Christianity Johnson on 17 Sep 2008 12:00 am
Yesterday we discussed the compartmentalization of the Christian brain and the way that these compartments allow irrational ideas to reside in what is often an otherwise rational brain. It is this compartmentalization that allows, for example, a Christian to believe in God’s Plan even though God’s Plan is obviously absurd.
How do we know that God’s Plan is absurd? Simplest example: If God’s Plan is real, then it means that God plans all abortions, and that God plans for 30,000 kids to die of starvation every day. See Proving that God’s Plan is impossible for details.
If you talk to a Christian about his or her faith for any length of time, you can easily identify the many absurdities caused by the compartmentalization. But to a Christian these absurdities are invisible. The following article does a good job at pointing out several of the biggest absurdities:
Given that a Christian spends years building the compartments and encouraging the blindness, how can a Christian possibly become an atheist?
In order to become an atheist, the Christian needs to have one of the compartments collapse. As soon as rational thought is allowed to expose the contents of any one of the compartments, the whole house of cards can fall and the person is cured of religion. The following article offers an example of the process:
It was Twain that may have given me my first healthy dose of skepticism. I began to see the evil nature of god as described in scripture. Years of teaching literature in high school also exposed me to a lot of wisdom from artists like Shelly, Coleridge, Hemingway, Emerson, Thoreau and others.
Human wisdom and humor began to chip away at my faith and strengthen my skepticism. Then at the age of 34, I came across Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus. The ball began to roll and it only picked up velocity. Now I had the gross error, plagiarism, and lies that are scripture.
In a matter of months I had revisited old studies like evolution. It was really strange how 20 years of education seemed to suddenly become clearer in a matter of about two months. The last straw was the admittedly brief study of the myth and religion of India, Egypt, and Greece. The evidence of parallel myths and astrology brought it all together for me.
So here I am, atheist and free at last.
In this case, it is the “Bible is the perfect word of God” compartment that got punctured. Once punctured, it allowed the author to see how repulsive and absurd the Bible really is. Once you see that – and it is something that is obvious to anyone who is not blinded by “faith” and compartments – you are done with religion.
It seems like a majority of former Christians who become atheists follow a path like this. The first glimmer of rationality is always different, but the effect is the same. Once the seed of rationality takes root in one of the compartments, the person is eventually healed of their religious delusion.
So what is the key to healing a Christian? One way is to have a conversation – perhaps a long conversation – in the hope that you can penetrate just one of the hardened compartments in the Christian’s brain and plant a seed of rationality.
Have you seen other techniques or examples?