This I Believe

analytical Essay
750 words
750 words

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 Comman...

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...ractically irrelevant to his message. Rather, he challenged the way I view others. As many other teenagers, I have stereotyped and labeled more than I would like to admit. Now, with Engardio’s belief in mind, I believe it will challenge me to reconsider before I label someone other than what I know they are.
After listening to the essays on This I Believe, my perspective on my religion and the world has been reconsidered. Whitney Harris challenged me to rethink the origin of the plant we call home, and the forgiveness of God. Penn Jillette imposed a different view of morality upon me. Lastly, Joel Engardio challenged me to consider the way I tolerate others and the meaning of true liberty. I believe that the Buddhist ideology that people should think for themselves should we widespread, for I know I am not the only person who is a Catholic because I was raised one.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the buddha's message was to have people think for themselves, not to believe whatever they are taught. whitney harris, penn jillette, and joel engardio challenged their views on religion and the world.
  • Analyzes how whitney harris' belief that human existence is in peril imposes on their perspective of the world.
  • Analyzes how penn jillette's strong assertion that there is no god challenged them to analyze their religion in the most significant of ways.
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