The Conditions of Belief

Once upon a time, 5776 years ago give or take a few millennia, our horizons were the mountains, the deserts, the rivers, and the seas surrounding us. I’m talking about Mount Ararat to the north and the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to the east. All we knew about was contained within those horizons of space and time. If all we know about today were still contained within those horizons, it might have made sense for us to believe now in what was believed then, but that’s not the case. A thing or two has changed since then. We have moved forward and onward, and our horizons have moved with us.

Back then we did the best we could to makes sense of what was going on around us. We interpreted the evidence, for better or for worse, but we didn’t ignore any of it. Today, in order to continue believing what we believed back then, we’d have to see what we can’t see, close our eyes to what we do see, and ignore the evidence around us.

What makes more sense to us today, that an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-caring being created every single one of the atoms and electrons in our universe protecting those that make up our bodies and souls from the other atoms and electrons he created, or that everything that can happen within a universe will happen and some atoms and electrons will survive while others will not?

It is becoming harder and harder to believe what we once believed within the boundaries of those ancient horizons. What will happen to our beliefs when we launch ourselves toward the distant stars, leaving those horizons behind?

As long as we are human we will never lose our capacity to believe but our beliefs will change, timidly inching closer to the ever-new realities surrounding us. The horizons containing what we really know will always be too small for us and we will always prefer to be contained in the far more expansive horizons of our hopes and beliefs.

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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