By Syed Ehtisham
January 14, 2021
Religion is not rational, yet attempts are made all the time to prove it is.
One example is the Templeton Study.
The Templeton Foundation arranged for Christians to pray for 1800 heart patients and tracked the results. It conducted a double-blind study to see if patients who were prayed for, did better.
In actual fact, the group, which knew that it was being prayed for, did the worst. (It was ridiculed, what do you say Lord. You cannot cure me because I am in the control group). This study spent $ 2.5 million and was published in American Heart Journal in April 2006.
It is touted as the largest scientific examination of prayer’s effect on hospital patients.
According to CNN, “The patients . . . were split into three groups of about 600 each: those who knew they were being prayed for, those who were prayed for but only knew it was a possibility, and those who were not prayed for but were told it was a possibility.” Arrangements were made for three different Christian groups to pray “Starting the night before surgery and continuing for two weeks”.
But the study was flawed. CNN reports that, “The volunteers prayed for “A successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications” for specific patients, for whom they were given the first name and first initial of the last name.” 1
And that’s the problem. With only the first letter of the last name, how was God supposed to know for whom each prayer was intended? 1a
Christians and Muslims believe that God already knows everything; after all He can see into the hearts of the people who were praying. But in this case, those people themselves did not know whom they were praying for. Still, God knows everything, we are told. Certainly He knows who’s having heart surgery, and at any rate He could always sneak a peek at the Templeton Heart Study records if He had any questions.
But God is omniscient. He already knows who needs His assistance and who does not. And He already knows whether He intends to give His assistance or not.
Prayer is predicated on the opposite. By its very existence it assumes that God does not know. Prayer takes for granted that God can be talked — literally prayed – into helping when otherwise He wouldn’t have.
Within the context of Christian beliefs about God — that God is omni-benevolent and omniscient — prayer is irrational. In fact, prayer is nothing but a magical attempt to control events through the use of powerful words. I can tell the powers that rule the world what I want them to do — and they will do it! That’s the rationale of prayer.
It follows that the very concept of prayer is inconsistent with the Christian and Muslim belief that God knows all and God knows the best. Consequently it should have no place in their worldview.
Prayer is in fact, nothing but a throwback to the age of magic, an incoherent superstitious rite that Christians and Muslims themselves ought to reject.
Futility of Prayer
Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton, “Every Sunday in every church in Britain the entire congregation prayed for the royal family. Should they not be healthier and fitter than ordinary people for whom only friends and relatives pray” He found no statistical difference. 2
Conviction can be evil. The Oxford theologian, Richard Swinburne justified holocaust in a TV discussion, that it gave Jews wonderful opportunity to be…noble. 3
The influence of religion is so pervasive that courts are constituted to uphold law and dispense justice, bend over backward to accord privileges to religious institutions. Even in an avowedly secular country like the USA, the Supreme Court gave an exemption to a church in New Mexico to let its members use hallucinogenic drugs because the members felt that the drugs improved their understanding of religion. 4
Ordinary mortals are, however, sent to jail for long terms for possession of an ounce of marijuana. The Supreme Court did not pay any heed to the established efficacy of marijuana in reducing the pain and nausea of patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. 5
In 2006, Christian groups sued the universities for enforcing anti-discrimination laws against homosexuals. On April 10, 2006, LA Times published the news. 6
Officially secular, religion has become Free Enterprise with fierce competition for donations.
Religious fanaticism is rampant in the US. George Bush Sr said, “I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens”. 7 David Mills in Atheist Universe describes how he was threatened by the police, to whom he had gone for protection before demonstrating against the faith healer, who advised the diabetes and cancer patients to throw away Insulin and chemotherapy.
Religion gets away with murder based on interpretation of religious texts or the sayings of long gone sages. If one objects to the privilege, it is an infringement on religious liberty or worse blasphemy. Murder of Governor of the Punjab, Pakistan, Salman Taseer by a gunshot from his own official security guard on Jan 4, 2011, because he had called for judicial process in the case of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, was endorsed not just by the fanatic mullahs but religious minded lawyers and politicians as well. 8
Theological opinions cannot be proved or disproved according to any rhyme, reason or logic, but offering a different opinion especially in Muslim countries is hazardous.
Roman Catholics list 5120 saints with areas of expertise like abdominal pain, broken bones, anorexia, and bomb technology. 9
Gore Vidal. “From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as Old Testament, have evolved Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They are literally patriarchal…hence the loathing for females”.
The oldest, Judaism, is obsessed with sexual restrictions.
In the first century A.D, Jesus offered an egalitarian version of Judaism. It remained so and its leaders suffered horrible torture for its principles. But the moment it was accepted by Emperor Constantine as state religion, its followers perpetrated the same reign of terror, its pioneers had been subjected to, on those who did not accept the faith.
In the seventh century A.D, Mohammed the prophet of Islam preached equality, justice and peace. Not quite abolishing slavery, he ordained the same treatment of slaves as for other members of the household. He offered near equal status to women, bestowed property rights, albeit half of that of men, the right to choose their spouse, the right to divorce with due process, (not as easy as for men-one two three and you are free) and the right to work. He restricted the number of simultaneous wives to four, as long as the husband treated them equally in every way (Every way only means food, shelter and clothing but does not cover love, affection and sexual congress). 10
But only twelve years after he passed on, once Muslims started capturing foreign territory and brought women back from the campaigns, the dictum of ‘Women under your right hand’ took hold. Class discrimination was practiced even among the captive women. A princess was bestowed on one of the grandsons of the prophet on the grounds that only a prince deserved a princess.11
Thirty years after him, all notion of an egalitarian and representative state was given up. The founder of the Umayyad dynasty, breaking his pledged word, established a hereditary monarchy, though it was still called Caliphate.
That dynasty lasted one hundred eighteen years.
The progeny of Abbas, a cousin of the prophet dislodged the Umayyad in the name of the family of the prophet and went on to hound the family to the extent that the last male Imam, who was nine at the time, hid in a cave and was never seen again. He is called the Imam Ghaib (the hidden Imam) by the Shia sect of the Muslims.12
Abbasids ruled for over six hundred years, got religious academics to concoct sayings of the prophet to favor them, and with a few exceptions, the ruling houses surpassed all the hitherto set records of luxury which included harems, drinking and dancing extravaganzas and retinue of servants.
Ottoman Empire was relatively tolerant of dissent and Greek, Armenians, other East Europeans and Jews found sanctuaries.
The Arab tribes were not happy with the rule. They found ideological support in a particularly intolerant version of Islam called Wahhabism. Together they rebelled against the Ottomans and perpetrated genocide on all who did not accept their brand of theology especially Shias, whom they killed in tens of thousands in Karbala in Iraq in the 19th century.
The British and the French helped them gain ‘independence’, from the Turks and with the advent of oil wealth, started exporting Wahhabism to India. They were shunned by mainstream Muslims till Pakistan offered a fertile ground. Their first success was the anti-Qadiani campaign of 1953-54.13
But their greatest benefactor was Zia ul Haque, who introduced laws like the Hudood Ordnance, virtually equating rape with adultery, which were clearly against the tenets of Islam. As though he was not enough of a menace, the USSR stupidly blundered into Afghanistan, rejuvenating the fanatics like nothing else could. Zia turned from a pariah to a savior. The good old U.S.A smarting under the humiliation of Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia, was always eager to get rid of the Mullah influence, which was interfering with the style of life of the royal family lavished arms, money, training and material on him.
The Afghan jihad gave Pakistan heroine, Kalashnikov and Taliban. 14
Now they complain that the U.S.A is dictating to them. They of course don’t accept that if you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind. Russians gloat that Pakistanis got what they deserved.
After the relative peace of the Musharraf period, they have erupted all over, so that sane persons are scared of opening their mouth in the country.
Not to be outdone, Shia clerics of Iran supported the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953. His only crime was that he wanted Iran to get full benefit of the oil under its grounds. Shah was reinstated and he, with the help of CIA (reportedly the agency had more personnel in The Iran than in Langley, V.A.) turned the country into a vast concentration camp. 15
People could finally not take it anymore and the commercial bourgeoisie, the progressive element and the clergy got together under the charismatic Khomeini and got rid of the Shah.
But Khomeini lost no time in establishing a theocratic state under the concept of Vilayat Faqeeh (deputy to the Imam) and suppressed all dissent. 16
Jews were persecuted for thousands of years by Egyptians, Phoenicians, Romans and Christians. They persecuted minorities during the brief intervals in which they acquired power.
Muslims gave them sanctuary in the Middle Eastern countries, Turkey and Muslim Spain.
After the conscience ridden Western countries and greedy elite and rulers of Arab countries helped them found a state, they lost little time in persecuting Arabs.
Hindus and Jews do not have provision for conversion in their creed, so their extremists resort to elimination without compunction.
In a sense, if followers of religions were simply to state that this is what we believe in, this is what it is, take it or leave it, it would make for an easier life. But they insist on spreading the word. Christians attacked neighbors to convert them to the ‘true’ faith. They went on crusades ostensibly to fend off the infidel. They colonized the better part of the world and used gunboat diplomacy for most of it. 17
Conversion is an article of faith with Muslims 18. During the time of the second caliph, they sent a delegation to Iran with an offer to convert or pay a tax or else be prepared for a war. The Iranians haughtily rejected the challenge. Muslims attacked and managed to subdue the people of a vast territory in the name of the faith.
But look a little deeper and you will find that all they were after was the assets of the land they captured.
If they simply persuaded conversion by example as Christian saints and Muslims Sufis did, it would still not be so bad. But they intrude into the intellectual arena and offer arguments to prove the existence of God.
Proofs of the Existence of God:
The name of Thomas Aquinas is in the forefront. His arguments involve regress. 19
i-Nothing moves without a prior mover, nothing is caused by itself. First Cause is God, the uncaused cause. There must have been a time when there was nothing. So God must have made things.
This got them into arguments. Why should God be immune to regress? There is no reason to endow the terminator with omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence and human attributes such as listening to prayer and forgiving sin.
ii-There has to be a maximum of goodness to set standards for perfection- that is God
iii-Teleological-nothing can look designed unless it is designed… living things look designed, so the designer is God.
A Posteriori Arguments:
In 1078, St Anselm initially addressed a prayer to God as though to convince Him. A being that does not exist in the real world is by the very fact less than perfect. We have a contradiction, so God exists. 20
For David Hume (1711-76) and Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), existence is more perfect than nonexistence. 21
Many people believe because they have seen a vision or that God spoke to them. He told Bush II to invade Iraq. Sam Harris in The End of Faith, “We have names for people who have many beliefs for which there is no rational justification. When their beliefs are extremely common we call them religious, otherwise they’re likely to be called mad, delusional. Clearly, there is sanity in numbers”. 22
Brain is capable of constructing visions, visitations and voices. On 9/11, some people saw the face of Satan in the smoke. 23
In 1917, 70,000 pilgrims to a Spanish shrine of Our Lady of Fatima saw the sun crashing down on the multitude. In Multan city of Pakistan, there is a shrine to Shams Tabrez, who is supposed to have asked the sun to come down, as he could not find fire to fry a fish a river had offered him. 24
In the 19th century AD, academic theologians started what came to be known as Higher Criticism of the Bible and have established that gospels were not accurate historical accounts. They were written long after Christ. Scribes had their own agenda. 25
At the time of writing of the gospels, nobody knew where Jesus was born. Old Testament prophecy led Jews to believe that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. 26
John’s Gospel followers were surprised that he was not born in Bethlehem. Matthew and Luke decided that he must have been born in Bethlehem. Luke claimed his parents had moved from Bethlehem because of the orders of Caesar Augustus to bring people back to their cities for tax census. The census was actually held in AD 6!. 27
The four gospels were chosen out of a larger sample, Thomas, Peter, Nicodemus, Philip, Bartholomew and Mary Magdalene. 28
The extant version of the Koran dates back to the time of the third caliph, who organized a collection by people, who had recited the verses and had memorized them. Only the officially accepted version was saved. Others were destroyed. It was the consensus version, so it cannot be indisputably asserted that the contents of the official version were in fact the one supposedly revealed by Gabriel to the Prophet.
Bertrand Russell “An immense majority of eminent men disbelieve in Christian religion, but conceal the fact because they were afraid of losing their income”.30
Apologists name Galileo and Kepler, and spread demonstrably false rumors of the death bed conversion of Darwin, as well.
James Haught in, “2000 Years of Disbelief- People with Courage to Doubt,” asserts that “Scientists claimed to be religious till the 19th century, when social and judicial pressure to conform lessened. Becoming a monk for Mendel was akin to a research grant.” 31
Benjamin Beit Hallehem, “Among the Nobel laureates there is a … remarkable degree of irreligiosity. Only 7% of Americans deemed good enough to be elected to National Academy were religious compared to 90% among the general population”. 32. In Britain, among the Royal Society members… only 3.3% believed in a personal God. 33
Belief as a Hedge:
Pascal, “Odds against the existence of God are long, but odds of penalty on not believing, and if there is God, longer”. 34 If you feign, God better not be omniscient.
Bertrand Russell famously said, “If confronted by God after death and asked why he did not believe in Him… I would say…not enough evidence God, not enough evidence”. 35
Thomas Jefferson “Almost certainly no God exists. The priests of different sects dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight”. 36
Darwinian evolution shatters the illusion of design within the domain of Biology and teaches us to be suspicious of design hypotheses in other fields. The physicist Leonard Susskind… Darwin and Wallace…provided explanation of our existence that completely rejected supernatural agents. 37
The American geneticist Jenny Coyne, “Evolved organs are elegant, effective and efficient, but reveal flaws, as they would not have if designed by a superhuman. Back pain, sinus infection, hernia and prolapse of uterus are due to adoption of upright posture in a body evolved over hundreds of millions of years to walk on all fours. 38
Roots Of Religion:
The evolutionary psychiatrist, Michael Kohn “The universal extravagance of religious rituals with their cost in time, resources, pain and privation should suggest… that religion may be adoptive. It is often as extravagantly ornate as the plumage of the bird of paradise”. 39
Benefit To Survival:
Primitive people of Australia and New Zealand live under the most stringent conditions and for relief resort to witchcraft. 40
Apologetics Of Religion:
Religion provides some protection from stress related disease as faith healing does. George Bernard Shaw, “That a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than that a drunken man is happier than a sober one”. 41
Steven Pinker in “How the Mind Works,” “Why would a mind evolve to find comfort in beliefs it can plainly see are false. A person face to face with a lion is not put at ease by the conviction that it is a rabbit”. 42
Michael Shermer in “How We Believe,” “Proximate cause of religion might be a hyper activity in a part of the brain. Visionary religious experience may be temporal lobe epilepsy”. 43
Religion has always lent itself to use by oppressors, exploiters and colonizers. Black slaves in the USA were consoled by promises of another life.
Survival of Religion:
The Cambridge Archaeologist Colin Renfrew “Christianity survived because of the in-group loyalty. Tribes with martyr complex will fight more bravely and survive, seize livestock and females of the other tribe” (44).
Muslims thrive on group solidarity. (The author remembers an incident from my childhood. A rather frail and old intolerant Sunni physician heard that Hindus had attacked a Shia Muharram procession. He rushed out with his hunting gun. When asked why he rushed to help people whom he did not regard as good Muslims and whose celebration of the tragedy of Karbala he derided, he offered that right or wrong, they were Muslims).
This would not happen now. Fanatics would be the first to kill members of the other sect in Pakistan, as they are doing now. Groups need ‘enemies’. If you can’t find a non-believer, a believer will do.
Religious people are not prepared to accept that science contradicts their many cherished beliefs.
Human kind has survived by learning from collective experience of the past. We listen to our parents when told not to get too near to fire, not to jump in a lake or beware of snakes and scorpions.
In “Why Gods Persist”, “Religion Explained”, “In God we Trust”, the authors regard religion as a byproduct of psychological dispositions. All religious beliefs seem weird to those not brought up in them. 45
The psychologist Paul Brown, “Children have a natural dualist theory- fundamental distinction between matter and mind. They readily accept that mental illness as possession by the devils, which might be cast out. A tendency to dualism is built in the brain, so we can enjoy P.G. Wodehouse’s Laughing Gas. Children, especially assign purpose to everything (teleology).46
Dennett “Irrationality of religion is a by-product of an inbuilt irrationality in the brain”. 47 Helen Fisher in ‘Why We Love’’” We see the beloved a hundred times more lovely quite irrationally than his/her competition. Irrational love could be a mechanism to ensure loyalty long enough to raise a child together. 48 Religious faith is akin to falling in love. The Neuropsychiatrist, John Smythies, “One facet of religion is intense love of God and reverence for icons”. Falling in love with one person and only one is irrational but useful. 49
Martin Luther was aware of the dangers of reason, “Reason is the greatest enemy faith has… and should be destroyed in all Christians”. 50.
Roots Of Morality:
Most religious people find it hard to imagine how one can be good without religion, and some are driven to paroxysm of rage against those who do not believe in their faith. Opposition to evolution finds expression in such inanities as, “If you teach them that they are descended from monkeys, they will behave like monkeys,”. Robert Buckman in ‘Can We be Good without God’ “Sense of right and wrong are derived from Darwinian past. 51
Natural selection can explain hunger, fear, sex and lust, and contribute to survival. But compassion to orphans, widows and earthquake and tsunami victims apparently negates the selfish Gene.
All animals ensure survival by favouring genetic kin; like being good to own children. Among bees, wasps, meerkats, monkeys and mole rats, elder siblings take care of the younger ones.
The other main factor is symbiosis. Bee needs nectar and flower pollinating. Reciprocal altruism works because of asymmetry in needs. Kinship and reciprocation are pillars of altruism in the Darwinian system.
Zahavi-Arabian babblers- little brown birds live in social groups, breed cooperatively, give little cries of warning, donate food to each other and compete for the role of sentinel exposing themselves to the danger of hawks, all to assert superiority. If a subordinate babbler offers food, it is violently rebuffed. 52
But in humans reputation is important. Rival chieftains in Pacific Northwest tribes competed in ruinously generous feasts till one was bankrupted and others were not left much better off.
History of Religion
Hinduism is a polytheistic religion of Indian origin. Nehru had this to say, “Hinduism, as a faith, is vague, amorphous, many-sided, all things to all men. It is hardly possible to define it, or indeed to say definitively whether it is a religion or not, in the usual sense of the word. In its present form, and in the past, it embraces many beliefs and practices, from the highest to the lowest, often opposed to or contradicting each other. Its essential spirit seems to be to live and let live”. 53
An interesting view is that monotheism must have resulted from the process of elimination. After a tribal warfare, the defeated tribe would give up its “false god” and accept the enemy’s God who made them victorious. Other factors must also have been operative.
Abraham’s existence is not recorded in history. The Bible is the only source, and it mentions that he went to Egypt several times. If he did visit Egypt, it must have been around 1700 BC, when Hyksos, a people from the north ruled Egypt. Abraham was a tribal chief from the city of Ur. During his time, each tribe had its own god. So did Abraham. Even today the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims refer to God, “God of Abraham”. The Bible portrays God of Abraham as a friendly God who visited him with his angels in human form and even dined with him. Abraham is stated to believe in one God and is therefore, originator of monotheism. 54
Origin of Judaism
It is not certain if the monotheistic concept of Abraham survived in Egypt and later influenced Pharaoh Akhenaten (1380-1360 BC) or he independently came to believe in it. But he was the first monotheist in authentic history. He broke the norm of the pharaohs in more than one way. He declared himself human (unlike the past pharaohs), got rid of the powerful priests, moved his capital from Karnak (a stronghold of believers in the old religion) to Amarna, made his wife Nefretiti a co-ruler (breaking tradition), and established a religion of one God. 55
After his death, the priests regained power. The weak boy Pharaoh, Tutankhaten was renamed Tutenkhamun, and the old polytheistic religion was restored. Monotheism dwindled but didn’t absolutely disappear.
Ramses came to power around 1300 BC. He fought several battles with the people up north.The low wage settlers from north fell into disfavor. These people were distinct from the Egyptians. They were bearded, wore long dresses, and lived in tents. Egyptians called them Habi Ru (meaning, “tent people”). Ramses threw them out of Egypt.
The entire multi-tribal group became known as Hebrew, derived from Habi Ru. There may have been a leader by the name of Moses, although the name appears incomplete. Moses means “of the”. For example, Ramses is actually Ra Moses – of the sun, Tuthmosis is Tut Moses, etc.
It is quite likely that Moses was aware of Akhenaten’s monotheism and tried to unify the evicted group under one God. Thus, monotheism was born again as a result of Exodus. But this time, the same Bible (our only source) portrays God as rather furious and unfriendly. He talks to Moses in a scary voice from behind the burning bush, asking Moses to take off his shoes, and Moses would not dare look at Him. 56
Christianity is not even a truly monotheistic religion. It is a combination of Roman paganism and Judaism, ordered by Constantine and formulated by the Council of Nicea. 57 The Council incorporated some of Roman mythology into Paul’s version of what Christ supposedly preached, and finalized a religion from fragmentary evidence. This time, God of Abraham is the Father as well as a helpless child from Virgin Mary. Later, he wanders around as a preacher and then challenges the powerful, only to be tortured and crucified so he can take upon himself all human sins.
It is so incredible, yet, apparently reasonable people believe it as a historical fact. Jesus is mentioned nowhere in Roman history of that region. Also, Jesus was not unique. Based on the documents of Qumran, several people before him claimed to be Messiah (the deliverer). 58
Islam is a rehashed version of Judaism combined with improved tribal laws of the seventh century Arabs. Here God chooses not to speak to Mohammad directly but to send his message through Gabriel. However, He does like to micromanage and tells us what to eat, how to dress women, and pray five times a day. He even decides, whom Mohammad should marry, how many wives he could have and if unsatisfied, could cohabit with any number of girls captured from the enemies on the battlefield. 59
Obviously, the Monotheistic God changed from Abraham to Mohammad. And yet, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are supposedly the same creed, the religion of Abraham.
1.Benson, H et al, “Study of the therapeutic Effect of Intercessory prayer (STEP) in Cardiac Bypass Patients, (American heart Journal 151:4, 2006, 934-42-1).
1a. http://atheology.com/2006/03/ 31/templeton-prayer-study- flawed/trackback/
2. Dawkins, Richard, “The God Delusion,” (London: Bantam Press, 2006).
Science and Theology News 7, April, 2006, http:www.stnews.org/ commentary-2772 htm-3.
4. http://scotus.ap.org/ scotus/04-1084 p zo.pdf.
5.Raich/Monson v.Gonzales et al (545. US I) 2005.
6. Los Angles Times, April 6, 2006.
Sherman, Robert I., in Free Inquiry,” 8:4, Fall 1998, 16.
8.The Express Tribune with the International Herald Tribune Jan 5, 2011, Reuters News Agency; http://nyti.ms/hUcbpw, NY Times Jan 10, 2011.
9. http:// catholic-forum. com/saints/indexsnt.htm? Nf=1;
10. Ishaq, I.; “The Life of Muhammad” trans.’ A. Guillaume, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).
11. May 12, 1994 Yasin T. al-Jibouri
12. al Sadr, Musa, with Professor Corbin, Al Irfan, 54 Part II, September, 1966
13. Algar, Hamid, “Wahhabism: A Critical Essay,” (Oneonta, New York: Islamic Publications International, 2002).
14. Mahmood, M., “Enforcement of Hudood: Practice and Procedure,” (Lahore: Pakistan Law Times Publications, 1982).
“Religion and Politics in Iran,” (ed.), Nikki R. Keddie, (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1983).
Sebastian, Thomas, “Globalization and Uneven Development: Neocolonialism, Multinational Corporations and Society,”(Jaipur, India: Rawat Publications, 2007).
Al-Koran,Verses 42:48, 10:99, 47:25, 5:54.
19. http://www.iep.utm.edu/o/ ont-arg.htm.
20. http://www.uq.edu.au/~ pdwgrey/pubs/gasking.html.
21. Hume David, “My Own Life,” (1776) in Norton, D.F., “The Cambridge Companion to Hume” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993; Emmanuel Kant,”Lectures on Philosophical Theology,” (eds); A.W. Wood and G.M. Clark (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1978).
Harris, Sam, “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the future of Reason,” (New York: Norton, 2004).
23.”Urban Legends Running Rampant” San Francisco Chronicle September 19, 2011
25.Boyce, William., “The Higher Criticism and the Bible: A Manual for Students,” (White Fish, Montana: Kissinger Publishing LLC, 2007). .
27. Mathew Chapter 4 verses 14-22.
28. Ehrman, B.D., “Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It,” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003); Ehrman, B.D, “Whose Word Is It,” (London: Conitnuum, 2006).
Warraq, Ibne, “Virgins: What Virgins?” Free Inquiry21:1, 2005, 456.
30. Russell, Bertrand, “Religion and Science,” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997); Russel, Bertrand, “The Quotable Bertrand Russel,” (Amherst, New York: Promeththeus, 1993);
Haught, James, “200 Years of Disbelief-People with Courage to Doubt,” (Buffalo, New York: Prometheus, 1996).
32. http://leaderu. comftissues/ft9610/reeves.html.
33. ibid 2, p 102.
34. Adams, D., “The Salmon of Doubt,” (London: Pan, 2003).
35. ibid 30
36. Vichio, Stephen J., ‘Jefferson’s Religion,” (Eugene, Or: Wips and Stock Publishing, 2007).
37. Susskind, L., “The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design,” (New York, Little, Brown, 2006).
Coyne, Jerry, “Why Evolution is True: Creationists Don’t Deserve Credence,” (2.12.09), Forbes Magazine, 6.20.09.;The History of Science,’ Coyne and Dawkins, “God in Details: The Biological Challenge to Evolution, Nature 383, 1996, 227-8.
39. scientificamerican. com/article.cfm?=isreligion- adoptive.
40.3101.1 Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2001.
41. Shaw, George Bernard,” An Unsocial Socialist,” (New York: Wm H. Wise & Co, 1930).
42. Pinker, S., “How the Mind Works,”(London: Allen Lane, 1997).
43. Shermer, M., “How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science,” (New York, W.H. Freeman, 1999).
Renfrew, Colin,”(ed).’ The Archeology of Cult: The Sanctuary of Phylakopi,” (London: British School at Athens & Thomas and Hudson, 1985). Renfrew, Colin., “Before Civilization: The RadioCarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe,” (London: Pimlico, 1973).
45. Hinde, Robert, “Why Gods Persist: A Scientific Approach to Religion,”(London: Routledge, 1999); Boyer, Oscar, “Religion Explained,”(London: Heinemann, 2001); Atran, Scott, “In Gods We Trust,”(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).
46. Badruddin, D.H….. Brown, Paul, L.K., “Social and Behavioral Problem of Children with Agnesis of Corpus Callosum,”” Child Psychiatry and Human Development 38(4): 287-302.
47. Dennett, D.C., “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon,” (London: Viking, 2006).
48. Fisher, Helen, “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love,” (New York: Henry Holt, 2004).
49. Smythies, L., “Bitter Fruit,” (Charleston, SC: Booksurge, 2006).
50.” Letters of Martin Luther,” trans A Curry, (London: Macmillan, 1908).
51. Buckman, R., “Can We Be Good without God?” (Toronto: Viking, 2000).
52. Zahavi, A,”Arabian Babblers: The Quest for Social Status in a Cooperative Breed,” in “Cooperative Breeding in Birds,” (eds)., P.B. Stacey and W.D. Koenig, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974), pp 105-30
53. Nehru, Jawahar Lal, “Discovery of India,” (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1959).
54. Commentary on Genesis 12 and 20, “Halley’s Bible Handbook,” (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Publishing House, 1968).; Genesis- 20: 1-18.
55. James, T.G.H., “An Introduction to Ancient Egypt,” (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1979).
56. Exodus 3: i-22.; Humphreys, Colin, “Miracles of Exodus,” (London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006).
57. MacMullen, Ramsey, “Voting About God in Early Church Councils,” (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006).
58. Vanderkam, James C.,”The Dead Sea Scrolls Today,” (Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 1994).
I was born in Dewa Sharif, UP, India in 1939.
I went to school from the fourth to eighth class in Gonda, UP and the 9th grade in Jhansi, UP, India.
We moved to Quetta, Pakistan and went to school for the 10th grade and intermediate college in the same town.
I was in Karachi University 1954-57, then Dow Medical College 1957-62. I Was in the National Students Federation from 1954 to 1962, trained in surgery in the Civil Hospital Karachi 1962-65, proceeded to England 1965 and trained in General surgery and orthopaedic surgery till 73, when I left for Canada 1973-74, USA 1974-83, back to Karachi 1983 and built a hospital and went back to the USA in 1991, been in the USA since.
I retired from surgery in 2005.
I have worked in various HR and Socialist groups in the USA.
I have Published two books ,:”A Medical Doctor Examines Life on Three Continents,” and ,”God, Government and Globalization”, and am working on the third one, “An Analysis of the Sources and Derivation of Religions”.
Original Headline: Religion is not Rational
Source: The Counter Currents
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