“When I think about religion at all, I feel as if I would like to found an order for those who cannot believe: the Confraturnity of the Fatherless one might call it.”
These were the words of Oscar Wilde, published in 1907, were written while he languished in prison.
Certainly, there are people who have made valiant efforts to believe and failed. Some have been put to death for their inability to believe. My guess is they tried.
I’ve heard the Christian faith, or some part of it, maintains babies go to heaven, even though they have never confessed belief. Also, people are given a pass, so I understand, if they have never in their lives heard of Christianity.
But, what of people who have heard it all and found the Belief Lever out of their reach? It seems to me they are “handicapped” like the babies and those who never hear.
I know the standard line is something like, “If you don’t believe, it’s because you haven’t tried hard enough.” I don’t understand how one person can make a judgement like that about another. If a person says she has tried and cannot succeed in belief it is only fair to assume he/she is telling the truth. Believers are given the benefit of the doubt. Others should be given the same break.
A disclaimer: I try to understand believers, but have made no effort to believe so I don’t qualify for a pass.