The action of conflict among humans is like a spill of petrol into a flaming fire when humanity refuses to look at the world as a story where individuals with their opinions, and beliefs are characters.
The world is an excellent book, written by God: the earth is the setting; human beings are the characters; mystery is the plot; ideas, beliefs, prejudices among individuals are the conflicts; tolerance is the resolution. Is the antagonist Satan? God could have penned the world where only Christians or Muslims are the characters, but He added atheists, scientists, New Age Spirituality, and Buddhists to organize humankind as the zebra and its stripes.
While those who believe in New Age Spirituality believe that we ourselves are God, Muslims believe there is the one almighty God, named Allah, who is infinitely superior to and transcendent from humankind. Christians, meanwhile, believe in one eternal God who is the creator of all that is, a loving God who offers everyone a personal relationship with himself now in this life. Buddhists do not worship any gods or God; they believe no god or gods exist.
A site called “religioustolerance.org” has two categories of beliefs about origin of the species that stirs religious discord, the first being “Creation science: A religious view accepted by religious conservatives based on the belief that God created the universe less than 10,000 years ago; God created all the species of life along with the world itself in six days, each 24 hours long.”
The second is “naturalistic evolution, a set of beliefs that the universe originated about 14 billion years ago; the earth coalesced about 4.5 billion years ago; life subsequently began, probably as bacteria deep in rocks, and has been evolving ever since. The process of evolution has been driven by purely natural forces, without input from a God or a Goddess or multiple deities, and without a goal.”
This is all that characters find in the world, God’s ideal story. We make the meaning of life manifest itself within each of the characters aforementioned. Although conflict is an apple of fighting, discriminations, and hatred, it is the blood and heart of humanity; it breathes a passion of unity and coexistence in humanity. Conflict reshapes the universe and humans into coins; it is a potter, and humans are its pottery. Conflict animates peace and accordance among people so they can coexist, even though they are the zebra and its stripes.
There is war, and peace. Day, and night. Between men, and women. Marriages between a man, and a woman. Marriages between man, and man. Marriages between a woman, and a woman. Islamic religion, and the Christian religion. The Bible, and the Qur’an. Life, and death. War defines peace. Peace gives knowledge about war. Even among Christians who preach with the same Bible, controversy exists over which day to worship the Creator. Some Churches say it is Saturday, other denominations consider it Sunday. These represent life and humanity as a coin.
The Collins Dictionary defines conflict as: “a serious difference between two or more beliefs, ideas or interests”, and “fighting between countries or groups of people.”
From the above definitions, it is obvious the winds of conflict are not a breeze of peace, but hatred, and fighting that results in death.
Considering the above definitions, what positive impact does conflict hold that inspired Veronica Roth to write that “If there’s no conflict, there are no stories worth telling — or reading”? Although the fruits of conflict side against Veronica Roth and her quote, I side with her. The bases for my views are religious, and mystical.
From a religious point of view, according to Genesis 2:8-17, Christians believe God planted a garden eastward in Eden and put the man whom he had formed there. Amid that garden, God planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Wait! Let us reflect on that further. Although God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree, why did he plant it amid perfection? A plot of his ideal story where humans are the characters and the sources of conflict? Here we see good and evil amid perfection, a conflict between good and evil.
A Christian friend once argued with me that God had no idea about conflict until after he had designed the world and humanity. However, attributes ascribed to God show that God is Omniscience. “The omniscience of God refers to him being all-knowing. He knows the end from the beginning. He has knowledge of the future, and his knowledge of the future is perfect.” So how could God who is all knowing not foresee conflict before creating humankind?
Let us consider another attribute of God: transcendence. “God’s transcendence means that he is outside space and time, and therefore eternal and unable to be changed by forces within the universe.”
One would argue that God created a perfect world and perfect human beings, but the world is a place of misery and conflict because of the disobedience of humanity. God wrote an ideal world, but forces within the universe have changed him from a perfect God to the God whose perfect world is full of conflict.
From a mystical point of view, these questions stir discussion: if God is loving and perfect and all knowing, why is there much suffering? Why are there ideas and beliefs, and conflict that result in fighting and discrimination among humans? Why did God create humanity when he knew before long that conflict would enter into his ideal world through humans’ beliefs and ideas? Did God have the idea of conflict before writing the universe, or he only knew about conflict after he had created human beings?
In conclusion, I believe the world is a place of breeze and bliss, peace and unity. The world is already written. Let us not try to rewrite humans’ ideas and beliefs, but let us coexist by looking in each other or one another as the mirror on the wall of our rooms; let Christians, New Age Spirituality, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, and Deists see one another as a mirror before their eyes. While we are different characters in one story, we are the zebra and its stripes. For God knew that although the olfactory organ could be bad for a terrible stink, it would help humanity to detect fragrant smell, to take a better path in life. Does it not? Does conflict inspire humanity to take a better path in life?