In response to this SymbolicOrder.com article.
That's pretty egotistical. Sorry, dude, but the "we shouldn't believe in god because only a child would" argument?
I'm glad you've made the distinction between the "does god exist" and the "should I believe in god" questions, but I think you missed the point of driving such a wedge between the concepts.
You say you don't believe in god because you don't have reason to. This implies that you require reason to believe in god, and that that would be sufficient. I have a reason.
One who does believe says, according to you (and I agree), "I don't need a reason, I have faith."
Dogmatic and doctrinal faiths both require a certain... uhm, "willing suspension of disbelief," to use a literary term, in order to swallow the dogma and the doctrine, and I agree that that's all a load of hooey. I'm not willing to suspend disbelief to accept that every time I munch a styrofoamy wafer, it turns into some kind of holy ichor halfway down my gullet. I'm with you in thinking that this is just silly. But if it helped me to have faith – which I'll demonstrate is worthwhile and entirely reasonable – then I'd happily do it. Thus, I have no problem with people who believe in ideas that I think are silly. It's a means to an end.
You've also said that you're not willing to suspend disbelief to accept that there's an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent, self-aware force in your life, invisibly paving the way toward the good life (in the now or the here-after).
Seems fine and well, until you notice the benefits such belief can bring. This may not apply to you, but it is a very concrete source of comfort and strength to millions of people, and that comforted feeling, that strengthened spirit has very real, beneficial consequences in those people's lives, and often, albeit indirectly, our own lives as well. Why would you ask them to abandon that?
Because you think they can do it on their own? Because fooling oneself (I assume this is how you'd characterize it), no matter how beneficial, is bad?
Why should they? They have a perfectly functional myth that's much easier to work with. Pushing the limits of reality (a flowery term for innovation, et al) requires some motive for believing reality is wrong. I don't think I need to get into the (smirk) "unbelievable" things a mind and body can do purely because they team up and believe something can be done. Even in you – have you never surprised yourself?
You might argue at this point that I'm not talking about faith in god anymore, but instead about motivation; and that this is all just semantics, but I think I just gave a really good reason for believing in god.
It doesn't prove he exists, which neither of us are claiming one way or the other, but it certainly provides a compelling reason as to why anyone should have reason-less faith in the existence of a big, benevolent invisible friend.
You focused too much, I think, on the negative aspects of religion; understandable, considering how much attention the Middle East has gotten for centuries, but nonetheless, faith has done more good than bad, be those good things misguided or not.
So, is he BS? In my mind, yeah. But also in my mind is an ever growing grasp of how much we don't – and maybe even can't – know, as humans. So if I know that my current goals are damned near impossible to realize, it's comforting to think that, "what I know ain't much."
It's the same kind of comfort I imagine I'd get if I believed in big buddy Jesus. And I wouldn't ever ask anyone who's found that comfort in faith to give it up and get it my way instead; it's been a long hard haul getting here, and I still feel like the religious folks have got it better than me in that department.
Either way, I'm basically saying that the "ignorance is bliss" concept isn't necessarily a negative one. Its benefits are apparent from back when Hooke was vivisecting dogs, Newton was investing in Alchemy, and Leibniz was inventing calculus; they were all blissfully ignorant as to whom was on the right path and who wasn't… and thank god, because who knows how much less we'd have today if it weren't for them. I think the same applies today – maybe you think that sort of thing is now useless, but suppose a man discovers a way to stop the aging process (or some other similarly unbelievable feat) because he has faith (i.e., he wouldn't have bothered trying without it). Would you want him to have been swayed by your article, knowing that sooner or later some appropriately faithless fellow would figure it out? Or would you take your "Deus PharmaCon Brand" immortality pills and be thankful he never listened to you?