Something To Believe In - Chapter Two - A Better Life

Something To Believe In

Chapter Two - A Better Life

 

Transcript

Hello there, and welcome to part 2 of the Something to Believe In video series.

In part one we acknowledged that our world is filled with questions and viewpoints that are causing society to become increasingly polarized between progressive and conservative values. I suggested that each of us needs a frame of reference based on truth that we can use to develop an individual world view. One that allows us to remain secure in the opinions we hold, regardless of society’s prevailing beliefs.

My name is Steve Howells – if you’re anything like me, you just want to be happy.

The pursuit of happiness looms large in western culture and we strive for happiness in life as best we can. Regardless of our individual circumstances, I think we can all agree that we’d like a better life. That would make us happy. I sincerely believe that happiness is within your reach so you can have a better life. To help you achieve that better life I’m going to tell you things that are believable. We’ll look at a system of belief, or world view that is compatible with both your spiritual and intellectual mind. If you embrace this world view it will change your reality. And within this new reality you will indeed have a better life.

So how can a YouTube video series change my life, you ask? Well, let’s take a look at why your life needs changing in the first place, because if it doesn’t need to change then there’s nothing to be gained by continuing here.

We all strive for a perfect life which typically involves the pursuit of, wealth, love, fulfillment, happiness etc.; all the good stuff. The fact that you’re watching this video is a good sign that you’re open to learning new things and perhaps you’ll find here a pearl of wisdom or some technique that’ll improve your life. If you believe there’s room for improvement in your life, then that’s a great attitude. If you take nothing else away from this series, you should remember that a better life is always within reach. And that’s worth repeating. A better life is always within reach. But what’s a better life? A better life is one that, when compared to your current life, is closer to a perfect life. Now you’re thinking sure, that’s a great help. What’s a perfect life?

STRIVING FOR IMPROVEMENT

As a human being you can’t define a perfect life; you can only imagine what it might entail for you as an individual based on your own frame of reference. And you can’t achieve a perfect life any more than you can play a perfect game of chess. You can strive for perfection as you understand it but, no matter how hard you try, you’ll never reach perfection. And in life you’ll certainly never live up to your own expectations or those of others. But you can be really happy trying. That’s why I talk about a better life not a perfect life.

Going for perfection will drive you crazy while striving for improvement can make you very happy indeed, regardless of the crazy, dangerous and whacko world drama that’s playing out around you. But striving for improvement implies a set of rules to live by doesn’t it? And that sounds like religion. Well, I imagine you’re watching this on the Search The Bible YouTube channel so I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I’m going to be talking about God and religion. And you’re thinking, “No thanks” I’m not into religion. But here’s the thing – I’m not going to feed you the usual convenient Bible quotations and self-indulgent sentimental nonsense about a God who wants to meet your every need. Instead, I’d like you to take an objective look at the concepts of God and religion because, regardless of what you believe, whether you’re a religious fanatic or a die-hard atheist, these matters impact your life and everything that’s going on around you. And by the time we’re done here I think you’ll agree that they can’t be ignored.

So I’m going to talk about these things because there are two ways to approach your quest for a better life. You can move forward on the assumption that God exists and is somehow involved in your life, or you can believe that everything is entirely up to you. Whatever your current perspective, we’re going to explore the possibility that there is a God, and then you can decide for yourself which approach makes more sense to you.

While remaining objective, we’ll embark on a straight-talking logical exploration of some fundamental questions you’re faced with as a human being and how an honestly objective look at the answers can lead to a better life.

Now many of us equate religion with rules, but in our quest for a better life, for something to believe in, there are no rules. Instead, we’ll consider a set of guidelines which, if you follow them, will yield the following real results:

• You’ll face hardship and stress head-on, with a smile on your face.

• You’ll be healthier in mind and body.

• Your relationship with the people around you will improve. You’ll meet people and you’ll make friends.

• If you have a partner you’ll share real love.

• If you have children they’ll thrive in happiness and security.

• You’ll find fulfillment in your career, business or vocation.

• Your understanding of humankind will increase.

• You’ll embrace conflict as an opportunity.

• Your understanding of the environment will increase.

• You will sleep at night and be happy.

So there it is. A very convenient list of ten ways your life will improve if you follow the guidelines outlined in this series. And if you believe that then I also have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn for you.

There is of course no such list. That would be ridiculous.

But there are definite improvements you can experience, and your personal list of life improvements could include one or two major overhauls or a thousand minor outcomes that together will transform your life forever!

Most people watching this video are smart, perhaps educated and reasonably sophisticated folk, like you. The world is driving you crazy so you want to take a fresh and objective look at your present reality and perhaps find some meaning in your life. Maybe you embrace a religion and want to understand how to apply your faith to everyday living and to gain that understanding in a manner that is easy to digest.

Maybe you’re an atheist and you’re looking for hard scientific principles on which to build your better life. The advancements of scientific knowledge and the application of technology in our lives have made the question of God irrelevant to those who embrace western culture. You might respond with a “So what?” a valid question, the asking of which is in itself symptomatic of what I believe to be a serious problem with our attitude toward spirituality in today’s society.

The problem is a simple one; every one of us is bombarded daily with subjective information that we accept as truth. Some call this fake news and it’s manifested in many forms. The sheer volume of this information hampers our ability to make objective decisions based on actual truths. By actual truths I mean absolute truths; things that simply are, as opposed to things that are merely thought to be. This has a huge impact on your life.

Most of us get our information from the Internet and the entertainment industry, and this information that we absorb and accept as truth each day demonstrates a pervasive assumption that there is no God. The science and nature shows we watch on TV don’t mention God; instead, scientific theories that infer God’s non-existence are presented as fact. These so-called educational productions offer no alternative points of view for our consideration. You’ll see later on in this series that while scientific inquiry is of course beneficial and necessary, actual scientific fact is a moving target, especially in areas relevant to our understanding of the Universe. This is an important piece of information that isn’t often shared or even acknowledged in our daily information-feed. Movies, TV dramas and sitcoms openly mock those who believe in God. Any character in these shows demonstrating a belief in God is greeted with a rolling of the eyes and a smug dismissal as some kind of fruitcake.

And it’s against this backdrop that atheist activists have emerged. These folks, themselves seeming to need a cause, (i.e. something to believe in,) are doing everything in their power to erase God from our culture. I think of the Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins crusades, ironically pious in their intellectual snobbery.

So western culture, for the most part, denies you the opportunity to form your own opinion about God. In fact, if you have any inclination toward a belief in God you might keep it to yourself rather than risk ridicule from society, and particularly from family, friends and co-workers. You’re probably disinclined to make your own inquiries and to seek out spiritual truth. Ironically, the flip side is that based on everything you’ve been taught, you might also be afraid of getting caught up with religious fanatics who’ll mess you up.

But the question of God is an important one. What if God truly exists? Does it matter to you? Does God’s existence or non-existence impact your life in some way? If there really is a God, wouldn’t you like to know for sure, and isn’t this something you should be finding out for yourself rather than relying on the dubious declarations of pop culture?

I believe each of us needs to deal conclusively with the question of God. Not collectively as a society or culture, but as individuals. It doesn’t make sense to mindlessly accept the daily multimedia message that science has disproven the existence of God. Most of us don’t know the messengers and we don’t understand the science, and yet we put all our faith in what we’re told.

So I hope you continue watching with an open mind and a desire to seek truth. You won’t be disappointed. My goal is to help you find that better life by offering you something to believe in.

Knowledge is power whether or not you agree with the ideas presented here. There are many different world views in play and understanding these differing perspectives helps us to navigate our way through the complexities of life. This series describes one such world view. It’s a fairly easy journey so why not sit back and learn all about something you can believe in? I promise you won’t regret it.

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

Next - Chapter Three - Imagine This