reply to post by karl 12
Actually you are right but not completely on the right track (IMO).. Here is the dilemma with religion in my view..
Let's say one day Joe Shmoe has an "awakening" of some kind. He decides to focus his attention on catholicism because of what good things he's
heard about it from family and friends. Joe becomes introduced and "indoctrinated" into his new faith.
The problem with Joe is the same problem everyone in every other religion has. Statistically, any one religion you decide to believe in is going to
be a false religion. Once Joe Shmoe devotes himself to a specific faith-based belief system, he is instantly involved with a religious faith that is
a tiny percentage/fraction of all religions and faith-based beliefs around the world. The numbers are stacked against Joe from the very start because
the majority of the world thinks their own faith is the "true" faith while all others are "false".
Also, the problem you are talking about in your post doesn't really have anything to do with "choosing" a religion as if religions are boxes of
cereal at the supermarket (although its disturbingly true since any religion will usually welcome new believers with open arms. People can,
technically, change religions anytime they want. There is big, tax-free money to be made through religion!! "God" could always use a little more
of it too.). The problem is how people look at religion like some kind of teenage craze sweeping the nation. Religion should not be about someone
one day saying "Hey, I'm going to be catholic today". In fact, IMO, religion is irrelevant when it comes to a human faith-based belief in God.
YES.. You can believe in God without being religious. You can be perfectly humble, teach your kids good ethical values, and be a good person without
having to subscribe to any form of organised religion at all. If people have some kind of assumption that without religion you are lost, then they,
themselves, have no idea what they're talking about.
It's almost as if religion is the stupid man's belief system in which Joe Shmoe can't really decide what he wants to believe in, so organised
religion is the answer because that religion tells Joe Shmoe what is right, wrong, expected of him, and they put a very ominous-looking carrot in
front of his face called eternal damnation. But why can't we just "believe" what we want to believe by making up our own damn minds? Is everyone
so mind-numbingly stupid that the only way they can find god is by being religious? Well, maybe some people are.. but I know for a fact that there
are alot of really intelligent religious people out there who probably constantly question the very faith they subscribe to...And I know some very
intelligent, non-religious people who are completely content with what they believe..
The problem is that if you believe in something enough, any other viewpoint or opinion that doesn't agree with what you believe in sounds completely
absurd. Maybe even "blasphemous". But regardless of "who is right" and "who is wrong" where god is concerned, noone can ever honestly KNOW
whether or not:
1- They are even right in believing their faith is the one "true faith" while all others are "false" (which, in reality, is scarily
2- Religion/faith in God even matters to God in the first place.
Most religions view god as an omnipotent being. The catch is that humans have free will right? Well, so much for an omnipotent God.. If God has no
power of free-will, then God really isn't all powerful. We are.. The decisions we make have a direct affect on everything around us.
Here's another hypothetical scenario to think about..
In this hypothetical world, the earth exists in a universe created by an all-powerful, omnipotent God. God writes a book, teleports it down to earth,
and it later becomes known as the bible. A bible written by God alone and within this book are guidelines, rules, and principles that, if lived by,
could create a blissful world for humanity free from all evil.
People believe in what is in the book. The belief in this system eventually becomes called a "religion" among mortals here on earth. But,
eventually, people break off from the norm. Humans eventually create thousands of other religions and faith-belief systems separate from the
afformentioned "true faith" originally created by the one true God.
Eventually, a massive portion of society believes in spiritual beliefs other than this one true faith. Honestly, if God is all powerful, then God
would have already known that people would eventually create their own thousands of religions free from God's influence and that the "one true
faith" created by God would eventually become not so important in the grand human scheme of things here on earth. Perhaps the system, created by
god, would eventually become so unimportant to humans on earth it would eventually be forgotten for all time over a period of a few million years.
But now, in this hypothetical scenario, the entire population of the earth doesn't even know that there is one true god-created system in the first
place. Long ago, God made a pact with humankind. If people believed in his system, he would allow them to go to heaven when they died. If people
did not believe in his system, he would send them to burn and suffer for all eternity in the firey pits of Hades when they died. But now, noone
believes in his system and, as God can now see, noone has any knowledge that it ever existed in the first place.
God would then either have to send all humans to suffer and burn in Hades for all eternity OR God would have to cut them some slack and allow them
into heaven regardless of their religious beliefs.
HOWEVER, God would already have known all this would happen before even creating humankind in the first place right? Because although God may not be
able to control free will, God probably would have a pretty good idea of what would eventually happen..
THIS is the problem as I see it. God would NOT have created humanity in the first place if God already knew that all or most of humanity would be
sent to hell one by one.. In fact, God would have already known that thousands of spiritual beliefs, religions, etc.. would eventually take a
foothold on earth and spread like wildfire. So here is the big question..Why would god create humankind if we are basically in this situation RIGHT
NOW? Believers in any one religion are a tiny fraction of the bigger whole of global spiritual beliefs. Is god really willing to allow the majority
of the people he created to suffer and die for all eternity because they don't believe his way when noone honestly knows what that "one true faith"
is in the first place? THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE....
[edit on 11-10-2008 by BlasteR]