This I Believe

Kevin - Sunnyvale, California
Entered on November 7, 2006

Why do we argue and fight about religion?

I am a religious half-breed. My mother is Jewish. On my father’s side, one grandparent is Irish Catholic, the other is Irish Protestant. I learned at a very early age to ignore comments from people about the righteousness of their religious beliefs and the wrongness of other beliefs. What else could I do?

I believe many people fall into a trap set by their religious teachings.

I believe any serious discussion about the nature of God is doomed to failure from the start. When someone makes this attempt, they describe that which can not be described. Our ability to perceive and describe reality is heavily influenced and limited by our sensory apparatus. That which we can touch, see, smell, etc, we can understand and describe. “God” (“the infinite”, “the great spirit”, “the creator”, etc) is beyond our ability to experience it due to our understanding of reality being limited by what we can sense. Mystics spend lifetimes in meditation to break this bound, and the ones who claim they do say they can not describe what they’ve experienced as language doesn’t have anything with which to express it.

The trap is the belief that your personal experience of god is the only possible experience of god.

It’s like the story of the 7 blind men who all touch different parts of an elephant and come to 7 different understandings of what an elephant is like, and then fight about their disagreements.

To further illustrate this point, if we assume there is a god, and we understand that the three large monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all agree there is one god, doesn’t it follow that they all believe in the SAME one god. That being the case, what do we disagree about?

My point is we should we just let this whole god thing go and be good to each other because it makes your life better. We live in an attraction based universe. Bitter people seem to attract bitter encounters. Pleasant people seem to attract pleasant encounters. I believe you should accept your views of religion, spiritually, agnosticism, science, or however you believe the Universe and Life came into existence, accept that others have different views and just get on with treating people well because YOU directly benefit from doing so.