Rules Rule

Who are the faithful? Presumably, they are the theists who base their beliefs on propositions they have been taught by their parents and religious communities. By contrast, some believers have other sources for their beliefs, such as a personal religious experience. It seems probable that most of these faithful have religious rules as their guiding principles. After all, parents teaching their children their own religion do so as a “package deal”, i.e., along with the existence of their God come the moral rules the deity commands. Conscience comes into play in matters religious primarily when there is a conflict of values. For example a parent who has been taught by his/her religion that homosexuality is an abomination then has a friend or an offspring who is gay. Then his/her conscience must resolve these conflicting values. But issues of conscience are usually the exception, not the rule, in matters religious.

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