Religion for comfort

The only argument that I have heard in favor of religion that I accept secular life doesn’t provide is comfort. Similarly, the only good argument for homeopathy is that it exploits the placebo effect for conditions that are vague or possibly psychosomatic.

But if we accept that the only worthwhile point of religion is to be comforting, why do people flock to a handful of common ones? Do things have to be true to be comforting? I guess lies seem more true if more people believe the same ones. Wouldn’t it be better if every person just made up their own mythology? I’m sure there are things about the Christian god that most find unpleasant. Any notions of hell, sin, jealousy, vengeance, pestilience, commandments, judging etc. don’t seem at all comforting.

The beauty of making someone up is that you can make them to your exact specifications. Don’t like jealousy? Your god doesn’t have to be jealous. Want to be accepted and loved unconditionally? Declare it as true. Want your god to have stunning ice blue eyes and a heart-melting smile? Then he* does. Want to attribute your misplaced keys to your god lovingly playing a prank on  you? Will it make you smile? If you ask him, maybe he’ll tell you where they are! I’m sure that anyone reading this can make up a genesis story and a deity far more interesting, pleasant and comforting than the god of any common religion.

If it’s just the comfort you seek, make up your own god. Then you don’t have to be beholden to anyone else’s interpretation of your holy books. You don’t have to follow any dogma you don’t want to. Your god won’t have a single flaw or a contradiction if you create him just so. Just engineer him to be whatever makes you happiest.

* As always, gendered pronouns for convenience.

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