Is theistic religion a consolation?

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Theistic Religion can be a consolation in some scenarios, but not all. It has tended to be largely negative throughout history with many deaths and much sadness caused. Whilst people may find comfort in their beliefs, it should be noted that this comfort is from delusion. They are believing in superstition and the supernatural for purely emotional reasons, without the backing of empirical evidence.

It may be argued from a Utilitarian standpoint that as long as there is a benefit on some level, then the belief is justified. To keep true to this Utilitarian assessment though, the negatives of a belief should be assessed as well. It can easily be argued that any acceptance of concepts which contradict empirical information weaken those holding the belief. Consider that "ignorance is bliss", for example the ignorance of the soon-to-be victim of a serial killer, might better be described as "ignorance is vulnerability". Certainly the victim's belief in god would not have been more valuable then the knowledge of who was sneaking up behind them.

When considering a religions benefit (theistic or otherwise), one should also consider its effect on others, and has been. For example; Christianity has obvious consolatory benefits for someone, but the negatives have included oppression, depression, racism, sexism and homophobia.

See also

Why can't everyone just have their own beliefs?

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