And I still have a lot of respect for Christians, due to their code of ethics. The problem I always had, since I was a small child, was that people can't make others or themselve truly believe something. Due to fear of hell, or not being saved, I wanted desperately to believe that Jesus was my savior...because I was scared of that ever present threat. I tried and tried and tried, often I pretended to believe and even convinced myself for quite a while that I believed. But there was always this nagging at the back of my mind that it was just an act...because no one wants eternal condemnation/damnation. And I realized that I couldn't possibly be the only one.
Think about this: Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, according to Christian dogma, can be saved after torturing and murdering millions of people simply by repenting and believing Jesus is their savior. But someone else who never committed such heinous acts and tried hard to live a good and honest life and was mostly successful, will be condemned for eternity simply because they couldn't make themselves believe...though perhaps they tried really hard to do so. There is no way to rationalize such injustice as coming from an intelligent, loving and forgiving God.
Death is the great mystery that we all fear most. It appears to be final and it collides violently with our will to survive (to go on existing). Think about how easy it is to exploit this fear and use it as a control mechanism...join my church and believe as I do and you will survive death! join not my church and believe not as I do and you are condemned forever and ever to eternal non-existence (or hell) when you die! Of course, this can't be proved either way since none of us have seen a dead person come back a few years later and tell us about the afterlife. The ridiculous, nonsensical threat is what gives the whole church away as a cruel hoax. Threats are just another method of FORCE and if you require force to believe something, your "belief" in that thing will always be suspect.
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