#9 This person needs a religious salesman
A lack of proof. Add to that the fact that the claims of religion are so extraordinary. If you told me you went to see a movie and some guy in front of you wouldn’t stop playing games on his cell phone, I would probably be inclined to believe you even without proof because what you represented was a fundamentally believable thing. However, if you start telling me about the creation myth, and Noah’s Ark, and that ancient people lived hundreds of years and magicians wandered the land raising the dead, you need to have some pretty damn compelling proof to sell me on that one.
#10 Ah, the classic nature vs. nurture debate
Because my parents were not religious, just like how probably you’re religious because of your family.
Environmental influences shape a lot about one’s identity. If you were raised by non-religious parents, most likely you would have no religion and therefore, no reason to believe in god.
#11 Even if there is a God, this person doesn’t want in
Because there are way too many up things on this planet to believe there is a benevolent creator waiting for us. If there is, with the rules and playing ground they’ve established, I wouldn’t want to be in their company. Worship me relentlessly and I’ll let you hang out with me so you can continue to worship me?
#12 Ignorance is bliss
I just don’t care. I try to do as much good for people as I can. If that’s not good enough to placate some higher power, em.
#13 This sounds like a good premise for a game show
Which god? If I were born in Israel, it’d be the Jewish god, or UAE it’d Allah, or Tennessee it’d be the Baptist form of Christianity, which is different from Catholicism, or maybe Utah it’d be LDS…
So if it wasn’t so randomly, geographically dependent without indoctrination from birth and I could pick one, which one should I pick?
#14 Focusing on the positives here
Non-belief just seems like the default setting. No one is born religious, no one discovers faith, it’s taught to you by people it was taught to by people it was taught to.
I used to be religious but now I find it more comforting believing there is no afterlife, better make the most of this one.
#15 For this person, some things just can’t be justified
It’s hard to say but I’d say it was just kind of a development over time. I grew up protestant and then went to a Catholic high school. I started to think about religion in general and thought that on a literal level, if one was right then all of the others were wrong. That made me think about which one was the right one before I realized none of them probably were.
I still believe in the tenets of Christianity, do unto others and what not, but I don’t believe in an all-powerful being watching us and controlling things. I think Stephen Fry summed it up pretty well for me in an interview when he said something along the lines of “Cancer in children? What’s that about?”
#16 Always make sure you do your homework first
Which one? The default of any unknown answer to a question should always be the neutral one. Otherwise, anything could be claimed as truth. An absolute truth ought to be convergent in society, not divergent. Religion naturally diverges and breaks into separate sects. If anything, the principles of science are the only thing that converge in our society. The ideologies of evidence, logic and reason are all that I try to follow.
Realizing how much geography determines religious belief. Again, absolute truth shouldn’t be reduced to something this crude.
Realizing that my childhood and the way I was raised is the only reason I was ever religious. If I was taught religion from adulthood, I wouldn’t believe a shred of it. Religion only persists because of indoctrination. Why should an absolute truth be reduced to this? There’s a pattern here.
Realizing that our species’ place in the universe is so vastly small and we know an infinitesimal amount about it. We don’t know a damn thing, despite how much we think we do. Why should the god flavor of the millenia/century be considered absolute truth?
Realizing the psychological and sociological reasons why religion persists. It preys on unanswerable existential fears and questions, while simultaneously providing positive emotions and a social support network. It takes all the needs and fears of the mind and acts upon them. Educating myself on cognitive biases and quirks of the human mind, and how religion takes advantage of them. Absolute truth shouldn’t need to prey on these to become apparent.
Being aware of how humans evolved and how religion is a natural response for emergent cognitive beings. Natural doesn’t always mean correct, though. Evolution “selects” the first thing that works and moves ahead accordingly. Religion helped society become more and more pervasive and increase our species’ growth. Understanding where it came from and why makes it easier to realize its flaws.