Belief in the Lack of Belief
The author, Matthew, shares his views on the negative aspects of belief, and tells us that he actually believes in the lack of belief itself. He describes the fact that wars and general struggle are usually nested in a single belief or idea. This belief or idea is usually not proven to be true, but simply believed by the promoters. He goes on to talk about God, and the fact that there are millions of people who believe with all of their heart that he exists, though they have never seen proof nor do they seek it. In the end, Matthew is saying that humans are gullible in their beliefs, and that it is highly likely that there is no God, no greater purpose for our lives, and we are unable to accept that. He has a realistic view of the world, in seeing what is, and not what could be.
I think that Matthew has some very good points throughout his essay, but there are many places where he jumps around and avoids the counter arguments. What do we have without belief? It is human nature to believe in a better tomorrow in order to make today more manageable. Whether tomorrow is brighter or not is irrelevant, because either way, the belief that it will be makes today easier and more enjoyable. Much of our lifestyle is based on delayed gratification and the belief that we will be rewarded for our 4 years of college. It is a belief, not a fact, that we will have a higher paying job and a better lifestyle as a result of the hard work we put in today.
Now if we take this idea to the next level, belief in an afterlife makes our current life more enjoyable and productive, at least in some ways. Matthew may argue that blind belief in an afterlife is simply blissful ignorance that comes from fear of the unknown, but how can someone be called ignorant if no one knows the answer? To say that there is no afterlife seems just as absurd as saying there is a perfect heaven for everyone who loves their neighbor, but neither one can be judged ignorant or wrong.
Finally, belief has unarguably good applications in the world today. Many religious beliefs cater to peaceful solutions and generosity towards fellow human beings. For example, because Christians believe in an afterlife, and they believe that loving their neighbor and helping those who are not as fortunate as themselves will get them into this beautiful afterlife, many poor and needy humans benefit. Overall, I think the negative aspects of belief are just a small part of everything that is belief.