PZ pointed me to an interesting essay about the craziness that was ‘World Youth Day’ in Sydney, Australia. One particular passage stuck out at me while I read.
It’s been a revelation to me a year since my “epiphany”. I feel as if I’m walking through life with the blinkers off. Suddenly all the religious mumbo-jumbo jumps out as so bonkers. Wearing certain things, eating certain things, mumbling certain things at certain times so some imaginary friend will let you into a club in the sky when you die. I want to do my living now, thanks. I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of never having lived.
A somewhat simple but acurate description of what it feels like to view the world anew without the blindfold of religion over your eyes or as Julia Sweeney put it in her show ‘Letting Go of God’, “Taking off the God glasses.” When you believe in religion, you have to live a double life. One where all your judgments are based on evidence and rational thought and another where you allow supernatural explanations to creep into existence and faith trumps evidence. Since faith is basically a lack of evidence – if you have ample evidence, you don’t need faith – this presents two conflicting world views coexisting within the same mind. It’s no wonder why religious people are always having to reaffirm their beliefs and attend prepared revivals. When every other aspect of your life is driven by evidence, reason and critical thinking, the challenge in reconciling irrational beliefs becomes that much harder.