I think that most of us agree that religion causes many problems. It causes a lot of suffering and hinders us from moving forward. But with that said I also wonder if it would even be possible to have an end to faith and if it would be a good thing for people.
Let me give a demonstration of what I mean. I was raised by a single mother who went from one bad relationship to the next. Needless to say by the time I was ten, I had been..well abused. I put my mother to bed many nights drunk and we were beyond poor. I remember when my mother started going to church. She quit smoking and drinking and going out all night. She gained confidence and courage and stopped seeing these “bad” men all together. As a child church had saved me from a hellish life. I was amazed at this idea that this great god loved me, was always with me and thought I was special. The belief in god gave me my own confidence and strength to believe I could have a good life and that I could be someone. It wasn’t until the church shut down did I ever question what I was believing. I found that my entire identity was tied to it and I found myself lost inside myself. Slowly I realized that my beliefs where not only holding me back but keeping me blind. But I can tell after all these years, on my darkest nights when the shadows of my past come to haunt me, every part of my being wants to believe.
I think why religion has lasted so long is because it is like the security blanket for humanity. We hold on to it when life is scary and we don’t have the answers. It allows us to have confidence and comfort when we feel alone and weak.
Even though I have let go of my blanket and have found my own two feet I would never ask my mother to question her faith. I can see how attached she is to it and I fear what it would do to her to see the truth. I fear that it would lead her down a self-destructive road that I don’t want to see her on.
My point being that even though many of us are ready to let go and move on away from religion, I don’t think that most people are. I think that without religion many people would be lost and unable to face that fear without it. I fear that many, like my mother, have become too dependent on it to be detached. So even though stepping away from religion has been wonderful for me, I also know that without it I probably wouldn’t be here today. So this leads me back to my question should there be an end to faith?
How many people have truthfully had their faith/religion ‘taken’ away? This isn’t like Santa Clause where the illusion can be ripped away and the truth revealed. Religions are by nature unfalsifiable and so we need not be cautious on those grounds since it’s far more likely that people will be unpersuaded. However, it is true that religion hijacks hope and provides a social identity, but we need only provide alternative reasons in our argumentation.
Hope is not a lie just because God is bullshit.
I agree with you that hope isn’t a lie because of a lack of god. But I think many people don’t make that distinction. And I think that god is our illusion that we hold on to. Think about it, did you just accept the fact that there was no Santa Claus? I remember it was a heated subject at school as a kid. It wasn’t until my mother sat down and explained it to me rationally, showed me the evidence that I gave up the belief. It isn’t that much different with people and religion. Grant there are those out there that will ignore any rational talk. But most people will succumb to the evidence IF they are presented with it. Culturally we really don’t push people to look at the rationality of a god, instead we all just look away. I think the illusion of religion can be taken away if, just like Santa Claus, we as a culture push for people to question the illusion.
I don’t think you understand what Sam means as the end of faith. To me, it becomes most clear when he makes the analogy to the end of astrology, or the end of the belief that Elvis Presley is still alive.
The end of astrology does not mean that there is an outlawing of horoscopes, or that you can’t find a horoscope in the daily newspaper. It is that our society and our people in power no longer rely on horoscopes to make the really important decisions.
The end of faith should be the same.