Kathryn, I'm glad to hear you got an A in science, but it worries me that your inability to grasp the complexities of the mass of factual information within the world of science causes you to doubt its truth. The fact is that there is absolutely no information about your god except what exists in the Bible and in your imagination. A lack of understanding does not make evidence go away. You also mentioned that you 'live with the knowledge that [you] will be punished for [your] life." On what what evidentiary foundation do you base this knowledge? Let me ask you this also: If I, an Agnostic, lived a decent life -- don't kill anyone, don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal, I'm still going to hell because I denied God; however, the murderer across town who lied, cheated, killed, stole, repented, and believed, gets a ticket to heaven? I've asked ministers this question. They give me some really twisted answers. Turns out it's true: the murderer goes to heaven, and the good nonbeliever goes to hell. This is your jealous God? This is your omniscient God?
Anonymous, you've taken a comprehensive list quotes from history's smartest people, grabbed one name that isn't as powerful or historically significant, and used it to make a blanket statement about the entire thing. I'm sorry to say it, but Woody Allen's presence on this list does not detract from its importance, nor does it in any way negate the words of the most respected minds in recorded history.
How much smarter or more qualified to answer questions of the unknown than these people do you believe yourself to be? What reason, if any, do you have to suggest that these people might all be simultaneously incorrect about one god in a million for whom not one single shred of evidence exists? What do you know that they do not? More importantly, what do they know that you do not? You can only hope that Cicero, Einstein, Jefferson, Adams, Plato, Aristotle, Franklin, Galileo, Lincoln, Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, the Curies, Watson and Crick, Voltaire, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, Newton, Madison, Marx, Locke, Hobbes, Napoleon, Gates, Socrates, Jung, Kant, Epicurus, Aquinas, Taft, Cleveland, Quincy Adams, two Popes, Edison, Paine and countless mentioned and unmentioned luminaries are all wrong? I'm not sure I understand what you mean. These are the brightest minds in history. If they were all wrong, we would still be living in the Dark Ages.
What if YOU are wrong?
Claire, a cult is a religion generally considered to be false. Since no one has proof of any of this, the only thing that sets religions apart from cults are sheer numbers. Secondly, you say you have nothing to lose, but if you are wrong, you have everything to lose. At least if you hold off on solidifying a choice, you can make up your mind when you meet your maker, whoever she may be. After all, no one really knows. Are you suggesting you do? Not even the most respected believers would claim that. Also, are you suggesting the Egyptians were wrong? The Romans? The Greeks? The Muslims? The Assyrians? The Native Americans? How convenient that you and your Christian neighbors are the only ones who got it right on your first and only try. I bet believers of every other religion think the same exact thing.
Lets try another exercise here:
Here's a list of deities. Find yours within. Why are you hopeful or sure that you picked the right one? Keep in mind that in different places and in different times, societies were just as sure as you are now that theirs was or were the only correct path to salvation. I would venture to guess that almost everyone who reads this post is Atheist with regard to all of these gods except Jesus. Why not go one further?
Chup Kamui, Sin, Illat, Hilal, Hubal, Sin, Ta'lab, Wadd, Coyolxauhqui, Metztli, Tecciztecatl, Ixchel, Sin, Ilazki, Menily, Jarih, Nikkal, Góntia, Lair báln,Chia, Chie, Gleti, Napir, Chons, Thoth, Losna, Artemis, Hecate, Phoebe, Selene, Rhea, Kaskuh, Anumati, Chandra (Indu), Soma, Kusuh, Coniraya, Ka-Ata-Killa, Mama Quilla, Dewi Shri, Silewe Nazarate, Alignak, Igaluk, Tarquiup Inua, Marishi-Ten, Tsukuyomi, Shitta, Meness, Ataegina, Kidili, Ahau-Kin, Ixbalanque, Ixchel, Tilion, Si, Yoołgai asdząąn, Mani, Papare, Madonna Oriente, Aglibol, Pah, Mah, Mayari, Men, Avatea, Fati, Ina, Hina-Kega, Hina-Uri, Lona, Mahina, Marama, Sina, Ul, Arebati, Diana, Luna, Terah, Dapie, Myesyats, The Zorya, Nanna, Udó, Bendis, Ari, Selardi, Kalfu, Teshub, Adad, Hadad, Tarhunt, Zeus, Jupiter, Summanus, Brontes, Indra, Parjanya, Taranis, Ambisagrus, Leucetios, Þunraz, Þunor, Donar, Þórr, Thor, Perkunos, Perkunas, Per(k)un, Perëndi, Gebeleizis, Zibelthiurdos, Ukko, Perkele, Horagalles, Aplu, Lei Gong, Ajisukitakahikone, Raijin, Tenjin (kami), Susanoo, Thunderbird, Xolotl, Chaac, Apocatequil, Cocijo, Aktzin, Jasso, Haokah, Tupã, Set, Shango, Oya, Azaka-Tonnerre, Mulungu, Xevioso, Xewioso, Heviosso, Haikili, Tawhaki, Kaha'i, Uira, Vayu, Anemoi, Boreas, Notus, Eurus, Zephyrus, Venti, Anemoi, Fūjin, Njord, Norðri, Suðri, Austri, Vestri, four stags of Yggdrasil, Stribog, Atum, El, Elohim, Kamui, Izanagi, Izanami, Mbombo, Unkulunkulu, Vishwakarman, Ranginui, Hathor, Ra, Helios, Sol Invictus, Surya, Amaterasu, Sól, Gaia, Inanna, Amaterasu, Odin, Tyr, Horus, Awondo, Nyambi, Tonatiuh, Amun, Wadjet, Sekhmet, Hathor, Nut, Bast, Bat, Menhit, Isis, Chalchiuhtlicue, Tlaloc, Savitr, Adityas, Karna, Kunti, Mithras, Brahma, Allah, Pangu, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, Hecate, Heracles, Hecate, Chaos, Aether, Uranus, Hemera, Chronos, Eros, Nyx, Erebus, Ophion, Tartarus, Poseidon, Apollo, Ares, Hephaestus, Dionysus, Hera, Aphrodite, Oceanids, Pontus, Nereids, Naiads, Hades, Iacchus, Trophonius, Triptolemus, Erinyes, Athena, Nereus, Atlas, Hestia, Tethys, Mnemosyne, Themis, Iapetus, Sunna, Svarog, Triton, Proteus, Phorcys, Helead, Anapos, Aegir, Nerthus, Rán, Manannán mac Lir, Dylan Eil Ton, Manawydan, Llŷr, Nabia, Nabia, Mazu, Idliragijenget, Sedna, Aipaloovik, Arnapkapfaaluk, Bangpūtys, Susanoo, Ryūjin, Watatsumi, Repun Kamui, Tangaroa, Nyami Nyami, Varuna, Yemaja, Davy Jones, Ochún, Mami Wata, Breksta, Nótt, Ratri, Shalim, Tezcatlipoca, The Zorya, Cyclopes, Anulap, Coeus, Erlang Shen, Fabulinus, Mímir, Ogma, Omoikane, Saraswati, Frigg, Cofgodas, Lares, Gabija, Bes, Ekwu, Chantico, Berehynia, Matka Gabia, Hob, Heinzelmännchen, Tomte, Brownie, Kobold, Domovoi, Cybele, Dione, Ninhursag, Tiamat, Ninsun, Asherah, `Ashtart, Ishtar, Çatalhöyük, Potnia theron, Juno, Frau Holle, Umai, Mahimata, Durga, Devi, Aditi, Kali, Krishna, Yashoda, Yaganmatri, Mary, Jesus, Triple Goddess, Jord, Lakshmi, Sita, Parvati, Navadurga, Ganesha, Murugan, Hanugan, Indra, Deva, Shiva, Matrikas, Sati, Freyja, Opis, Saturn, Tawaret, Brigid, Dyaus Pita, Dyeus, God the Father, Aizen Myō-ō, Albina, Anteros, Astarte, Astrild, Cliodhna, Freyr, Himerus, Huehuecoyotl, Hymenaios, Milda, Kamadeva, Peitho, Prende, Qandisa, Turan, Venus, Xochipilli, Ayao, Izanami, Larentina, Eingana, Morrígan, Belet-Seri, Gefjun, Hel, Meng Po, Loviatar, Chicomecoatl, Cihuacoatl, Alaisiagae, Dea Tacita, Mana Genita, Maman Brigitte, Proserpina, Nephthys, Neith, Naenia, Tuonetar, Yami, Miru, Ereshkigal, Itzpapalotl, Ixtab, Marzanna, Mania, Melinoe, Rohe, Merau, Keres, Kalma, Kebechet, Ah Puch, Anubis, Charon, Hapi, Acolnahuacatl, Baron Samedi, Daiske, Mictlantecuhtli, Jabru, Supay, Varuna, Dis Pater, Batara Kala, Imset, Viduus, Eshu, Flins, Osiris, Yama, Peklenc, Qebehsenuef, Andjety, Aken, Imiut fetish, Ta'xet, Saa, Tuoni, Wepwawet, Wōden, Whiro, Degei, Enma, Nga, Seker, Pluto, Picollus, Peklenc, Orkus, Duamutef, Donn, Aker, Agrona, Alaisiagae, Anann, Ankt, Anat, Cariocecus, Cocidius, Camulus, Brigantia, Boudihillia, Bellona, Ekchuah, Ffraid, Honos, Ekchuah, Chi You, Indra, Maahes, Macha, Laran, Kukailimoku, Hadúr, Mextli, Neit, Nike, Nemain, Rudianos, Segomo, Ricagumbeda, Resheph, Perun, Oro, Set, Trebaruna, Victoria, Vacuna, Sopdu, Smertios, Ogoun, Neith, Menrva, Mars, Enyo, Jeebo, Jengu, Waaq, Amlak, Jah, Ngai, Mwari, Nyadenga, Musikavanhu, Brekyirihunuade, Kwaku Ananse, Anansi, Asase Ya, Bia, Agé, Da, Gbadu, Gleti, Gu, Logo, Lisa, Mawu, Nana, Buluku, Zinsi, Xevioso, Abassi, Atai, Ala, Adroa, Adroanzi, Mantis, Prishiboro, Ajok, Tsui’goab, Gamab, Heitsi-eibib, Sakpata, Arebati, Chiuta, Nana, Babalu Aye, Olorun, Ozain, Khonvoum, Iemanja, Tharapita, Oxossi, Orunmila, Two Ladies, Cleopatra, Tefnut, Satis, Khnum, Anuket, Heket, Mut, Ammit, Aten, Apis, Apep, Hapy, Iusaaset, Heget, Kuk, Mafdet, Meretseger, Khepry, Mnevis, Naunet, Nekhbet, Menthu, Min, Ptah, Reshep, Satis, Selket, Sobek, Seshat, Qebui, Swenet, Wadj-wer, Wosret, Shu, Bmola, Azeban, Gitche Manitou, Gyhldeptis, Lagua, 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Mama Pacha, Mama Zara, Pacha Camac, Paricia, Mama Allpa, Viracocha, Urcuchillay, Illapa, Coniraya, Cavillace, Arasy, Tupã, Teju Jagua, Mbói Tu'ĩ, Moñái, Jasy Jatere, Kurupi, Ao Ao, Luison, Bondye, Loas, Erinle, Nana Buluku, Obà, Aganju, Eshu/Legba, Orunmila, Shango, An, Enlil, Enki, Ashur, Inanna, Nanna, Ninurta, Marduk, Ki, Utu, Shamash, Nergal, Adramelech, Nimrod, As Shalla, Oannes, Samnuha, Kubaba, Adonis, Anat, Chemosh, Derceto, Melqart, YHWH, Elyon, Astarte, Moloch, Resheph, Yam, Yarikh, Qetesh, Amurru, Ereshkigal, Lahmu, Mummu, Amesha Spentas, Ahuras, Angra Mainyu, Tarhunt, Kumarbi, Pegasus, Kushuh, Ea, Shimegi, Hebat, Mitra, Varuna, Atys, Hipta, Lukos, Pldans, Omfalē, Asterios, Anax, Artimus, Damasēn, Gugaie/Guge/Gugaia, Kandaulēs, Kaustros, Moxus, Mēles, Hullos, Bacchus, Hucau, Uastyrdzhi, Uacilla, Safa, Donbettir, Tutyr, Fælværa, Æfsati, Kurdalægon, Satana, Saubarag, Huyændon Ældar, Kutkh, Tengri, Ame-no-Uzume, Amaterasu-Ō-Mi-Kami, Ame-no-Koyane, Fūjin, Hachiman, Hachiman, 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