Monday, 17 October 2011

The experiment

Welcome to my new blog which I ultimately entitled "Atheist Experiment." I struggled even naming the blog because I didn’t know whether I positioned myself as an atheist or an agnostic as ultimately I sway between wanting to believe and absolute belief that god cannot and does not exist.
Definitions according to Oxford Dictionary online.

  • a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
  • a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods:he is a committed atheist

The Experiment.

The experiment is simple. All you need is time, access to religious books and an open mind. The experiment is to read as many religious books as possible in order to gain knowledge to decide for yourself whether or not there is a god. You may at this point place yourself as a strong atheist, that being that you undoubtedly believe that god does not exist. So you may ask yourself why bother reading and of these books, that can be nothing more than works of fiction. And this may be true, but in order to understand the world and those around us, it is helpful to know what other think and why they think that. It is also useful if you are going to refute something that you have at least read the thing you are trying to refute. As an aside to this comment, it is good to note that if you do read any religious text, make notes of things you question, yet read the whole book first, and then review what it is you question afterwards.
Now, here is the slight problem:
Religious books are not as rare as you may think. According to wikipedia the following are classed as scripture/ religious texts/ holy books etc.

Ancient Greece
  Bahá'í Faith

Ancient style of scripture used for the Pāli Canon
  • The Donghak Scripture
  • The Songs of Yongdam
  • The Sermons of Master Haeweol
  • The Sermons of Revered Teacher Euiam[4]

Christian Bible, 1407 handwritten copy
Unless mentioned otherwise, all texts are from the Bible
  • The Bible in local translations
  • The Bible, including the deuterocanonical books, in the original languages and in translations considered to be faithful to the original
Cerdonianism and Marcionism

Cover page of The Book of Mormon from an original 1830 edition, by Joseph Smith, Jr.
(Image from the U.S. Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division.)
Latter Day Saint denominations (see Standard Works)
Seventh-day Adventist
  • The Bible in local translations
Some forms of Christianity
Ancient Egyptian religion

Pyramid texts from Teti I's pyramid.
Old Kingdom
First Intermediate Period & Middle Kingdom
Second Intermediate Period
Etruscan religion

The Cippus of Perugia, 3rd or 2nd century BCE

The Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna's counsel to Arjuna on the battlefield of the Kurukshetra.
In Purva Mimamsa
In Vedanta (Uttar Mimamsa)
In Yoga
In Samkhya
  • Samkhya Sutras of Kapila
In Nyaya
In Vaisheshika
  • Vaisheshika Sutras of Kanada
In Vaishnavism
  • Vaikhanasa Samhitas
  • Pancaratra Samhitas
In Saktism
In Kashmir Saivism
In Pashupata Shaivism
  • Pashupata Sutras of Lakulish
  • Panchartha-bhashya of Kaundinya (a commentary on the Pashupata Sutras)
  • Ganakarika
  • Ratnatika of Bhasarvajna
In Shaiva Siddhanta
  • 28 Saiva Agamas
  • Tirumurai (canon of 12 works)
  • Meykandar Shastras (canon of 14 works)
In Gaudiya Vaishnavism
In Kabir Panth
In Dadu Panth

11th Century North African Qur’an in the British Museum
  • Qur'an (also referred to as Kuran, Koran, Qur’ān, Coran or al-Qur’ān)
  • Hadith (oral traditions of the words and deeds of Muhammad)
  • Svetambara
    • 11 Angas
      • Secondary
        • 12 Upangas, 4 Mula-sutras, 6 Cheda-sutras, 2 Culika-sutras, 10 Prakirnakas
  • Digambara
  • Nonsectarian/Nonspecific
    • Jina Vijaya
    • Tattvartha Sutra
    • GandhaHasti Mahabhashya (authoritative and oldest commentary on the Tattvartha Sutra)

A Sefer Torah opened for liturgical use in a synagogue service
Rabbinical Judaism
Karaite Judaism
Beta Israel
  • The Tanakh with several apocrypha
LaVeyan Satanism

The Satanic Bible
  • The Ginza Rba
  • Book of the Zodiac
  • Qolusta, Canonical Prayerbook
  • Book of John the Baptizer
  • Diwan Abatur, Purgatories
  • 1012 Questions
  • Coronation of Shislam Rba
  • Baptism of Hibil Ziwa
  • Haran Gawaita
  • The Evangelion (Greek, Coptic: Ευαγγελιον, meaning roughly "good news"). Also known as the Gospel of Mani and The Living Gospel
  • the Treasure of Life
  • the Pragmateia (Coptic: πραγματεία)
  • the Book of Mysteries
  • the Book of Giants
  • the Epistles
  • the Psalms and Prayers. A Coptic Manichaean Psalter, discovered in Egypt in the early 1900s, was edited and published by Charles Allberry from Manichaean manuscripts in the Chester Beatty collection and in the Berlin Academy, 1938-9.
  • The Shabuhragan
  • The Arzhang
  • The Kephalaia (Κεφαλαια), "Discourses", found in Coptic translation.
Meher Baba

Cover of God Speaks
New Age religions Various New Age religions may regard any of the following texts as inspired:
Rastafari movement

Illuminated Guru Granth folio with Mul Mantar(basic religion mantra) with signature of Guru Gobind Singh.
Main article: Sikh scriptures
Unification Church

Yasna 28.1 (Bodleian MS J2)
  • Primary religious texts, that is, the Avesta collection:
    • The Yasna, the primary liturgical collection, includes the Gathas.
    • The Visperad, a collection of supplements to the Yasna.
    • The Yashts, hymns in honor of the divinities.
    • The Vendidad, describes the various forms of evil spirits and ways to confound them.
    • shorter texts and prayers, the Yashts the five Nyaishes ("worship, praise"), the Sirozeh and the Afringans (blessings).
  • There are some 60 secondary religious texts, none of which are considered scripture. The most important of these are:
    • The Denkard (middle Persian, 'Acts of Religion'),
    • The Bundahishn, (middle Persian, 'Primordial Creation')
    • The Menog-i Khrad, (middle Persian, 'Spirit of Wisdom')
    • The Arda Viraf Namak (middle Persian, 'The Book of Arda Viraf')
    • The Sad-dar (modern Persian, 'Hundred Doors', or 'Hundred Chapters')
    • The Rivayats, 15th-18th century correspondence on religious issues
  • For general use by the laity:
    • The Zend (lit. commentaries), various commentaries on and translations of the Avesta.
    • The Khordeh Avesta, a collection of everyday prayers from the Avesta.