When we are born into a religion and embrace that religion, how do we explain it to ourselves?
I find three possible assumptions:
I was very lucky. I was born into the right religion for me. It is the right path, whether I see it as the “one true” path or not.
All religions are valid paths to God, so I may as well stay with this one since it is familiar and easily available to me.
Or I do it for social reasons, for acceptance and the social network and support. There may be things that don’t feel quite right to me, but I am willing to live with it since the benefits are greater.
Each of these are very valid reasons. And the last one – doing it for social reasons – is probably the most frequent one, perhaps supported by one or both of the other ones.
In any case, it is good to notice.
And it is good to notice that we all do this in different ways, in other areas than religion. We are all born into a culture and certain subcultures, and accept and adopt much of it even if there are good alternatives out there.
Trigger: Remembering conversations in elementary school with other atheist kids on how weird it was that many accept the religion they happen to be born into. I still see it that way, but hopefully with more understanding – and even some appreciation.