Hello Ethan I appreciate the comment :)
Now let me get into this. I started my previous blog with a quote from Bertrand Russell: “Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear” (Bertrand Russell). I think that is where you’re getting most of what you’re saying from.
I didn’t explain this in its entirety. That is my fault. Being afraid of Hell is only one side of the coin. I only mentioned that fear of Hell must have been a motivation in the past and is for some today, no doubt. Everyone would agree with that statement. If it is not for you — I understand. But you must agree that it was a motivation for millions of people. It was a motivation for millions of people in the past. Even James Joyce writes about it in The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Many people were terrified of Hell. Martin Luther was terrified of Hell for a large part of his life.
But that is only one part of the argument. The actual fear everyone has today and in the past is the unpredictable nature of the universe and the fear of what is happening next in their own lives; what some have called — this anxious existence (Sartre, Camus). Let me borrow from David Hume:
“Hume argues that the causes of religious belief are independent of rationality and are instead based on human fear of the unpredictable and uncontrollable influences in our lives — such as the forces of nature — which we try to propitiate through worship” (Fundamental Readings in Philosophy, 45).
For me personally the closest I was to being a Christian in the past 3 years was when I was out of a job, lost friends, moved continents, moved 3 times in the span of 5 months. You must understand why I was tempted to be a Christian. It was obviously because everything in my life was unpredictable and changing constantly.
I appreciate the response. It is always good to have a civil discussion about these things, my friend.