Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens, and while not changing my view on religion, it certainly added to my knowledge of religious traditions and influences. I believe one can gain knowledge from any belief and culture, as long as one avoids being completely consumed by it. Or said in a better way: "Let my house not be walled on four sides. Let the windows be open. Let all the cultures blow in. But let no culture blow me off my feet" – Mahatma Gandhi
Those are very good quotes somewhere along my line of thinking right now. Having an identity makes a diverse and rich world. It's when people get absolutely blinded by who they think they suppose to be are is when it becomes a problem.
The history of the human society has proven that unless you are proud, and consequently ignorant, clinging to what you know and what you believe, you are a loser. I am one of the very few people of my closed minded back-fire-like-a-motherfucker Arab-Israeli community, and for that I really am a weak individual amongst these proud tall-walking individuals. Yes, in theory, you and I are the better people for being understanding like this. We evolve, our conversations are always based on the fact that we're discussing to learn, not to win. But in practice, in our everyday lives, the people who are doing the most with their lives, fucking like animals, building skyscrapers, popular on facebook, losing weight, getting over misfortunes, are those who have that ignorance-soaked pride. And the reason is because.. you know how a very popular advice 'stable' people use to help 'shaky' ones is "Just be yourself, enjoy your moment, HATEZ GAWN HATE" ? That advice, which is usually a success, stems from the whole "I don't have time to be understanding, Im gonna cling to this collection of beliefs, thoughts and habits I have, and take pride in them. That is how I become stronger"
That first sentence screams of truth. While maybe not losers, as you can blame human nature to be content with where it's current sphere of knowledge is. Too much pride in what we know and who we are is probably one of the worst things. It's the reason when you say anything that might be counter to their point of view, no matter how relevant or right it might be, you might just get an answer like "Fuck you." Or a fist to the face because you don't dare mention anything related to their background or culture even if it's a critical thought.