Potemkin wrote:If you call these people's religious beliefs "myths", then you are asserting that they are not true, that the events narrated in them never happened. Basically, you're telling them that you think they're a bunch of fools. That's why they get angry. But that's exactly what we're doing to the Australian Aborigines every time we call the Dreamtime a "myth".
OK, its past my bedtime so I can't give you a long and detailed answer on this. These beliefs or myths (I'm happy to call them whatever you want,) are not facts based on scientific research or historical evidence. So if we can agree they are not facts supported by evidence - I am happy to use whatever word you recommend.
If I was to write here that I can fly without an aircraft, or walk on water - I think people would have the right to question me on that - don't you?
There is a huge amount of scientific research and historical evidence that tells us how the earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago by a process called runaway accretion, and how, over billions of years, the land was terraformed and life appeared, and evolved from a photosynthesising blue-green algae, some 2.5 billion years ago.
Primitive cultures didn't know about this stuff so they had to make up stories to explain what they couldn't understand. This became known as 'the God of the Gaps', and some people choose to continue to believe those stories. That's cool - but I shouldn't be expected to share those beliefs if they don't make any sense.
My mum has a university Baccalaureate and a Doctorate, so I don't think she is a fool - she just chooses to believe the Christian stories for her own reasons. My dad chooses not to.