4/16/2017 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Carl S ~
Perhaps you've heard of this case: A woman lost a custody battle for her two children. She killed her ex in revenge. Hers was not an special case. Spouses have been murdered so that their mates will, in their belief, be able to live with their lovers and/or children, happily ever after. In every case, the murderers followed their hearts, not their heads and minds. In virtually every case, they were caught and sentenced to prison. So, they lost the lover, the children, and the family. (In the first example, over custody, the mother would
have had at least, visitation rights.) In the pursuit of having it all, they lost it all. The truth is, if they had gone through legal processes, they would have ended up with something rather than nothing. They went with their emotions, their guts, instead.
Any human being understands what's happened with these perpetrators. Except for those psychopaths who kill because they feel entitled to fulfill their desires, they've killed out of passion. We all fall in and out of love, unthinkingly, often irrationally, and usually, wholeheartedly. A common response from questioning a believer on impossible things is, “I know in my heart it's true.” But “knowing in my heart” and saying that to others who “understand” because they also “know in their hearts,” doesn't tell us anything about whether it's true or not. It's saying that the person feels that it's so, therefore it is. If you ask believers to write down clearly what they “know,” they can't express it
intelligently. And if they can't express it clearly, they can't think it clearly, either. (Try it yourself. Writing forces you to read over what you say. And oh what tangled webs we and apologetics weave, when we our biases allow ourselves to be deceived. But I digress.)
In polite society, why do we accept that people who, without evidence of truth or even thinking things through, should remain unchallenged because their sincerity means they own truths? Maybe those truths are “real” to them, because they're emotionally driven by personal fears or paranoia, even supported by the social emotions of others with the very same fears? Is so, they are “realities” to the believer. Would we go into the insane asylum and assume the “truths” therein should not be confronted just because everyone inside agrees with them? Why give beliefs equal respect with actual facts and truths? This is a huge mistake. And it can be a dangerous one when truth is distorted to support emotions.
Why do we accept that people who, without evidence of truth or even thinking things through, should remain unchallenged because their sincerity means they own truths?Take a deep breath. Emotions can and do lie to us. So often what “seems” to us to be true, (such as, “but they seemed to be so happy,” or, “I can't believe he did that; he always seemed so positive...”) turns out not to be, and vice versa. We hear those words a lot, and they should tell us something. If our emotions didn't lie to us, the words, “I'm sorry” wouldn't be used so often. We wouldn't regret emotional morasses we jump into. A major problem with religions is, “Faith means never having to say you're wrong.” The emotional draw of wanting to believe in a happily forever afterlife is so powerful that even some non-religionists will believe in it. Describing that afterlife brings up all the pleasantries of life on earth imaginable. Believing there's a great big loving father and his angels watching over humanity pulls at the heart-strings of those who prefer to ignore the evidence: no such being exists, given the evidence to the contrary. People go to mosques, churches, temples, synagogues and shrines, for the emotional support and mutual pleasures. No gods appear or are heard from.
You say, “Morally speaking, does any of this matter? It doesn't hurt anyone, does it?” Think again. Dispassionately looking at faith means paying close attention to passion, passion driven to the exclusion of reality. It's so passionate that it's created its own “real” world overwhelming our universe. Imagine the joy those pilots felt when crashing planes into the Twin Towers, or the “fait accompli” feeling of a gunman mowing down the lives of “baby killers” at an abortion clinic!
Consider the constant erosion of facts, the wars on evidence that keep increasing, in order for the biased emotions of the most sincere Christian
believer to prevail over rationality in societies. Those comfortable emotions of faith, unanswerable to reason, to evidence, have always justified destroying the rights of others. They still do. We're experiencing the effects now.
When truth doesn't matter anymore, what does? If only emotionally driven biases count, where does that lead to? There will be no “order” but that enforced without evidence, without investigation and discussion, without dissension, without the freedom to disagree, or respect for reason. Isn't this scenario familiar? Are we headed to yet another Dark Ages? And there goes the end to democracy. How do you feel about that, now?