Book wisdom

It is a pity that Moses did not include bibliodolatory among the Shalt Nots when he was composing the Ten Commandments. He did condemn idolatory of graven images, but he let pass the fanatical worship of ancient books, or bibliolatry.

Ancient books can be interesting from a historical point of view, but ideas found in them are now mostly obsolete.

Unfortunately some followers of the Abrahamic religions – a few of whom contribute to The Scotsman’s Letters pages – treat their ancient books as if every pronouncement in them is beyond question. I find this ridiculous. You might as well take a 2,000-year-old map and expect it to be an accurate representation of the world we live in today.

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Sadly, the effects of such adherence to ancient texts are worse than ridiculous. Ancient prejudice against homosexuals is found in such books and then it becomes the basis on which some alleged believers today mistreat, abuse and even attack them.

Few people today see any sense in sacrificing goats to appease the gods. Perhaps we should all learn to raise our heads from the pages of ancient books, which should not be treated as infallible.

Les Reid

Joppa, Edinburgh