Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Diversity Illuminated

One of several of its kind, this graphic illustrates a deeply significant fact about god belief: whatever you happen to believe about god, most people in the world believe something else.

Fully 2/3 of the people of the world don't believe in Jesus, and 4/5 don't see anything especially important about Mohammed. 87% of human beings reject all the Hindu gods. Even wretches like me can count on at least 3 in 4 of our fellow humans to reject our filthy atheism.   

What can we say of other people and their beliefs? We can say, not without justification, this is why Sartre said "hell is other people," and why others have cited this so many times.

Here's what I think can be said of the lot of us and our divergent beliefs: with few exceptions, we are not merely pretending to hold our beliefs, but hold them sincerely;* as a strong rule, we hold our beliefs despite having been exposed to your beliefs.

There it is, as glaring as a candle in the dark.

* My beliefs, for example, are not only genuinely held but impeccably reasoned and strongly supported by the available evidence. You should really consider adopting them as your own.


Laura said...

Another candle in the dark is Damon Fowler, who tried to prevent prayer at his high school graduation and was ostracized not only by his (Christian) community, but by his own family. I attended church for a long time, but I don't remember Christ recommending that unbelievers be rejected and threatened.

Dale said...

Laura, off hand, I don't know what Jesus is said to have said about non-believers, and I don't care enough to look it up. This I know: a substantial majority of the people on earth don't care about the teachings imputed to Jesus any more than I do, which is to say, among other things, we reject them as a source of authoritative "rules to live by." Fortunately, the actual law under which we live takes my view on that. I think people should obey the law (as a strong rule), and even more so, I think schools should obey the law.