Is there value in investigating other belief systems?
Absolutely! It's turned into one of my great interests in life. To the extent that it's almost a hobby now. It's kind of like the whole point of religion in reverse — the more you delve, the more you realise how everything is just a cover version of earlier polytheisms.
Just because I don't believe in a God does not mean that I don't find the stories interesting. While in college, I took every religion and mythology course I could find. I also think a person should be well versed in any subject in which they have formed a solid opinion.
Yes. I took World Religions at University about 6 years ago. Took anthropology too. I find it interesting to see how the rest of the world worships or follows a moral code of behaviour like Buddhism. I found the Jain religion particularly interesting. They embrace no-harm to all creatures even wearing masks which trap insects which the shake off gently. They do not believe in God.
I find the most belligerent religions are the monotheistic ones. Cheers!
Very much. It helps me to understand conflicts, and also the history of man all around the world. Have you ever studied the African religions and folk lore, such as the great god, Mungu, who lives in Baobab trees?
When christian missionaries arrived, they usurped the word "mungu" to mean their "God"
Reading about very early religions and their myths (Joseph Campbell's works...wonderful!) helped me see how ''authors'' of the bible stole/modified stories to make their "Jehovah" look good. That's all the good I can see in comparing religions. They're all designed to comfort the believers.
I did a lot of that when I was younger.
It helped solidify my atheism even more than it had been before.
Reading the bible was also quite helpful.
I hold the firm belief that ALL religion is a scam, and all gods are nothing more
than man-made boogeymen. All meant to keep people in line and manipulated
to serve those in power.