments

Never in my life would I have ever imagined that I would go through so much change. I have caused pain in close friends, and felt much inner shame at myself as the result. What can I say? I have been a fundamentalist Christian at least 3 times in my life. I have also been a nihilist, an atheist, an agnostic…

I can recall many times I have almost died, and escaped death by sheer luck. So many times those have been ways of pushing me into a superstitious worldview that some deity was looking out for me. Other times I would look at my character traits and compare them to my astrological sign and be convinced that astrology is indeed true. The truth is that astrology is a fraud, and I can’t prove at all that a magical deity saved me from near death.

I believe that I just am conditioned to look at things with a faith-based mindset. I also believe that I have a passion for fantasy and imagination which compliments the conditioning quite well. Sometimes, the greatest feeling of awe and excitement comes to me when I believe in the magic. The magic that I create in my head, the magic in movies, the magic in the Bible, and the magic in everyday life. By magic, I mean illusion, and nothing more. The illusion of imagination is beautiful in a way. It is kind of mystical and mysterious, and yes, it reminds me of falling in love.

I think this is one of the biggest reasons why some will always choose religion as a way to understand life. Because in sort of a way, the magic of the illusion can be so attractive and so emotionally beneficial people will fight for it. It reminds me of a drug, a very potent and powerful drug. The addiction of religion is self-reinforcing with every positive emotion it creates. Positive emotions would be the sensationalism, the sense of “awe” and the assured purpose. Some people can’t live without their religion, and will admit that even if it isn’t true, they choose to believe it because it gives their life so much meaning.

- confusedchristian

Entry filed under: confusedchristian. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bry0000000  |  January 9, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    “I believe that I just am conditioned to look at things with a faith-based mindset.”

    I am pretty convinced that many of us who grew up in church are conditioned to have a faith based mindset. Avoiding that mindset, if that’s what a non-believer wants to do, is an incredibly difficult task that requires us to constantly be aware of our conditioning and reject it. For me, getting over the mystic allure of religion was the hardest part in my de-conversion process.

    “Some people can’t live without their religion, and will admit that even if it isn’t true, they choose to believe it because it gives their life so much meaning.””

    I really respect people who have this mindset. To me, they’ve honestly questioned their belief system, evaluated how their values fit into it, and chosen the lifestyle that has put them at peace with themselves.

    Just a couple thoughts. Good post confused.

  • 2. confusedchristian  |  January 9, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I will never believe that anything is inerrant again, that’s for sure.

  • 3. karen  |  January 9, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I love magic, and mystery, and falling in love and all that, too. I love fantasy novels and mysterious stories. I just find that I’m happier and more balanced emotionally when I can make clear distinctions between fictional entertainment and reality. :-)

    It reminds me of a drug, a very potent and powerful drug. The addiction of religion is self-reinforcing with every positive emotion it creates.

    Actually, given the powerful chemicals that are released in our brains when we have strong emotional experiences, like religious ecstasy or falling in love, there is a very valid analogy to an addiction to be made here. I have known Christian “junkies” who live from emotional high to emotional high and never miss the Christian conferences, Christian concerts and revival meetings so they can get their “fix.”

  • 4. Hugo  |  January 9, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I have no problem with faith. I think we all have faith. I think truth is decided democratically, by whatever means of voting. As silly as that sounds. Truthiness.

    Either way, I see faith in empiricism bears fruit, so I think I will invite people to shift their faith-based mindset over into empiricism. It is still a beautiful world on the empirical side of the non-existent fence, it is just useful to get things done. Either that, or I will teach them how to live in harmony, from their side of the non-existent fence. Because, like it or not, there is no fence.

    We all live by some sort of “faith”, or at least, that’s the way I see it. And I know I could be wrong, being a scientist, I think doubt is as important to faith as faith is to doubt.

  • 5. exevangel  |  January 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    I think we all look for magic. Some days I think that the most inquisitive amongst us are the ones who explore the most different world-views when it comes to religion. And I think that’s not only ok but something to be desired!

  • 6. Chip  |  January 10, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    There is indeed a powerful psychology pull toward what you term ‘magic.’ I am in the unique position of being a non-believer at an evangelical school. I still find from time to time drawn to the story of Christianity, the narrative of a fallen creation that is in the process of being restored.

    But that has no effect on the truth value of the claims, and I think few people are willing the truth-claims of religion. As Karen said, I too am much happier when I am able to delineate between those things which are true and not true.

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Attention Christian Readers

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Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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