Religious people are from Lilliput

The people of the fictional island Lilliput in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels were at war with the people of their neighbouring island Blefuscu. The reason, disagreement over the right way to break an egg. The people of Lilliput said that the egg should be broken at the big end and hence were called Big-Endians and the other party naturally were the Little-Endians (Not the same as the bit order in computing). Gulliver being captured by the people of Lilliput helps them and wins the war for them. Now that’s the story. A recent brainwave suggested that there may be some meaning underneath Swift’s portrayal of the reasons for the warring factions.

As anyone can see, the most obvious comparison that can be made to real life situations where people fight based on reasons as frivolous as which end of the egg to break is religion. People of different religions and sometimes within the same religion, fight and kill other people claiming that their way is the only way and the others are so wrong that people following the way ought not to live. What makes this all the more ridiculous is the fact that human beings are inherently selfish and would do anything to survive. When resources are limited, only the strongest and the biggest were able to survive. That happens all the time. Now why would they fight over something/someone they all claim is the creator/protector/controller of all life on earth. If they were trying to reach that someone, they shouldn’t they work together to achieve the goal? Or is this something part of human evolution where humans find some reason to fight where there are none? I can only hope there are answers, because a great many number have tried to answer this question but ended up getting beaten and forgotten.

After I wrote this, I was curious if Jonathan Swift had really made religious references and checked Wikipedia. I wasn’t surprised to find that it indeed was the case. No wonder he made the Lilliputians little people.


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