Religion and fear of death

published Sep 04, 2010, last modified Dec 28, 2021

Why do people continue to believe stupid and false things even after you've demonstrated to them that their beliefs are stupid?

People believe in gods and practice religions ultimately because of their fear of death.

I could write a treatise on the subject, a thousand-page book explaining why this is so.  But I really don't need to do that -- all I need to do is observe one fact, and one fact only:

No religion that ever existed became popular without promising a form of life after death. 

People who have been indoctrinated into believing that gods exist, all do so because they were terrorized into their beliefs when they were very young kids.  This terror is deeply planted into kids' brains, which makes the belief associated to the terror extremely resistant to reason and evidence.  Furthermore, this terror is usually associated with the worst kind of pain imaginable: eternal pain and suffering; the believer is literally terrified of doubting their belief, simply because he's been terrorized into believing that doubt will result in eternal pain and suffering.

In short: religion teaches kids that death is terrifyingly and eternally painful, then promises believers that believing in the dogmas of the religion will immunize them against this false, inflicted terror.  It's no different a lie from the mafioso who sends someone to terrorize you, then demands that you pay him for "protection".

Fear suspends reason and logic.  Primal fear even more so.  Now you know why the believer is immune to logic and evidence.