Humans have always believed in Gods and spirits. There are many beliefs as to what happens after a person dies. It is sad to lose a loved one, and the dream of there being something after death is comforting to family and loved ones left behind.
I like the festival for the the spirits which the Japanese celebrate, called Obon. This mid-summer holiday is when the the spirits are welcomed back for a celebration in their honor. A joyous and serious event, after which the spirits return to the spirit world they came from. Then there are the religious who believe in a cycle of reincarnation. These, generally polytheistic, animistic, naturalistic religions, for the most part, are of this world. The monotheists, specifically the Jews, Christians and Muslims, believe that their God rules not only the earth and everyone on it, but the entire universe. They believe that they, the so named children of God, are special. They believe that there is a purpose for the creation of earth and the life on it. Whatever that purpose is, the ultimate end is death, salvation/reincarnation and an afterlife in heaven.
How is this delusion ever going to be erased? The belief in God and salvation have been so normalized that many people are shocked at someone not believing in God. Only by education and a stiff resistance to the delusion that human beings are a special case in the evolution of life on earth, can this delusion be erased.
In Sam Harris’ book, The End of Faith, he states in the Epilogue, p 224: “Of course one senses that the problem is hopeless. What could possibly cause billions of human beings to reconsider their religious beliefs? And yet, it is obvious that an utter revolution in our thinking could be accomplished in a single generation: if parents and teachers would merely give honest answers to the questions of every child.”
When I first read this some dozen or so years ago, I took it as a call to end the delusion of a creator-god. To become addicted to grog, to take in the full realization that everything is natural, that life is what we make it, for ourselves and for each other. GROG alot