Monday, June 12, 2017

Believe it or Not

I discovered
that I  was hanging on to beliefs
given me early in my life
when I had no right to believe them
given the evidence before me.

I had to learn
that no one holding a strong belief on one side of a question,
or even wishing to hold a belief on one side,
can investigate it with fairness and completeness
as if really in doubt and unbiased;
Holding on to beliefs not founded on fair inquiry
diminished me.

The sacred tradition of humanity, 
I learned, 
consists, not in propositions or statements 
which are to be accepted and believed 
based on the authority of religious clerics, 
but in questions rightly asked, 
in ideas which enable me to ask further questions, 
and in being willing to live the questions. 

The value of any beliefs
depends on their being tested day by day. 

The very sacredness of humanity 
imposes upon me the duty and the responsibility of testing my beliefs, 
of purifying and enlarging them
 to the utmost of my power
and in leaving them in the dust
as I grow.

 A religious hierarchy that makes use of beliefs 
to stifle doubt, 
or to hamper the honest inquiry of people, 
is guilty of sacrilege.

Eventually I hope to grow
to a point where
what someone believes is not as important
as simply being willing 
to live the questions.

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