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No Reasoning with the Religious?

Jonathan Swift famously stated that, “You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place.” Many of my fellow freethinkers would agree with Mr. Swift on this.

People get into religion for many reasons and yet almost none of which has to do with reason. I think it is fair to say that people in general don’t usually think their way into religion. Most of the time people are indoctrinated into religion. Sometimes however, people are just saturated with religion and then made to focus on that saturation due to some calamity or emotional breakdown. Rarely if ever do people think about religion and reason with their full mental capacity that these ancient stories full of magic and written by bronze aged people with characters such as a deity, his son, and spirit plus angle, demons and a devil must be true.

That being the case, the question remains, was Swift correct?  Can we reason people out of something in which they did not use reason to get into in the first place. Many atheists say no, and yet they themselves are usually evidence to the contrary.

I hold that we can indeed reason people out of religion despite the fact that reason was probably not used to get them to be religious in the first place. That is why I continue in my efforts to educate religious people about religion and to encourage them to reason, think, and analyze their beliefs. Socrates is quoted as saying that “the unexamined life in not worth living.” With that is mind, we should all examine our lives, beliefs, and opinions. Reason may not have gotten a person into the position of religious belief, but reason is most assuredly the way out.

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