Mark1955 wrote: ↑
Yesterday, 12:54 pm
[In real life, **** happens. In religion, designer **** happens for an unknowable reason.]
The question is why are we so much happier believing there's an unknowable reason that just accepting **** happens.
(Not all of us are - in fact, I wonder whether any of us really are happier believing. For example, what percent of people so immersed in a religious culture that they can't imagine thinking outside of its actually happy at all.)
But suppose we [most of us] are.
Part of the answer is the one I started with: the illusion of control. The universe is immense, indifferent and unfathomable. The forces of nature can squash you like less than a bacterium and never notice. Wouldn't it be nice to have an "inside man" who cares about your needs and fears?
Another part is, human have always been clever and self-preoccupied. They have to put themselves at the center of every explanation they make up about the world; see their own stories in the clouds and stars, rearrange piles of rock to form human figures; paint themselves on cave walls: everything is about us
. So when they imagine a mover behind all the things that move, he has a human face and human desires.
Another part is: a long lived social animal forms deep emotional attachments to others of its kind, as well as its environment. It's hard
to accept that one will never again have a father's approval and a mother's love, their guidance and comfort. It's hard
to accept that one will never see those green hills or sail those blue waves or kiss those grandchildren's downy heads, ever anymore. When something is hard to accept, humans have a tendency to deny it, and keep denying it, right in the teeth of reality.
And the most compelling reason is: theism props up power structures. It promotes obedience and sacrifice. Once a god and his demands are woven into the fabric a culture, people take all kinds of abuse without question; they become far more docile and productive.
Fooloso4 -- This is is a false dichotomy. There are many religious thinkers, going back at least to the author of Job, who do not ascribe to the notion of a reason for why things happen as they do. Furthermore not all religious thinkers accept the notion of a designer.
Certainly, the author of Job did ascribe a purpose [reason] to the protagonist's tribulations. The way I recall that story, God put him through all that hell and killed off a bunch of innocent bystanders, just to show the devil how faithful Job was... to win a bet. That's a reason, and there is certainly a designer behind it.
Of course, you're right: I generalized too broadly. Not all religions are theistic. But the OP was concerned with theism, not thinkers.