This post is a follow-up to the previous post, which is a reprinting of Pema Chodron’s work.
When it comes to any non-materialist view of reality (i.e., religion, non-religion, spirituality, etc.), it doesn’t matter what other people believe. It only matters what you believe.
These matters of belief are deeply personal, and carry potential for a lot of contention between people (and nations), since conflicting viewpoint can appear to undermine our own belief, i.e., everything we know what it means to be human in this world. But if we make other people wrong, we are making ourselves wrong. Everyone has the right to make meaning how they see fit, and what’s right for one person, may not be right for someone else. Like us, meaning and belief are ours individually, and that’s what makes them inherently relative. Any personal belief which doesn’t first recognize the relative nature of belief and, by extension the inherent value of differing beliefs, only serves to undermine and discount the beauty and greatness which is possible within an infinite vastness of possibilities.
In my own world-view, I happen to believe in a Power and Intelligence which I (don’t understand) but to which I feel like I am connected. But I don’t believe that atheists are wrong. Only if I believed in absolute reality could I believe that others with a different world view are wrong. The “Truth” is as subjective as human experience. The only absolute truth is my own – and that means it doesn’t apply to anyone else. It can’t!
Within the material understanding of reality, we have science to tell us what is absolutely true (until it is disproven at a later time, which so often happens with materials truths). We have set of methods and rules by which we observe, test, and understand the nature and scope of reality, upon which we can all absolutely agree. Everything else about reality exists in the domain of the relative, and this is why -
ALL BELIEFS ARE VALID.