Can we make reality better by believing in God? Can we make reality better by spreading the belief that God will punish the wicked and reward the Good? Won't that deter the wicked from doing evil deeds and encourage people to do good? What about telling people they will go to heaven if they are good? Won't that have the double benefit of motivating them to do good and making them feel better about their future? Won't people be happier if they believe that they will live in eternal bliss then if they believe that they will get sick, die and never see their loved ones again? The answer is a resounding no because that violates the laws of Realodynamics. What, you haven't studied Realodynamics in college? Amazing what they don't teach in college these days. The laws of Realodynamics are:
1) The closest the perception of good intentioned people is to reality the better reality will be.
Corollary A) You can't make reality better by believing something that isn't true.
2) The probability that one will arrive at truth is higher if one uses logic as opposed to believing something because one wants to or because one believes that it is good to believe it or because it makes one feel better to believe it.
What basis is there for these laws? To be quite honest these are hypotheses not laws but there are logical reasons to think they are true.
It is not possible to prove that God exists. Aside from wanting to believe there is eternal justice and eternal blissful life the major reason to believe in a creator is the amazing complexity and beauty of the world around us. The problem with explaining that complexity with God is that God would have to be even more complex and then we'd be left with a bigger question of how did God come to exist. We can't prove God's existence with logic. The only reason to believe in God is because we want to or because we think it will make the world a better place if people believe in him. According to the second law of Realodynamics these reasons are not likely to lead to the truth. Here are some of the negative effects of these beliefs.
1) God will punish the wicked and reward the Good.
I had a friend who fell into hard times. She became convinced that God was punishing her. Whatever hope she might have had was squashed by this belief, if you believe that God is against you what hope is there. If God is against you, you must be wicked so that made her feel even worse. If God will punish the wicked there is no reason for us to do so. So this belief reduces are motivation to make this into a just world. If someone does us a kindness because they thought they would score with the big guy upstairs then they are not really doing an unselfish act because they care about us. How will we know why someone is kind to us or not. What makes us good, if we believe in God? In that case those who don't believe are bad and God will punish them. If they are bad we certainly shouldn't be nice to them. So believing that the non-believer is bad can make us not get along with our fellow man. Throughout history religions have attacked non-believing infidels, in fact Islamic terrorists may attack us with nuclear weapons for being infidels.
2) We will go to heaven if we're good.
We all know how this belief has spawned suicide bombers. Another negative aspect of this is we are less likely to bring to justice those who kill since they simply sent our loved ones to heaven.
What about beliefs that everyone would agree are false? Should a doctor tell someone who only has a few weeks to live that they will get well and be fine? Won't that make them feel better? What if there are things they would want to do before they die. If they think they'll be fine they won't do them. Newspaper news is depressing. Wouldn't we be better off not reading the newspapers and how everyone is being mugged in a park downtown. Wouldn't we be happier not knowing that? We would until we walked into that park and got mugged.
c o p y r i g h t ( c ) 1 9 9 9 -2004 Karl Ericson Enterprises. All rights reserved
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