I had a difficult time sleeping last night as I was coming out of vacation. At one point I decided to try reading myself to sleep. I turned on my Kindle and decided to flip through to the last page of the books I have on there. I have a bunch of free downloads from Amazon in order to catch up on my reading so I decided to read some of the more neglected titles on there. A while back I downloaded the Bible, and English translation of the Qur’an, and The Book of Mormon. I figured if I’m going to critique these religions with this blog I should know what I’m talking about.
Should I? Of course, anybody who’s religious would way no, that I shouldn’t be criticizing their religion in the first place. This is a logical dead-end and is not worth considering here. While I haven’t been discussing religious issues from an atheist standpoint as much as I used to lately I still intend on addressing any related subject should it come up in the media or in my personal life. But it’s easy enough to make cases based on logic and worry only about the offending party’s arguments at the time. Is it worth it to research the books that they are supposed to believe in order to do this?
If I wanted to catch them misquoting their own text it would be useful to learn it myself but I can’t see myself studying any of these books beyond the first reading. It would be fun to find inconsistencies and fallacies in them but I have to be invested in what I’m reading in order to do so. As it is I had to delete the versions of all three books on my Kindle. I suppose when I get the free versions I can’t be too disappointed with what I got. I may have been too quick to dismiss the version of the Bible that I got but I still had a hard time getting through the book of Genesis. I think I deleted it from my Kindle mainly because I gave up and was trying to find an excuse to justify my action to myself.
During my late-night reading last night I discovered I had problems with the formatting of the other two books. The Qur’an appeared to have notes inserted by the translator but I have no way to tell where the original text ends and his notes begin—nor am I sure of the validity of the translation. With the Book of Mormon there was no way to jump from section to section through a table of contents, which is very annoying if I do want to start referencing parts of it.
I haven’t completely changed my mind on reading any of these yet. I’ll just have to get print versions if I do. I also wanted to check out all of the other religious works from the rest of the world. It just seems like those are the big three that I need to be aware of living in this country. But I still have to wonder if it’s necessary at all. It almost seems like taking cheap shots at something that other people cling to, which I know won’t change their minds. Then again, I have a tendency not to keep things to my self too often.