Are the concerns of religious people based upon instinctive fear of the unknown?
Belief in a judgmental god comes as an acceptance of some form of guilt. When you feel you have done something wrong, i.e., something your neighbour will not like, primarily, you then feel a need to get rid of the guilt. So you look to forgiveness. Why? Because you essentially want to become an accepted member of your group or family again. As a gregarious species we feel vulnerable when alone and separated from the group. Instinct.
Evangelical Christianity goes so far as to teach that God the Father turned his back on His Son, Jesus, when he hung on the cross bearing the guilt of the human race. If we don't accept Jesus, they say, then we continue to face that kind of rejection from God. I think you are correct by saying that acceptance by ones family and social circle plays a major role in the desire for forgiveness. I would add God to that list as well. Good question.
@Jonny, that's a very action-reaction-based OP and question, but I am so "over" that. What a shallow and incomplete picture you have of the subject.
Are some people motivated by fear or guilt? Most assuredly. And like many atheists and other non-believers, many Christians are motivated by ego, too. They want to be viewed as right and good. If ever found to be wrong, the ego becomes bruised.
God is all love -- infinitely abundant and unconditional.
Many non-believers will counter with something said in the Bible. The problem with non-believers and most Christians is that they are lazy literalists.
They don't know that truth is in the "spirit" of the word, not the "letter," for the "letter killeth" and the spirit "giveth life."
Why is religious spirituality with me not based upon fear? Because I have been outside of my body and seen the world without the need for human eyes. I know that I am an invulnerable, immortal child of God who happens to possess a temporary Homo sapiens body.
I have also seen the mechanics of creation. Genesis 1:26 lets us know that God created us in His image and likeness. What many who read this seem to forget is that God is not Homo sapiens. That makes us non-physical, spiritual and immortal sources of creation. That's why miracles are inherently easy for us, once we get past the barrier of ego.
Ego is the trap. Ego is the mistrust, fear, envy, pride, lust, gluttony and rage of this world. Ego is the darkness pulled over our spiritual eyes, because with ego we have chosen to depend upon physical instrumentalities, rather than our innate spiritual ability to see. When we entirely subdue ego through generosity, compassion and humility, we take off that blindfold and return to the Light of being able to see with our own spiritual eyes
...."Because I have been outside of my body and seen the world without the need for human eyes."
Lone77star, you may very well be convinced of this... and that strongly motivates you. Congratulations
Obviously you will not ever be able to convince anyone else of this by virtue of any "proof," so you can only wear it as your inspiration in life. I hope it brings you great blessings.
My hub points at my understanding that we are all basically animals with lots of instinctive behaviours, left over from earlier generations. These instincts can arise in various ways, often not recognised because of our sophisticated brains working overtime and clouding reality.
I see "belonging to a church," or a "club," or any organisation, as the need to satisfy our gregarious nature. Saying and doing the right things which endear ourselves to the group, out peers, brings the comfort of safety in numbers.
You apparently have stepped away from organised christianity, yet you still find a need to share your current thoughts and feelings with us (as I and many others do, admittedly). This in itself could be a substitute for the physical community of, say, a church. You can even get the satisfaction of being heard by others and, you hope, of getting others to agree with you.
A gregarious trait, no less.
It's an excellent question Jonny--but we see above why it will never be "answered". The default position of ALL deep believers is faith. In fact, it is the ONLY position. The position itself is necessarily tautological:, hence non-argumentative.
JONNY -- I had more to say in my previous comment, but the system cut me off after about 250 characters To continue---I find "arguing" with many, if not most, Believers frustrating in that they do not admit the possibility of error on their part; furthermore, their attitude is condescending. Real dialogue is not possible when one party is 100% convinced that they already have all the answers..
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