I was raised as a fearful Christian.
Logic and nature has me questioning MY foundation - organized religion.
Yes, I believe there is a supreme being. When I hear my children's laughter, feel the power of a silent snowfall, or capture the elegance of the nature around me, I am confident that yes, there must be a God.
Nature, biology, and logic... That's easy! It's tangible and easy to understand.
The Christian faith, not so much.
Dare I veer from the only thing I've ever known to discover something that suits me better? I'm scared to death, that IF there is a Heaven/Hell, that I run the risk of losing out.
On the contrary, organized religion seems like an illusion. There's a small voice in the recesses of my soul that whispers 'it's bullshit.'
Again, I don't need to be "saved."
I just want to know that I'm not alone with these confusing thoughts.
Is this Paganism? Agnosticism?
So dang confused,
Well hun the doubt you feel is Satan using the world around you to make you question your faith in Christ and in God. He is the ultimate deceiver. He knows we are physical logical thinking beings so he will use anything to draw anyone who is a Christian or wants to be one away from God. Yes you need to be saved to inherent the kingdom of God "heaven". And only Christ can do this. God knows we will question him even though we have no place to because he is the Creator of everything. For this just ask him pray to him your questions or problems. He is absolutely real weather all people believe he is or NOT. Him existing has nothing to do with weather or not we believe in him. Heaven is real and so HELL is also. Seeing is not believing but believing is seeing. Your not any less of a Christian just because you have questions and are curious about other wordly religions. Is how you react to having that knowledge that sets you apart from people that say there Christians and aren't and the ones that have the knowledge and stay away from being an easy target for Satan to attack. They cling to God's word. Your not alone I'm a Christian women and even I sometimes have questions and doubt. I seriously pray about my doubt sometimes and God always shows me he is there, he is always there. Sometimes he will distance himself to test our faith. He wants us to seek him. His relationship with us is a two way street. Being a Christian is the hardest most testing thing I've ever done ..but the most rewarding by far! Nothing could ever top God and all his awesome plans for his followers. Hope I helped some ..
I'm scared to death, that IF there is a Heaven/Hell, that I run the risk of losing out.
Are you equally scared of missing out on the Norse Valhalla, or the Nivana of other religions?
Lots of religions claims there are afterlives, and you have to do what that religion says in order to get into the 'nice' one, because it is a claim that's very effective at gaining and keeping followers. It is both stick and carrot, and it is totally untestable. It plays on the fear of death - something that evolution programs everyone to have, because there's an adaptive survival advantage to having that fear.
the doubt you feel is Satan
Well, that's one story. But it's a bit convenient, isn't it?
Why do predictive and explanatory power matter?
It is easy to make up a set of assertions that are coherent with themselves. For example:
STATEMENT (1) = "Statement (2) is correct."
STATEMENT (2) = "Statement (1) is correct."
That's an obvious example of circular reasoning; it doesn't reference reality. But it is quite possible to to come up with a set of statements that cohere with reality as well as with themselves. Imagine some poor person trapped in a cult that believed:
STATEMENT (1) = "All these statements were given directly by me, cult leader Andrews."
STATEMENT (2) = "Everything I, cult leader Andrews, say is true."
STATEMENT (3) = "The moon is made of green cheese."
STATEMENT (4) = "Any evidence you come across that seems to contradict one of these statements is an illusion magically placed there by the evil Hamburglar in order to test your faith in me."
What advice could you give the person?
You could point out the lack of supporting evidence outside the statements themselves. You could point out their lack of predictive power (none of the things hold that one could deduce onwards from the moon being made of green cheese, such as the effect upon tides of the moon weighing less than it would if made of rock). You could point out their lack of explanatory power (statement 4 is 'ad hoc', it keeps getting used and doesn't allow us to predict onwards to anything, nor does it have any context outside the flaws in the other statements it is trying to explain away. It makes the power of the theory increasingly poor, rather than increasingly rich. And you could change "Hamburglar" to "invisible fairy", or the suggested motivation, without altering anything.). You could point out alternative explanations for how these statements might have ended up being issued by Andrews.
Imagine the trap the poor person would find themselves in if cult leader Andrews added:
STATEMENT (5) = "Doubt is bad. Trust without evidence, because that is a virtue. Shun disbelievers, because they are minions of the Hamburglar."
Consider how useful that statement is to Andrews and in what sort of organisation such statements would need to be given high importance. Wouldn't you hope that the person could find it within themselves to doubt, just for 1 hour, just long enough to find out for themselves whether or not they are trapped within a net of self-supporting lies? Whether the trust that they have placed in the source of statements is well founded, or whether that trust has been abused?
Lately I have been wondering if God even cares about my family
How could you tell the difference between God not caring, God not existing, and God caring but acting in such mysterious ways that to your perceptions his actions are indistinguishable from not caring?