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Chains of narrators are always weak

Reader comment on item: Churches in Saudi Arabia?
in response to reader comment: Quran and Hadith

Submitted by Claire (United States), May 11, 2008 at 07:31

Did you ever play the game "post office?" It shows that narrated information is changed in the process and always has weakness. Even if people memorize material verbatim, they frequently make mistakes--even with material with which they are extremely familiar.

Of course, Biblical "scholars" do the same thing as Koranic "scholars", so I understand that if you have been indoctrinated to believe something, you're very likely to believe it unless you had some experience that opened you to question it.

It's impossible to argue with belief, because it's not rational or based on scientific method. What Mohammed and Paul both understood is that culture is a profoundly powerful force, and it can be manipulated by those who understand this. They both may have thought that indoctrinating people thus was "good for them". But both mixed wisdom with brainwashing, and I think the reason we have so much discussion today about it is because a lot of people are becoming aware of the fact that they've been indoctrinated, and what they believe probably isn't true.

It's certainly interesting to see the variety of things people believe. Most believe whatever they learned from their parents and community. A few always see through it, though, no matter how they are pushed to accept it. I hope that number grows, and we can get past these ancient belief systems that poison minds.

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