Think of the parable of the person who built his house on sand and another who built his house on rock. Floods came and the house built on sand was washed away and the house built on rock was not.
In this telling the sand represents magical thinking and the rock represents reason and science. The question is which to attach to, or can one use both?
So, what are the odds of an afterlife? It would be scary if the odds were 50/50. Some aggressive sand dwellers say “I’m either right or wrong, so the odds are at least 50% you are going to suffer in hell eternally if you don’t repent and trust God and keep the faith.” Are the odds so high for science and reason having substance and God not having substance it’s not even a contest? A million to one?
Are we naive when we believe any religious claims which include stories of magical acts or places? How does one choose between the tens of thousands of magical religious stories? Religions are claiming “we are the only true religion and the only way into a pleasant life everlasting.
And they are all so sincere! I know, I was a sand dweller. There’re lots and lots of happy folks in organized religion, and there’s also the very attractive built-in social network. It’s a good racket but can be easily abused.
How does one end up believing in magic? As children we usually think to ourselves at one time or another “That doesn’t seem possible, but all these adults think it really happened, and they are right about everything else, so they’re probably right about the miracles too.”
And later, when doubts come, we say to ourselves I’d be crazy to take the chance of being tortured forever.
We need to feel safe because we believe in an afterlife. Thinking…“I have this clear shot at eternal happiness, how could I ever give it up?”
The belief there’s an afterlife produces a powerful vision. How has it been used? Does the bad out weigh the good?
How does one give up the dream of an afterlife? Imagine a person born into a Hindu family in India. And he or she grew up Hindu. Wouldn’t that person sincerely feel only his or her religious ideas are correct and all other scriptures cannot measure up to Hindu scriptures.
As a Hindu, wouldn’t you feel your beliefs are true just as sincerely as a non-Hindu might feel about his or her different religious beliefs?
When one is wrong, isn’t that person sincerely wrong unless he or she is acting? Does this mean billions are sincerely believing in the wrong magical stories. Or, are all stories based on magic being real, false?