Someone on Quora asked if people only become religious because they’re weak, or because they lack confidence. Here’s my answer.
I didn’t become religious for affirmation or for strength. It has nothing to do with how confident I am.
I became religious because I need ritual, and poetry, and a shared community, and stories that make me think. I became religious because I need connection. I became religious because being part of something bigger than myself gives me solace and satisfaction.
So no, religious belief is not for the weak. (It’s also not weak to admit that you cannot do everything entirely on your own without any help or support – it’s realistic. The only entities who believe that they can do everything all on their own are house cats and libertarians – neither of which realize that they do, in fact, rely on other entities in order to survive and thrive.)
Atheists: Don’t bother. Your comments will go to the bit bucket. Thanks.
There are lots of atheists on Quora, and many of them are anti-theists.
I’ve discovered that there seems to be a link between absolutist thinking and denial of other people’s reality, as well as intolerance to ambiguity, that is common across certain groups of atheists and certain groups of religious people. So I know not to bother getting into an argument with an atheist about the existence of God, or any of the proofs that have worked to convince me that God exists.
But when I find a way to express my proof in another way, in another set of words? That’s awesome to me.
So here’s the quote:
Joshua Kaplan’s answer to Why do Jewish people keep believing in God after all the bad things that happened to them? Can’t they see that God is either non-existent or immoral?
There is a saying from an 19th century Jewish thinker Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk thats says “A God that I can understand, is not a God I would be able to believe in”. God is an infinite being and therefore humans – with our finite minds – could never fully understand Him or His ways. To fully know God would mean that we are God.
I’ve always said “I think it’s sort of arrogant to assume that just because we can’t prove it YET means either a) it doesn’t exist or b) we will never have that proof.” But I like this way of looking at it, too, and I’m going to look up Rab Mendel.