Belief: Why it’s irrational

There are allegedly two types of belief. One is rational belief that’s based on evidence, but no proof, and the other is irrational belief in which there’s no evidence. I personally think that there’s one type of belief, and it’s without facts. It’s speculation, and acceptance that something is true, even if it isn’t. To me, belief is completely irrational, and illogical, and something either is, it isn’t, or you’re without knowledge. I’ve just been accused of being a liar on Twitter as I made the claim that I don’t accept belief as a logical conclusion, and I expect evidence that I can scrutinise before I accept something. I write lots of articles about various subjects, and if I’m unsure about something I spend time cross examining evidence to reach a common consensus before I accept its legitimacy, whereas many people will go on Google, click the first link which is usually Wikipedia, and accept what’s written is the truth. This is why there’s are so many misconceptions, inconsistencies and wilful ignorance throughout the world, as gullibility and confirmation bias is rife.

Imagine being in a court of law, and the defendant is accused of murder. Upon being cross examined he claims that he’s innocent, and the judge, jury and prosecution simply believe him, and he’s free to go. This isn’t the way law works. A client is innocent until proven guilty, and whilst mistakes do happen, and people get wrongly convicted, or get acquitted despite being guilty, as a rule the art of presenting sufficient evidence is paramount to justice being served. Belief and opinion doesn’t come into it. Only after a decision has been reached does opinion come into it, and this is the severity of the crime and what the judge considers a suitable punishment.

Another area is the scientific method, which is about asking a question, creating an hypothesis from an observation, experimenting so that it’s repeatable, and sharing your conclusion so that other scientists can test the findings and come to a decision on its validity. There’s no bias, belief or opinion here, it’s impartial study, doubt and scepticism to reach a conclusion to form a scientific theory.

So let’s look at belief. Some may say that I would just believe that the Sun will rise in the morning. The first issue I have with this is the Sun doesn’t rise, the Earth is rotating and it gives the illusion of a Sun rise. The Universe is heliocentric, and the laws of relativity are in play. What this means is we are orbiting our star, the Sun, and the Earth is rotating on its axis, because of the gravity of external sources like the Sun and the Moon. Because the Earth is within a practical vacuum, there’s no friction, so the Earth will continue to spin indefinitely. So the only way the Sun wouldn’t rise in the morning was if it wasn’t there anymore, but that won’t happen for billions of years until there’s no hydrogen left to create nuclear fusion. So with this is mind, and the fact that there are several laws of physics in motion, there’s no need to believe the Sun will rise, as it will. Every day, for billions of years. The only thing that could prevent life from witnessing the Sun was if a catastrophic event like a giant meteor collided with the Earth and annihilated it. Whilst this is always a possibility, and there’s strong evidence in craters of vast proportions that this has potentially been responsible for the extinction of many species, there’s no direct proof, as of yet that this is true.

Occam’s razor is a way to teach a conclusion where the simplest explanation is often the correct one, and the more something is over complicated, the bigger the margin of error. Falsifiability is still in play here, as an observation can be proven wrong. I will give an example. You walk into your garden and everything is wet. The logical analysis is it’s been raining, and Occam’s Razor comes into play, but there’s always other possibilities. Do I believe it’s been raining? No, I don’t, unless I’ve witnessed it’s rained. I’m just presuming because it’s a logical decision. That doesn’t mean it’s a fact though, it’s just a case of probable cause, and it’s unrelated to belief. So the next time you claim to believe something, remember that belief is an assumption, and there’s a saying that suggests that assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.

Religion: A dirty business

Is there a more successful business model than organised religion? For a few thousand years, the various Christian faiths have grown incredibly wealthy through fear and guilt. For thousands of years, each time a Priest, a Vicar, a Minister or a Pastor has given a service, there’s been a collection. When you imagine that Christianity consists of roughly 2.5 billion followers, which is one third of the population of the world, who buy Bibles, donate to the Church, and provide televangelists with financial support in the hope that god will protect them, as that nice man with the pearly white teeth on the TV says he will if you give me money, then the Church will use any method to continue the cash flow. I used to work with a Mormon girl, and she was expected to present her church with a portion of her salary every month, as it was her duty.

Why is praying to a god not enough, that they have to ask for money, and considering the land that the churches own, and their tax exemption, they’ve got a nerve asking for money. When religious preachers are travelling by private jet to spread the gospel, then there’s something seriously wrong, when people are starving to death in Africa. Where exactly is the distribution of wealth, when you’ve got preachers like Kenneth Copeland who are worth $850,000,000? Or Ken Ham, who runs the Answers in Genesis foundation, that has a donation button at the top of their website, yet he’s worth $55,000,000, and the land his theme park the ARK Encounter, and his Creation museum sits on is worth $48,000,000. And all of this wealth from being disingenuous, and preying on the gullible.

VATICAN CITY

I’m not for one second claiming that religious foundations don’t help the people in need, but some of the wealthier preachers who reside in the public eye are getting richer and richer, whilst genuine hard working people are suffering every day with health care bills, and cost of living. You also have to bear in mind that the wealth surrounding the churches, especially the Catholic Church is outrageous. Yes, they put money into hospitals, and into education, but large parts of their wealth is unaccounted for as they don’t have any inland revenue to answer to, as they essentially have charity status and don’t pay tax, but this is where it gets interesting; the Catholic Church has spent millions opposing same-sex marriage, but also spent millions to defend and attempt to cover up Priests who sexually abused children, and Nuns. Every time the debate about same-sex marriage comes up in predominantly Catholic states in America, they put forward money to the opposition to attempt to prevent the bill from being passed. How is this morally right, to use money that’s exempt from tax, to use against people that go against the rules of their religion, but at the same time protect sex offending priests?

But it doesn’t end there. There have been several high profile accusations that the Catholic Church has been in allegiance with the Mafia, and the most notorious case was involving God’s banker, Paul Marcinkus, who was president of the Vatican bank for 18 years from 1971. He was allegedly involved in the murder of Pope John Paul I and the collapse of the fraudulent Banco Ambrosiano who had debts of over 1 billion dollars.

The death of John Paul I happened just 33 days after taking on his position, and he was poisoned by cyanide in his sleep. Anthony Raimondi, the nephew of the of the notorious mafia boss, Lucky Luciano, and cousin to Paul Marcinkus, was called to assist in the execution of the Pope as he was claimed to be about to expose a multi-billion dollar fraud conspiracy within the Catholic Church. Anthony Raimondi made the claim in his autobiography, When the Bullet Hits the Bone., but the Pope was said to have died from a heart attack by the coroner, but Raimondi insists that if the Pope was exhumed there’d be traces of valium and cyanide in him.