Take for an example a normal child (man). Place him in a household with a domineering father (God) who threatens severe punishment (hell) if the child ever steps out of line (sins). Have the father set up the rules and expectations such that the child can *never* get them all right (for all have sinned ... etc). Every once in a while, this father will show love to the child and even give him little gifts (answered prayers), but not on a consistent basis. He may punish the child for the littlest thing, or for no reason at all (trials and tribulations). The child may have other brothers and sisters (fellow believers) who tell him that the father is wonderful and loves them, but are just as fearful of the father as he is. The father constantly tells them that he loves the children, and is always pushing them to be better than anyone else's children.
What kind of person do you think this child is going to be? In many cases the child will deny the father ever did anything wrong, that the child 'deserved' what happened to him (original sin?), insist that the father was a kind and loving person, and be perfectly willing to do anything at all to please the father, even up to and including the most horrific of acts. In other cases, the child may reject the father and, still believing all of the above, go out and commit the most horrific of acts just because the child believes that the child is a horrible person.
Take such an adult and place him (or her) in a society where psychology is still in its infancy, where EVERYONE believes that this father is a great guy and is fearful of him, give the child the thought that the father doesn't like some group of people, and ... well, history tells the rest. Add in, of course, the political motivations available, and the quest to 'prove' that one's particular Belief System (B.S.) is better than the other guys' (in many cases at least). - Davyd
01 April 2010
What this child will become?
From a thread on Amazon's discussion forum: