Here is an interested fact: There are over 7 billion people on this planet. This means if I know 1,000 people, I only know 1 out of 7 million people. If I knew a million people by name, there would be 7,000 times more people whose names I don’t know. It’s a very humbling piece of information.
What I find even more interesting is that virtually all of those people don’t have the same beliefs. Sure, there are a lot of shared beliefs, but if you accounted for every area of belief that a person can have (including the cosmos, what will happen in the future, what has happened in the past, what is right/wrong, the origin of man, if gun control would result in less death, etc), there might not be two people in existence who agree on everything. If you include the 100 billion people who died before all the people alive came into existence, it wouldn’t help. The knowledge base of humanity (what we base our beliefs on) was radically different 20 years ago, and even more different 300 years ago. We butcher and modernize the beliefs of generations past and apply them to the new knowledge and beliefs of the present.
Here is another interesting fact: Every single one of the 107 billion people that have ever existed thought they were right about everything they believed and none of them shared the same beliefs. I find this information extremely demonstrative of just how closed minded almost every individual in the human race is. It also demonstrates just how invalid beliefs are.
If every belief only had 100 possible alternative beliefs, and there were 100 areas to possess beliefs in, that would mean that the chances of your beliefs being correct are 1 in 10,000 for everything you believe. The sky is the limit on how many alternative beliefs there are on a subject, and there are significantly more than 100 areas to possess beliefs in. All of this math doesn’t even account for the fact that we may make discoveries in the future that completely throw out the foundation for every possible belief that you could possess in modern times (which happens time and time again).
So our beliefs are limiting, but what are we supposed to do? We can do anything! Personally, I find all this information to lend credence to the idea of being tolerant of people’s beliefs. I also think it lends credence to the idea of being completely intolerant of beliefs as a system. Either way, by the time we reach adulthood, we come prepackaged with all sorts of preconceived notions in our head that makes sense of the world around us and we’ve gotta do something with it. While a purposeless life may leave someone feeling as though there isn’t really a place for them, a belief system gives them a purpose and a starting ground. So even as absurd as someone’s beliefs may seem, keep in mind your beliefs may sound equally absurd to them. Keep an open mind on others beliefs as your beliefs may be just absurd as theirs.
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