One can, however, acknowledge what inside of themselves is a story, and have gratitude and mercy for the stories one sees in others. It's the really hard-headed ones who become so convinced that their way is the "truth" and deem those who don't subscribe to their story as the "truth," who can be a bit of a pain, but who also miss out on the grandeur and the majesty of the world and the universe it hangs in.The implication here is that everybody has their own perspective and they're all unique, beautiful and valid (except when they're not). I often see this Milquetoast defense of religious belief and superstition as religion is forced to concede more ground on the nature of reality. However, there are two claims being made here that I feel deserve attention.
"One can, however, acknowledge what inside of themselves is a story, and have gratitude and mercy for the stories one sees in others." This claims that religious beliefs are based on allegory about true fact regarding gods and divinity, a nod to Plato's Cave in which the god being worshiped is perceived imperfectly but is no less real because of it. The problem is that as I explored previously many of those beliefs are directly contradictory and can't all be valid. This god can't simultaneously reincarnate us endlessly until we all get it right and send us to hell or heaven if we reject salvation in this life. We can cherish these "stories" as stories -- fiction that we invent to amuse or comfort ourselves. However, the stories Deacon Duncan discusses in his essay aren't held as fiction, they're claimed to be accurate representations of reality with everyone's depiction of god a form of Mary sue characterization.
"It's the really hard-headed ones who become so convinced that their way is the 'truth' and deem those who don't subscribe to their story as the 'truth,' who can be a bit of a pain, but who also miss out on the grandeur and the majesty of the world and the universe it hangs in." Here the commenter makes the claim that sure there are some bad apples in the basket but they don't represent the vast majority of believers who keep their beliefs personal and don't take action on them. Do I really need to refute this again and again? Apparently I do. Maybe this overview will demonstrate my point.
Everyone wants to believe that their assumptions are correct and that even if they turn out to be wrong they're going to be ultimately harmless. When it comes to religion, I can't stress enough how the evidence shows that such beliefs are neither correct nor harmless.