A simple question and a great answer

I asked…

What makes religion such a robust institution? It's baffling. I wonder how does religion manage to survive even in the face of mounting evidence that its sacred beliefs are based on blatant assumptions rather than careful observation of facts. How can people's faith in religion assume such unshakeable proportions?

The best reply I got…

It is quite literally a "no-brainer."  The capability for rational thought is a recent development.  Our ability to form beliefs is much older.  We believe things based on what we have been taught at a young age, and use our intellect to justify those beliefs.  It is very hard to change beliefs.  The brain does not like to think that it has been wrong about something.  In the face of contrary evidence, we will instinctively defend our existing beliefs more vigorously.

It takes discipline to recognize that beliefs should derive from facts. That is why the scientific method took so long to be developed, and why it is still so alien to the general public.  Until it becomes common knowledge that "common sense" is a myth, people will continue to believe irrational things on a massive scale.

and another one…

Low overhead. When what you are selling is property the existence of which has yet to be demonstrated, and you sell it on the basis of the buyer can only take possession of it after he dies, you really do not have to shell out very much
for your inventory. Every nickel that clinks in the collection plate is pure profit. With that set up, only about a third of the population has to be stupid enough to buy what you are selling in order for you to live very well indeed. Fortunately for the Elmer Gantrys of the world, closer to half of the population is stupid enough to buy, and most of the other half is too polite to say anything about holy swindles: this adds up to fat city for the priesthood.


saurabh said…
its quite baffling how much effort some ppl put just to show that they are not part of the crowd and to get some attention whatsoever!!!
Deepanjan said…
Agreed, but out of context.

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