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Losing My Religion

Belief in God is irrational and doesn’t make sense. Then you bring up Pascal’s Wager that if God exists “… you gain all” if he doesn’t  ”you lose nothing”. But that isn’t quite the case. I titled this “losing my religion” not losing my faith. Religion is the organization that gets established around a spiritual belief system. Religions establish codes of conduct and behavior, they hold out rewards, eternal life, for good behavior there by seeking to control your behavior. Organization of unprovable and unscientific beliefs is religion and it’s primary goal is to control behavior. 

Faith is irrational it’s a choice you make to believe in something that just can’t be shown to be true or factual. That’s fine but when a group gathers around such beliefs they unfortunately become a religion and start espousing their beliefs as truth, they often never say fact. This “truth” becomes the central principles of the religion and conditions for membership and inclusion in the group. If you happen to ever disagree with the “truth” you will loose your membership (membership is one of the rewards of faith). Next are the demands to limit your associations with those outside the “faith,” the unbelievers, the ones not ready for “truth”. If you associate with the unbeliever you must evangelize them and win them over to the love and belonging that exists among those who believe. Once you believe and are accepted for membership then you too can start the reward and punishment cycle. The worst part is the genuine, so you thought, friendships you build among the members but if you ever misstep they are very willing to punish you by withholding friendship. Religion like this is a hideous thing.

Pascal’s wager is essentially a restatement of the precautionary principle. The precautionary principle essentially states that you shouldn’t do something if something bad might happen. This idea is easily disproved because inaction is as likely to cause harm. For example if you build a nuclear power plant it could leek and cause some people to get cancer and die. On the other hand if you don’t build it energy costs could go up and someone won’t be able to afford heating and will get sick or die. Either scenario might take place, one might even be more likely than the other but neither can be proven as a result of the action or inaction. It’s simply ridiculous to live your life according to such rules.

I continue to believe in God, yes capital G, because I choose to. I fully understand it’s irrational and doesn’t make sense and doesn’t fit with my general skepticism. It truly is faith. I do however completely reject the organizations and rules built around faith in the irrational. They are generally evil without knowing they are. They think they are helping you and have the truth. You will often hear a phrase like “being free isn’t really freedom” (that’s significantly different than “freedom isn’t free”). That some how only being part of a group gets you true freedom. They will espouse ideas that being free is being alone and being outside the group makes you powerless. Groups are fine but they are not the source of authority. Groups only have power over you if you give your self to them. You made the choice to join and you can make the choice to leave. You may loose friends if you leave because for them membership has become a condition of friendship. Just because you think your group isn’t a “religion” doesn’t mean they aren’t. Think about it commit heresy and use your critical thinking to evaluate your “religion”. You might loose your religion but I bet you won’t loose your faith and you may even gain more freedom.

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