The steps a person needs to take to be Religious

1. First, choose your parents. At least one of them should be religious. If you say it is impossible to choose parents, then wish for dame luck to favour you with religious parents.You should also love your parents and be obedient to them. It now becomes easy to believe in gods, because you love your parents and your parents told you that there are Gods.

2. Next, understand that believing in Gods in the absence of evidence is especially noble. What is the big deal in believing in something with evidence. Any moron can do that.

3. Then, realize that the human ability to believe in Gods in the absence of evidence might itself constitute evidence for the existence of Gods. This is not a sign of our gullibility or naivety but a sign that a 'God Gene' has been implanted by the gods in our neural circuits.

4. Now consider any need for further evidence (both in yourself and in others) to be spiritually unhealthy, or a corruption of the intellect. Refer to steps 2-4 as acts of “faith”. Faith need not depend on facts.

5. Once you become an ardent believer, there are so many pay-offs which reinforce your faith, like Protection in this life from adversities & frustrations, happy afterlife in heaven & ultimate justice for you in heaven despite the earthly injustices you faced. All these makes your life purposeful & meaningful.

6. If exposed to alternate ways of making sense of this universe, viz., atheism & secular humanism, you get disturbed by its conclusions of death & oblivion thereafter and the lack of evidence for the existence of gods. You are reluctant to give up your security blanket of 'certitude' provided by your religion.

7. You go back to 2 in the recursive loop to reassure yourself of your righteousness: "Understand that believing in Gods in the absence of evidence is especially noble".

This is the default status of most human beings trapped in such a recursive loop. It is easier to believe in Gods and get on with the chores and rigmaroles of life. Who has the time or patience to dispute it.

Getting out of this trap
But to become an autonomous, free thinking and compassionate human being without god, you may have to unlearn a lot of concepts learned in our formative years and then learn new ideas based on real science, logic and critical reasoning, which to say the least, is hard work. The problem is, barring a few freaks, who likes hard work?

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Comment by V.N.K.Kumar on November 30, 2017 at 5:15pm

@ Idaho: 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the trajectory of your beliefs and how your faith waxed & waned over time. Now you are free like many of us to be guided by your own moral compass, an internalized set of values and objectives that guide a person with regard to ethical behavior and decision-making. Thumbs up!

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 30, 2017 at 2:26pm

I did the first step OK.  Loving parents resulting in me believing them for 50 years.

I don't think I was good on the 2nd step.  I never could understand faith.  However, like most of my questions, I was brainwashed to think it would be answered some day.  In the meantime, it went on the back shelf of my mind.

Third step:  I don't know about a god gene, but I always loved science fiction and my religion was just another fun science fiction story, but probably true.

4:  I was indoctrinated to have a fear that if I questioned my religion, satan could get control of me and decieve me.

5:  I never did see many pay-offs to religion.  Shedding a few tears at a good religious story or a good religious song was about all.  I never did get any long-term satisfaction or help from religion.  It was mostly just unpleasantness, depression, guild & fear of never being able to live the many impossible commandments.  I didn't fully understand all of this at the time, but the back shelf where all the questions were stored was starting to bend and creak.

6:  When exposed to atheism and any scientific theory that contradicted my religion, I still rejected it without trying to understand it.  I was still fearful of death because I was not anywhere near perfect enough to stand the judgment of god.

7:  I still could not understand faith, but going to church for 3 hours every week reinforced my belief enough to keep me believing most of it.

I finally started paying attention to all the questions on the back shelf, and one day that shelf broke, and the indoctrination had no more power.  I suddenly realized that none of the promises of my that religion had ever come to pass.  No prayers ever answered.  No help from the holy ghost.  No help from my leaders.  No permanent help from the inspiring stories or songs, and no help from the scriptures.  I'm a lazy couch potato, but from there it was not hard work at all to become 100% certain that it was all man-made Bull-Shit.  Studying evolution, which my religion had prevented me from doing, was not difficult.  It was easy to see that it was a fact.  A book or two by atheist authors, and I was free of religious dogma for good.

Comment by V.N.K.Kumar on November 22, 2017 at 10:31pm

Well said Michael. Ra seems to be the only logical choice for all intellectuals if they are bent on worshiping something. Our Sun is omnipresent, omnipotent, omnibenevolent and by extension perhaps omniscient too. Without it there can be no life. So it is the creator of all life. It is so much more sensible to worship it rather than all the 4200+ imaginary gods being worshiped today as per the anthropologists.

Comment by Michael Penn on November 22, 2017 at 7:29am

One argument the Abrahamic faiths use is the idea that the religion has lasted so long that it has to be true. They go on and keep making things up to support that idea and it is all contrived.

If the test of time matters then Ra would be the one true god. Sun worship explained a lot of things to the average man and it lasted about 7000 years. This by far outdates Christianity. In fact, you can use comparisons of "sun and son" to show a similarity. Indeed the "sun" has risen and he gives you life.

Modern American believers do not see this however. They believe in their imaginary god.

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