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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 606)...

    In your response to question 579 you said that closed-minded individuals would most likely change their views as social conditions change because they will feel compelled to "fit in." However, what if there is a greater motivation to remain a Taker? Take, for instance, one of the largest groups of Takers, Christians. Christians are compelled to remain Christian and to convert others by the belief that all non-Christians will go to hell. Even further motivation comes from the belief in an imminent doomsday. Also, at a book signing I attended in Atlanta, you said that Christians feel as though they do not belong to this world, and that it is merely a weigh-station until they can reach heaven. Taking into consideration all of these factors, why would any practicing Christian feel compelled to give up their belief in Christianity (thus relinquishing the chance to have life in a place they feel they belong to) just so that they can fit in with a world that they themselves don't even feel they fit in with in the first place? Especially if they think the end is always near?

    ...and the response:

    I wasn't describing a change likely to take place next year or even next decade. Religions die a very, very slow death, but they do die when the climate around them becomes inhospitable. If there are still people here in 200 years, I'm sure Christianity will still be around as well (just as Zoroastrianism is still around today), but I'd be surprised if it enjoyed the strength it has today.

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