Comforting. Really?

When challenged to defend religion or just the belief in god(s), a common defense deployed is it provides comfort. hope and etc. This also a common argument from sympathetic non-believers when confronted with anti-theistic or anti-religious sentiments.

This defense is fallacious and, in my opinion, superficial. And in the context of particular religions, it is an utterly warped idea.

The Fallacy
That which is comforting is not necessarily true. It is a fallacy easily understood but frequently overlooked when it is committed (as is the case of this defense).

The truth value of a claim does not depend on the amount of comfort it offers. The truth can be painful; A lie can be comforting. An example of a comforting lie is the security blanket. The blanket itself does not provide any security apart from tactile comfort. But the belief that it does provides the same effect.

I don't think I need to push this point further - This should be easily understood.

Preferring Lies
When such a defense is made when the truth of a religion is in question, it carries with it implicitly that a comforting lie is more preferable over actual facts. I personally don't agree with this but if someone wants to believe comforting falsehoods, that's his/her prerogative. It becomes objectionable though if he/she takes steps to make others believe in his nonsense.

Granted that someone may actually value comfort over truth, I am unable to accept that something is still comforting if you actually knew it was false. If I was in those shoes, I'd be hard pressed to find any shred of comfort at all after realizing that it's a falsehood.

From this point of view, it is not surprising that this argument is made by sympathetic non-believers. If they were believers, I'd think that they would find such an argument pretty condescending - "Oh they don't care about truth, they just want to feel good."

In any case, such comforts afforded by a belief is superficial if the belief itself is false of unsubstantiated.

Comforting? Seriously?
I find this defense ironic in the case of the Abrahamic faiths, especially Christianity.

Just think about it, which part of believing that:
A sky-daddy overseeing this universe under his totalitarian rule and he shall judge who shall qualify entry into heaven (though he already knew beforehand whom shall and shall not enter heaven or hell before he even created anything at all). This same sky-daddy allegedly loves you and answers your prayers occasionally only if it is part of his divine plan by miraculously messing with the laws of nature if need be.

However, you're a miserable wretch because your ancestors committed the original sin which the sky-daddy should have seen coming. Somehow you and all descendants alike, who had nothing to do with that, has to take the blame according to his game rules. On top of that, the only way he could forgive humanity was via the blood sacrifice of his only son (who, apparently, is also himself). His son, or himself, went to suffer in hell for 3 days before he un-dies to return to heaven to be with his father, or himself.

Where on Earth is the comfort?!

Thou shalt not silence me

I think it's time Psalm 14:1 gets a proper reply,

The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; The honest says it out loud.

The plight of unbelievers everywhere is the result of decades of silence. With "respect", the majority of the non-religious kept their noses out of religious idiocy and zealotry. Some may have held the belief that as humanity matures, religiosity will fade into the abyss along with other superstitions.

They were wrong. At some point, I was wrong.

As with any debate or discussion, sitting in the corner and letting your opponent unleash an all out assault isn't going to win you points. Keeping quiet for so long, the religious majority climbed over our heads and took the liberty of cleaning their feet with our hair.

Moderates and liberals aren't extremists like their fundamentalist counterparts but that doesn't absolve them from this issue. Even liberals make patronizing (if not condescending) statements like "they just haven't found god" or "they know in their hearts that there is a god".

This isn't a declaration of a holy war. While vocal atheists are frequently stamped with the "militant" label, there is literally nothing militant about us. The only "violence" we do is with words.

Respect is mutual. If the religious can and indeed do make statements like "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God" (on a huge banner outside their church), then too can play that game.

I think religions are wrong.

I think the religious concept of morality is immature and weak.

I think god, as described by certain religions, is unjust if not evil.

I think the evidence points the other way.

I think the good done by religions does not even come close to justifying the bad.

I think you're better than your god.

I shan't just think, I shall speak my mind.

Thou shalt silence me no more.