Religion: man's attempt to communicate
with the weather
We have seen that Christianity was once thought to be provable,
using either physical evidence or rational argument. For most
Christians this position has not been tenable since the nineteenth
century, if not before. We have seen that since this position
has been abandoned there has been a much greater emphasis on
the importance of faith. We have also seen that there are reasons
to regard faith as not altogether reliable. This invites an
obvious question. If Christianity has no rational basis, and
if faith is unreliable, why should anyone believe in it?
In this section we will work from the assumption that Christian
beliefs are mistaken and look at some possible reasons why such
beliefs are held. To do this we will review some facets of human
behaviour. We will start by considering human credulity. We
will also look at superstition and enquire why it should exist.
We will then go on to look at the relationship between religion
and superstition. We will then turn to arguments that Christian
ideas are attributable to natural deep-seated psychological
desires. Finally, we will look at the question of how easy or
difficult it is to set up a successful new religion.