Your family talks about it and forces you to pray with them from an early age. You are taken to the church or mosque and even your respected school teachers appear to believe in a god. We even see the President praying!
All around you people are continually repeating their beliefs and appear to have personal emotional experiences. You are told, or you assume, your doubts, or lack of experiences, are because you are not ‘spiritually mature’. Why assume everyone else’s personal experiences must be real because they seem to believe in them so fervently?
When we are surrounded by so many people who all believe the same thing, we start to feel they must be right. Yet we have many examples of things everyone once believed – that the sun travelled around the earth, or the gods of the early religions – that were wrong. Facts are not determined by how many people believe in them.
Yet beliefs are simply opinions. They are not facts because they are not based on evidence. Because we feel something doesn’t make it real. We know our minds are subject to all kinds of false perceptions.
When we experience doubts about religion it is our rational mind telling us something does not make sense. Religious belief systems have a way of protecting themselves from this. They claim it is Satan tempting you, God testing you, lack of spiritual growth and even a concept called The Dark Night of the Soul.
You are probably made to feel bad for having these doubts. But using your brain is a good thing. Developing our understanding of the world and ourselves by thinking logically is the way we improve ourselves. The more we suppress our doubts the stronger they will become.
The Humanist Society of Ghana is a growing group of young, mostly Ghanaian, men and women who no longer accept the existence of the gods and goddesses. It’s not easy to be an independent thinker but you are not alone.
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightening.
But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.