Humans seem to have a tendency to pick one side of a fence, overly identify with that side and then continue to defend that side with a vengeance. They cease to look into other patches of grass that may be over different fences, and even if they do, a lot of people see it as so different, so foreign, that they decide they want nothing to do with it whatsoever.
Of course a lot religious people are the greatest example of this. Many refuse to really take in another point of view, to immerse themselves in it and study it to put themselves in the shoes of a believer and see the world through their eyes. This an utterly fascinating adventure and I don’t know why so many decide to refuse these opportunities. Just because you identify as a Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, Sunbro, Jedi or anything under the sun, doesn’t mean you’ve made your decision and shouldn’t delve into other paths for bit of perspective.
Even some of the more extreme sounding religions/cults like Satanism (Which ironically isn’t as bad as Christian Fundamentalism IMO) and Wiccan Paganism should be read about. People tend to steer clear from religions or sects that have extreme beliefs or that are stereotyped as having extreme beliefs (See Muslim Terrorists who do what they do “in the name of Allah”). These are exactly the types everyone should be exploring to dispel these pre-conceptions!
If everyone really knew the word of the Bible, we could eliminate the fact that some disregard it because of it speaks of stories with no evidence and proposes that we have an invisible eternal ruler/creator. Whether you believe it or not is not the point, it’s knowing all perspectives when it comes to life, your role in it and the universe as a whole. How can you come to a clear decision on that by being raised in a closed-off home that teaches one “true” religion? Then continuing the circle of indoctrination in future generations, no one gets any more perspective on life.
I used to be that child that had all these questions for religion, I could never understand how people could believe a magic man in the sky created all this and us, and how people could put so much faith in one book of which there is no evidence of it being God’s word. I was almost anti-religion, seeing it as fairy tales that the insane or indoctrinated could only believe. However I was ignorant and I’m glad to have changed my views so much in the past decade.
Because I had so many questions about how all this would work, I studied religion in school for the full 6 years I attended. I would read about religions and philosophy online, sometimes in books and I’d try and find people to talk about it with. After all that, I identify with being an Agnostic Atheist, but I’m much less ignorant to how and why people believe in what they do. I can debate against it and agree with it in different capacities and I no longer rule out a higher power existing. Best of all, I can see a lot of things from perspectives different from my own, not all of them, I still have a lot of reading to do…
Enough about me though, the main message in this article is that shutting yourself off from what you see as foreign beliefs is missing out on opportunities to grow as a person and to become the strongest version of yourself. Don’t think you’re done and have satisfactory answers to life’s big questions just yet. Other people had ideas as well and they’re all worth looking into, you may just discover more about yourself, as well as understanding the millions/billions of people who follow said beliefs as a life-guide. If they can and will dedicate their lives to something, it won’t kill you to dedicate a little time on trying to understand and empathise with their view of life itself, in the end you’ll only come out a stronger person and will be that much closer to understanding your own life.
Explore all perspectives, it’s a never-ending sea of ideas and philosophies which leads to eliminating ignorance, something we have too much of in the modern world.
Featured Image: ©Kevinzim