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Eventually I came back around to reality, but the crutch had done its job and allowed me to get my footing without the need to use alcohol or drugs. So I understand that people are at different places in their lives and some need the crutch of faith or religion to get by.
It took us a long time to evolve to our present state and giving credence to a causal agency was the best/safest evolutionary track for our survival. E.g. the weeds are moving because there's a tiger, so run, if true you save yourself, if false no harm and you forget, vs. the weeds are moving and it IS a tiger, you attribute it to the wind and so get eaten!
If you really want to test your faith don't have surgery and try to pray away the tumor.
I know many people who use religion as comfort and the common denominator is their fear and fragile emotional condition. Being an atheist leaves one metaphorically out in the cold, cruel universe with the realization that we are only here for the briefest of moments and then will be gone forever. Our loved ones once dead, are gone forever. We will not be seeing them again in the afterlife (BTW, one of the BEST episodes of Dinosaurs ever! see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_awql5z_Xg ), we will not be reunited with friends, family and our long lost pets.
Of course on the plus side, we also won't be thrown into a fiery pit full of all kinds of nasty demons torturing our burning bodies for eternity either.
Forcing some people to face these realities can leave them seriously depressed and in some cases suicidal. So I don't recommend forcing people to reject their faith or trying to talk them out of their beliefs. It's better, IMO, to be open about your own beliefs and if brought into a discussion or debate then to make one's case against a faith based system. For example, pointing out that EVERYONE in the cancer ward is praying to be saved (or almost everyone) from their cancer, yet very few will be. Or asking if that one person who survives and airplane crash that kills hundreds, including children and infants, is so much more worthy of being saved.
Studies show that people of faith are happier than atheists, while atheists have a more realistic understanding of the world. *They* don't say Ignorance is bliss for nothing!