Webwanderer wrote:I'm not saying that they are necessarily lying. Like you, they may believe what they say and believe they are 'doing the Lords' work. They may have all the good intentions in the world. They may simply be wrong and are the product of their indoctrination - an indoctrination that is now self perpetuating into the children of those that already believe it.
But ALL of them? Over billion of people?
Webwanderer wrote:It's not necessarily a lie from the perspective in which it was given. Those religious practitioners are emotionally invested in their faith and deeply believe it. Think of how religion drum into their followers to have faith that their teachings are true. Being mistaken is not the same as lying. Lying requires a prior knowledge of, and then misrepresenting the truth. And while it may not be an intentional lie, it will very likely have experiential consequences.
And what about the beginnings? About the early church, with the apostles, who seemed to knew Jesus personally? Were they lying or just mistaken?
Webwanderer wrote:One of the primary tenants of the Christian religion is that one must believe in Jesus as the only begotten Son of God to be 'saved' and go to 'Heaven'. Other religions have their own tenants that claim a similar 'only way' to get to Heaven of Paradise or whatever. The downside of this is that if one doesn't 'believe' the way their religious texts say, that one will go to Hell or some such unpleasant existence. It's the classic carrot and stick approach to keeping the flock together.
Many years ago, I tried not to believe that. I tried to be an atheist, actually. But the fear have eventually won back then. I came to the conclusion, which I later discovered to be the (more or less) the Pascal's Wager, and which I would call a "game theory" nowadays.
Webwanderer wrote:Remember, Jesus said "the truth will make you free". What do you think he meant?
Which "me"? The peaceful me would treat it as a koan. The little, scared me, is inclined to blindly follow billions of people. Especially when it feels vulnerable.
Webwanderer wrote:The Catholic Bible is but one Bible in many in print. There are many differences among them. Look to the History of the Bible to see how it was assembled and the many changes it's undergone. It wasn't written in English; and the translations from the Latin and Greek and Hebrew and Arabic writings from which it was assembled have undergone many different edits to correct the language. Who decided what was the proper translation from which ancient language was correct?
Christians says: "The Holy Spirit!".
And Roman Catholic Church later adds: "We have the apostolic succession, so we have the authority here".
Webwanderer wrote:Don't fear knowing the truth. If you must fear, fear living a lie.
What I'm afraid of, is that the Christianity might actually be right. Or if not Christianity, then some other fear-based religion. But I usually don't give that much thought about other religions.
I have a problem, because game theory seems to favour fear-based worldview. And it's hard to trust yourself, when there are billions of people shouting at you. And I have very strong and very deeply rooted fear-based emotional attachements and habbits. And I have symptoms of OCD and OCPD, with extensive doubts. I am very self-doubting.