Why are some things easier to believe than others?
We certainly believe in the things we perceive physically, and those which seem “obviously true/commonsensical” to us, mostly based on experience and tradition and consensual reality.
How are beliefs about the afterlife/lack thereof any different than those that characterize regional and ethnic struggles, those obvious struggles in which it is obvious to the outsider that neither side is “right”?
I have found belief in a great, vast, mysterious world outside our own limited, consensual reality because I have no choice but to believe. Fortunately, this vast world offers ample room for all competing ideas - where there is paradox, there is a greater system by which the opposing parts are assumed into a greater whole.
Ideas from every culture and every belief system have begun to fit nicely into my newly constructed framework: Christianity (the wisdom of Jesus, unlimited compassion, “being a child of God”, end-of-time ideas), Islam (submission to ‘God’), Buddhism (wisdom, reincarnation, karma, simple living), Hinduism (creative and destructive forces, the third eye), shamanism (connection to Earth, levels of consciousness, spirit realms), new age (healing, prophecy, universal consciousness), astrology, science, etc. Anything earnestly believed may reside in “true” reality without negating the others. At the very least all must at least be considered, no matter what your current beliefs (which tend to fall into a “this is it” type of assertion). Be careful though: much belief is human invention. It is important to find the kernels.
What about UFO encounters? These have recently moved from the realm of ridiculous to the realm of the sublimely possible (in my view).
Firstly, a simple reading on the subject indicates the the phenomenon has much more depth, breadth, and width than I would have previously imagined. Skeptics more stony-hearted than I have been converted by direct experiences or accumulated knowledge of mystery.
Something has happened to these people to inspire belief. They’re not all bumpkins; they’re not all freaks; they’re not all followers. Considering that the idea of “abduction” has been reported throughout times in terms related to culture and period, I’m curious as to whether there is a outside-normality explanation.
If you don’t want to belief anything but the few sparse facts science has unearthed, that is, of course, your prerogative. But try, if you can, the alternative: living mythically and mystically, seeing meaning where you see it, and keeping a very open mind. Not all people whose ideas are unbelievably different than yours are crazy [, NTs I know].