As a child I was taught that the bible was the perfect word of God. This became my starting position for evaluating all other information. I compared everything against my holy book. If anything contradicted my "Perfect Book", then I rejected the information or found loop holes to explain away the inconsistencies. I realize now this evaluation technique is quite flawed. It stopped me from seeing things with an open mind. I wonder how ridiculous a book could be before people would realize that the book is not perfect and not a good source of judgment.
If the Bible stated "All men are held to the earth by God's hand" Then the theory of gravity would be disputed just a strongly as the theory of evolution is today. Christians would be trying to get the "Intelligent Hand Theory" taught in the classroom alongside the theory of gravity?
If the Koran said "All sicknesses are demons, exorcism is the only true cure." Would Muslims go to the doctor? We might have two sets of medical schools and two sets of doctors. One based on faith and exorcisms, one based on science and technology. Even in the face of statistical evidence showing that a larger percentage of the patients in the faith based hospital were dying, would they keep their faith in their book?
If the book of Mormons said "The moon is made of wood." How would Mormons cope with all the moon rocks brought back from the Apollo missions? They would have to claim the rocks were put there by Satan to fool humans or some other rationalization. How many of them would continue in their beliefs with this overwhelming evidence?
These seem like silly statements and that no book with these statements could be taken seriously. But these three books have statements that are just as ludicrous.
The bible states that the human body was formed because a magic being breathed on some dirt and that millions of species of animals all fit on a boat for over 100 days. It has stories about talking donkeys and men being swallowed by whales. Yet most Christians do not question these stories.
The Koran states that if you get dirty by touching a woman, and can't find any clean water around at prayer time, you can clean up by rubbing your face and hands in some dirt. Muslims have come up with ways to rationalize this and many other ridiculous statements in their book.
The book of Mormon's has a story about flying serpents of fire. Why are these stories not obvious fiction to the believers? Just how unbelievable can a story be before a person stops and says "Wait, that doesn't make any sense?" It seems that just about any story could pass as acceptable no matter how outrageous when it is called a religious book. These faith driven beliefs seem to override any form of questioning or rational thinking.
People believe these stories for different reasons. Some are taught to believe with childhood indoctrination. When we are young we are pre-programmed to believe what our parents tell us. Another method is when a person feels helpless or depressed. Religions can bring comfort to some, but belief in the ridiculous stories comes as a side effect in joining these groups. I believe we can have support groups that are just as comforting without superstitious beliefs.
If you believe in a holy book, try to put your book in perspective with any other story you hear. Most of the stories in these books are just as fictional as jack and the beanstalk. Instead of reading your book from the mindset that the book must be perfect, try reading it with a questioning mind. Try asking questions like, does this make sense, could this really happen, and keep in mind the identity of the authors. Don't simply think the book must be from God. It came from a man that is just as flawed as you and I and lived long ago in a time when knowledge was just a fraction of what it is today. You may be surprised at what you find. Your mind just might open to the reality of "It is just a book."
A special thank you to my friend Dr. Scott for this video's inspiration
Action are more important that beliefs.