I'm going to try to avoid making this an attack or support for any particular belief or religion, because I just want to make a logical point, and share something that's been bugging me.

Some religions have a holy book that tells them what to believe and how to behave. Some of the believers from these religions take the book to be the final word of ultimate truth, while other believers just take the general idea as true and try to lead a good life without really paying attention to the details. Then there are other religions that have come about from folk tales and family traditions which have no holy book to speak of. Some people of these religions find ways to be dogmatic anyway, while others simply go on what they feel is right and try to live by the few golden rules handed down through the ages.

This said, I move on to where these types of religions clash. The believers who have a holy book backing them up tend to believe there is only one ultimate truth, and that they've got it right there in a leather cover. Conveniently, this book says that all other religions, any other ways of believing, are the work of a devil or some other evil being. That any evidence we find that something in the book isn't true was put there by the devil, and not to believe it. (For example, some people say their Bible disproves evolution, and that dinosaur bones and any other skeletons or remains that point toward evolution are the trickery of Satan to try to dissuade us from the truth.)

So of course, if this holy book is truth, anyone practicing something contrary to its fundamental teachings is doing the dark work of the devil without even realizing it. Because this devil is devious, and has tricked the unbelievers with earthly rewards to blind them from the truth. And no matter how much these people of the "other" religions protest that they don't even believe in an evil being, they are not to be trusted by the people with the holy book, because only their book is truth.

I just don't get it.

This is probably going to come off irreverant at best, blasphemous at worst, but I just don't see how a book that tells you to ignore all evidence of the truth of other beliefs, a book that tells you that your own feelings are fickle because you are flawed, can be trusted as the only possible truth. I'm not attacking the beliefs in the book; I'm only speaking out against the assertion within that you must interpret the world through the lens of this book. Of course the book is going to tell you that only it has the truth, and the best way to get you to follow it is to tell you to ignore anything that says otherwise, to take its truth on faith, at which point faith becomes its own virtue. That's the best way to close your mind, and to transfer your trust in your own mind to the words of a book, a book that may have contradictions and outdated information at that (many religious texts do). I tend to be more open to believing something is "God's Word" if I see evidence of it in my life, if I feel that a higher presence is speaking to me through something that happens to me. To put experiences like this aside because a book claims to be the only truth, to me, would be the true blasphemy.

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