How to believe in God (in 6 easy steps)

Sam Harris has created a simple, but effective template for how to believe in God that he fit easily into six tweets, which are shown below. I’ve added brief commentary to each step.

Step one is critical because, by default, one’s beliefs are generally motivated by evidence, which is unlikely to lead to a (sustained) belief in God.

Step two is a rationalization that dampens the cognitive dissonance that often causes one to discard unsupported conclusions.

Step 3 is a another rationalization designed fight one’s natural urge to demand evidence for a belief by manufacturing “evidence” out of circular, wishful thinking. — Belief in God is evidence of God; I believe in God, therefore I have evidence of God.

Step 4 is designed to squelch those inevitable doubts the moment they occur. In much the way a bark-detecting shock collar trains a dog to suppress the urge to bark, this step helps train a believer to suppress the natural urge to question and doubt.

Step 5 creates a euphemism for the act of disabling ones critical, evidence-based reasoning functions. It allows believers to treat as a virtue that which would, in other contexts, could be considered a shortcoming.

This final step serves to ensure that no further consideration be given to the question of belief. It creates a dead end for intellectual curiosity and inquiry.

2 comments for “How to believe in God (in 6 easy steps)

  1. Karl
    December 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    For the existence of God there is no lack of evidence; merely a lack of insight and honest deployment of cognitive faculties among those who for whatever reason reject the evidence.
    The Science God, (aka Gadget Maker, Liberator from Healthy Convention, Pied Piper of Self Proclaimed Scholars, Master of the Great Human Buffalo Jump) declares the vastness of the universe, the probable existence of multiple dimensions, infinite infinities. But He also declares that He is the only god, and all other explanations for the aforementioned phenomena are abject heresy. Further, all who hold to other explanations must be called ignorant and archaic, and subject to ridicule.
    The idea that there are concepts that are actually as far beyond the human ability to understand as a computer is beyond a squirrel’s, is also utter heresy- if it cannot be understood and classified into neat boxes by people then it simply doesn’t exist.
    No one is more closed minded and belligerent toward opposing notions than are the worshipers of the contemporary Science God.
    Remember that there have existed no crueler states than those that were atheistic. No one killed like Stalin, Mao, or Hitler. Yes, Hitler was a practical atheist, even though he espoused some ancient pantheistic spirituality.
    Your ancestors, all of whom believed in God in some form or another, where not fools. Those behind the notion of the atheistic state are themselves not atheists. Their god must remain for a time hidden, or occult. (Occult means hidden). Although the spirit of the age fills your troughs will many good things for the present, as with all feedlots the journey ends at the slaughterhouse. The destruction of man is the goal of the so-called atheist.

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