By Bill Jeffreys
Every criminal act committed was done so for emotional reasons. No one acts rational and logical and then goes out and commits a crime. Yes, even serial killers have emotional reasons for the crimes they commit. They just don’t have guilt. It never is, "I just realized how logical it is for me to murder". It’s always some underlying emotionally based dysfunctional belief that they are acting upon.
Religion is very similar. No one goes out and follows god for reasonable and logical reasons because the foundation of religion isn’t based on accurate evidence, reason or logic. People don’t convert because of the supposed evidence. They convert for emotional reasons. They convert because it's supposed to make them feel better and give them hope.
If I remember my Christian stats correctly (when I was a Christian) most people convert in their childhood or youth when the brain is most susceptible to fantastical thinking. That was why we always targeted young people. They were more impressionable.
Why do ex-Christians practice morals and ethics if they don’t do so out of fear of hell or love of God? Because it is reasonable and logical to do so if you want to have friends and a good quality of life.
How many religious people are in jail or prison at any given moment vs. non-believers? Statistically, there are far more religious people in jail then atheists. I work with corrections clients, and I can tell you that many offenders, I speak with, have some sort of religious belief. Many of them are Christian beliefs. In my 12 years of working in the corrections field, I have only had one offender tell me that he didn’t believe in spiritual things. Do you know that the profile is for a sex offender? It’s a 40 something white educated male who attends church regularly.That should tell us something about the ability of spiritual beliefs to change people.
Does having a belief in a god make us a better person? Does going to church make us moral? Does following the Bible give us ethics? Not if you look at the statistics of people in church who commit crimes verses people who don't attend church or believe in a god.
Religion is mostly an emotional ride. It is a pseudo system that seeks to comfort people with false hope and control them with false guilt. In my experience, criminals and religious people do have something in common; their tendency to believe that just because they feel something that makes it true.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)