Theists, how did you decide which god or gods you would worship?
Let’s be honest. Most of us make the momentous choice quite haphazardly, simply worshiping the god of our forebears. Realistically, had you been born in the Rome of Julius Caesar, you would not be a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, Buddhist or a Jain. You would almost certainly believe that Jupiter and Juno were the king and queen of the gods. You would be certain that Apollo was in charge of music, archery, medicine… You’d be equally confident that Diana was the Fertility Goddess, Moon Goddess, and Huntress Goddess.
There are those who, at some point in their lives, go on a religious quest, dabbling in one after another of the great religions of today’s world before settling on one that seems best to suit them, or perhaps adopting a bit of this and a bit of that, as if sampling all the tasty treats at a smorgasbord. My sense is this is rare, though. And even those who do try on lots of belief systems for size are bound to leave many untapped. Just as surely as most of us in the Western world now grow up to worship Christ, you would have worshiped Hunab Ku if you had been born in the Mayan capital of Tikal in 300 BCE. Yet even for those who conduct a great religious quest today, the chances of them deciding to worship Hunab Ku are considerably less than those of winning both the Powerball and MegaMillions lottery jackpots in the same week.
Man has, over the space of recorded history, worshiped some 3,000 different supreme beings. Most of these creator gods had exclusivity clauses in their worship. If you pledged your allegiance to a particular one, you had to also foreswear worship of any of the other 2,999. Fail to do so, and you lose any blessing from worship of the “one true God” your parents or your religious quest selected for you. See Yahweh’s opinion of Baal for more on this.
So we face this decision of what God to worship. Select the wrong one, and incur the everlasting wrath of the right choice. And you don’t get to find out if you made the right selection till you’re dead and it’s too late to rectify any error.
If the theories of most theists are right, there is no more important decision you will ever make than your selection of the one true supreme being you will worship. And yet virtually nobody devotes much thought to this choice. It would be extremely rare to find a single living soul among Earth’s 7 billion human inhabitants who has carefully evaluated the claims of all 3,000 supreme deities and then selected the one they found most credible. Why do we take such a serious decision so lightly, and yet defend it so vigorously, as if any other choice is utterly unthinkable?
Please. let’s be respectful of each answer. I am not asking this to ignite a debate between different religions or between theists and atheists. I really just want to know how various theists reached their acceptable level of confidence they have selected the right deity to worship and are worshiping Him/Her/It in the way that deity requires.