This I believe and this I don’t
I believe that we should question everything; that as important as justice is, mercy is more so; and that happiness is the greatest good.
I believe in the indominatable human spirit, my family, and friends. I believe that the root of all evil is the desire for power over others; that violence always begets violence; and that truth is ever elusive, but worthy of relentless pursuit.
I believe there’s no sweeter sound than children’s laughter and in rewarding good grades with icecream cones. I believe it’s up to us to find meaning and purpose in life; that we should work less, play more, and never stop learning; and that life is way too short.
I believe in being respectful of all persons but not all beliefs; that discussing our different beliefs and searching for common ground is the way to peace; and though I may disagree with another’s belief I would give my life to secure their right to hold it.
I believe that we are connected to all that exists and that all that exists is beyond miraculous; that the wondrous force that animates life deserves our most profound reverence; and that it is death that makes life so precious.
I believe all of this and much more. But I no longer believe in heaven and hell, or in ghosts, gods, and goblins. I now consider belief in the supernatural to be a harmful delusion that leads people away from the natural—away from reality—and down a path leading to unwarranted guilt and fear.
I believe that science inspires awe and evokes wonder that far surpasses any religion. And I believe that reason, coupled with compassion, provides our greatest hope for a saner, more humane world.
And I believe that I am quite likely wrong about most all that I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.