How is losing your faith the best thing that could happen? It starts with answering the question, what is the difference between faith and confidence? Understanding how religion uses faith and cultural folklore will give you the freedom to choose a new path. Are you ready for this adventure?
We can infuse words with almost any meaning. Semantics is the study of how languages attach meaning to terms. When someone says it’s just semantics, they argue that the words mean the same thing. But the difference between the concept of religious faith and confidence is not close.
What’s the Difference Between Faith and Confidence?
Confidence is the “high degree of certainty” that something will occur. It is something that we can test. For instance, there is a high probability that the sun will rise and set. We build this degree of confidence in the evidence of sunrises and sunsets.
Faith is the belief in things that have no proof. Faith is a concept that religion substitutes for common sense and reasoning. The belief in religion is a slippery slope. It often includes imaginary friends and enemies or Gods and Devils. So, why is losing my faith in these fictional entities so important?
So, belief is the tool of religions to override common sense. Logic is the difference between faith and confidence.
“Any man who stands for progress has to criticize, disbelieve and challenge every item of the old faith. Item by item, he has to reason out every nook and corner of the prevailing faith. If, after considerable reasoning, one is led to believe in any theory or philosophy, his faith is welcomed. His reasoning can be mistaken, wrong, misled, and sometimes fallacious. But he is liable to correction because reason is the guiding star of his life. But mere faith and blind faith is dangerous: it dulls the brain and makes a man reactionary.” — Bhagat Singh
It’s The Best Thing That Could Happen
Being freed from the delusion of religious “magical thinking” will put your life on solid ground. Losing that which confines and binds the mind is a good thing. It all starts with understanding how culture twists our confidence into something it can control.
Scientifically verifiable processes are the basis for a healthy spiritual practice. It is the difference between faith and confidence in fairy tales and confidence in facts and evidence.
The Slippery Slope of Faith
Faith begins with the acceptance of the existence of imaginary friends and enemies. It seems innocent enough on the surface. But, this is also the door that makes the mind susceptible to other baseless ideas. If you can accept that the imaginary friend exists, it becomes easy to believe in an imaginary enemy’s existence. It’s the basic concept of the black and white fallacy underlying dualism.
Dualism is an oversimplified way to categorize perception. It acts like blinders. It makes it possible to ignore or reject any information that doesn’t fit within the boundaries of their worldview. It also supports the idea that religious prejudice is not only acceptable; it is preferable.
Mitigated dualism is the basis of the Abrahamic or Semitic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. It’s a belief system where one imaginary entity is superior to a second imaginary friend or enemy. They didn’t create this contradictory doctrine; they adopted it along with the superstition and mythology of those who made these systems. The Semitic religions result from rebranding Assyrian, Persian, and Babylonian mystery religions.
This flawed philosophy contains many contradictions and illogical premises. And it’s why these religions need interpreters, priests, and teachers. They need to explain away the problems inherent in the system. They use groupthink manipulation tactics to present mythology as fact.
So, if someone doesn’t believe in the same imaginary friend, they are not acceptable. And the slippery slope continues downward. Once they are accepted, it justifies discrimination, prejudice, and bias of all kinds. It justifies harmful actions from genocide, racial, ethnic, to gender mutilation and discrimination. But these negative beliefs are okay because their belief system says it is acceptable to their imaginary friend.
The Benefits of Losing Your Faith
Sometimes a picture can instantly convey the idea. What is the difference between faith and confidence? When I get this question, I think of the image above. It contrasts mythology and science. Of course, the top portion is the famous picture by Leonardo Da Vinci of “The Last Supper.” The bottom part is the same scene, but with prominent scientists who have positively impacted the world.
The bottom portion of the image includes, from left to right, Galileo Galilei, Marie Curie, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Thomas Edison, Aristotle, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, and Charles Darwin.
The benefits of living your life free of mythology and superstition are far-reaching. It starts with you. Without the artificial boundaries imposed by religion, you will see the world much differently. It will make you a freethinker who can see things from a universal perspective instead of a tribal worldview.
When you have a universal perspective, you can make better decisions that will be good for you and everyone in your circle of influence. Your circle of influence is far greater than you realize. Everything we do has a ripple effect in the lives of those we touch.
And this is why losing your faith is the best thing that could happen. It is healthy for you and the world. If you want to positively impact your life and those in your circle of influence, you will lose your imaginary friends and enemies.
Faith and belief are boundaries. The fewer limitations you have, the more clearly you can think. When you see the bias and prejudice that underlies your thinking, then you can change it. Clarifying your thinking is beneficial to you and everyone in your circle of influence.
1) Become a Freethinker
You can become a freethinker. Leo Tolstoy is the first to use the term and define it, but other respected writers and thinkers resonate with the same idea.
“My ancestors were Freethinkers — and that’s what I am, except we’re called secular humanists now.” — Kurt Vonnegut
“The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive. However, I am also not a “Freethinker” in the usual sense of the word because I find that this is in the main an attitude nourished exclusively by an opposition against naive superstition. My feeling is insofar religious as I am imbued with the consciousness of the insufficiency of the human mind to understand deeply the harmony of the Universe, which we try to formulate as “laws of nature.” It is this consciousness and humility I miss in the Freethinker mentality. Sincerely yours, Albert Einstein.” — Albert Einstein
A freethinker is someone who sees through the veil of cultural programming. More importantly, they can remove this negative programming from their minds. They cultivate the use of logical reasoning and common sense. They develop keen observational skills and learn how to harness the power of their intuitions. It’s a combination of right and left brain skills that result in a greater level of intuitive and analytical reasoning.
Becoming a freethinker is the best thing that could happen for you and the world.
The dominant cultural narrative skews the definition of reason and common sense. When influenced by cultural folklore, we reflect its bias and prejudice. It makes us more susceptible. We become more likely to accept other things that are not factual. They produce value judgments on a sliding scale that overrides our common sense.
For instance, ask a group of people if they are law-abiding citizens. 100% will answer yes. But then ask them if they went over the speed limit in the last week? Most people break some human-made law at least once a day.
2) Return to our Original State of Innocence
We are born without beliefs, without the belief in gods. It makes us all natural-born atheists. In this original state, we live in happiness and joy. When we lose our faith in mythology, we are free to think. We can return to the original state of innocence. To do this, we must overcome the fears that maintain our beliefs.
The best thing that could happen for your psyche is to regain your innocence. If you are curious, there are three ways to approach the subject of God; faith, experience, and reason. Some people choose one, and many use all three.
“Newborn children represent perfection and the state of being to which each of us is duty-bound to return. In the instant after you were born, you were fearless, pure love, innocent, infinitely wise, of boundless potential and beautifully connected with the unseen hand that created the universe. Most of us on the planet today have lost this connection to our authentic selves, this original state of being in which we were unafraid to walk toward possibility and reach for the stars. We have forgotten who we are.” ― Robin S. Sharma
3) Become a Kind Person
Once you return to your natural state of being, several doors open. The virtues of the spirit lead us on the path of kindness. You can go almost everywhere when you are on this path. Most people will accept those who are kind and considerate.
Yes, some will reject and scorn you for developing a conscience. Sadly, some greedy, prejudiced, and biased people find their way into positions of power. Don’t let this deter you from becoming a kind freethinker making the world a better place. Become a kind person. It is a legacy that touches the lives of many people. It will result in a more humanist-centered mindset. Cultivating a humanist mindset is the best thing you can do for the world.
Losing Your Faith ― Overcoming Fear
Our beliefs about reality come from the programming that we receive. Most of this programming occurs in our youth when we are most susceptible to programming. It usually comes from people we trust, parents, and spiritual leaders.
God is a powerful metaphor, and organized religions use this metaphor as a tool for recruitment and retention. It links your faith to your relationships and even your livelihood. It’s another tactic to keep you a customer. They use these social systems to cement you into their belief system and keep you from asking questions. Heaven forbid, pun intended, that you become a freethinker.
You can skip this section if you don’t believe in an imaginary friend or enemy. If you believe in religion, losing your faith is probably very scary. Your faith is likely a large part of your personal identity, which is their real goal. It keeps you a customer. And it makes you an advocate for whatever agenda they want you to follow.
You can overcome these fears. You can take some practical steps to reduce anxiety and increase the joy in your life. Negative cultural programming comes from organized religion. Religions know how to target those who they convert into paying customers. Two groups are their favorite targets, children and people in crisis.
Young children are easy targets. They have open minds and accept the direction of adults whom they trust. Children think their parents act in their best interests. But, if a parent is indoctrinated into a religious cult, they pass this mythology and superstition onto their children.
Children unlucky enough to be born into a family and culture immersed in religious dogma are most likely to stay within the cult. Since they are victims of forced indoctrination, they don’t have a choice except to follow along. It becomes harder to think without religious bias when you live your whole life in the cult.
Children do not distinguish fact from fantasy, especially when trained to accept mythology over facts. The need to be a part of the cult becomes their only option. They take on the beliefs of the cult as their individual identity. Membership in the cult is a necessity.
There are ways to reverse this programming, such as “the unconventional approach to saving a believer.” However, these processes take a substantial investment in time and effort.
Many clinicians and social scientists believe this type of forced indoctrination is a form of psychological child abuse. Richard Dawkins noted scientist is one of those who hold this opinion. Others believe that as long as there is no apparent harm to the child, it is not child abuse. It is simply the structured indoctrination of established tradition.
“I am persuaded that ‘child abuse’ is no exaggeration when used to describe what teachers and priests are doing to children whom they encourage to believe in something like…eternal Hell.” — Richard Dawkins
People in Crisis
The other group organized religions target are those who are having a crisis. It doesn’t matter what kind of dilemma; loss of loved ones, emotional or financial problems, broken relationships, or just existential fear. When you are in trouble, you are vulnerable. When you are vulnerable, you are susceptible to brainwashing.
It’s why basic training of military personnel follows a pattern of breaking down the psyche of recruits. They create a crisis to program people to kill other people under the guise of patriotism and nationalism.
Religion also creates crisis as well; They threaten people with Hell.
“The cynic about human nature might say that religious morality is an effective way of keeping people in line. The threat of Hell, the reward of heaven, but the rules of the holy books are out of date and often barbaric.” — Richard Dawkins
Religion uses any crisis to make converts because converts turn into paying customers. You pay the tab by accepting and protecting their ideology. You pay dues or what they call “tithing.” You pay by conforming to their religious superstition and mythology.
The need to believe and support the doctrine and dogma of the cult overcomes the ability to use common sense and reason. You would think people would see through the sham, but many people live in cultures dominated by religious extremism.
How to Lose Your Religion
1) Test Your Path
The first thing we recommend you do is to prove your path. I test my path regularly. See if your spiritual direction will make you the person who leaves a positive mark on this world. Testing is how to find a just and verdant belief system. It is the only way to get where you want to go in your spiritual work.
We also recommend you use the practical strategy of using emotional checks. It’s a proven strategy to help you stay on track and keep you clear-headed. It is essential when you walk on the sacred ground of your worldview.
2) Question the Cultural Narrative
Next, become like a child. Learn to ask questions again. If you ask any pastor, preacher, or priest, they will tell you that young children ask the most challenging questions. Many Sunday school teacher learns to lose their faith because of children’s insightful questions. If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t he kill Satan? Why are there so many versions of our perfect religion? If God loves and forgives everyone, why did he create Hell?
So, learn to question the cultural narrative. It is not your fault if you are a victim of systematic indoctrination as a child. However, it is your responsibility to correct this negative programming as an adult. Otherwise, you will perpetuate negative prejudice and bias.
“Religious people claim that it’s just the fundamentalists of each religion that cause problems. But, there’s got to be something wrong with the religion itself if those who strictly adhere to its most fundamental principles are violent bigots and sexists.” — David G. Mcafee
3) Focus On Consciousness Development
The best thing that you can do is become a better person. The world needs people able to think and solve problems. It’s good for you and the world. So, focus on developing and developing your awareness. Find tools to enhance your ability to learn and to think critically. Find teachers that show ways to expand your awareness and investigate higher states. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a follower.
If you practice techniques to expand awareness, you can free yourself from the burden of religious dogma. These tools unlock the gifts in your mind. If you use these tools, you’ll eventually become a freethinker. We divide these tools into four major categories:
Many of these techniques can be learned by reading. You’ll find many here on our website. Some of the more advanced techniques benefit from personal instruction. We offer virtual learning events that can be tailored to any experience level.
The best thing you can do for yourself and the world is losing your prejudice and bias. Remember the difference between confidence and faith. Faith and belief are slippery slopes that lead to the source of damaging bigotry and prejudice. Organized religion is the machine pushing this negative programming. So, please make losing your faith a goal. You can do it. Help make the world a better place to live.
If you have suggestions for future research, comments or questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.