Do we become believers in religious magic because our parents, family members, neighbors, friends and even presidents of our country believe in religious magic?
And I can see why. It was very comforting to me when I believed the promise that I was going to be happy forever and ever in heaven, no matter how bad things might get here on earth.
I was just graduating from babyhood when this form of magical stories became my constant companion, and I accepted them without questioning, and magical thinking became my normal type of thinking when it came to my religious status.
What might shake me out of this default mode?
When I was twenty-nine years old I began to have doubts. I imagined being born and raised in India in a family which practiced and believed in the Hindu teachings, and in my imagination as I grew older and worshipped along with them, I became a believer in the Hindu Gods and in the Hindu teachings as my imagined parents did as children.
I realized that my Hindu self would believe just as sincerely in the correctness of the Hindu beliefs as I was believing and trusting in the correctness of my Christian beliefs.
Then I began considering the thousands of religions on earth, all with their different beliefs and each claiming their beliefs to be correct and true while also claiming all other religious folks unfortunately are worshiping the wrong God or Gods and are proclaiming false teachings, and therefore, these folks will suffer forever and ever for their religious mistakes.
These thoughts were enough to get me thinking about the extreme odds against all of these magic-spewing religions being true. Then I thought about the extreme odds against my beliefs being the only religious beliefs on earth which were true. How could I be so lucky?
Then I came to see the almost surety of these many thousands of organized religions were the products of human beings, and I changed my mind about doubt being an enemy and found it to be a very useful tool.
Is there a moral to this story?
Is it that sincerity means everything when it comes to religion and doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to truth. Does truth just sit here, there and everywhere and doesn’t care whether it’s noticed or not?