Humans are pretty adaptive and can thrive in slavery circumstances – as long as there is no social cognitive dissonance telling them that they are not slaves. Being forced to pretend your condition is something other than the condition makes existing in the condition worse.
Sort of like how people can live for decades under extreme dictators as long as they aren’t forced to vote and pretend the country is a democracy – after a while, people end up ousting the dictator and becoming a democracy or living under another dictator who doesn’t pretend it’s anything other than.
Religion is not only the opiate of the masses, it is the social mechanism of cognitive dissonance to assert humanity’s specialness – well some of humanity, the ones lucky enough to be born at a time and place where the one true religion just happens to being practiced and they get born into a family who observes it or at least into a society that doesn’t persecute it, anyway – in a vast and indifferent universe that wholly exceeds human scalability.
No matter how big and huge the universe is, the whole kit and caboodle is there for humans, no matter that we can’t see or hear or smell or taste or touch most of it, to the farthest point on the universe’s rim or down to the tiniest sub atomic particle.
Which is why, given the vast scale – both to the edge of the universe down to the smallest atom – of the universe and everything in it, that any god(s) is/are patently ridiculous.
Particularly a god(s) that has the capacity to poof or wish or sneeze or fart the whole scalable and fractalish universe into existence and who would then be at all concerned with what people did or didn’t do – and to who – with their genitals.
The universe is exactly what we could expect of a natural universe without any need for supernatural fiddling to make things appear as a natural universe.
Which is why religious people work so hard to gain numbers on their side – as if by having enough people beleive in a particular god and practice a mode of worship the natural universe will somehow conform to these specifications.
That the universe doesn’t and that believers continue to try to make it appear as if there’s a god is a bafflement, given how intolerable it is to have an unresolvable understanding of the universe and a wish for how we would like it to be.
Humans can exist very well without gods – but gods are nothing without humans to worship them – which has always made me wonder why a being or beings with capabilities beyond human capacity would need mere humans to worship them.
A personality failing that makes deities rather less than divinities. Insecurity and vanity – especially on the order of worship me or suffer eternal punishment – aren’t attractive qualities in anyone.
I am inclined to think that religious believers are entirely tortured, caught between rationality and supernatural fears, playing Pascal’s Wager as if their lives depended upon it, because they want to believe it does and unable to accept that other people are simply not compelled to act as themselves – out of fear of non-conformity, fear of supernatural agents and their threats – living as if religion could be true – when living as if it’s not wouldn’t make much of a difference in their lives – except to reduce the fear and anxiety, the righteousness, the constant striving to meet a standard of conduct that is unclear and unforgiving. To live a life that is not entirely your own.
It’s exhausting just thinking about it, the burden that can be put down by letting go of gods and living with yourself and other humans, human scale, human time.