by inhonoredglory

“You can believe one thing, I can believe another. If we’re happy, then why try converting us to something else? All beliefs are OK; they’re all equally valid.”

Ever heard something like this? It sounds reasonable; after all, such an abstract thing as religion can hardly make a difference in real life. Or so we think. In reality, real life is the substance of any belief system and of any worldview. And two different beliefs cannot be true at the same time. Think about it:

Let’s say I believe that there is a bridge on the other side of a tall mountain. Let’s say that I have a friend who challenges me and thinks there is no bridge, but a cliffside where the road ends. We both cannot go over the mountain any time soon, and we both hold sincerely our particular views. Now, are both our beliefs valid? Obviously not. The fact remains: there is or there isn’t a bridge.

Likewise is it with religions – or better put, with your worldview and belief system. One man may believe that there is a God; another man says there is none. One man may believe that humans possess an immaterial soul; another man maintains that we are merely highly advanced biological processes. Both cannot be true. It is impossible that God both does and does not exist. We cannot both have a soul and not have one. And it is ludicrous to think that some people have no soul, while others do. The very nature of a worldview is in its universality: a worldview explains a general truth that pervades the entire world.

The question therefore rests on which belief system reflects the reality. Think of a murder mystery and two competing detectives. Detective Holmes says the butler did it; Inspector Lestrade says it was the maid. Both theories cannot be true, no matter how sincerely held. There is only one reality. Whose is the question.

And that is the significance of differing worldviews and religions. Do you want to believe in a falsehood? Do you want to be led down a lie? No matter how happy or charitable we become, it is all undermined if the basis of our actions are false. What happens if you want to cross that mountain? Your beliefs determine if you bring a hang glider or a car. The same happens in real life.

"Passage" by Eleni Tsami

Your beliefs determine what you do in life: If there is a God, should I learn about Him? If there is no God, should I live it up now, for tomorrow I die and am gone? Your worldview even pervades everyday life; it is not limited to a Sunday liturgy or a deathbed confession. For example, should you cheat on a test or steal that gorgeous bike of your neighbor’s? Your actions would be different depending on whether you believe that God and morality are real forces in the world.

But most importantly, what you believe determines your happiness and your hope in life. If God is real, I can grow close to Him and live in a bright new world after death. I can be sure that there is much more than this current life. There is an afterlife. But if there is no God, then life today is a bitter place that means nothing and leads to nothing.

To find out whose view is real, we must search for evidence. We must scale the mountain and search for the bridge. We must find the clues and interview the witnesses.

Don’t be afraid to search for answers. Don’t be afraid to ask. Someone’s life depends on it – yours.