In every belief system, there are foundational elements used to support the principles, practices, and architectural truth of said belief system. In simple english, this means that every belief system has a set of reasons that hold it together.
In any game of logic or reasoning, it’s important to realize that facts cannot be altered based simply on ones perception. For example, the inability for a dead man to feel the warmth of the sun does not negate its’ hot temperature. In addition, the antics of a lunatic, willing to take a bullet for his/her belief that the sun is cold, does not cool the temperature of the sun by a single degree. The sun is hot. Furthermore, one person who feels the warmth of the sun does not further prove that the sun is hot. The sun is hot regardless of whether or not somebody feels or doesn’t feel its’ heat.
Within Christianity – who I only choose because it was the religion I was raised with – there are many who proclaim supporting arguments of their faith that are based on similar circumstances as the above statements.
“What I believe it true. I don’t know how to prove it, but I can just feel something in me that tells me it’s the truth.”
“Of course Christ was the messiah, he was willing to be killed for his belief that he was the son of G-d. Nobody would go to the cross for something they knew was a lie.”
“My life changed so much after my conversion that I know there’s no other way but christianity. My life is living proof it is the way, the truth, and the life.”
I feel like a father on Thanksgiving day, trying to figure out where to slice this particular turkey.
An educated look at basic history will show that there are many people who have walked to the grave in pursuit of a belief that many of us would agree was crazy, fanatical, or simply non-truth. We make very quick accusations at the 9/11 attackers, willing to die for their faith, proclaiming they died for a lie, yet are comfortable using the reverse logic to support the deity of Jesus.
In addition, were one to base the validity and truth of a certain religion solely based on the radical transformation of their life; having positive changes as a result of being introduced to said religion, then I must say that it would make perfect sense for me to make a religion of coffee, as my life has been dramatically changed for the better since being introduced to it. Coffee, exercise, and sex could be a new religion, as all of us will ‘never be the same’ ever being baptized in these waters.
Religious ‘fact’ also happen to mean very little to me. Whether it’s ‘divine inspiration’ that created books people follow (note: both the bible and the book of mormon are both ‘divinely inspired’), at the end of the day, any religious document, from the Torah, Koran, to the Bible was created by human hands. That’s fact.
If we happen to use our minds, try and imagine a room full of 100 different religions: sects of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Isalm, Buddhism, Shinto, Sikhism, Baha’i Faith, Jainism, etc…
Do you really think these religions were founded on loose ideas, opinions, or things that these people wouldn’t be willing to devote their lives pursuing?
Fact: we often assume that those who believe in contrary belief systems as we do somehow ‘know inside’ they are wrong, wheras we ‘know inside’ that we are right, correct, and are the only one in the room holding the golden ticket of truth.
I cry foul.
My entire life, I truly believed that I held the truth inside of me, and honestly thought that those who believed other things as I did were somehow aware that they were ‘wrong’ and choosing to believe something contrary to that which I believed.
At the end of the day, we are all blind men holding our hands against a very complicated elephant that none of us will ever, ever see or understand fully.