Another one of the ideas that wormed its way into my brain as a kid and set me down the path I’ve traveled is the realization that, had I been born nearly anyplace else in the world, I would likely have been taught a completely different religious belief system. We put an awful lot of importance on the truth in our religions, and yet the single biggest determining factor in where our spiritual journey begins is the genetic lottery.
If one religion is assumed to be true and the rest false, and only a certain number of kids in the world “luck into” that religion at birth, what kind of deity are we dealing with? And since pretty much all the kids in the world are raised to believe that the religion they were born into is the correct one….
I mean, even as a kid this seemed like a pretty crappy system.
Ironically, as I’ve left various paths and found others, that path has largely been determined by chance as well. Catholicism wasn’t the only faith I’d learned anything about or experienced in my college years. What if I’d decided that Judaism felt really inspiring to me? I had Jewish friends. It was a possibility. Catholicism was simply an emotional choice. If my wife hadn’t expressed an interest in Wicca, I wouldn’t have started attending a pagan discussion group. All of this has just been twists of circumstance.
For me, that’s not a big epiphany, nor does it invalidate my journey. My view of religion and spirituality as a conglomeration of complicated but similar perspectives is quite different than it used to be, and it no longer includes concepts like “truth” in relation to “doctrine”.
But it’s fairly irrefutable that the vast majority of humans on earth believe what they believe because that’s simply how the dice rolled. It’s all a big game of chance.
How does that reconcile with what you believe?