Perceptions by Sam Mansourou arms wrestles flat-earthers and draws some compelling conclusions through equally compelling lines of argument. He stands boldly on the shoulders of a deep and comprehensive bibliography, some authored by giants and some by upstarts. I would like to paste his entire Conclusion Chapter here and you would instantly see that this is a read worth your time if you can engage intellectually and objectively with arguments that turn the tables on religion in favour of science.
He states, "Its basic themes and notions –no matter how religious proponents want to apply a pretty veil over them- are limiting at best, its themes vacant. It doesn’t matter what religion it is, and it doesn’t matter if it is claimed to be something other than traditionally touted. Notions from the old religious guard continue today, and have a real effect on society. Its limitations are glaring, and were clearly meant for a less knowledgeable populace centuries ago. No matter how complicated religious proponents wish to make the argument appear, the value of the premise remains empty. Zero times a trillion is still zero, no matter how complex the formula. There will never be more advanced notions finally revealed because the authorship was of a time where the knowledge that such advancements did not exist yet."
He eloquently sets out plain arguments anchored in a present day reality that there is debilitating, retarding force anchored by a depth of religious influence on the masses. What if, he argues, "Einstein’s work was so loved that his work was preserved by extremists? The insistence that his work never be scrutinized or disproved would have a stagnant effect on society’s progression. Religion is not the-be-all-end-all it claims to be. Just because we are wired to be attracted to certain things like religion doesn’t mean it is healthy for society."
He spears the notions of power in all religions in their 'priesthoods' that they, 'mere mortals' speak for God and they have the power to administer his/her benevolence. He quotes Percy Bysshe Shelley who wrote regarding the propensity for religion in the masses: "That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principles. The idiot, the child and the savage, agree in attributing their own passions and propensities to the inanimate substances by which they are either benefited or injured. The former become Gods and the latter Demons; hence prayers and sacrifices, by the means of which the rude Theologian imagines that he may confirm the benevolence of the one, or mitigate the malignity of the other.”
Theologians, he says, always ask how science accounts for the order of the Universe, and suggests that this is a question that is better asked of the Teologians. "How does the order of the Universe work? Because the complex and inarguable theories presented by theologians today are a far cry from concepts of Bronze Age authorship. Even if the new concepts make sense the foundation of such notions are pretty much based on concepts of the near illiterate. This is why any educated guesses in religious theory include the default setting of “God” in their 'equations' - the God factor. How embarrassing for the religiously educated that they must rely on a see-God answer when contemplating formulas and papers to be made public."
Assumed Godly benevolence is bad enough but, he goes on to suggest is "bigoted, violent and oppressive". He observes that, "In the perpetual cycle of ignorance, ... an entire civilization often finds itself inheriting realities complete with cultural influences and struggles, and in that reality exists the flaws from the previous generation. The present generation is left to simply deal with the reality presented to them by its predecessor. The reason why we need to be cruel to religion is because of its vast influence which is limiting, discouraging of critical thought or empowerment and promoting of an overall unhealthy, unconcerned environment. Even its ancient and once powerful notions seem simply unable to lure the senses."
Finally he draws on two fairly recent quotes from Bill Nye and Lawrence Krauss. Nye suggests, 'science is the key to the future, and if you don’t believe in science then you’re holding everybody back' , and Krauss contends, 'informed doubt is the essence of science.'  If we are to survive, we will make it through years of increased modernity, and objective inquiry, and this is regardless of what is believed. It is time to fulfil our potential as beings on this Earth and realize what we have before us and the unlimited possibility that this world will provides us with. The religious influence arguably served its purpose, but it is time for the modern world to take over along with the notions that develop. It can be a world of education, progression and community."
And, in conclusion, he states his theme and premise: "In such a world religion will be left behind, just like all the other places where modernity increases. Secularization will increase, and humans may no longer look to a higher power, as they will have everything they need, all without God, and all without theologians. In fact, if critical thinking and accountability were among doctrines to be followed in religion were emphasized, we can only wonder what societies would have evolved to (at the present time). Now that the sciences are our guide, we have the potential to grow beyond imagination. ...We will know how to better educate and promote more harmonious and enriching societies (not ones torn asunder by religions). Vast amounts of empirical evidence will have existed by simply adhering to the scientific method."
Sam Mansourou doesn’t waste any time in his pursuit to shake the reader’s belief system, opening a window to startling concepts and revelations. The author dismisses the notion that ‘God will set the chaotic world events correct by Divine judgment.’ Despite any logical merit, the faithful still cling to this absurdity. Defenders of divine intervention argue that humans are not capable of such comprehension, which doesn’t answer anything. The claim made by the three main world religions that they are guardians of man’s morality reflects closed-minded views of those who wrote the texts, mirroring a social culture of those times. How can Christianity defend pedophile priests as pillars of moral behavior, refusing to denounce them? Reflecting Spinoza’s view that, ‘Knowledge of what the world is actually like better equips one to make moral judgments than does faith and dogma.’ The Bible contains examples of good deeds, but no insight into the nature of inner suffering or how to cope with it. Instead, it promises, through God, wealth to those who desire, vengeance for the suffering and an end to unhappiness if the practitioner follows religious law.
The reason for the change to intelligent design by those seeking to detach from the less attractive creationism is obvious. Since the scientific revolution there has been little said by the religious community that coincides with any relevant spiritual discovery or notion. The author maintains, ‘Since the alleged life and death of Jesus little has changed regarding materialistic points of view, especially among the religious masses. Whether it is the Christian, Jew, or Muslim, the vanity, along with the desire for social status, wealth and power, luxury and pleasure is as pervasive as ever, regardless of the “influence” of the Holy Spirit and other religious claims throughout the centuries.’ Albert Einstein once wrote, ‘The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. A religion which is based on experience, which refuses the dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope with the scientific needs, it will be Buddhism.’
Perceptions: Challenging Religious Concepts challenges the notion that religion is equivalent to spirituality, its value in modern society, torn apart over millennia with wars inspired by various religions in pursuit and imposition of the ‘true’ faith, relegating ideals such as morality, ethics and philosophy to the dustbin of triviality. Sam Mansourou’s book will raise more than one eyebrow and startle believers, whether they practice one of the three mainstream faiths or an Eastern philosophy, which the author claims has far more relevance in advancing man’s spirituality in today’s materialistic world where the only belief is in the dollar. The Bible has failed Christians, advancing an angry, vengeful god in the Old Testament, and a Jesus in the New Testament who claims he isn’t a god, yet was made one to quell unrest in the Roman Empire. Whatever your belief, Sam Mansourou will leave you thoughtful, wondering whether embracing genuine spirituality advocated by Eastern philosophy would be far more soul satisfying and useful than adopting blind faith in a hollow promise of a blissful afterlife. Perceptions is a far-reaching thesis with genuine relevance in today’s troubled society, but you must be open-minded to realize its value. This is a worthy work of scholarship.