Exactly who, and what can you trust? I was a senior in high school in Issaquah, Wa in 1980. My teacher had us take a test to decide if we were liberal or conservative, democratic or republican. He told us to be very observant of his behavior during the semester, and at the end we would take a short survey. At the end of term, he asked us each to write what we thought his political views were. We each cast our votes and Mr Johnson revealed that he was a lifelong democrat and was politically active. Here’s where it got interesting. Every student in the class thought he was the same party as them and their family. Virtually split down the middle. Students of republican families thought he was a conservative, while the others thought he was a democrat. We have to be very careful to see life without strict confirmation bias. While nearly impossible to separate yourself from your upbringing, self awareness and acceptance of other viewpoints, and seeing past stereotypes is a good start to finding balance. Only then can we maybe see the world as it really is, or how it could be.
Seeing the good in religion is easy when you been raised in it and told your whole life what a blessing it all is. Identifying the harm it does requires you to step outside of yourself and consider other views are possibly more valid than your own indoctrinations. Facts can be uncomfortable, but the facts of religion are disastrous and incompetent. It would be nice to move past the superstitions and wasted, time consuming debate over “which god” and how great he is, and move on to solving some teal problems. Religions have promised a multitude of blessings, but in the end you make your own way in the world anyway. There’s nobody there. Religion only makes you think someone is watching. Differing religious views are two sides of the same coin. Heads I win, tails you lose is a very old trick. Trust your own observations of real evidence. Faith is a cop-out of reality and it takes no discipline or achievement to obtain it. And that’s the way they want it.