When the argument is made that religion is a product of mankind, and as man is flawed, religion is therefore inherently flawed, there's really nothing that can be said to state otherwise. Call me a geek, but I'm just thinking out loud here, mathematically. Consider Religion A, B and C. Each religion has a subset of moral and ethical beliefs that is good and bad (by the flawed nature of religion). Each of these beliefs are already established and outlined. If one were to accumulate all of the beliefs of each religion that one (or society) considers good, would that not be more rapid than having to rediscover each beliefs individually, through historical analysis? It's like Calculus. There are many theorems that can be applied to a problem (call them good concepts), but not all theorems are applicable (call them bad concepts). Instead of trying to rediscover these theorems, the theorems exist, and so we only need to apply them. Why waste time rediscovering them? Of course I'm not saying one should take religious teachings for granted, one must still critically consider whether the teachings apply, but the bulk of the work is essentially done. Though I'm Buddhist, I've gone to a Catholic school, and had to read the Bible. There are definitely some messed up shit that goes on in that work of fiction, however, I'm sure we can all agree that the Bible is essentially an anthology of stories (whether they are true or false is another debate). Throughout history, before the invention of the Gutenberg press in the 1600s, remembering something in order to pass on the knowledge was best done via stories and music. And by generations of heresay, the truth of the story is infinitely small. However the moral of the story is still passed on in the story. One of the most famous fable we all heard as a child is "The tortoise and the hare". We all know the fable is fictitious. However as kids, we learn the proverb "the more haste, the worse speed". We never took the content of the fable seriously, however the moral of the story is still true, am I incorrect? Applying it to Biblical doctrines, I'm positive we all agree that the work of the Bible is not to be treated seriously in terms of the content, as it is fictitious. However, moral has been passed down from generations to generations throughout the existence of mankind. Yes there are some bad stories, but there are some good stories as well, and it is our discretion that needs to be used when determining whether or not to adopt the moral of the story. That's why, though I am Buddhist, whenever I come across a non-Buddhist passage in which the moral is good, I keep an open-mind and am willing to do whatever it takes to be a better person. In your opinion (both Ralph and CrazyMofo) is this a fair approach? (Keep in mind, I'm not saying you guys should adopt this as well, I'm just looking for people's opinion on this approach, since there seldom are people who are willing to open up their minds to more than one religion, if any religion at all. It's just a way to help me maximize my assimilation of new moral and ethical beliefs).