Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"It's All Cool, Man."

“You have a wonderful personality. Develop it. Be yourself. Don’t imagine that your perfection lies in accumulating or possessing external things. Your perfection is inside of you. If only you could realise that, you would not want to be rich. Ordinary riches can be stolen from a man. Real riches cannot. In the treasury-house of your soul there are infinitely precious things, that may not be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde

For today's post I intended to quote a particular video and then talk about it. I then realized that I wanted to quote pretty much the entire video, so I shall just embed it for your convenience.

I love this video so much. It's basically saying "Some people are religious, and other people aren't, but who is and isn't doesn't matter because we're all trying to do the same thing: find or create meaning in our lives. The details of someone's beliefs don't matter so much as how their beliefs affect them."

I was having a discussion a few weeks ago with two of my friends, one of which is religious and the other of which is agnostic. The agnostic friend and I were trying to get the religious one to understand that people of other religions find as much truth in their beliefs as she does in hers. 

She insisted that her proof carried more weight than their proof because their beliefs were wrong and hers were right (and that we didn't get it because we just don't believe). We insisted that there's really no way of knowing (and that if we have to believe in order to see the proof as proof then it's not "proof" at all) so all types of belief are just as valid as all of the other ones. 
Notice that I say "types of belief" rather than "religions." There are plenty of theological details I don't find remotely plausible (which of course does not include Pastafarians, because I most definitely am held to the ground by one of His Great Noodly Tendrils rather than that ridiculous thing called gravity).

But there's the thing with absolute theological truth- there is a right and there is a wrong and it matters. With me, modes of belief are like Skittles. They're all the same thing: they just have different colors and flavors, and some flavors I like better than others, but that doesn't mean other people can't like the ones I don't.

Because I really don't think it matters whether there's a god or many gods or no gods at all. We're all here on the same planet trying to do the same stuff. And since I also believe that if there is a god he/she's not going to condemn me to an eternity of hellfire just for not being completely assured of his/her existence, I'm not worried about what may or may not come next. 
Figuring out life on Earth is plenty for me to handle.


  1. This is great (I didn't watch the video since I am in the hotel bar in Atlanta...). I agree with this but the religious folks (much like your friend) who believe they are right make me crazy and more blasphemous of any religion. And I am NOT an atheist nor an agnostic!

    But I am fortunate to have a few, and I mean FEW, people who are comfortable with their beliefs that they don't try to convince me I am wrong, nor are they afraid to say a prayer in front of me. *That* is what I like to see...

  2. Very interesting post. I was just wondering if you could explain this a little bit better: "so all types of belief are just as valid as all of the other ones." Because this is really not true. While people find comfort in different beliefs not all beliefs can be valid at the same time. Christianity and Islam both say they are the only path to a heaven, but both cannot be right because each belief is exclusive on the subject of the afterlife. Or am I just misunderstanding you?

  3. @Anonymous I don't mean that all can be true at the same time. I mean that any one of them has about the same chance of being true (at least in my mind) as the rest, because they're all based on faith rather than proof. Even atheism is based on faith-- there could be a god, but he might just not be taking an active role. Help?

  4. @elfarmy17 Yes it does and I agree with you. But I would like to point out some people believe their faith has proof and is completely logical. I had to take a yearlong class on a class about proving Christianity and how to talk to people about it. But thank you for clearing that point up.


Talk to me.