It seems only fair that I should try and understand the religious point of view, so what better way than to read the Christian Bible. I've chosen the Christian Bible as many people confidently explain that Australian society is based on Christian values and I've grown up in Australia.
Staring at the cover, you must admit, the Bible is loaded with hype. Psychological, historical and societal hype. Psychological hype, as apparently it is the one true word and nobody can deny it. Historical hype, as apparently all of the stories are true, without a doubt. Societal hype, as apparently our morals and society are built on it's teachings, without question.
If you ignore all of the hype, the Bible is just another work of literature. Under a modern barometer the stories are interesting in a curious kind of way, just like any other literature from the numerous religions and cults that are now defunct, or the latest incarnation of the Harry Potter series.
Literature throughout history has attempted to express truths, stories and teachings through imagery of magicians, fairies, dragons, vampires and rainbow serpents, among others. Any reasonable person easily accepts this literature as fiction, accepts the fantasy, enjoys the story, and moves on.
Turning our gaze again towards the Bible, the truths, stories and teachings using imagery of virgin births, talking snakes, a man living inside a whale, zombies and unicorns, among others, are routinely accepted as fact by Christians even after they reject other fantastical literature as fiction. The Bible is divinely inspired they explain with confidence, dishonesty and self delusion.
John W. Loftus of Debunking Christianity is world famous for his Outsider Test for Faith. The OTF applies in the context of literature just as well as any other. A Christian effortlessly rejects the fantastical truths, stories and teachings in other non-Bible literature, but easily accepts similar fantastical claims within the Bible. This same effortless rejection seems to apply to other religious texts such as the Koran, the Book of Mormon and Greek Mythology stories.
Accepting the Bible, while rejecting other literature with the same flaws, is hypocritical, absurd and intellectually dishonest. Apply the Outsider Test for Faith, embrace honesty and understand that the Christian Bible receives undeserved privilege.
To further quote John Loftus, "There isn't a trace of a divine author behind the pages in the Bible. Everything in it is more credibly understood as the musings of ancient pre-scientific superstitious barbaric agency detectors."