Last post I said organized religion is the most powerful anti-prosperity force on earth, and promised to explain my reasons. But alas, I cannot. Not just yet.
Before getting into the topic of why I think organized religion is so harmful to our prosperity, I feel it’s best to address the underlying issue, which is whether there actually is a supernatural entity controlling our destiny. Based on your responses, it seems many of you that can’t focus on the religion question because you think I’m wrong on the issue of whether or not god exists.
That’s problematic for me, because I have no need nor compunction to convince people that there really is no god. The point I want to talk about is how much believing in god – along with all of the doctrines, dogma and limiting beliefs that entails – prevents you from manifesting health, happiness and prosperity in your life. Unfortunately that means I must point out why I think it does you a disservice to believe in a supernatural creator. So if that’s a deal killer for you, best to dropout now. If you’re game to question the premise, please read on…
Not to be “tipping my pitch,” but one of the arguments I will make in the future posts is that to believe in god, requires thinking both irrationally and illogically. (And irrational, illogical people rarely lead prosperous lives.) This is blocking the debate, because some of you are trying to show me the logic in believing in an omniscient creator.
Take this comment from my friend Andi: “It’s hard to look at creation and everything around us and say there is no Creator. You say that a rational person in control of their mental faculties couldn’t believe in God. I actually think it’s irrational to think intelligence and all the greatness around us just created itself.”
This argument is often expressed with similar logic suggesting that the odds evolution and natural selection could have occurred are about as likely as a hurricane or tornado sweeping through a junkyard and assembling a Boeing 747. The premise of both these arguments is basically, “All of this life/creation/evolution couldn’t just happen. There had to be a supernatural force directing it.”
These arguments sound compelling and appear logical. But they're as anti-illogical and anti-intellectual as believing in Zeus and Mercury. There is zero logic in the premise because it creates infinite regression. Essentially the premise of these theories can best be categorized in the “turtles all the way down” school of thought. I’ve heard the turtle analogy described using various people as the lecturer, but I believe the first time was by linguist J.R. Ross referring to William James. Here’s the anecdote. After a lecture on cosmology and the structure of the solar system, James was accosted by a little old lady.
"Your theory that the sun is the centre of the solar system, and the earth is a ball which rotates around it has a very convincing ring to it, Mr. James, but it's wrong. I've got a better theory," said the little old lady.
"And what is that, madam?" inquired James politely.
"That we live on a crust of earth which is on the back of a giant turtle."
Not wishing to demolish this absurd little theory by bringing to bear the masses of scientific evidence he had at his command, James decided to gently dissuade his opponent by making her see some of the inadequacies of her position.
"If your theory is correct, madam," he asked, "what does this turtle stand on?"
"You're a very clever man, Mr. James, and that's a very good question," replied the little old lady, "but I have an answer to it. And it's this: The first turtle stands on the back of a second, far larger, turtle, who stands directly under him."
"But what does this second turtle stand on?" persisted James patiently.
To this, the little old lady crowed triumphantly,
"It's no use, Mr. James—it's turtles all the way down."
The tortoise argument is the same as the “All of this life/creation/evolution couldn’t just happen, there had to be a supernatural force directing it” one. Because that theory begets the next question: This supernatural force couldn’t just happen. There had to be a supernatural force that created it. If we were to follow that logic, every powerful god couldn't have just happened and would have needed to be created by a yet more powerful god. And that begins the infinite regression that can only lead to insanity...
Now if Andi and other readers want to make the argument, “I don’t know that there is a god, but I believe there is,” I have no problem with that. As I said in the earlier posts, if a belief brings people comfort, I hope it helps them. Just please don’t try to suggest there is any actual evidence or logic for that belief. And that takes me back to the premise that belief in god and religion requires that you suspend logic, lucidity, and rational thinking – and that can be harmful for your prosperity. So that’s where we will pick up on the next post. Until then, please share your thoughts below!
P.S. Chris Widener suggested he and I debate the issue somewhere. He agrees with some of my logic, but thinks I overreach and set up straw men arguments. He feels overall, religion is more beneficial and that he and I have enough mutual regard to debate it thoughtfully and respectfully. So we’re exploring possibilities on that, and will keep you posted.
P.P.S. I’m afraid I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with this series of posts. First I love doing them, because it stretches my own thinking, makes me question my logic, and creates a great discussion with you guys here and on social media. But I also hate it, because these are not short, sassy posts. They require critical thinking and a long time to compose. In retrospect, the topic is probably better suited to a book, not this blog. But I already have a looming deadline for another book, already promised to the publisher for November 15th. So I’m juggling priorities and will post here as often as I can with this schedule.