I’m frequently asked “are you and atheist or not?”
I rarely answer.
Why? Because most people have a very simplistic and inaccurate system of labels, often used merely to stereotype people into buckets. Most of us are binary thinkers, we think the choices are “dark red or dark blue” and if you’re not dark red, then you’re dark blue.
Hopefully this chart can help us appreciate the complexity of the situation a little bit more. These positions aren’t necessarily on a bidirectional scale, some positions overlap, some people hold more than one, other people tend to hop around all the time (I’ve been known to do that),there are still significant things missing from this chart, and etc, but at least its a start.
I know many people who say “I would obey and respect God if I had evidence of his/her existence. I’ve tried praying many times, but it’s done nothing for me. If at any time in the future, God would supernaturally reveal himself to me, so I could be sure that God is real, I would certainly obey whatever rules he had, but without this certainty, I see no point in just picking one of the hundreds of religions/gods.”
Is God going to send such an “open hearted agnostic/atheist” to hell?
a. If yes, then *why* should a God desire to torture and torment people who are not evil rebels, but simply need to be convinced? (The stories of St. Thomas and St. Paul portray Jesus as using hard evidence to convince doubters).
b. If no, then *why* should anyone be urged to join one of the hundreds of religions, instead of simply waiting for God to reveal himself supernaturally?
c. If “we don’t know, God will judge” then why do we strongly urge and plead such people to join our religion? If we don’t know these things, then we should stop claiming that we do, right?