In my personal life I've hit an interesting crossroads with two of my friends who've been with me for ages. Our friendship has gone up and down as all of them do. The patterns of communication in the relationship have been good at times, and highly strained at others. They both stopped speaking to me after a party I threw at my house and never said why until about a week ago when I was chatting with one of them online. He mentioned that they were, in fact, "extremely pissed off at me" which I has suspected but didn't feel like pursuing actively because I assumed it was some petty shit. Suffice to say that I am confident, speaking with others who were at the party, that it is. In any case he offered to extend me an email detailing all of my alleged transgressions and I said I'd appreciate the communication. Reading over it a line caught my eye that has a lot in common with religion, theistic thinking and a faith based worldview.
The biggest problem with this, is that when we try to point out things that you did that mad us angry/etc, you deny it, blame me/us, then ignore me/us for a lenght of time.Cutting me off at the pass, as it were. I was frustrated by this line because it precludes any rejecting of his view, any counter argument with at least some responsibility placed on their parties, as well as non communication. This type of position reminds me a lot of faith. The unwillingness to consider an alternate position because it does not conform to a current world-view. Anything other than my total acquiescent to his perceptions of reality can be easily dismissed by confirming his view that I am biased and always do these types of disingenuous arguments, regardless of the validity of the evidence supporting them or the logic behind them. Faith operates in much the same way, having preconceptions and being able to dismiss controverting evidence.
There's no such thing as a real atheist, deep down they're all just mad at god.Even if the interlocutor works diligently to explain that they lack belief in any deity and explain that their internal view is not one of anger because emotion directed at an entity you do not believe to exist is absurd at best, the position based in faith can easily dismiss this with various statements like "You'll see the light one day" and "Look into your heart and you'll see you had god there all along". Indeed, you can't reason someone out of a position they did not reason themselves into. This lack of skepticism is pervasive in society, particularly when the position in question is a deeply held belief indoctrinated over decades of social reinforcement. However, I find it fascinating that it also manifests itself in petty arguments and the basic evaluation of claims around us. This leads me to think that religion is not the disease so much as the symptom. The disease is gullibility, credulity and an acute deficiency of critical thinking. I will freely admit that it took me longer than I am comfortable with to realize that I was uncritical about many of my own beliefs but that speaks nothing to their veracity. Some of these assumptions were correct, but not knowing the logic behind holding these beliefs is tantamount to holding them as a position of faith and is therefore still invalid.
I posit to you that being willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads regardless of any uncomfortable conclusions is far more humble than the same virtue that so many religious people are purported to be such paragons of.