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How Can They Believe This Stuff?

Last week, I was having a conversation with another atheist who isn’t as vocal as I am. She asked how Christians can believe this stuff and commented that they must be stupid. I found myself in the odd position of defending Christians.

It is not that Christians are stupid, but rather that the system that has been created over the past 2000 years exploits people’s weaknesses. Most people are indoctrinated in religion and even if they never really buy into it, the indoctrination hides in their subconscious waiting for the moment of weakness to reassert itself like a virus.

When people are overly emotional, the logic center of their brain gets over-ridden and all that indoctrination and the pervading religiosity of society helps to give people the “born again” experience. Since there are moments in life in which even the most rational of us can get overly emotional, religion could really infect ant one of us. The only protecting against this virus is knowledge. Intelligence has very little to do with it.

So even though the Christian religion has more plot holes than a Michael Bay film, even very smart and intelligent people can be suckered in. Once they are in, it is very hard to get them out. At this point, knowledge alone isn’t enough. At this point they need critical thinking skills and the willingness to use those skills on their religion.

It’s easy for atheists to look at religious people as look at the ridiculous beliefs that they have and conclude that they must be stupid, but then we should realize that most atheists were once believers. Some may have even been strong fundamentalist believers.

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