“Why you ultimately can’t be allowed to believe whatever you want without facing criticism.”
(I’ll be paraphrasing Sam Harris here.)
I just want to contradict part of a common hippy logic that we should be allowed to believe in fantasies if they make us happy, or if we are weak and need them to survive. It often goes that they think that anyone who is invested in crapping on their fantasies is an a-hole. Undoubtably there are a-holes, but I think many of us do it benignly because we recognize the danger of bad ideas and if you will be living in the same society as everyone else, then your beliefs and their potential consequences are not an entirely private matter. If you’re going to vote, then it’s not just about you anymore, and you need to grow up and enter the arguments and face the music that you don’t want to hear. Most atheists do not enjoy inflicting emotional distress by telling vulnerable Christians that there is no Santa Clause, but there’s a kind of moral responsibility that can’t be ignored.
If each of us lived apart in our own prison cells, then there would be no harm in believing whatever we want. But there is obvious potential harm from letting someone live within fantasies which we can liken to having a bugged operating system. You never know when the vulnerability will be exploited. The people will also vote and if they don’t know what they are doing then their actions will affect everyone else. Often there doesn’t seem to be any immediate harm in letting someone believe a falsehood (such as that the Earth is flat.) However, since you can never be sure of what the future holds lies are not good in the long-term even if they’re convenient. Because a flaw that seemed harmless can suddenly become significant when the world changes, such as when scientists made findings in STEM cell research, and then the religious conservatives turned reactionary and slowed down science because no one fixed their religious operating system.
Christians would be much better of believing there isn’t such a being, and you’ll be able to see a much more complicated world. Unfortunately, their belief system makes it so that you can discover there really isn’t any debate. Because you simply aren’t going to convince someone that has convinced themself that everything you say that is contrary to their conviction is part of a coverup–as with every argument you’ll have with a flat-earther.