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.

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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. 

My wife's family lived in Westfield, NJ at the time of the murders so the case is very familiar. Westfield is an affluent community of big houses and well maintained lawns and the killings took place in 1971 before mass murders had become commonplace. It was a very shocking crime at the time and one that became more shocking when List was captured. It's not clear that List's announced motives were his real ones.

It's not clear that List's announced motives were his real ones.

I'm sure they weren't.  He was apparently extremely repressed and had built up tremendous anger. 

But Christian theology has been used before to whitewash horrible acts.

So those who survived were not saved by God, but actually just "left behind."

Yes,m but, you actually think about that.  Believers don't   I don't think any believers have been asked why they were spared and not the others.  They are too self-centered.

I  couldn't have said it better......

That's why they don't like Atheists.  We make them think.

You can't get a better placebo than religion. If you're sick but get well then it's gods will. If you're sick and die it's gods will. It's a win win.

When I was a studying lay minister nobody knew why some people got healed and others did not. It was a big mystery. Put a little logic on it and this all makes sense. God is imaginary.

Not anymore.  If you live it is god's will but, if you die the doctor gets sued.

All a con man -- or an enduring believer in superstition -- needs is a good story to cover every possibility:

1) you get better,

2) you get worse, or

3) you stay the same.

Someone could just as well pray to a jug of milk!

You are damned right, it does not work. As a child, I watched my grandmothers pray for relief and strength but nothing changed. I watched my mother and aunts pray for relief and strength, nothing changed. It did not change for me until my tiny little ten year old daughter told her father he didn't have the right to treat me the way he was. I prayed, and did all the things that the Passive Gospel teaches. Nothing changed until I put my kids in the car, with pillows, blankets, a stock pot and our two mother cats with their kittens and got the hell out of there and out of the marriage. I've been an angry bitch ever since. The bitchiness saved my life. 


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