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.

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