I was asked to view the video “Dear Believer, Why Do You Believe?” I said I would and I would publish my comments about it. So here are my comments. After my post, I hope other believers will post theirs comments about it. Here’s the link to the video. (I don’t yet know how to embed videos here.) https://youtu.be/xl_TrvIIcBY
To me, this video is an example of how atheists confuse religion with God. They cannot seem to make the distinction. On the one hand, atheist ex-JWs deride active JWs for not being able to distinguish the difference between the GB and Jehovah, yet videos like this show that many atheists suffer from the same blindness.
So while not saying much about the existence of God, this video IS a wake up call for religion in general. It shows the problems that arise when we divide ourselves into separate camps and promote ourselves as superior to all others. That kind of thinking is the root of all religious dysfunction. In my opinion, the division among religions are obstacles we have placed in our own way. It was not the doing of God. So in many ways, I agree with many of the problems inferred by the questions posed in the video. But the solution is not to abandon God. The solution is to abandon dysfunctional religious practices.
I have no problem with the idea that religion was created by our ancestors as their expression of a need to worship something greater than themselves. But religion has evolved and continues to evolve. Thankfully some of the things people used to do in the name of religion are no longer done in modern society. I think that growth will continue. Just like science has evolved, politics has evolved, entertainment has evolved, so will religion. Videos like this will help us along that path. Like many believers have said here, the nonbelievers challenged their beliefs and made them better. Refining through the fire. But that refining doesn’t have to destroy faith in God.
For me, I have chosen to believe in a loving, all wise Creator of all of us. And I chose to follow the teachings of Jesus because they are the best principles I have come across so far, and I’ve found the same principles are part of most religious ideals. Jesus simply taught that God is our loving and wise Father, that every man is your brother, that this life is not all there is, and that after death, we will live again in some place other than earth. To me, that’s not a religion. It’s a philosophy of living. It does not harm myself or anyone else and I can’t see why others would find these simple teachings offensive.
In the video, it says:
We do not blame our ancestors for inventing religion there is no shame whatsoever in stumbling when you are blind, or failing to properly construct a puzzle in the dark.
I agree. And I think God feels the same. Surely he knows many of us are trying to construct the puzzle of life in the dark. Faith is a toughie. I think that’s why Jesus said only a mustard seed of faith is required. Just keeping an open mind about God and continuing to seek, knock and ask.
At the end of the video, it says:
Perhaps it is time to stop telling ourselves that we are the reason the universe was made. That our culture is somehow better than other cultures. That our tribe was chosen over all other tribes. It is time to learn how the universe really is. Even if that deflates our conceit, wounds our pride, humbles our point of view and forces us to admit that we do not have all the answers.
I think this is good advice for believers as well as nonbelievers. Neither group has all the answers. Both groups need to humble themselves and admit that, instead of dogmatically declaring that they know it all. There is no concrete empirical proof that God exists and there is no concrete empirical proof that he does not. That’s probably why God only asks that we have faith that he exists, and he’ll take care of the rest.
So that’s my take on the video. If any other believers have viewed the video, what do you think about it? Did it shock you? Did it make you want to abandon your faith in God? What effect, if any, did it have on you?