Does religion make people gullible? You could argue that gullible people are more likely to be religious, as opposed to the other way around, but does that claim have any credibility? First off, let’s define the word ‘gullible’.
Usual definitions of the word ‘gullible’ include:
easily persuaded to believe something.
easily deceived or cheated.
Now let’s look at some of the evidence we have for religion making people gullible.
There have been several cases of people being cheated out of their money, and it happens all the time in one form or another. Take for instance faith healing or witch doctors. Faith healers are either ignorant, or malicious, cheating people out of money and giving them an ineffective placebo in return. And a few months ago, here in New Zealand, witch doctors were cheating the Indian community out of their money, telling them that they could cure them of demons and curses. In fact, most Churches trick people into giving money, telling them that they will be rewarded by God.
Furthermore, religion already demands that people believe what others tell them to. It’s bad enough that you have to accept an ancient book as a fact, but then you have priests, preachers and other ‘holy men’ expressing their opinions and dogma and then claiming that it is the word of God. Dear Christians, If God doesn’t like the way I live, let him tell me, not you. At least I’d be able to verify whether it really is the word of God and not just your opinions disguised as divine will.
Religions also have strong ties with cults, which are just a stronger form of religion. If you already believe that a guy named Jesus, who was the son of God, came down to earth and did all these things, how much of a stretch is it to believe that the random guy on the street corner claiming to be Jesus is not delusional?
If you’re not a logical, intelligent person, religion can make you gullible, and it can make you both delusional and broke. So be careful if a random human is telling you something and claiming that it is the word of God.