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This I Believe Essay

912 words - 4 pages

The religious icon Buddha preached often to his followers. One of his messages was to “believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your common sense.” The Buddha’s intendment was to have people think for themselves, not to believe whatever they are taught. Raised a Roman Catholic, I have always believed in the principles and ethics of that faith, strictly because it was what my parents had taught me to believe. Growing up and learning to think for myself, and listening to the stories of others on the This I Believe program has forced me to consider this message given by Buddha. There were three speakers in particular that sparked an interest within me. Whitney Harris, Penn Jillette, and Joel Engardio all challenged the way I view not only my religion, but the world.
With his knowledgeable insight on the world and its origin, Whitney Harris’ belief that human existence is in peril imposes on my perspective of the world. Harris points out the logical points that modern day science has proven. The Earth was created by the explosion informally known as the “big boom”. What caused this eruption is still debated, but Harris claims it was the touch of God. He asserts. “To ignite the spark of life required the hand of God.” This challenged my personal beliefs because in my faith, God created the entire universe in seven legendary days. I was also raised to believe that God is forgiving and accepting to all. Harris challenges this, he believes that “...if man desires to destroy himself…God will not save him.” Murder and even suicide are both considered violations to the Fifth Commandment in the Catholic faith. Although it is a sin to disobey the Ten Commandments, I believe God is forgiving. Thus, I question, if God was all forgiving, why would he not save mankind as Harris states?
Penn Jillette’s strong assertion that there is no God challenged me to analyze my religion in the most significant of ways. Jillette does not not believe in God, Jillette believes there is no God. This differs from my beliefs, being a Roman Catholic. Jillette enjoys the benefits he finds in his belief of no God. He, shares, “Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.” Personally, this seems completely logical to me. Even though Jillette’s incentive to act morally without the belief of heaven is different than my own, his perspective is rational in my eyes. The...

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