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  • From a distance, it can all seem very silly.

  • These people have gone to Lourdes, in the foothills of the Pyrenees,

  • in the hope that the Virgin Mary might cure them of cancer and heart disease.

  • These people have gone to Medjugorje in Bosnia Herzegovina

  • to pray they might get a chance to talk to dead beloved relatives.

  • And these people are praying at the Western Wailing Wall of the old Jewish Temple in Jeruselam

  • and leaving all sort of notes for God to read in the cracks between the stones.

  • No wonder some Atheists just think the whole of religion is ludicrous,

  • and they aren't bothered about saying so very directly.

  • But that's the wrong way to look at religion.

  • What religion teaches us isn't about what's true,

  • but about what many of us here on earth desperately want to be true,

  • for some pretty understandable reasons.

  • At one point in the bible, Jesus goes into the house of a man called Jarus,

  • whose 12-year-old daughter has just died.

  • Everyone is weeping and lamenting. But Jesus calmly says that she's not dead, she's just asleep.

  • "Little girl, I say to you get up!" He says.

  • We shouldn't laugh or dismiss the whole thing as nonsense.

  • When your child is very sick, you may well end up believing in miracles.

  • Because at the end of the day, under immense psychological pressures,

  • you love your child more than you care about the laws of physics and biology.

  • And when your loved ones do die, it can take a very robust mind indeed

  • not to imagine, late at night when the sadness becomes overwhelming,

  • that somehow your parent, or child, or friend, is somewhere still around and in a better place than they were.

  • And that they might be able to see us as we go about our daily lives

  • and forgive us and understand what we, perhaps, never found a way to say to them.

  • And when you're in a complete mess, and all you want to do is cry in shame,

  • you might well start to long for someone who could understand. Someone wise and forgiving,

  • with kindly sympathetic eyes who wont judge and will be patient and kindly, like an ideal mother.

  • Science may very rightly deny the existence of the Virgin Mary, let alone paradise and miracles.

  • But these beliefs shouldn't just be interpreted as pieces of stupidity.

  • They are signs of extreme emotional distress and desperation,

  • which should rightly elicit in us understanding and sympathy.

  • Religious beliefs are, of course, technically false.

  • But they're coming from a very tender and vulnerable place, which needs our empathy.

  • Of course Atheists are technically right. But there's no point getting maddened by the apparent irrationality of the religious.

  • We have to understand it and appreciate the intensity of the longings that lead some of us to believe in fantasies against all odds.

  • Because reality is just sometimes unbearably painful.

From a distance, it can all seem very silly.

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宗教的な信念がただのバカげたものではない理由 (Why Religious Beliefs Aren't Just Silly)

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    VoiceTube に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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