Real spiritual leaders tolerant of competing views

We are familiar with the apparent size of the sun from our perspective, but how many of us have a concept of the Earth’s appearance when viewed from the same 93,000,000-mile distance? Dividing the 8,000-mile diameter of Earth into 93,000,000 yields 11,625. That means the Earth would appear the same as a ball 1 foot in diameter at a distance of 2.2 miles after only 8 minutes of travel at light speed.

Our nearest extra-solar star, Alpha Centauri, is 4.367 light years away. At that distance, the Earth would appear the same as a 1-foot ball at over 600,000 miles. Little wonder that alien visits are so rare, if ever.

The preceding high school astronomy refresher is intended as a reminder of the profound irrelevance of Earth to the cosmos.

Hopefully, it demonstrates the absurdity of those who claim to have absolute knowledge of and direct communication with a presumed creator of everything who directs them to violently attack those who do not share their myopic, 7th-century belief system. It is a testament to the gullibility of humans that that degree of hubris can exist in context with such cataclysmic realities as black holes, galactic collisions and beams of gamma ray bursts that vaporize everything within 100,000 light years of their origin.

Unlike the fanatical absolutists, most spiritual leaders who attempt to make sense of this chaotic universe at least recognize their own fallibility and are consequently tolerant of competing views.

Dan Speas