Letter to the Editor: Why do so many people believe without evidence?

Reader Larry Benson talks about two recent columns about cults and prejudice

It’s not often that our regular columnist, Rich Elfers, In Focus, and a guest columnist Robert Whale, Whale’s Tales, coalesce in such a way as they did, in my opinion, on Sept. 6.

While Rich Elfers is able to refer expertly to cults (“Getting out of a cult int he age of cults”), having lived in one in his youth, it is also from his personal pursuit of knowledge that Robert Whale comes to a similar conclusion (“Open your eyes and avoid the stains of prejudice”).

I quote him here: “It’s tragic to see human beings fortify their biases in the teeth and forehead of all evidence to the contrary. Tragic, because in the end it is a refusal to learn from life, and to rise to better versions of ourselves.”

It is unfortunate, that we, meaning all of us human beings, for the most part have been heavily influenced by many different cults throughout history, because if you look at our time on this earth objectively, which unfortunately most of humanity does not do when it comes to what they chose to put their faith in, you can easily see that all of organized religion, no matter how long it has existed, are nothing more than cults.

Rich Elfers says we need only follow the money, the Catholic church takes in $25 billion dollars, Robert Whale looks at the way man has looked down on women’s supposed lack of intelligence as a way to “keep women in their place,” the taliban in Afghanistan, the Ayatollahs in Iran, and the leaders of most of christian faiths not allowing women to be in positions of power.

The majority of us follow a rudimentary form of the scientific method in our daily lives, ie. choosing to shop around and compare prices and quality when making a large purchase being just one example, but when it comes to control of our spiritual lives, and in some cases our political leanings, we accept many things we should not with no evidence whatsoever and in some cases, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

A prime example is the cult of personality we are mired in currently and the refusal of his followers to believe what is right in front of their faces. Why we continue down this path of believing without evidence leads to only one conclusion, that many of us hold these beliefs because they coincide with what we want to believe and not through any well thought out process which would lead us to an informed conclusion. Just sayin’.

Larry Benson