This I Believe

Robert Joseph - 34285, Florida
Entered on February 6, 2008
Age Group: 65+


I was brought up a Christian. I am also a Darwinian, a Jeffersonian, a Ghandian and an Einsteinian. I admire the great people who have aided and enhanced humanity and contributed to our knowledge, tolerance and understanding of the mysteries around us. I guess that I would also call myself a constantly curious humanitarian.

We humans are the most accomplished life form on our planet. Maybe we are the greatest life form in this vast universe, but considering the trillions of galaxies, many containing more trillions of stars each, and probably circled by more trillions of planets, our being the greatest or most advanced life form among this vast number of possibilities is statistically and logically very unlikely.

Historians remind us that early human cultures thought our planet was flat, and that the sun revolved around the earth, and that the Earth was the center of our solar system, and that the earth was created in seven days. I don’t know how long it took to create but we now know that our Earth is over four and a half billion years old.

There are many other illusions and delusions that we narcissistic homo-sapiens embrace. We look around us at our superiority to other earthly life forms and make an illogical quantum leap into pleasant warm illusions and delusions. We say “Hey we’re the greatest,” but rarely add, “to the best of our very limited knowledge and information.”

It seems to me that the label that a person proudly wears, or the philosophy, or religion that he professes, is less important than his contribution to easing human pain and enhancing human virtue.

Scriptures remind us that it is “By their deeds that ye shall know them,” not by the creed they profess or the symbols they wear around their necks or on their lapels to proclaim their affiliation.

A child unlucky enough to be born in the poverty of a village in Africa, or to a heathen family in the Brazilian jungle, and not exposed to our western faiths, would never be condemned by a just deity to an eternity of punishment. Additionally, an American citizen born, nurtured and trained in the “wrong” faith, would never be punished by a just and fair God for his accidental misfortune of being born to and theistically indoctrinated by the “wrong” parents.

Therefore, as well as being an American and believing in the greatness of Jesus and many other great men, I am also a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Unitarian, and more. I also believe in the words that appeared on the altar of the Ethical Culture Society in New York City: when I was a boy:

“Any place where men gather to seek the truth is Holy Ground.”

The greatest gift we have from evolution and God is the evolving enlightenment in the mind of mankind. The greatest sin against this God given gift of a mind is not to use it, but to allow others to think for us, decide for us and thereby waste or replace this greatest of God’s gifts. God has not established only one group or one club for his varied human creations. It is not the club that you belong to, but the way you conduct your life and the effort that you give to nurturing your fellow man.that matters. The compassion of Jesus or Moses or Mohammed, will best be achieved by your kindness and your actions, not by your affiliations or entreaties.