We have roughly the same needs and wants. We want peace, well-being, love, and prosperity. Many have similar ideas about what is “bad” or “good.”

Where we often disagree is on the level of metaphysics: on what exists. For example, some people believe in god while others don’t. Conflict on this foundational level gives rise to conflict on the level of actions and behaviors.

Disagreement in metaphysics is also highly connected with disagreement in epistemology. For example, a person who believes in God is more likely to believe in the divine inspiration of sacred scriptures. An atheist will, in turn, find it difficult to believe on divine inspiration by virtue of their disbelief in a divine author.

Because it can be divisive and prevent people from being kind to each other, the buddha avoided metaphysics. This problem actually forced me to ask whether I do philosophy to live a good life or to prove that I am right (philosophize to live deliberately).