This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Effect of the concept of hell on children

beingmrkenny's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by beingmrkenny

I have been in a similar position to you. I have been a very active member of a church for the last ten years, but I had my questions and have only really recently started to allow myself to ask them. I can relate to your fear of hell, and though a lot of people are able to dismiss it as superstition, I find that I cannot do so as easily, and need something else to push that fear away.

What I remind myself is that if something is true, then it will still be true after my questions. So, if Christianity is true, I am doing it no harm whatsoever by asking questions about it. If something is false, then hopefully my questions will uncover that, and if it turns out it was false all along then there is no harm at all in throwing it out as something to believe in.

This will not answer your questions about how you can reconcile your faith with science. That is a question that only you can answer for yourself. You must be brave and now take responsibility for your own beliefs; this is a serious time for you, but it is also a very vital time for you.

I followed Christianity out of peer pressure for a long time, and it did me no favours. I found myself "going along with things" and lost touch with what I really felt was true and real. This is not to say I don't believe in Christianity: I haven't ruled out the possibility that it's true. The difference now is that my beliefs are now being directed by me, and not by someone else.

There is pressure from all participants in the debate to accept their viewpoint. Resist that pressure, and come to your own conclusions.

My advice, which you are very welcome to ignore, is to recognise that conclusions are like the tops of hills: once you get there you often find another hill to climb. Keep an open mind. Never lie to yourself. Learn how to tolerate uncertainty, and learn how to tolerate people who cannot tolerate uncertainty — there are many of those about.

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 11:52:12 UTC | #950039