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Biased overview of religions
on February 4, 2015
If you are a secular parent looking for a kid's book that provides an overview of the most common religions, this one is only 'partially' ok: selected parts and pictures can be used to show basic aspects of certain religious practices; however, it is very biased, as explained.
- The book almost exclusively presents positive aspects, practices and consequences of belief systems. The history of issues and dangers of religions are not included: the negative is only superficially mentioned and sugar coated in this book, from subtle justifications of detrimental religious practices to a brief "..why is everyone fighting". If you want a child to develop a balanced and factual understanding about religion, omitting important historical facts and failing to expose the negative side is surely not the way to do it.
- The book asserts god exists. There is a chapter (What is god?) dedicated to the 'fact' that "...God is unlimited - far greater than anything humans can truly understand or describe". The contents also often presents the assumptions from each religion as 'truths', and not as what they are, assumptions.
- It presents atheism and agnosticism as 'belief systems'. Requiring evidence to justify extraordinary claims is not a 'belief system', much less a religion.
In fact, most religious individuals are atheists when it comes down to someone else's religions - except their own. This is a poor way to teach kids about intellectual honesty and critical thinking.
In summary, although this book is an illustrated overview of various religions, it presents a biased and false rosy picture of the subject for kids and adults.