"... Rick Deckard, the android-chasing bounty hunter in “Do Androids Dream,” desperately want something authentic to believe in, and the books suggest that the quality of belief may be more important than the degree of authenticity."
Now there's an interesting thought. How important is authenticity when the guise of 'quality' is paired with belief. If a mental map of a belief system 'appears' to be of high quality, or engenders feelings of happiness, harmony, health or other spiritual well-being, is it important that the belief structures be genuine?
Below, we examined the parallels between the mythical figures of Yeshuah, Krishna, Horus, Mithras and Buddha. There are similarities to be found in all 5 mythologies - and as Pantokraterix states in the Blog Entry "The Mythology of Chrisitanity. Who Cares?" wisdom should be considered wisdom, even if the source is questionable/borrowed or simply a stew from the melting pot of human mythology.
But then we must acknowledge that as we dish out this stew of ideas, with the wisdom comes the...unwise? I hesitate here, because my first instinct was to say "foolish", but that is an inciteful term. True some of the precepts of scripture may be distasteful to a reasoned person, but there may have been an original wisdom when taken contextually. It may seem extreme to stone someone to death for eating shellfish (in the 21 century), but in year zero O.T. times, there were probably very good bacteriological reasons to not eat shellfish.
That being said, humanity seems to want to find ideals to cling to, or to derive support from, or to base a moral ethic around. But do we NEED to make it so complicated? Do we need to derive wisdom from lengthy, poorly written, self conflicting instruction manuals that self-correct themselves and brook no evolution to suit the surrounding culture or time frame? Why does humanity overcomplicate the simple question of whether we should just all be nice to each other, or whether we should engage in infinite varieties of tribalism? Are we struggling between an instinctive need to "protect the tribe" and a social need to "better the species"?