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Gordon Taylor

Retired engineer

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Are people of faith in fact gullible?

Gullibility is the belief in something with no substantiating facts to support that something. I contend that if you believe in something based upon Scripture, whichever religion you belong to then you are gullible. That is not to mean evil or stupid but simply gullible. This also differs somewhat from credulous depending on what actions you take in support of your beliefs or faith.

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  • Apr 17 2013: Part 2.

    Are religious people gullible? I don’t necessarily think that religious people are gullible, although some certainly are; there are a lot of gullible people out there. I think that – like any other organization – people align themselves with a religion for many different reasons. I do, however, think people may *remain* religious for different reasons than those who *become* religious. In my view, people who are attracted to the stricter, more fundamentalist sects are generally those who are either unwilling or unable to look within themselves – to trust themselves - for the answers they seek, whatever those answers may be. I’ve met quite a few people over the years who seemed to have – to varying degrees - turned to religion as a way of abdicating their personal responsibility for their life, preferring to hand over their personal power to a spiritual leader and wash their hands of the whole decision-making thing.

    Are people of faith gullible? If gullibility (as used in this conversation) is at work, perhaps it is demonstrated in an unwillingness to believe that they, themselves, are capable of spiritual, emotional or philosophical independence.

    In my experience, the more independent people who do believe in a ‘higher power’, theistic or not – myself, included - tend to view that power as akin to their conscience, an advisor, because they have enough faith in their self. For these people, ‘religion’ – if they desire it - seems to be more about community, a structure that supports them in their desire to do good in the world for their own reasons, not because it is required or demanded of them. These are the people who are ‘religious’ out of genuine love, not fear. I respect people like this. They are not gullible, because their religious participation is an informed choice.

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