In his 2006 book Identity and Violence, Noble laureate Amartya Sen argued that much of today’s conflict can be traced back to the fact that people are not beingable to hold on to multiple identities. A new video from Pulitzer prize-winning humour columnist Dave Barry makes a similar argument.
The three-minute clip puts it simply: religion can be dangerous if rigidity sets in, and we are unable to laugh at ourselves. Barry, now an atheist, formally an altar boy, says it’s okay to believe whatever you believe “as long as you don’t think that everyone has to believe it and if you’re willing to laugh a little bit about your own beliefs then it’s just going to be easier for everybody to get along with different beliefs.”
Then there’s the issue of mocking religions, which many take offence to. “[I don’t think it’s to] put people down, although I guess there’s an element of humour that knocks religion, so much as to say: don’t take yourself too seriously because that could lead to problems down the road.” Now if only the fanatics and fundamentalists were willing to listen.