As everyone here knows, one of the arguments made for religious belief is that it is comforting in the face of life's difficulties. It turns out that science may be comforting as well to people under duress.
This suggests that the comfort is the result of the belief that things are under control rather than any specific content of the belief.
Things are under control. Everything operates according to laws. It's just that we humans do not know and understand everything yet. I'm thinking that everyone will be learning something new for their entire lifetime regardless of the era that they live in. This is comforting and has nothing to do with mythology.
Question: how can something be comforting if It Does Not Work? Relying on Yahweh is a crap shoot at best, and saying that it's house odds is putting it mildly. Relying on science is as sure a thing as I know of ... which is why that's where I put my attention and my trust.
Science works ... bitches!
Question: how can something be comforting if It Does Not Work?
I suppose it's like the placebo effect. If you believe it works, it has a comforting effect.
I'll stipulate that. The problem is that one will be continuously needing reinforcement, to maintain the illusion and presumption ... which of course is what we see with church congregations worldwide.
They'd rather believe a pretty lie than face a hard truth.
The one or two survivors of a fiery plane crash always credit the Almighty for saving them, implying he wanted the other 283 to die a horrible death. That is not reassuring at all.
It's reassuring if you think those 283 people are in a "better place." lol
Casey Kasem, longtime weekly hit DJ of the American Top 40 fame just died this morning. He was 82. I can still hear him counting those songs down and playing them as I write, but to the point here. Believe it or not, it came over the news that his family says they know "he is in a better place."
My jaw dropped. I wondered what place he was in? Have they lost the body? If they placed the body in a coffin, is it not still inside? If they had him cremated has someone misplaced the ashes?
I know that such remarks about a "better place" are standard religious fodder, but when you think about it, this is the height of stupidity!
If the "better place" were real, suicide would be a common, rational, and joyful act.
(Except that the imaginary gods are supposed to not think too highly of that... even though a perfect and loving god would want us to be happy in that "better place"!)
One of the major irritants about being an atheist is that we're always trying to figure out the rationale behind religious beliefs and claims. None of it makes any sense and it drives our logical brains crazy.
Religious people, on the other hand, just go ahead and believe outlandish notions and don't even question why. They have no motivation to even start asking the right questions. That drives atheists crazy as well.
I just saw a crime show about a man who shot his family members in the back of the head, one at a time, sneaking up on them.
Then he wrote notes to the school saying he was taking his children away for a few weeks, and he left for another city, changed his identity and wasn't caught for 17 years.
His rationale was that he was bankrupt, he felt poverty would be corrupting to his family; but they would go to heaven if he shot them right away.
He figured God would forgive him in time, and he could rejoin his family in a better place.