Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Leonidas on Religion (Pt. IV) - "Laissez-faire" to religious security blankets?

When some people are feeling shit, they turn to a friend, or a parent. Some seek solace in a psychiatrist (gotta love amazing alliteration.) Others use meditation, medicine, or things that branch out into all kinds of bizarre alternative medicine. Yet others still turn to a god. Usually this bothers me, but I'm starting to wonder: should it?

This isn't one of those blogs where I tell you "This is the case, this is wrong," (I hope I don't do that too often in the first place, though I'm aware I most likely do.) This is - like nearly all of my blogs - unplanned: a musory percolative cogitative rumination (don't worry, they all mean the same thing :D) where I put forward interesting food for thought and then discuss it back and forth.

The food in question I touched upon in the introductory paragraph. Here's some more detail.

God is often the answer to many people. The problem is, I don't believe it's an adequate one. I don't believe there is any higher power, and if I am right, then turning to such a higher power for answers is completely pointless.

But the point of debate in my own head is this: is it entirely pointless?

Psychotherapy isn't always - I would imagine - a therapist telling you exactly what's wrong, how to fix it, et al., but rather getting the answers out of your own head, because that's usually where they lie. In other words, the key to so many of our problems is in our hands, but we just don't always access it, and sometimes, we need help to open that door in our brain. In therapy, a psychiatrist/psychotherapist is there for that purpose. In religion, God does the same thing, is that right? An ear for your troubles and worries? Someone to voice aloud the problems in your mind to?

Now here's the other side of the coin: when people get answers through their heart-to-hearts (or soul-to-souls) with the Big G, that's who all the credit goes to most of the time. Rarely is the praise given to themselves for working out the answer to their strifes, but rather the deity they think they are talking to. And so God is regarded as the one who helps you out in need, who answers all your questions, etc, etc. Why is this a problem? Because it's a crutch. And I don't mean to say this with the usual cynical scepticism you would expect from an atheist, I mean that relying on God for all your answers prevents you from seeking them in yourself.

And so the big question is, how do we treat God when he is a security blanket? (Yes, I refuse to capitalise the deistic pronoun. I'm an atheist, I'm allowed.)

On the one hand, we say "Laissez-faire", "I don't care", "Throw your hands up in the air" (or whatever,) and say that religion is another form of psychotherapy, so we should let people to whatever therapy works best for them. And that's fine; I could support that argument.

But I could also support the argument that people shouldn't use God as a security blanket because 1) There are very cogent arguments to suggest that God doesn't exist in the first place and 2) If we're taking God to be non-existent, then people are accrediting something that doesn't exist for our own realisations.

And now I want to know what your views are! So please, comment on this post, or message me at my AOL email - leodominic9 (at) aol (dot com) - or contact me on Facebook, because I'd love to know where you stand with regards to this topic.

~Love Leonidas

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