VINDICATOR wrote:Dear Compassionist,
You hit the nail right on the head! The great majority of Theists worship a God (any God will do) because they are afraid of dying and going to Hell. The great scientist Blaise Pascal was very intelligent and realized that God was a myth. However, the fear of Hell-fire had been hard-wired into his ROM and he couldn't overcome this fear, so he went to Church and worshipped God anyway just to be safe! I call it "Buying fire insurance"! Look up "Pascal's Wager" on the net.
You're right, the Bible is just as bloody and evil as the Quran. However, Christianity is much more lax than Islam. Chrstians don't read the Bible except for a few iconic verses like "The Lord is my Shepherd" etc. On the contrary, Muslims not only have to read the Quran all the way through, they have to recite it 5 times a day. The first thing Muslims learn at school is how to recite the Quran! So, although there is just as much evil in the Bible, there is less hard-wired into the child's Rom (Read Only Memory).
Yes, religious brainwashing begins at birth. Most people never have the courage to leave the religion they were brought up in. Yes, most Christians don't read the whole Bible. I have met many Christians who have never read the whole Bible. They read only cherry picked verses which suit them. If I had read the whole Bible, I would not have become a Christian. It was after reading the whole Bible that I left Christianity. Under Islamic law leaving Islam is punishable by death. So, even less people leave Islam. They not only have to overcome the fear of going to hell, they also have to overcome the fear of being killed and the fear of social discrimination. It took me six years of doubting and questioning to muster the courage to leave Islam in August 2002. Yes, Muslims have to pray five times a day and the prayer is highly ritualised i.e. there are physical movements such as putting one's face to the ground and a certain amount of verses from the Quran have to be recited from memory. Fasting during the Ramadan is even harder because one is not allowed to eat or drink anything from before sunrise to after sunset. Muslims are taught that there is an angel on the right shoulder of every human who records all their good thoughts, good feelings, good perceptions, good actions and good omissions and there is another angel on the left shoulder of every human who records all their bad thoughts, bad feelings, bad perceptions, bad actions and bad omissions. Imagine how frightening that is! On Judgement Day, the weight of one's good thoughts, feelings, perceptions, actions and omissions must outweigh the bad thoughts, feelings, perceptions, actions and omissions. Otherwise, one will go to Hell instead of Heaven. According to Islam, if one has faith in Allah and his last prophet, one will be allowed to enter Heaven after receiving proportionate punishment in Hell if their bad thoughts, feelings, perceptions, actions and omissions were greater than their good thoughts, feelings, perceptions, actions and omissions. The Islamic Heaven is a place of endless pleasure and the Islamic Hell is a place of great suffering. Non-muslims are supposed to go to Hell even if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. Being a Muslim is much more difficult than being a Christian. Being an ex-Muslim ex-Christian Humanist is even more difficult. I sometimes wonder if I did the right thing by leaving Islam or by leaving Christianity. That's why I returned to Christianity briefly but I had too much cognitive dissonance between the nice verses and the nasty verses in the Bible. So, I became a Humanist again. I was thinking about your pantheistic God. How do you know that such a God exists? If a pantheistic God is real, why didn't this God prevent all suffering?