Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:
… ultimately, in order to enter into a loving relationship with him, we have to have faith. If God is God, and he gave us empirical evidence directly demonstrating his existence, we would not have faith and would simply know in a more absolute sense that God will always keep his promises. But that’s not how human relationships work. Because we are not gods, we can fail to keep our promises, and every human relationship therefore requires trust and faith that the other person will not turn their backs on us. God wants us to have that same trust and faith, otherwise there will be a certain coercion involved in following him.
Right, but again, that’s what pretty much every religion says. How do I pick? How do I know which one is right?
No, that’s actually what a minority of religions say: namely, the major monotheistic religions and religions they’ve influenced. Most Eastern religions have no conception of relationship with god (at least not a relationship based on trust and love), and neither do most religious systems indigenous to the Americas, Africa, and Australia, as far as I’m aware. They don’t all emphasize the importance of trust and faith. They don’t all recognize a single higher being.
Christianity is also fairly unique in having documents (many of them independent from each other) dating back to about the time when a divine power is supposed to have revealed himself (to many different eyewitnesses). In Islam, the Qur’an wasn’t written for centuries after Mohammad lived, and he was conveniently the only one who received this divine revelation. Hinduism’s texts evolved and developed over time, but none go back to the time of a divine revelation. Buddhism’s texts don’t go back to Buddha. Most indigenous religions don’t have any such documents to speak of.