Out of the Looking Glass
What really is driving me nuts, is understanding the switch from belief to non-belief. Why do some [who] get exposed to science & history accept the truth [while] others resort to all sorts of apologetica.
And he postulates the following:
If you dropped someone from a different environment who was never exposed to religion or philosophic thoughts. Exposing them to fair debate, don't you think they would all land on the secular side?
(I’ll focus on this second comment in a future post.)
One interesting, if peripheral, aspect of these comments is that they reflect a phase that most of us skeptics seem to go though sooner or later. There is a very tangible change which happens some time after you have left religion and have had a chance to reacclimate to the world. At some point, you look back at the belief system which you left behind and feel a sense of shock at what you see.
This may really be the point of no return. Up until then, there is a sort of built in defensiveness in your thinking. You have all of your reasons – logical and moral, all worked out in your mind - as if you have to justify your choice to leave the Orthodox world. But at that moment, you suddenly grasp that the shoe belongs firmly on the other foot. You have the powerful feeling of seeing, for the first time, your old beliefs on equal footing with the claims of the other religious groups.
And, just as suddenly, your need to justify your ideas evaporates. “Am I really concerned about explaining why I don’t believe in this outrageous mythology?” “Am I really worried about proving that I’m still moral?” You feel, for the first time, that it would be just as absurd to have to justify why you are not a Mormon or Scientologies.
All of us skeptics are keenly aware of the Orthodox notion that we leave religion because of our personal weakness – our lusts, our laziness, our misguided thinking. But once we reach this point, that idea is simply laughable. Whatever the causes are for our lost faith, we haven’t been blinded – on the contrary, we’ve been given sight.
With this turning point comes the frustration that Baal Habos is voicing. Up until then, Orthodox thinking is such a strong part of your own perspective that you have an intuitive grasp of why the everyone believes. But once you cross this line, and the Orthodox haze retreats farther and farther into the past, it becomes more and more difficult to understand.