I wrote some time ago of the statistically provable increase in happiness a sure and certain belief in a god and provident universe could confer, and how this was about as relevant to the truth of such beliefs as intellectual integrity is to… such beliefs. Still, not everyone values integrity over lackwit miserable ease, and so those beliefs are still touted with astonishing persistence at all of us when we are least able to filter out nonsense.
A personal idiosyncrasy is that I find the harm caused by the removal of something even ostensibly positive is harm of a particularly insidious kind. And it is something I had to go through at a fairly young age, once I’d realised the actual nature of the world. It is not a comfortable realisation when not even out of single figure age, having to consider if the adults were lying to you, or just stupid. And, since what atheist literature there is about this loss is sparse and generally intellectually difficult, it leaves a serious and despairing gap. A gap capacious in both darkness and duration.
I’m sure it would generate no dissent to say that religion persists in the more intellectually deficient in society. There are many routes to atheism, but a major highway is simply being unable to swallow the utterly inconsistent and irrelevant claims and commitments all religion requires, and this is the function of a functioning brain. And it is this thought which makes it surprising to me that even parents who are unconvinced by religion often still allow it to indoctrinate their children. Perhaps they hope that those children will find and retain the comfort of believing there is any point to anything. But in doing so they seem to be making a somewhat unfortunate bet: that their children will be too stupid to think their way out of delusion.
And, if those children turn out to be sufficiently intelligent to make this escape, they are automatically condemned to have a wrenching loss of worldview. Religion never stopped with wanting to explain the provenance of the universe, it had ambition and reached into everything.
It is almost as if there is no real upside to allowing the memetic corruption of minds.