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Monday, August 25, 2008

Religion: The Great Security Blanket

Religion is said to be a security blanket, an "opiate" which helps people deal with life's suffering. The thing about security blankets is, while they can provide warmth and comfort, they only offer a false sense of security.

I don’t see religion easing so much pain or suffering. Religious people don't suffer less than anybody else. They just tend to put their suffering in a very illogical and often counterproductive perspective. They make excuses for their suffering, and view life as one great obstacle, thinking they’ve got a handle on what it’s all about.

Turning to prayer to deal with trauma can be psychologically beneficial, I am sure, but it does not eliminate the cognitive dissonance.

Consider how it is possible for a person to think that God will answer their prayers, that God will take care of everything, that their lives are blessed . . . and that God is all-knowing, and that everything that happens is according to God’s will, and that they should not be so proud as to think that they know better than God, which implies that they should never ask God for any favors, or question their fate . . . and how they can maintain any coherent notion of personal responsibility with all that going on in their heads.

I don't think the world needs such things.