Dear Dr. Robert--
Since first coming across your "ask the psychologist" blog last June, I have been checking it often. I find your answers both educational and witty, and often your words help in considering my own life as well. So thanks for publishing this.
I do, however, have one question for you. You wrote about "spiritual unfoldment," and yet you seem to have a hostile attitude toward religion. This doesn't seem to make sense. After all, isn't the purpose of religion to help people to recognize and pursue spiritual concerns? Am I missing something here?
Thanks for your kind comments about "ask dr-robert." I am glad you enjoy reading it.
I do think you have missed the point of my comments about religion. My objection to religious ideas is not to the ideas themselves, but to the attitude that wants to put religious ideas into a special category, different from any other kind of ideas, so that the religious ideas are somehow seen as deserving extraordinary protection from examination and criticism. In other words, somehow human beings have fallen into a kind of strange superstitious attitude which holds that calling into question ideas in this one exclusive category, religion, is somehow especially intolerant, and abusive of the so-called "faith" of the people who believe in them.
But why should any idea at all be immune from open-eyed, intelligent consideration? And why is one person required to have "respect" for another person's ideas in just this one special category, so-called "faith," when all other kinds of ideas are allowed to be examined freely and criticized fully?
I say "so called faith" because that kind of "faith" does not seem to me to represent anything useful or positive at all. In that usage, "faith" is simply another word, a better sounding one, for credulity, which means to believe in something simply because some authority has commanded that you do so. In my view, this attitude is the death of intelligence, and explains to a great extent why the life of the world's societies seems so absurdly unworkable. After all, if my "faith" tells me that it will all come out OK in the end (I will go to heaven, or the messiah will descend to save humanity, etc.) why would I take seriously the real problems of real people? In other words, unexamined "faith" most often comprises a collection of ideas which, to me, seem dangerous, wasteful of the opportunity to be alive as a human being, and even (as we see all over this planet) deadly.
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