A cocoon, either literal or metaphorical, is intended to protect its occupant during a time of change like caterpillars transforming into butterflies. But many people also cocoon themselves against knowledge, when it’s knowledge that is needed to bring about a beneficial metamorphosis. They shut themselves away and refuse to hear or see anything that contradicts the dogma that clouds their minds. This becomes frustratingly obvious when one tries to educate a person buried inside one of the Abrahamic religions.
It doesn’t matter how well you explain a point. It doesn’t matter how obviously false (to everyone else) their beliefs are. They cling to their holy books with a tenacity that I would admire if they weren’t so self-destructive. Sadly, they are unaware of the damage they do to themselves and to the world around them. And of course they’re concerned with what happens to them after they die. It is an act of sheer cruelty to lead these people along, deluding them into thinking they can only avoid eternal torment if they toe one of the Abrahamic lines.
I do however see small signs that the cocoon is starting to crack – that reality is working its way inside the fortress of ignorance. Credible polls show that:
- Overall belief in a personal god is slowly declining.
- Regular church attendance is declining in many parts of the world.
- In some regions, the “nones” have become a significantly large demographic in terms of religious belief.
Sadly, such is not the case everywhere. In the American southeast the majority still cling to their holy books and believe that there is a tangible link between Christianity and patriotism. They have swallowed whole the false notion that America was meant to be a “Christian nation.” In short there is still much work to be done. Religiosity overall is declining, but religious extremism is on the rise.
Yet even in the Bible Belt, there are small signs of progress. More and more I see memes on social media claiming…
Well, with all the in the world nowadays, do you suppose they really believe that? It sounds more like they’re trying to convince themselves, or perhaps each other. Perhaps some of them are beginning to have doubts, and those doubts can be frightening. But doubts lead to questions. This is when it’s important to be there for our theist friends and give them the honest answers they deserve.
Then again, theists love an echo chamber. I often get chastised for even the mildest contrarian comments when they post this stuff. Perhaps this is because even lay Christians in the past could speak from a position of authority. Nowadays many people tend to laugh at them or even react with hostility. In short, enlightened people have had enough of theist’s nonsense – not just Christians, but all of them.
As mentioned above, another encouraging sign is the rising number of “Nones” in America. These are people with varying degrees of belief (few are devout), who do not identify with any church or denomination. And many of them are young people, while the bulk of America’s devout / devoted / deluded Christians are much older. It would appear that attrition has chosen the right side.
Still the “cocoon” is a frightfully powerful weapon against enlightenment. And with the desperation to believe displayed by so many, there are plenty of charlatans out there waiting to take advantage of them. Consider the image below from “Prophet William.” I visited his FB page. He’s a self-aggrandizing blowhard with over sixty thousand followers on Facebook. And yet a lady I know personally shared this shit, and she isn’t the sort to do so if she did not believe it.
It saddens me to think that people I know and care about have been so badly deluded by their own desperate need to believe in their god. And it is desperation. In recent times it isn’t a need for truth that drives theists. It is a desperate need just to believe. They seem to feel they have no worth without their god, and so they must believe the dogma regardless of what the facts may be.
Our lives and therefore our worth are up to each of us. Our purpose in life, if we have one, is up to us. Look outside your cocoon. Dare to doubt. Dare to question. The answers might be a wonderful surprise for you.
Sources and Related Reading
- US Map Image Credit: Hakan Erbaslar
- Only 43 Percent of Americans Identify as White Christians
- Irreligion in the US