This piece originally appeared on Truth Zone.
For centuries humans have fallen into a repetitive cycle of fallacy. A spiritual rut that has held us back from achieving our full potential. It isn’t until now that humans are starting to wake up and shift to higher states of awareness. But as we are beginning to make progress as humans why is it that people still cling on to their 2,000 year old beliefs. When will people finally give up their materialistic religion and search for something with greater meaning and purpose? I believe that there are 10 main reason why people still hold on to their religious beliefs. Now I know that this doesn’t pertain to every religion or every religious person but if you are religious you will most likely find yourself in one of these areas.
1. Childhood Indoctrination
This is the biggest reason why people are religious. It is very rare for someone to be brought up in a certain religion and get older and not believe it anymore. This can also be one of the hardest reasons to overcome. If you have been told from the day you were born that this was truth and everyone else was wrong then it is extremely hard to even question that it might not be truth and accept that your whole life growing up you have been fed a lie.
Now of course you can’t blame your parents or family because they had the best intentions and they thought that they were showing you truth even though they were probably brought up that way too. It’s almost like a never ending cycle that gets passed down to each generation until someone has a light bulb flicker in their brain that tells them that something is wrong.
This is another big reason why people are religious and also why they are afraid to question their religion. A lot of people are afraid of death and afraid of what might happen to them after that. They hear about all these crazy religious people telling them that if they don’t join and believe what they believe then they will go to hell forever and ever. They start to think that these people just might be right and become fearful that if they die they are going to be punished.
How many people do you think cried out for forgiveness and prayed as they laid on their death bed. How many people do you think would be in church on Sunday if we all knew that the world was going to end next week. Fear is a very strong emotion and if you know how to use it you can get people to do and believe whatever you want and that is exactly what religion has done. If fear was no longer an issue then I think that a lot of people will open their eyes and not be afraid to question what they believe.
3. Times of Desperation and Need
It is much easier to have faith in a religion when you have nothing else. If you are in a time of desperation and need with no hope then you need something to hold on to. If someone is completely satisfied with life then they have no need for a religion because they are content with how they are.
A lot of people just accept their religion because it is their tradition. Everyone around them follows that religion and no one has done any different for the past 300 years. All the way back to their great great great grandparents their people where following that religion so therefore it feels like they have to follow it too. If you were born in America then you have a great chance that you will be Christian. If you are from the middle east then you will most likely be Muslim. If you are from Asia then you will be Buddhist. You believe that you know 100% truth but yet the simplest thing like being born with parents that had a different belief or being born in a different area would cause your entire belief system to be different.
5. Searching For Answers
People are tired of the lies and deception and they want answers. There are so many unanswered questions that no one can seem to answer and religion puts a bandage on those questions. The truth is that religion creates much more unanswered questions than the ones you had before they are just able to hide them a lot better. If you are looking for answers to life’s greatest questions then religion is the worst thing that you can turn to. You must look much deeper than religion and search from within yourself.
6. Guilty Conscience
Some people have made some bad choices in their lifetime and they begin to get a guilty conscience. They can’t forgive themselves and so they turn to religion hoping that they will find a God that will forgive them so that they can feel better about themselves. They are also afraid of their karma coming back to haunt them thinking that when they die they will have to face the punishments for what they did in this lifetime.
For a lot of people the only time that they get to socialize with anyone other than coworkers is when they go to church. They might not even like church that much but they will go just so that they can socialize with people and get out of the house. People also like to feel that they are a part of something and that they belong somewhere.
8. Comfort and Assurance
People like the comfort and assurance that religion creates for them. It makes them feel safe and that every thing is going to be alright. They are afraid to step out of their comfort zone and they feel that if they don’t have a religion then their life will be chaotic.
9. Lack of Responsibility
A lot of religious people do not take responsibility for their actions, choices and the world that they create around them. They need something to blame and they need something to send their problems to. I have seen this so many times and it truly saddens me that religion has brought them down so low that they just give up and hope that God will fix it all. How many people have heard someone that is religious say that they can’t do something on their own so they leave it in God’s hands. “I can’t quit smoking on my own, I can’t quit drinking on my own, I can’t live a happy life on my own, I can’t find a good job on my own or live a satisfied fulfilling life on my own so I just put my faith in God knowing that he will do all these things for me.” If you want something in your life then YOU need to take action and pursue it. Don’t say you can’t do something on your own just because you are lazy and lack any willpower.
10. Spiritual Fulfillment
There is a spiritual void in this world and people can feel it. They want a life with more meaning and more purpose. I think that this is one of the biggest reasons why people turn to a religion hoping that they can satisfy that spiritual void. You go to church and you see all of these people excited for God and you think to yourself, “this must be it, this is what I have been searching for. Just look how happy all these people are.” So you join the church and you get excited and on fire for God and you are so happy and nothing can ever take you down. But as time goes on you start to realize that the spiritual void is still there and you start feeling the same as you did before if not worse.
Is religion really the answer?
Stephen Fry on God | The Meaning Of Life | RTÉ One
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