The truth is that religion discourages thinking and demands that you forfeit logic and go on all faith-no matter the cost-blind obedience:
This was the case as Abraham was directed to offer his son as a sacrifice in order to demonstrate faith and obedience.
Galatians 3:6-9 Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Psalm 33:4-6 For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
and the Q’uran:
[21:23] He is never to be asked about anything He does, while all others are questioned.
[21:24] Have they found other gods beside Him? Say, “Show me your proof. This is the message to my generation, consummating all previous messages.” Indeed, most of them do not recognize the truth; this is why they are so hostile.
Of course, it only makes sense for a religious work to self-promote and discourage doubt, less it be ineffective. In order to suspend disbelief we are given viable examples of when having faith gives a person [an inner] strength to deal with tribulation.
The the word which was transcribed by the hand of Man, susceptible to flaws in transcription, handwriting interpretation, language interpretation (this includes dialectic and colloquial changes) as the book was reproduced time and time and time again. From the production of one version to the next there was room to be reinterpreted to satisfy alterior motives. A present day example is the Shiite and Sunni interpretation of appropriate Muslim female attire. And if something can be understood and implemented in so many ways, who is to say which is right? Apparently culture and ancestry–outside forces, determine how the text is to be understood and applied in daily life. So the sanctity of your soul is contigent upon how well you adhere to what turns out to be Man-made standards of conduct. And by Man-made I also mean made by men and need to emphasize that, it was only within the past century that women began the steps to becoming less than second class citizens-baby-making property…at least in the United States.
Know this: When the Bible (and other works) were written, the majority of the population was illiterate. The literate people happened to be the wealthiest people, with few exceptions. The wealthiest people happened to be the monarchs/pharaohs/emperors, religious figureheads and those born into wealth. It so happens that the wealthiest people were also the bureaucrats instituting laws based on religious works that only few could read founded by revelations very few had had. With the heads of state and heads of church are also of the elite class, ‘best believe that there will be modifications and accommodations made to the rules on their behalves. Examples are the rules about premarital and extramarital affairs and the double-standard by which these acts are judged. It’s always a bit more horrific when your daguhter, not son, conceives at 14 years old. Males might even get a secret high-five. And women get a ‘scarlet letter’, should they step outside of marriage–it’s only because women walk away bearing the seed of deceit while men just wipe it off.
Also consider that it was not so easy to get a copy in your language if you didn’t speak the most common language. An example- if you spoke French and lived in Rome, the Bible would be found in Latin. Not to mention that books were luxuries that manyh people couldn’t afford–remember, most people cannot read. There was a good number of thousands of years were education was not available universally.
So far, there are 2 barriers for you actually having access to the words by which you desperately try to live. So, like the majority of fellow followers, you receive your religious guidance by word of mouth. If you are older than 10 years old, you should know, like the game of ‘telephone’, the story is never the same on the other end. But let’s just say that it is. So far, the Bible has managed to be the unadulterated word of The Supreme Spiritual Being that made man in his own image (does that mean God has an anus? Why would he need one? Or hands and feet? Where is he walking? Oh! I guess the clouds) and created the Heaven (which we later found out to be one in many galaxies in a massive universe) and Earth (the formation of which science offers ample explanation and evidence). This unadulterated word should only have interpretation since there is only one God. Why would God play his children against each others for thousands of years? The lesson is lost with each “holy war”. Holy shit, what a contradiction!
So, God has allowed Man to fight and murder in his name, ruthless and relentlessly since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. With this in mind, knowing that generations upon generations have been misled by the guise of a religious institution. So many people continue to be taken advantage by their religious leaders or spiritual guides, so many people that fall victim to cults… People remain vulnerable because everyone wants comfort of believing there’s more to this life which, for some people, is heaven on Earth, but for the majority is HELL.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a precise number for the number of people to be admitted to Heaven. The problem is, that number was formulated in the 20th Century. No matter how faithful one might be, if you’ve lived since that time, the odds are against you. And does that number apply to innocent babies or people outside of the US and the Western Hemisphere, who are also the children of God, although they may be unfamiliar with Jehovah’s Witnesses? There are more people on the Earth at this moment (7 billion) than those to be admitted to Heaven. 144,000 was the number deemed for the anointed. 20,000 people died in the tsunami 12/25/04. Again, the odds are against you.
How could one so passionately believe in something from which they are so far removed? Like Kwanzaa…WTFIT? But really, there are so many religions, denominations, sects, etc that it seems obvious that they can’t all be right. They can, however, all be wrong. Despite the good intentions people have abused religions to the utmost. There are wonderful lessons to be learned among the teachings of all religions. The stories may be figurative or they may be figments of someone’s imagination. Perhaps they are drunken revelations or pipe-talk or a culmination of philosophical works cloaked with spiritual references or maybe they are as good as the Brother’s Grimm and Aesop’s Fables. The bottom line is that you should not have to subscribe to the words in a Bible in order to have a moral compass.