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What do I 'Believe?'

I wrote this to a special woman who wanted to know what I believed, given that I didn't subscribe to any of the pre-fabricated religions.  I also provided links to the two videos shown here.  Given recent emails I've received from fans and anti-fans, I felt that it was worth repeating for others to read.

I believe in absolute and unconditional equality amongst all people. We must not make exceptions for women, gays, Asians, left-handed people, no-one.  I believe that any ideology or group that wishes to restrict or remove the rights of anyone should be disbanded, ridiculed and/or lose their tax-exemption status.

I believe that people should have the right to live their lives however they choose, provided that their actions do not cause harm to others or infringe upon others' rights to live how they wish.  This includes one's own children - I believe that children must be protected from harm, including (and especially) harm caused by their parents.

I believe that everyone should be effectively educated in several broad subjects: literature, mathematics, money, languages, religious history, universal morality, science and the scientific method.  I believe that in the great majority of schools today, very little is taught effectively.  I believe that a child's wide-eyed wonder and inquisitiveness should never, ever, be stifled, and that learning should be undertaken and celebrated by all people of all ages in all countries.

I believe that we should not teach any religion to children.  Teenagers should learn about religious history and the development of religion, from the dawn of recorded history, to show how modern religions developed and the effect they have had on the world.

I believe that mankind should never stop pursuing all avenues of exploration and discovery.  I believe that nothing, and in particularly no ideologies, should hinder or discourage asking questions about the world around us and then seeking answers to those questions. And when such answers are found, tested and universally verified, I believe they should be accepted, even if they differ from one's ideology.

I believe that people are only entitled to an 'opinion' on matters that do not already have mountains of evidence. Once several thousand researchers across dozens of countries over several decades all come to the same conclusion, there should no longer be an entitlement to an 'opinion' about the truth of the matter researched.

I believe that religious institutions across the world are selling a fake product to gullible people.  They offer a better next life that has never been seen and cannot be seen nor substantiated at all.  They offer false comfort to those in need, and they claim credit for the efforts of scientists, engineers and doctors, saying that saved lives are 'miracles.'  I believe that religions promote dissatisfaction with this existence, so people can look forward to the next existence, as advertised by the various religions.

I believe that no religion has ever offered anything unique to matters of morality.  They recycle values that were already universally regarded as 'good' and then claim 'ownership' of these ideas.  They then make the claim, and it is almost always believed, that without faith a person cannot determine their own morality.

I believe that people who are wilfully ignorant about their own faith, by not reading the ancient books that they claim to follow, are deluding themselves and others.

I believe that human beings have the power of thought, reason and empathy.  I believe that we all have the ability to determine right from wrong, without the aid of ancient books.  We are not respecting ourselves nor each other if we insist that we are unable to think for ourselves or develop our own morality.  The universal morality that exists in the world today, such as the UN Human Rights Charter, is a testament to reasoned, discussed, secular morality.

And I believe that today the word "believe" is used all-too-often to mean "unquestioned faith in the existence of something whose claims are inconsistent and logically fallacious, with no supporting evidence and overwhelming evidence against it," and this is why I avoid the word.

Have I missed anything?


0 # BridgeGeorge 2010-12-07 19:11
Well the passion about what you 'believe' is clearly evident. I think what you have said is reasonable, clever and supported by a wealth of education, both given and self-sought... Although possibly difficult to concede, I'd have to say that the majority of folks out there are not as educated, or as wise in the ways of the world and possibly also just 'not interested'. I'd have to say this doesn't mean that they are morally 'less' or idiotic to have faith in something that may or may not be true. If that 'faith' enables the person to lead a full, happy and morally balanced life, then who are we to say it's wrong? Lots would argue that it wasn't wrong for them... I suppose some of the misconception between you and your special lady could be as basic as a feeling she has of being 'judged'... Doesn't this judgement due to your 'belief' tread finely the line of ridicule in another's eyes? I'm all for frankness and honesty, but maybe it's in the way one presents their beliefs to another.?
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0 # Jesse Invik 2012-07-19 23:07
Bravo, this is so well put, and says, much more eloquently than I could have, what I believe as well.
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Who is Edward?

Edward Falzon is a critically acclaimed author with almost one Pulitzer Prize. A semi-committed writer, he is adored by more than half of his family.

Edward completed his 20-city book-tour of North America in September 2012. Make contact to complain if he didn't visit you.

He's pro-gay, pro-abortion, anti-death-penalty, anti-religion and pro-just-be-nice-to-each-other-for-christ's-sake. Special thanks to the Secular Student Alliance for all their support!

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