The rationale for stating that humans need religions can be summarized as follows. First, the universe has taught us that survival can depend upon thinking and behaving rationally. Second, to make a behavioural choice rationally it must be directed toward achieving some purpose. Third, real-world problems must satisfy criteria found in the real world to be successful. Fourth, moral problems are invented through mental word-play, and a metaphysical environment and valued purpose must be assembled before moral behavioural choices can be rationally made. And last, we invariably do our best to believe in the truth of our constructions, because belief that we are correct eliminates the stress that accompanies doubts about the validity of what we think, say, and do.
In the previous chapter we noted that religions grow from the visions of (mainly) one person, a person whose beliefs are particularly strong, clear-cut and convincing. This raises two questions that beg to be investigated. First, what makes these beliefs so convincing to such individuals (and, later, to their followers) that they may willingly endure torture, and even choose to die rather than change their minds? And, second, from where do such beliefs come—could there be a source other than a god?
Both of these questions can be answered by returning to the discussion of how the mind works. We begin with a short review of how memories become linked together.
- Memory Linking
- Reformations, Conversions And Revelations
- The Source Of Revelations