Something To Believe In - Chapter One - Introduction

Something To Believe In

Chapter One - Introduction

 

Transcript

Hello there, and welcome to the Something to Believe In video series.

This is Steve Howells, and throughout this series I’ll be taking you on a journey of discovery as we examine some of the philosophical questions that relate to the events that are playing during these troubling times.

Some of these questions have been pondered since the dawn of mankind. Others have emerged recently as the landscape of our existence has been impacted by science, technology and revolutionary social changes. Against a backdrop of Trump and Hilary, Kim Jong Un, ISIS, Iran, and everything else in this wacky world, many of us are asking, Is this all there is? Is there any meaning to any of it? Is our only meaningful reality defined in Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat? Who’s in charge now? Government, the people, or Internet mob-rule? Where’s it all heading?

As a society we’re increasingly polarized between leftist and far-right camps. The pendulum swings back and forth as western democracies struggle with progressive vs. conservative values. Who’s going to win? Are we faced with clear questions of right vs. wrong, or have our moral waters become muddied by the shifting tides of social upheaval?

Many of us don’t know what to believe any more. Should we believe in such things as LGBT rights, same-sex marriage and abortion on demand? This is certainly what Hollywood celebrities, the mainstream media and the more vocal social activists are cheering for. Or should we be digging in to preserve a social status quo where traditional gender roles, family values and long-held moral standards will prevail? Many people believe we should. It depends who you ask.

If it’s at all possible to come up with an answer, how will that answer play out on the global stage? Are our rivals laughing at the west as we give social-sexual revolution priority over national unity and global affairs? Are they readying to make their move, waiting patiently for our progressive house of cards to collapse? Perhaps. Only time will tell. In the meantime, what are we to think as individuals?

When we consider what’s going on around us, how do we discern what’s right from what’s wrong? Who do we believe? Who holds the moral authority to tell us what to think? Is it about feelings? If believing in a particular viewpoint makes us feel good, does that make it right? What if we hold on to beliefs just so we can fit into society? What if our beliefs make us uncomfortable deep down inside? If I hold that abortion is always wrong, no matter the circumstances, but my inner voice is telling me otherwise, should I trust that inner voice? If I jump on the LGBTQ rights bandwagon in my school or workplace because it the thing to do, but I secretly find the very idea of same-sex relationships repulsive, should I listen to my conscience?

These are difficult questions, and I don’t personally claim to know the answers, but I believe there are certain truths we can use as a frame of reference to help us understand the world around us and our place in it. Once we develop a solid frame of reference, a world view based on what we perceive as truth, we can be secure in the opinions we hold. We can rest assured that regardless of the direction the winds of change are blowing, and no matter which way the pendulum of popular opinion currently swings, we’re able to remain anchored in the truth.

So during this video series we’ll be looking for truth. For something to believe in. And where we find contradictions in ideas that are currently held as competing truths, we’ll consider our options and build out a frame of reference we can perhaps live with. I think you’ll find this an interesting journey and I look forward to taking it with you.

In the next segment, we’ll take a look at why any of this matter in the first place.

I’m Steve Howells, and I’ll see you next time.

Next - Chapter Two - A Better Life