“Lots of people are secure in their religious beliefs using rationale akin to, “There is a brilliantly worded explanation for this.” The problem is that mutually exclusive beliefs can all claim this. I Either every belief with such an explanation is truly a reasonable thing to believe, or absolutely unreasonable things can be brilliantly defended to the point where our minds think them sane and reasonable. Another problem I have been running to, especially as I discuss religion with others, is that I have noticed pagan Hindus and heathen Muslims are just as capable of brilliant religious philosophy as we are. Not being of the disposition to find Christ hiding anonymously in the heart of every intelligent person, or Trinitarian theology lurking beneath the leaves of every eloquently written text, it has made me ask why we as a race are capable of so brilliantly deceiving ourselves. And the fact is that even if the Lutheran or the Catholic is right, then the Hindu is brilliantly and eloquently self-deceived, as much as a man who has absolutely convinced himself using the most brilliant arguments that the sun orbits the Earth.I suggest that we humans are much more easily amused than we give ourselves credit for. A vast system of thought is like a room filled with shiny toys. If the system is vast enough, has enough complicated trains of reason, enough technical definitions, and at least occasionally lifts itself into the poetic, our minds will stay occupied with it and therefore amused by it. As long as the mind is occupied and engaged, it believes and accepts. This is even more true when set in the context of a religion with its various practices, rules and rites. Our whole selves are engaged, making our beliefs appear that much more true to us, as long as we don’t entertain too often the idea that someone else might be equally engaged by an opposite religion. That someone else might have just as total a foundation to his own belief is a little too much for us, so we go back to playing with our shiny toys and imagine that ours is the only such room in the world.
We are leaves floating on the wind.