If you’re a non religious person and you run across a religious idea that seems ridiculous or fantastical to you it may help you to practice this… Forget the religion in question and all the funny images and people associated with that religion and concentrate totally on nature and what you know of the real natural world. Then ask yourself what occurrence or natural state of things (in reality) would bring about this strange religious idea.
For instance the first example that springs to mind is the Devil or devils. Non subscribers immediately scoff at the notion and label these ridiculous. The more educated they are the easier it is to fall into this mentality because their education has exposed them to mid evil images and doubtful stories of anecdote. But viewing the “devil” as complete nonsense as far as reality is concerned is over stepping the common and obvious. At the very least everyone alive has experienced the proverbial “devil on your shoulder.” Everyone alive has witnessed the natural inclination in humans to do things they know are harmful to themselves and others. Nearly all have experienced the internal fight to overcome vice and acquire virtue. So whether the “devils” have red tails and pitchforks and whisper invisibly in your ear or “devil” is really a term for universal deconstruction program running throughout the physics, or even “devil” meaning lack of development positive to maintaining a cohesive unit, the “devil” is obviously alive and well within “reality.”
Another example is “original sin.” The Christian idea (that we inherit a sinful state from the common ancestor “Adam” seems utterly ridiculous to some. So again (if you don’t think God informed man of this) how would thinking man have come up with this idea? It’s not that hard to answer. It’s plainly obvious especially in this genetically aware time period. So how can this idea seem ridiculous? What’s funny is Richard Dawkins has stated how ridiculous this idea seems to him yet he is a biology major.
A vast many religious ideas can be far better understood (at least where the idea could have come from) if one simply asks themselves, “what REAL or existing behavior in natural reality would give someone this idea?”
Anthrophmorphisizing nature is a fantastic way to understand religious concepts because it illustrates how real problems, processes, and situations are understood and dealt with. I believe this process will also move the non religious into the mindset of the religious where one might see and discover more than they thought was there. At the very least it will bring to the surface the true root of certain concepts. And because you will identify the real world causes and conditions that endorse these ideas you will no longer consider them fantastical or ridiculous.