A nice illustration of religious beliefs...

Let's imagine that I tell you the following story:

  • There is a man, who lives at the North Pole.
  • He lives there with his wife and a bunch of elves.
  • During the year, he and the elves build toys.
  • Then on Christmas Eve, he loads up a sack with all the toys.
  • He puts the sack in his sleigh.
  • He hitches up eight (or possibly nine) flying reindeers.
  • He then flies from house to house, landing on the rooftops of each one.
  • He gets out with his sack and climbs down the chimney.
  • He leaves toys for the children of the household.
  • He climbs back up the chimney, gets back in his sleigh and flies to the next house.
  • He does this all around the world in one night.
  • Then he flies back to the North Pole to repeat the cycle next year.

This, of course, is the story of our dear old Santa Claus.


But let's say that I am an adult; I am your friend; and I reveal to you that I believe that this story is really, really true. I believe it with all my heart and soul in it. And I even try to talk about it with you to convince and convert you to believe it as I do?

What would you think of me? You would plainly think that I am delusional, and rightly so!

Why do you think that I am delusional? It is because you know it very well that Santa is just imaginary.

The story is a total fairytale. No matter how much I talk to you about Santa Claus, you are not going to believe that Santa is for real. Flying reindeers, for example, are totally make-believe.

The dictionary defines delusion as "A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence". That definition fits perfectly here. Since you are my friend, you might try to help me realize that my belief in Santa is a delusion. The way that you would try to do that is by asking me some questions. For example, you might say to me:

  • "But how can the sleigh carry enough toys for everyone in the world?" I say to you that the sleigh is magical. It has the ability to do this intrinsically.
  • "How does Santa get into houses and apartments that don't have chimneys?" I say that Santa can make chimneys appear, as shown to all of us in the movie The Santa Clause.
  • "How does Santa get down the chimney if there's a fire in the fireplace?" I say that Santa has a special flame-resistant suit, and it cleans itself too.
  • "Why doesn't the security system detect Santa?" Santa is invisible to security systems.
  • "How can Santa travel fast enough to visit every child in one night?" Santa is timeless.
  • "How can Santa know whether every child has been bad or good?" Santa is omniscient.
  • "Why are the toys distributed so unevenly? Why does Santa deliver more toys to rich kids, even if they are bad, than he ever gives to poor kids?" There is no way for us to understand the mysteries of Santa because we are mere mortals, but Santa has his reasons. For example, perhaps poor children would be unable to handle a flood of expensive electronic toys. How would they afford the batteries? So Santa spares them this burden.

These are all quite logical questions that you have asked. I have answered all of them for you. I am wondering why you can't see what I see, and you are wondering how I can be so insane.

Why didn't my answers satisfy you? Why do you still know that I am delusional? Is it because my answers have done nothing but confirm your assessments? My answers are not ridiculous. In order to answer your questions, I invented, completely out of thin air, a magical sleigh, a magical self-cleansing suit, magical chimneys, "timelessness" and magical invisibility. You don't believe my answers because you know that I am making all this stuff up. The invalidating evidence is voluminous, aint it???

Now let me show you another example...!

Imagine that I tell you the following story that:

  • I was in my room one night.
  • Suddenly, my room became exceedingly bright.
  • Next thing I know there is an angel in my room.
  • He tells me an amazing story.
  • He says that there is a set of ancient golden plates buried in the side of a hill in New York.
  • On them are the books of a lost race of the chosen people who inhabited that part of North America.
  • These plates bear inscriptions in the foreign language of these people.
  • Eventually the angel leads me to the plates and lets me take them home.
  • Even though the plates are in a foreign language, the angel helps me to decipher and translate them.
  • Then the plates are taken up unto heaven, never to be seen again.
  • I have the book that I translated from the plates. It tells of amazing things -an entire civilization of these chosen people living here in the United States some 2,000 years ago.
  • And that the resurrected god came and visited these people!
  • I also showed the golden plates to a number of real people who are my eye witnesses, and I have their signed attestations that they did, in fact, see and touch the plates before the plates were taken up unto heaven.

Now, what would you say to me about this wonderful accidental story? Even though I do have a book, and that too in English that, it tells the story of this God’s lost chosen peoples civilization, and even though I do have the signed attestations as proof, what do you think? This story kinda sounds nutty, doesn't it?

You would ask some obvious questions. For example, at the very simplest level, you might ask, "Where are the ruins and these artifacts from this lost civilization in America?" The book transcribed from the plates talks about millions of gods’ chosen people doing all kinds of things in America. They have horses and oxen and chariots and armor and large cities. What happened to all of this? I answer simply: it is all out there, but we have not found it yet. "Not one city? Not one chariot wheel? Not even one helmet?" you ask. No! We haven't found a single bit of evidence, but it is out there somewhere, we have to dig it out you know. :)

You ask me dozens of questions like this, and I have answers for them all. Most people would assume that I am delusional, if I told them this story. They would assume that there were no plates and no angel, and that I had written the book myself. Most people would ignore the attestations -having people attest to it means nothing, really. I could have paid the attesters off, or I could have fabricated them. Most people would reject my story without question! So what's interesting is that there are millions of people who actually do believe this story of the angel and the plates and the book and the Jewish people living in North America 2,000 years ago. Those millions of people are members of the Mormon Church, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The person who told this incredible story was a man named Joseph Smith, and he lived in the United States in the early 1800s. He told his story, and recorded what he "translated from the plates", in the Book of Mormons. If you meet a Mormon and ask them about this story, they can spend hours talking to you about it. They can answer every question you have. Yet the 5.99 billion of us who are not Mormons can see with total clarity that the Mormons are just plainly delusional. It is as simple as that. Yet you and I both know with 100% certainty that the Mormon story is no different from the story of Santa! And we are correct in our assessment. The invalidating evidence is voluminous.

Yet Another example!!!

Imagine that I tell you this story:

  • A man was sitting in a cave minding his own business.
  • A very bright flash of light appeared.
  • A voice spoke out one word: "Read!" The man felt like he was being squeezed to death. This happened several times.
  • Then the man asked, "What should I read?"
  • The voice said, "Read in the name of your Lord who created humans from a clinging [zygote]. Read for your Lord is the most generous. He taught people by the pen what they didn't know before."
  • The man ran home to his wife.
  • While running home, he saw the huge face of an angel in the sky. The angel told the man that he was to be the messenger of one true God. The angel also identified himself by his name.
  • At home that night, the angel appeared to the same man in his dreams.
  • The Angel appeared to the man over and over again. Sometimes it was in dreams, sometimes during the day as "revelations in his heart," sometimes preceded by a painful ringing in his ears (and then the verses would flow from the Angel right out of the man), and sometimes the Angel himself would appear in the flesh and speak. Scribes wrote down everything that man said on anything that was available to be jotted down.
  • Then, one night about 11 years after the first encounter with the Angel, who appeared to the man with a magical horse. The man got on the horse, and the horse took him to magical land. Then the winged horse took the man up to the seven layers of heaven. The man was able to actually see heaven and meet and talk with people –the prophets, the angels and almighty god there. Then the angel brought the man back to earth.
  • The man proved that he had actually been to the magical holy land on the winged horse by accurately answering questions about buildings and landmarks there.
  • The man continued receiving the revelations from the angel for 23 long years, and then one day, it all completely stopped. All of the revelations were recorded by the scribes in a book which its’ people still have today!

What do you make of this story? If you have never heard this story before, you may find it to be nonsensical in the same way that you feel about the stories of the golden plates and Santa Claus. You would especially feel that way once you read the book that was supposedly transcribed from the Angel of God, because much of it is opaque. The dreams, the horse, the angel, the ascension, and the appearances of the angel in the flesh -you would dismiss them all these as ridiculous because it is all imaginary and delusional!

But you need to be careful. This story is the foundation of the Muslim religion, practiced by more than a billion people around the world. The man is named Mohammed, and the book is the Koran (also spelled Qur'an). This is the sacred story of the Koran's creation and the revelation of the ‘one true Allah’ to mankind. Despite these facts that a billion Muslims profess some level of belief in this story, people outside the Muslim faith consider the story to be just plainly imaginary. No one believes this story because this story is a fairy tale. They consider the Koran to be a book narrated (written on golden tablets preserved in heaven) by a man and nothing more. A winged horse that flew to heaven –come on now please don’t pull my leg dear? That is fictitiously imaginary -as imaginary as a flying reindeer!!!

If you are a true believer in religion, then please take a moment right now to look back at the Santa, the Mormon and the Muslim stories. Why is it so easy for you to look at these stories and see that they are just imaginary fairy tales? How do you know, with complete certainty, that the Mormons and the Muslims are just plainly delusional? You know these things for the same reason as you know that Santa is imaginary. There is no evidence for any of it. The stories involve magical things like angels and winged horses, hallucinations, dreams. Horses cannot even fly -we all know that! And yet even if they could, where would this horse fly to? To the vacuum of outer space? Or is the horse somehow "dematerialized" and then "rematerialized" in heaven in a jiffy? If so, those processes are made up too! Every bit of it is imaginary. We all know that –but yet we still cling to such gibberish tales...!

An unbiased observer can see how imaginary these three stories are. In addition, Muslims can see that the Mormons are delusional; the Mormons can see that the Muslims are delusional, and a believer in Santa Claus can see that both the Mormons and the Muslims are delusional.

The belief in "god" seems to be ubiquitous through the ages.

One final example!!!

We know, for example, that the ancient Egyptians believed in their gods so fervently that they built massive structures like the Great Pyramid -still today one of the largest known and most enduring human constructions ever created. Despite that fervor, however, we know with complete certainty today that the Egyptian gods were imaginary. We don't build pyramids anymore and we do not mummify our leaders either!

More recently we know that tens of millions of Romans worshiped Jupiter and his friends, and to them they built magnificent temples. The ruins of these temples are popular tourist attractions even today. Yet we know with complete certainty that these gods were imaginary because no one worships Zeus any more!

Much more recently, we know that the Aztec civilization believed in their gods so intensely that they constructed huge temples and pyramids. In addition, Aztecs were so zealous that they were sacrificing hundreds of human beings to their gods as recently as the 16th century. Despite the intensity, however, we know today that these gods were completely imaginary. The Aztecs were insane to be murdering people for their gods. Killing a person has no effect on rainfall or anything else. We all know that. If the Aztec gods were for real, we would still be offering sacrifices to their Gods!

Understanding the Rationalizations!!!

Today's "God" is just as imaginary as were these historical gods. The fact that millions of people worship a god is just meaningless. The "God" and "Allah" that the Muslims worship today are actually amalgams formed out of ancient pagan gods. The idea of a "virgin birth", "burial in a rock tomb", "resurrection after 3 days" and "eating of body and drinking of blood" had nothing to do with Jesus. All of the rituals in Christianity are completely man-made also!

Religion is a snow ball that rolled over a dozen pagan religions. As the snowball grew, it freely attached pagan rituals in order to be more palatable to its’ converts. You can find accounts like these in popular literatures of worldly religions. Once you understand the fundamental truths of these religious origins, the silliness of this whole thing becomes apparent to you.

Obviously the pagan believers, from whom Christianity derived its myths, worshipped gods that were imaginary. And thus our "God" today is just an extension of these imaginary forerunners. All human gods are imaginary. It is still the case that most true believers believe the world to be flat. Widespread beliefs did not change the fact that the world is a sphere. The scientific and observational evidence that we have available today is undeniable; the world is a sphere!

All scientific evidence shows that God is really imaginary. So does all historical evidences too! This leads any rationally thinking person to conclude that these godly beliefs are pure mythologies. Islam is just like every other mythology that mankind has dreamed up through the ages…!

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