Monday, November 23, 2009

Psychology of Religion

36 arguments for the existence of God, and why they are all logically flawed but emotionally persuasive:
The Argument from the Abundance of Arguments may be the most psychologically important of the thirty-six. Few people rest their belief in God on a single, decisive logical argument. Instead, people are swept away by the sheer number of reasons that make God's existence seem plausible — holding out an explanation as to why the universe went to the bother of existing, and why it is this particular universe, with its sublime improbabilities, including us humans; and, even more particularly, explaining the existence of each one of us who know ourselves as a unique conscious individual, who makes free and moral choices that grant meaning and purpose to our lives; and, even more personally, giving hope that desperate prayers may not go unheard and unanswered, and that the terrors of death can be subdued in immortality. Religions, too, do not justify themselves with a single logical argument, but rather set themselves up to minister to all of these needs and provide a space in people's lives where large questions that escape answers all come together and co-mingle, a co-mingling that, in itself, can give the illusion that they are being answered.