In this post I would like to take the time to address one of my claims regarding religious beliefs in general and in particular the three religions of the book: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Often when I am engaged in discussions or debates about Christians and their beliefs I refer to those beliefs as ancient myths and superstitions. Before continuing let me go ahead and define those two key words for the sake of argument and then begin to lay out my case.
Now that we've defined these words let's look at why I personally think that god beliefs in general are based on myths. According to the definitions I have taken from the Merriam Webster dictionary online a myth has several characteristics.
3. unverifiable history
The three religions of the book are based entirely on stories collected in a book known to us as the Bible. In fact the word Bible according to its etymology actually means book. These stories in the Bible contain a large amount of fantasy and occurrences which we know from our own life experiences to be impossible events. For example the sun and the moon standing still in the sky and not going down for the length of an entire day!
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged
itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun
stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full
day. Joshua 10:13
Now when you read this it obviously doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this story also reflects the beliefs of the period in which it was composed; that the we lived in a geocentric universe. In other words, that the earth was the center of the universe and that all the other planets and heavenly bodies revolved around it. The science of astronomy has shown us that this view is outdated and in fact incorrect. This is just one of the many impossible events that are narrated in the Bible.
Finally, the believers of the religions of the book refuse to recognize the fact that because of these so called fantastical and miraculous events that allegedly occurred, make a lot of the so called history in the Bible unverifiable or at least falsifiable through archeology. One example of this is the destruction of Egypt when God allegedly hit them with his plagues to demonstrate his power to the ancient Hebrews and liberate them from slavery.
If the above mentioned story were true then Egypt would have perished and been a complete waste land. The Bible says that God killed the Pharaoh and his entire army in one fell swoop! That he killed all of the livestock of the Egyptians including all of the plant life. He also killed all the first born sons of Egypt, so based on this tale there would be no successor to the throne after the death of Pharaoh. But yet history has shown that Egypt is a culture that goes back for thousands of years and still exists even today.
Now let's move on to the element of superstitious beliefs and how they relate to the three religions of the book. According to the definition given for the word superstition, there are several elements that make a belief a superstition.
2. fear of the unknown
3. trust in magic
4. false conception of causation
As I pointed out in the previous section ignorance about how things work is one reason why people believe some things that would be otherwise irrational and formulate erroneous beliefs. In today's world science has helped to dispel many of the worlds erroneous beliefs due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. Fear of the unknown is another important force that drives religious beliefs. In an age before science was established and had managed to collect the innumerable amount of discoveries it has to this point, people lived in fear. They believed in magic and the supernatural was quite natural. They believed in gods and other supernatural deities, good and evil forces working in our world, etc.
Even as late as 1692 right here in the United States in Salem Massachusetts there were actual witch trials being conducted! The people were driven by religious fervor and they were ignorant and afraid of the world around them and how things worked in nature. They attributed their misfortunes to devils working through the medium of witches in Salem. All this is due to a false conception of causation.
For all the followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam it is important to know that your "God did it" claim for everything that is unknown at this time even for science is itself a false conception of causation. You're still living in the dark ages full of magic, ignorance, and fear. What you call truth is nothing more than ancient myths and superstitions imagined and invented by man himself.
Note: All definitions used were taken from the online Merriam Webster dictionary. The links to my sources are contained within the text itself.