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All the amazing religious books

Reader comment on item: Churches in Saudi Arabia?
in response to reader comment: Quran is not a scientific book, however...

Submitted by Claire (United States), May 9, 2008 at 19:10

Yes, we have all sorts of "prophecies" from all major world religions that seem spectacular, and yes, I've read several versions of the Koran, all the versions I've found of the Bible, several of the Bhagavad Gita, Tao, and books on ancient Egyptian, Nordic, Native American (North, Central, and South), and all of them have amazing predictions, amazing insights about the natural world that many would consider highly intuitive, or even "magical."

I think that's one reason religion is such a potent force--the ancient books include what was assimilated at a point in time by the best thinkers of that time, including all the scientific insights, all the social engineering breakthroughs, as well as the myths and legends that had been formulated by their ancestors as they speculated about the world from their limited world view.

I think the natural world is amazing in and of itself. And I think those who made predictions that turned out to be true were highly intuitive, futurists who could see how things might play out given enough time based on what they were able to grasp in their own lifetimes by watching nature, including human nature. The more we've come to know based on scientific method, the more we've slowly explained what were formerly considered "religious" miracles.

Also, we don't completely understand all forces. Something is going on when people have experiences of tapping into another's thoughts, or maybe even having a sense of being someone who lived in another time and place. There may be waves out there there only a few are attuned to, but many could become attuned to in the right situation.

Nothing Moses, Mohammed, or Paul demonstrated was particularly magical. It showed a deep understanding of human nature in a way that allowed them to both shape it and use it for their own personal benefit. I think they did produce some useful cultural guidelines that helped a people in time deal with their situation, and they also showed amazing insights, given what we know today. But they were people at a point in time, and that time is past. I think it's time to acknowledge them for their contribution to our understanding and move on.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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