Jack, thanks for the detailed reply! Certainly we agree that none of us have all the answers.

re. creation myths & holy texts — again, totally agree, I made assumptions. The writing down of holy books for many major faiths happened millennia ago, some like Mormonism and Scientology more recently — but it’s impossible to know the precise circumstances. Hence I personally choose to apply the principle of Occam’s razor,

among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected

I acknowledge that this is a heuristic, a logical approximation. Unlike evolution & Newtonian laws of motion, where ample evidence exists, we have to speculate about what a handful of prophets were up to, how & why. If the possibilities are either (a) they took direct dictation from gods/spirits/aliens, or (b) came up with creation myths without ‘outside’ help, then the hypothesis with the fewer assumptions is (b). (b) is consistent with the fact that holy texts are different. Who is right? Judeo-Christians? Mormons? Animists? Jainists?

re. literal belief in the Bible — I quoted the recent (May 2017) Gallup poll as a reference point, so that shouldn’t be controversial, and I stated that I don’t put too much stock in polls & surveys in general. I don’t believe most pious folks take any holy text verbatim literally, and I also don’t claim that they believe God is a man in a cloud — so if anything, I gladly look past the straw-man and try to probe the more subtle meanings of spirituality held by our peers.

I stand by my main thesis: the maturing of the God-view, the refinement of spirituality, the framing of faith in nuanced, intangible narratives, doesn’t legitimize religiosity.

Cheers!

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