Steve:  

Thanks for your candidness.  It is rare that people are willing to share not only their perspective but how they came to their conclusions and equally important why they believe the way they do.  I respect your honesty and sincerity.  It is refreshing.  

Sorry for the long delay since your first email to me over a week ago.  Things have been very hectic.  I actually started writing a response last Saturday to your first email when breaking news hit my inbox about the lunatic who killed six people and wounded fourteen others in Arizona.  Then Sunday I began tracking, again, the separation vote in Sudan, watching further the situation in Cote d'Ivorie, Tunisia, Belarus and the debt issues in the EU, and the inextricable and inescapable linking of the decline of science and math education in the US to our long-term economic recovery and sustainability (We have allowed there to be too many obstacles and hurdles to good science education in the US, and we all know that science and math education is the foundation of all innovation - more on that in a different discussion).  All of which I've commented on extensively around the world.

I too was raised a protestant.  My mother is to this day a very active member of her Southern Baptist Church congregation in eastern Kentucky, and she served for many years as Sunday school director of that church.  My dad was an active member of an Assembly of God church before his passing in 1997, active in the KKK in the sixties (he and many others of that time wrongly believed that this was ok morally, and even ok with god and the bible), and he was also a Boy Scout leader for twenty years, a successful businessman and a devout protestant Christian, as well as an active leader in the Masonic Lodge.  His father was a Church of God pastor before his passing in 1964, and one of my dad's sisters is a Church of God pastor in Wyoming.  Another of dad's sisters is a devout Catholic, married to a member of the Provenzano family of New York and living in Boston. Dad's third and last sister was  ostracized from the family for marrying an African-American, had two beautiful children, my first cousins, and retired as an elementary school teacher in West Virginia, and though she was basically agnostic, she actively attended my mothers Southern Baptist Church until my Aunts death in 2008.

I was actually baptized at age 12 in mom's church, and attended my dad's church regularly too.  But years earlier, around age 7 or 8, I had also begun a serious study of physics, math, cosmology, biology, archaeology, anthropology, paleontology, evolution, history of myths and religions, and had read the bible many times as well as having read the quran and some of the vedic literature. In my teen years, during the first forays into dating, I also attended a Missionary Baptist Church with one young lady - her dad was the preacher - and also attended a Freewill Baptist Church while dating another young lady - and again, her dad was the preacher too.    All these things challenged the knowledge I was gaining in the sciences. There was a conflict of ideas coming.  My parents encouraged my studies in the sciences, but would not allow discussions of cosmology, evolution, other religions, age of the world and universe, and so forth.  It was not biblical in their view.  We never had discussions on the origins of the universe and of life, nor did we discuss the veracity of the bible or the quran.  To question the bible was anathema.  

When I entered college in Maryland I knew I was going to major in physics and math, but I also knew that I must resolve once and for all, for me anyway, the obvious conflict between having been raised in a devout religious environment and the evidence of science being opposed to all those religions - they are not compatible.  I knew that science should never be taught in a religion class, and also that no religion should ever be taught in a science class - the two are mutually exclusive.  

I decided then that if I were going to pursue Christianity, in any of its forms, or any religion for that matter, and having read the primary source for the explanation of its self-proclaiming truth, the bible,  in the pre-395AD versions, through its many permutations to those of today, as well as many of the early writers who were products of their times but who gave no more than their view and commentary on god, Jesus, the bible, allah or Muhammed, and also of which the quran is the primary source for the explanation of truth in Islam, and which I have also read, that either I accept completely and fundamentally the bible, the quran, or the mayan religion, etc., etc., as written, believing that god or allah or whomever directly influenced its writers, and I acted upon that belief, or I would turn wholly to science.  For me there is no such thing as accepting something half way or partially.  It's either all or nothing. It is either true, or it is not.  This is the challenge I faced - if I accept that god is real, that the concept of god is based upon there being a god in the first place, and not just on a primeval human desire for a supernatural force or explanation for the world, for life and death, for peace, prosperity and security, for good and evil, then the book or books of that god, since they were inspired by that god by definition, would become the indisputable and unquestioned word, truth, authority, commandments, formality, tradition and requirements upon his believers and would require no interpretation thereof since he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, then act upon it we must.  I would not be able to morally justify doing it only partially.  It was either the whole truth or it was not the truth.  

So I studied the bible and its origins, while also studying in the sciences in college. I went so far as to  study generally and non-specifically Hebrew and Greek and Aramaic to try to get a better understanding of original intent.  I saw that if it was real, then the only honest thing to do was to believe it as written and as if it directly applied to me then and there because of the caveat about being the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Since by modern definition, god does not change, then what he said then is what he would say today, and tomorrow. God either does not change and is timeless, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, through all cultures and locations past and present, or it all fails.

I became active in Charismatic Pentecostal churches because they matched the early church of Jesus and his disciples more closely than anything else.  I lead prayer services and taught from the bible using my growing knowledge of the original languages in which the bible was written, but still I knew the origin of the modern concept of god as being an amalgam of previous gods and myths and superstitions from the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Babylonians, etc.   It became unsustainable.  I could not continue knowing that all of it came from the minds of man, but yet I had and continue to have a recognition, appreciation and respect for the value the concept of god has on our society.  God was and is man-made.  The concept of god has evolved over time to become that which we see in the world today, whether your concept of god is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Animist, monotheistic or polytheistic. And, yes, I have studied the primary sources claiming divinity in most of the worlds religions.  All are man-made.

Just so you know, it is not my intent to dissuade anyone from their religious beliefs. That is something they must confront personally.  I do know, understand and respect the power of belief in society and families.  The power of belief is what enables people to be at peace, to succeed, to prosper, to be joyful, to be healthy.  It also is the driving force behind failure, destitution, anger, malice, ill will toward others, lack, sickness of mind and body and poverty.  The power of belief can cause either good or bad depending upon the strength of that belief and how real that belief is to you - you get that on which you put your heart and mind, good or evil.   That simple statement contains all the power of success and failure in the world and is a truism regardless of the god or prophet, or lack thereof,  on which you have anchored your belief.  How strongly, and with how much heart and mind, you believe in the vision you have of yourself, whether good or bad, is the single biggest force driving your success or failure, your happiness or resentment, your health and wellbeing or lack thereof.

Whether the vision you have of yourself, your family, your nation or the world is grounded in science and observation, Catholicism , Protestantism, Islamism, Odonism, or atheism, etc., is not ultimately relevant.  Believers would never say such a thing, but it is the power of belief that gets them the fulfillment of the vision they have of themselves.  Deep down inside, in your heart of hearts, the thing you confess to yourself the most, that which consumes your mind and heart, will drive you to getting that vision - good or bad.  The successful business leader sees him or herself as successful first, and believes in that success for the business.  The "successful" drug dealer also sees himself as being successful, so he gets that vision.  He may also see himself behind bars at some point in time, he knows eventually it is coming, so he gets that too.  It appears to be a law of human nature.  It's not a god.  It is us. It is mankind and the vision and purpose we have in our lives.  We focus on it, We see it in our minds eye.  We dream of it.  We see and believe there to peace  and joy in the home and family. And, we get that on which our hearts are set firmly.   If we put our heart and mind behind a goal or purpose, whether individually or as a family, or as a community, state or nation, or as a world, then we will get it.  

This law of human nature applies to all things.  If your vision is spiritual, then you will get it.  If your vision is firmly set on a new car or new house or technological innovation and science advancements, you will get it.  It's the power you put behind your belief that determines the outcome.  It's the power in belief in  the concept of god, whether yahweh, god, allah, thor, or ra, etc., (even though no true believer would ever acknowledge this), that gives people what they expect from their 'faith', whether they have their 'faith' in empirical evidence and science, or things of a supernatural essence.  So who am I to disparage and challenge the faith of another? Unless,... that 'faith' causes intolerance, death, destruction, and so forth of a fellow human being on the basis of another's disbelief in and rejection of your beliefs(commonly called blasphemy, and punishable by death or imprisonment in some places). Who am I to challenge the good those beliefs impart to the believer?  

But when believers cause harm to person or property over their beliefs, then we have a moral responsibility to challenge those beliefs - as fellow human beings. How do we know what is  the morally responsible thing?  Ask the Indians (American or of the sub-continent).  They have a moral compass.  Ask the Buddhists, or Muslims, or Jews, or Christians, or agnostics, or atheists for that matter. They too can and do have a strong moral compass.  My point is that  a sense of morality is not dependent upon your religion.  Morality is defined by agreed upon norms of interaction and behavior within a society - whether it's from the concept of god, from ethics in business and in science, or defined by the laws of the land.  Morality is acting upon goodness toward your fellow man, and applying the golden rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you (which by the way is an ideal found in every religion on earth).

It is not presumptuous or arrogant for me to state that god, and the concept of god as a distinct thing, are the evolutionary result of the transformation of earlier gods, myths, fairy tales and superstitions.  I will however say, again, that the power of the belief in god. and of the power of belief independent of any god(s), can cause either great good or great evil in the world, in our lives, our families, communities, states and nation.  We determine the outcome.  

I do understand your concerns about the impact of words.  This is my message:  the words you speak in your heart and mind about yourself, your family, community, state and nation, the strength with which you believe your words, your confession, will determine the outcome you experience.  You will get that on which you have focused your mind and heart - good or bad.  So, be good to one another.  Be respectful, kind and peaceful toward all people throughout the world wherein it is your power to do so.  Respect and honor all humans, all life and the world on which we all must live as one beautifully diverse race of mankind.  

I'm not challenging others beliefs, but only explaining my thoughts on the subject.  Great good is found in a multitude of different places, ideas, concepts and ideals, just as there can be great evil.  The choice is ours.  

Tim

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Ok!  A little context - Steve is a gentleman on a discussion board of the Wall Street Journal.  He and I had a lengthy discussion on the existence of god, the concept of god ( being a distinct idea separate from the question of god's existence), and the value of religion in society in general.  I'll post some of the other exchanges to give better context.

Tim,

 

I think it would be best to next let you know where I’m coming from:  I think it will help you understand my statements, and perhaps help you in responding to me--why I think these weird things.  :-)

 

I was raised Protestant, and at one time, I wanted to be a minister.  Then I started dating...and this whole religion thing started making less and less sense.  :-)


I spent some two decades as a functional atheist.


The initial step in my conversion was triggered by information that I was seeing coming across my desk as the supervisor of the Employee Assistance Program: information from secular sources indicating that religious practice was associated with less stress, better health, etc. I found it HUGELY annoying.  (Is that not odd?  Why would I find accurate information annoying if I was being objective--as I claimed.)


I also learned that very strong efforts were made to treat alcoholism without any reference to God: but the religious 12 Step program worked dramatically better--which many mental health professionals found HUGELY annoying.  (Is that not odd?)


So, I tried religion like one would try wheat germ or vitamins. I was looking for something universal (not knowing that "catholic" means universal) rather than narrow, so I tried the Unitarian Universalist church: where I was essentially told that God is dead, but she’s a liberal Democrat.


Then I tried Unity: there people really believed in God and prayer; and I became increasingly convinced that the empirical evidence suggested that there was a God of some kind.  They had about half the truth, which was fine with me since I wanted to construct my own system of values around my predominant faults.


I did have a religious experience which I will summarize only in order to explain--aware that those in other religions have experiences as well--and may wind up embracing...say Islam.  (There are possible explanations for that--but I won’t go into them here.)


After I saw my son born, I felt drawn to a hospital chapel.  I went in, which was not natural for me, and I knelt, which was unprecedented.  Although the experience was strong, there were no visions or voices and it does not translate well into words.


The predominant feeling was of awe for that precious life. I have never felt such intense gratitude. But there was more.

I don’t know what judgment will be like, or purgatory; but some have speculated that, in part, you are shown your own faults in a way that you are not able to rationalize away. And you just have to quietly experience their ugliness.  It was like that.  I felt physically sickened by the stench of my own BS: the intellectual dishonesty, the rationalizations, the selfishness, pride and arrogance.  I had not the will nor ability to look away. And I had the feeling that this precious child was not just mine: he was God’s as well...and I remembered the words of Jesus about children.  And then my will returned to me: and I realized that I had a choice to make.  And I made it.


The decision was of the type you make when your life is on the line: when you decide on a course of action that you know may cost––or save—your life. Such decisions feel...like granite: hard, immovable, and final. I got up and walked away, and in a sense I never looked back.


That was not the day that I became a Catholic, or even a Christian. The decision I made was simply this: I would follow the search for the truth...where ever it lead me...and most importantly, even if I didn’t want to believe it. Yes, that last part was the real decision: I promised God that I would believe the truth even if I hated it and did not want to be true.


And that is exactly what happened:  I wanted Catholicism to be false--above all else.  For if Catholicism is true, then that changes everything.  And the first thing one must attack is one’s predominant faults:  which I had protected and nourished all those years with such tenderness.  


Additionally, I was accepting at face value the unanimous verdict of 4 different sources:  Protestants from my upbringing; the secular press; fallen away Catholics who misremembered what they never understood about their 8th grade religion class (which was the last time they seriously studied their faith); and my college professors and classmates.  Let me pause here to note:  these were (generally) intelligent people.  Some were brilliant--sometimes having PhD’s and a national reputation.  At the time, it seemed quite impossible that they could all be wrong.


I was a walking store of misinformation about the Catholic Church.  It's a funny thing.  The beliefs of the Catholic Church are a matter of public record.  They are stated in carefully worded documents, and explained by any number of excellent authors.  Yet, until a year before my conversion, I had never read a single book defending Catholic teachings in my whole life.  I had never had an in depth discussion with any believing Catholic about the doctrines that I thought were stupid...or even read a magazine article!  Oh how carefully I shielded myself from any accurate knowledge of the Church--to never give the Catholic position a fair hearing.  Yet I felt perfectly qualified to pontificate (so to speak) on Catholic teachings.


How pompous I was in my carefully cultivated ignorance!  Mary ever-virgin?  Hah!  The Bible says that Jesus had brothers and sisters!  The Church is just dumb.  I guess I just unconsciously assumed that over the course of 2,000 years of carefully preserving the Bible, copying it over and over by hand, no Catholic had ever noticed that passage.  No Catholic as clever as me!  It is not that I considered the Catholic explanation, and disagreed with it: I was arrogant enough to assume that there wasn't one.


When I finally became open enough to actually read what Catholics had to say, I was humiliated.  Absolutely humiliated.  For starters, my misunderstanding of Catholic teachings was nearly total.  


Moreover, ME as the self-righteous judge of such as St. Augustine, Thomas A Kempis, St. Anselm, St. Patrick, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John of the Cross, St. Benedict!  Disgusting.  Have you ever read their stuff?  Their holiness, wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence shines forth!  How could I have been so arrogant?  What an utter fool!  


Interestingly, I was not such a fool in other areas of my life.  I understood very well that one must consider both sides of an issue before claiming to understand it:  indeed, I often proclaimed that if you don’t know something well enough to defend it credibly in debate, you cannot honestly say that you disagree with it.  


Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that I had a great deal of prejudice, bigotry really, towards Catholicism and thus Catholics--although I had married a Catholic.  One cannot fully respect people while believing that their first principles are stupid, and that they belong to a Church that is superstitious and illogical at every point.


Now, that was just me.  But, in looking back, I recall the discussions that I had with others:  they certainly talked much in the same way as I did.  You talk in much the same way as I did.


When I first converted, we were in New England were my wife grew up.  At parties and family gatherings, I was surprised to realize just how often fallen away Catholics bring the faith up:  but always to slam it...and never accurately.  And so, I would say awkwardly, “Well, you know, if you look that up you will see that that’s really not true.  It’s all there in black and white, and it’s really very clear.”


We moved away, and I came back into contact with “skeptics” (although they are never skeptical about their own skepticism--any more than I had been), agnostics, and Protestants:  experiencing further the endless store of falsehoods about the Church held with totalconfidence--of which I had my own bitter memories for which to atone.


Keep in mind, I’m not talking about differences of opinion in all of this--there was lots of that too.  No, I’m talking about actual falsehoods when the accurate facts were easily available,


At first, I thought that it was all just a misunderstanding.  Perhaps if I just point out the exact paragraph in the Catechism, or perhaps provide an authoritative link about a historical fact, they would say:  “Oh!  Now I see!  Gee, I wonder if I’ve also been wrong on some other things?”  But that almost never happened.  I found that the blindness of others was usually just as willful as mine had been--and perhaps for the same reasons?


Eventually, I came to see that it was a game...and a game that was not on the level.  If they really wanted to know the truth, it is terribly easy to find regarding most slanders.  Moreover, I found that it is a lot easier for others to make a false claim (5 seconds?) than for me to look up the truth and explain it--and the false claims kept multiplying.  In fact, I concluded that the truth is really not the issue:  the issue for others--as it was for me--is the willingness to face the truth.


Anyway, after my conversion my favorite phrase became “All truth is God’s truth.”  And when I came to the Church, I found what I believe to be a cornucopia of the best of life:  theology, philosophy, spirituality, literature, architecture, history, art, etc.


The Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens in some ways reminded me of my own journey:


- Hitchens and I both came to the conclusion, in retrospect, that our lack of accuracy--our scorn and even anger--were due to the fact that we, at some level, knew we were wrong. We were shouting down reason, to keep it from intruding into what we wanted to believe.


- Once we stopped shouting, we did have one enduring regret: that we had influenced others to reject what we came to understand was true...and at some level really knew was true all along. And really, that can’t be undone. As Hitchens put it: the Prodigal Son came home too late...and all was in ruins...


I don’t even have the contact information for most of the people that I influenced. I did write something brief to let former classmates know that I had changed my mind...in hopes that they understood what I was trying to imply.  And I called one old friend with whom I had been very close: she listened agreeably, but it was too late. Her life had long taken a path--in no small part due to me. And my influence at this point was not nearly as strong as my influence on her at that point.


Sometimes I walk and pray: on each Rosary bead I say a Hale Mary for each person that I recall that I influence away from good...whose trust I betrayed. And that's really all that I can do at this point. It's too late to do anything else. I came home too late.


It was certainly not too late to convert: I avoided doing so much more damage...and maybe even did a little good. I have found joy. Still, while I made many mistakes in my past: this is the only part of my past concerning which I feel real guilt. And it does lay heavy on me.  


And that’s why I sometimes write:  to atone for the past.  I think of a novel that I read.  (It was based upon the Gospel story of the Centurion.)  In the novel, a talented and competent businessman who is atheistic comes to believe in faith.  Something terrible is happening to a dear friend. The businessman was not yet Catholic.  But he went before the blessed sacrament.  He stood, composing himself.  And he said something like this to God.  “I can’t be there, but a friend of yours needs help.  You have other friends all over the world.  You have friends there.  You can send help:  I have that faith.  I ask you to.  I believe that you will.”  God did.  That is a novel, but good novels are based upon truth.  And so, when I walk and pray, my prayer is that somebody else will say what I wish that I would have said--what I wish I could say.


Tim, perhaps you should reconsider some of what you have been writing?  Once it is there, it is too late to take it back later.  Is all religion really poison?  Is pursuing holiness poison?  Was Mother Teresa poison?  Is that what I’ve been feeding to my children?  If so, why have they turned out so well?  As have their friends?  Whole, happy, and healthy.


Pax, Steve

Steve:

Thanks for your comments. I love the enumerated bullets outlining your points.

I've delayed responding to your comments for the past few days to spend time with my children and grandchildren. Commenting on global economic issues on WSJ and on other sites around the world, on global science and education issues, and the occasional 'existence of god' question is time consuming - as I'm sure you're aware. Family comes first.

To the points at hand:

Steve, your points are well taken, but here is how I see it. I will grant that the 'concept of god' has its advantages and disadvantages. Acknowledging that the 'concept of god' is important however neither proves nor disproves the existence of any god. It only says that the 'concept of god' plays a role in our societies and families. The Heritage.org site only proves that the impact of the 'concept of god' can be either a positive or a negative influence. The 'concept of god' is beneficial in many certifiable and provable cases, but it is disastrous, deadly, destructive and intolerant in many others. Great site though! But the question of the existence of god remains unanswered by that site. Good works, or benefits, alone will not get you into heaven - to then prove by direct observation gods existence or non-existence.

Point two requires a different approach for me to answer. Why? Well, in short, books by reputable researchers and professionals in the history of myth, the history of religions from around the world, the history of the Bible and all its permutations, and of the Quran and all its various opposing versions, of Vedic literature, Mayan religions, Norse religions, Egyptian religions, Greek and Roman religions, Phoenician and Babylonian religions, and many others, of myths, fairy tales, and of superstitions are the multitude of sources from which my conclusion is that there is no god was derived. All of which show anyone with eyes to see that not only has the ‘concept of god(s)’’ evolved over time, but that with the panoply of omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent gods the world has suffered through in the past and today, each of whom claims in their ‘inspired’ writings to be ‘the same yesterday, today and tomorrow,’ when in fact and evidence they have not been, has indeed evolved, transformed and mutated with the times. These gods, all of them, have not been constant over time. Though constancy is observed only in present time since that is all that most ever see or appreciate or want to understand because to challenge such things threatens their world view, as it did mine, but I saw and understood and changed.

What does it mean when we can state with knowledge and empirical evidence that all things, animals, plants, the stars, the moon, the planets, and even the galaxies, and all ideas, ideals, and concepts, including the concept of god, religions, politics and god or gods, etc., evolve and change? It means that there is a starting point. A zero point. A point from which all things began at which there was nothing before. To get from nothing, through a multitude of forms and changes over vast amounts of time, to the present, means that all things are included and none are excluded from the process of evolution that is a note on a string that never stops moving - no god required. Thus god does not exist, but is a product of the creative mind of mankind. A creativity from which all things came to be - god, concept of god, religions, science, math, etc., etc., etc..

How is it that an animal that is not the fastest, most powerful, baddest or meanest on the planet survived? How did the Homosapien animal conquer the more powerful Neanderthal animal? We have a superior intellect and are very creative and innovative. Intelligence and creativity wins every time. These are the evolved characteristic that enabled man to not only survive, but to thrive on the planet and conquer all its resources and all its other life forms. These enabled man to create myths, fairy tales, superstitions, religions, gods, science, math, technology, etc.. None of these things created man. They are our creation. We made all of them over time in our fertile and imaginative minds. How can I say that so emphatically?

Let’s assume for arguments sake that god is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent and has been ‘the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Then what would we see over time? His word would not change and would not need interpreters and would have no opposing versions and would not need to be violently defended nor would god need one nation or group working ferverishly to kill or destroy another over images and words, nor would he need men killing men, men killing women and children over him since he has the knowledge wisdom, insight, foresight, and power to make things the way he wants them, even within the confines of free will. There should be only one inspired writing. There should be only one god. There should be no prophets who claim to be the last and final voice from god. There should not have ever been a need for an all powerful god to operate through Moses, Shiva, Ra, Thor, Jesus, Mohammed, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Joseph Smith, Charlemagne or Martin Luther. There should be only one form of religion on the planet because god is afterall powerful enough to have his or her message clearly received by his prophets. But none of this is the case. Each of today’s religions claim to be the one and only true and correct way to heaven and god while claiming to be tolerant of other views. But, in reality, all are the evolved product of previous versions, and all demand their own way as being righteous, right and just.

Then there is the development of science, which also, though it does not care whether god exists or not, and is not pre-occupied with that question, is tending to show through its continued refinement and innovations, that no god is required, and in fact does not exist, as a requirement for the existence of the universe during any point in space or time, or even outside of space and time, and though science and math have tremendous beauty, creativity and symmetry, states that science is not interested in god at all. It just does not matter in the grand scheme of the universe whether there is a god or not. As in the first case concerning the 'concept of god', determining the existence of god is not addressed by science. But then the 'concept of god' is also of no importance in science. Not the real science anyway. Pseudo-sciences, such as creationism by Christians and Muslims, doesn't even qualify as being discussed because they are so patently ridiculous.

Your third point does not deserve a response since its first condition can not be met - not even hypothetically. Well! Except that you would expect a god to actually be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Since that condition has never been met, nor can ever be met, then it falls flat and has no substance or validity.

Thanks! Enjoy it as always.

Tim Williamson
globaleconomy101@gmail.com
There is no need for a god of any form, in any name, because it is not rational or reasonable to believe in such a thing. A god is Not necessary to explain the existence of our universe, nor any aspect of it, either at, before or after the Big Bang. As a matter of fact, from all the historical, anthropological and archaeological evidence of the evolution, progress and development of mankind out of the savannas of east Africa into the surrounding world, all the worlds religions are nothing more than the evolutionary product of our myths, superstitions and fairy tales having transformed over time into the religions, and cultures based on those religions, applicable in all societies on the planet today. To say that the writings and teaching of a religion, or system of belief, are the 'inspired' instructions, rules, anecdotes, thoughts, commandments and requirements of a god, whether the god in question is the Judeo-christian god, or allah, shiva, ra, thor, zeus or odin, is not relevant to the discussion since all writers, in all genres, feel inspired to write their stories. The authors of the Vedic Literature, those of the Torah, and the Bible, and the Quran, and all the others in the world today who claim inspirational writings through their prophets to their adherents fall in the same category as other writers who felt inspired in some way to complete their works - 'Mein Kampf", the works of Jim Jones, David Koresh, Joseph Smith, Jane Austen, Gene Roddenberry, Jesus or Muhammed. In other words, there is not a single piece of literature on earth that originated from outside the mind of a human somewhere on the planet. It is not rational to believe otherwise. Religions are man-made, just as is the airplane, our computers, bridges, art, literature, war and peace, ad infinitum. We created them. They did not create us.

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