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Sometimes, when I talk with some of the participants, we talk about things as trivial as the game Risk. On the other hand, the fact that in this talk we agreed that it is a really great game, isn’t that trivial. Of course, one could say, if I like Risk and he likes Risk, what good does that do to the World? How is this going to end the conflict between Jews and Moslems, the hatred and the mistrust? But then, I could say, that the fact that I like playing Risk and that he likes playing Risk brought us a little closer. On a human level. His sparkling eyes when talking about it, my love for that game, aren’t they the same?

Sometimes, when I talk with some of the participants, we talk about things as deep as the (in)existence of God and what faith means or doesn’t mean. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes I, an agnostic Jew, agree perfectly well with a religious Moslem. You might wonder how this is possible. He believes in God, I believe that God doesn’t exist. He feels that God exists, I don’t feel this. From a more objective point of view, how can we say that what I feel is more correct than what he feels? He feels something I don’t feel, I feel something he doesn’t feel. Now, of course, to me my feeling seems the only real one – I do not feel his feelings as I do mine. He could say the exact same thing. If we agree that all human beings are equal (whether by the will of God or just because we are all human beings), how can I truly say that my feelings are the only correct ones?  We believe something, but proof in a scientific way of the existence of God or his inexistence, is beyond us. And actually – we agreed – it also just isn’t needed. I know that I as a human being cannot know the absolute truth; he knows he cannot know the absolute truth. We both know that when confronted with the totality of it all, we, human beings that we are, cannot and will never know everything. The answers to the last questions will always be above us. In this spirit of humility, I can accept his belief and he can accept mine, because there is no forcing the belief. We accept the other belief, even though we respectfully disagree on the content. We see that our belief, his belief in God, my questioning the existence of God, are both based in a place deep within us. A place that we will never be able to fully explain. Now, this talk and the fact that I believe something and that he believes something brought us a little closer. On a human level. His sincere belief and my sincerity, aren’t they the same?

Oliver Braunschweig

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