Chapter 19

Arguing about whether or not supernatural beings exist, and, if they do, which ones are more legitimate, is pointless. We keep trying to convince others of something, thereby neglecting ourselves in the process. If we were to critically examine our own views or beliefs, we might find, at least in some cases, that we are beginning to have some doubts. This would certainly weaken our enthusiasm for spreading personal concepts among other people in favor of perhaps attempting to first deal with the mess in our own heads. Leave others alone—they may be going through the exact same process and need to focus instead of dealing with your proselytizing.
When it comes to morality, there are no major discrepancies between the followers of different religions. The same is true for those who didn’t enroll in any spiritual groups (or weren’t enrolled as children). Some people raise concerns that without the fear of divine wrath, humankind would lose itself in the dark abyss of sin and vice. Even a cursory glance at reality doesn’t confirm this far-fetched view. There are villains and decent men on both sides of the barricade.
The declaration of one’s belief in supernatural beings or lack thereof should not matter either. If you’ve generally behaved decently during your earthly journey, you should enjoy the favor of a judge and jury at the final trial—even if you had previously denied the existence of such a body. Those who, in the absence of it, awaited the final judgment in vain, should equally not despair but quietly accept their ideological defeat. “Errare humanum est,” as the Roman speaker and writer used to say. To distinguish him from his famous descendant, he was referred to as the Elder. (…)