“THE WARM FUZZIES OF BELIEVING”
Can a belief give life meaning and purpose? Make people happy?
I’m ecstatic because I’m going to marry Sandra Bullock. I know in the depths of my heart Sandra and I will one day walk down the aisle and then for our honeymoon be whisked off in a diamond-studded chariot to streets paved with gold. That’s my destiny; it gives my life meaning and dignity and serenity – and I wouldn’t want to live in a world without the comfort of that certainty.
I proudly confess that I have totally dedicated my life to Sandra. I think about her every minute. I dream about her every night. I get down on my knees facing Hollywood and pray to her six times a day. I fast regularly, abstain from an unhealthy lifestyle, and purify myself in her name every chance I get. I never see her but like the Holy Ghost I know she is with me at all times. Faith works miracles, love is mysterious, and Sandra will reveal herself in due time.
Is that a crazy belief?
Is such a believer dangerous?
And yet, that’s precisely the stance religion often takes. A religion is deemed “true” and indispensable because, among other reasons, it satisfies, makes one feel worthy, anchors the lost in a cozy nexus of support. The motives of many religious people are undeniably therapeutic, to achieve a sense of wholeness and social cohesiveness, and without the comfort of such belief one’s life is accused of being cold and lonely
What’s obscured in such a heartfelt testimonial, however, is that valid beliefs require good reasons. And sound reasoning doesn’t include the possible effects a belief might have on one’s life.
Wish-fulfilling fantasies are self-deceptive and should not be employed as bargaining chips in religious conversation.
Yield not to temptation
Would I be better off ignoring my infatuation with Sandra Bullock?
🙂 🙂 🙂
[“Stray Thoughts” is a weekly opportunity to go skinny dippin’ in muddled puddles of questionable beliefs & crazy ideas. Join me if you dare.]
“A very popular error – having the courage of one’s convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one’s convictions.”
– Nietzsche –