There is a great deal of discussion around the topic of religions, so while I do not expect to give a definite answer on whether it is correct or not, I have few points to clarify according to the theories proposed in this blog.
First of all, it is fair to admit that I am not a believer, but I am also not a disbeliever. Many people say that God is real and many who he is not, and there are many different religions, making us come back to the whole two-side of the coin problem. If something is believed to be so right and so wrong at the same time, it is probably somewhere in the middle. This means that the concept of an all-powerful God is perhaps incorrect. Still, according to religious teachings, there are definite benefits, such as praying, going to Church on Sunday, and following other spiritual values.
In the book The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy, Murphy talks about prayer’s power. The author proposes that prayer and unconditional belief that what we pray is perceived as an absolute command to our brains starts to solve the problem (the prayer) presented to it, subconsciously. Later we say that “it is a miracle” and that “God has provided”, while all along it was the subconscious mind that provided the solution. This idea strongly goes along with the concept described in the Low of Attraction that predisposes that we attract what we most desire in our lives, which is another reason we should not focus on the negatives in our lives.
Going to church is also a great activity. It connects us to like-minded people, to God, and creates a sense of connection whenever we are alone or not – “God is everywhere.” This is indeed a Social Proof concept discussed in the book Influence by Robert Cialdini. People are social creatures, and they need to be with other people (in the body or mind), feel like they belong, and be part of a social group. Church provides precisely that. In a society that is becoming more disconnected, believing in God creates a sense of meaning and belonging, so much missed by the majority of the population.
Moreover, religion teaches us certain values like not stealing, killing, overeating, and being generous to other people. All these virtues are proven to be beneficial to a human being. Even generosity, which can, at first sight, be seen as losing, benefits people on a chemical level, by releasing dopamine into our system that makes us feel good. Studies after studies confirm that giving to other people (without expecting nothing in return) makes people happier than the same situations where a person would keep his reaches to himself instead.
Lastly, religion is an institution. Almost like any other company, theology seeks to increase its level of influence. It fights over people’s limited resources such as time, money, and attention, creating a need to consciously decide how much of these resources we will dedicate to this institution. Moreover, there is completed within the industry for belief, which is unfortunately responsible for conflict, death, and division. We can say that it is other people who are responsible for these destructive behaviors. Still, we have to take responsibility for destruction created by institutions that we support, be that religious, political, consumption-driven institutions, or any other.
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