Can you believe it?

If I were to offer you a million dollars to believe that grass were red, you’d really want to believe it wouldn’t you? The trouble is; no matter how much we desire to believe something, we are built in such a way that we can only believe when we have reason to believe and the desire to believe it.

In the scenario above, you would defiantly have the desire to believe that the grass were red, and you might be able to make others think that you believe that the grass were red, but you wouldn’t be able to actually believe in the concept of red grass unless you were able to remove the doubts and questions that naturally insulate us from destructive beliefs and ideas.

In order to believe that the grass were red, you would have to undergo a process of gathering evidence and reasons that could make red grass possible. You would have to come up with ideas like “the grass could have been recently painted red” or “there was a horrible accident at the local astro-turf plant”. Regardless of how outlandish the reasons are; as rational beings, we need them.

Beliefs can unfortunately come occur even without being based on objective evidence or reasons. When that happens a person is said to be delusional, believing in something that is false.

Religious beliefs are no different than the belief in red grass mentioned above. We can claim to believe in something we desperately want to believe in, but not actually believe it because we lack evidence and reason. We can also be faced with overwhelming evidence and reasons to believe in something that is objectively true and still not have the desire to accept the reasonable beliefs.

Only when we have both reasons and a desire can beliefs be borne. Since we all believe in something, the only question is whether our beliefs are based more on desire than evidence.

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