I recently listened to Steve Pavlina’s podcast on building confidence. It crystallized a couple of things for me.
(Warning: PSRD breach ahead.)
I’ve stated in the past that I’m not very big on God, because I have an engineering mindset and that makes it difficult to believe in things that I have no evidence for. I’ve been asked, “But such belief tends to make the lives of the believers better! Isn’t that sufficient to justify religion, even if it’s not true?” Now, a purely agnostic, atheistic response to that would be, “No! Believing a lie is never justified! Live as we do, undeceived!”
Except that believing in something that you have no evidence for is the essence of self-confidence. Self-confidence is actually self-faith. You believe despite having no evidence, and your belief gives you a much greater chance of actualizing what you believe in.
Thus, the atheistic/agnostic mantra of “It’s always better to live undeceived” is revealed as a lie – there is direct evidence to the contrary.
Does this mean that I believe in God again? No, not really. But even after I fell away from religion, I never developed an antipathy for religion like some atheists do. And now I know I never will. Religion is actually a useful tool for self-improvement…I just don’t feel it works for me personally.
You’re missing a very key component in your thought process here.
On the one hand, we select our beliefs based on observations about reality. In that respect the atheistic reasoning is correct — it’s better to be accurate than inaccurate.
However, there’s a second component to beliefs. Beliefs also create our reality. They control our actions and thereby our results. This is especially true with respect to beliefs about ourselves and our capabilities.
So when you adopt a belief like self-confidence, you aren’t just passively observing whether or not you can do something. You’re partially creating your results as well. So beliefs are a lot more than just observation — they wield tremendous creative power too. If you believe you can or can’t do something, that’s part observation and part creation.
With time and experience it’s possible to develop the wisdom to know when beliefs should be stretched to gain that creative power for better results vs. when they should favor observational accuracy.
As a human, you are apt to view evidence incorrectly based on bias. Self-confidence is not about believing in what isn’t true, but about recontextualizing your successes as caused by you and your failures as things that were outside of your control.
The simple fact is you can observe your existence. It is the one existence above all others that you can be the most certain about. Therefore believing in yourself cannot be the same thing as believing in God.
Scientific mind… well, what do you think about this: According to science, the world creation can be summed up in this sentence.
“First there was nothing, and then it exploded.”
Actually if I remember correctly, the current theory is that before the big bang there was another universe – one made out of the same matter and energy that our universe is made out of. As it aged, it collapsed in on itself in a Big Crunch, and when enough of the matter had coalesced it then exploded in the Big Bang that reconfigured the matter into our current universe. When our universe dies, it will do so in another crunch that will trigger another bang that will result in a completely different universe…etc.
And it’s odd that you bring this up, because I’ve been studying this very subject. It could become a plot point in Star Revolution.
Nice website, by the way.
Darn…I was really hoping someone would get the Last Unicorn reference…
As I understand it, there’s a quantum explanation that is due to the splintering of universes and multidimensionality that begins to hurt my brain.
By the way, my favorite “In the begnning” joke is the following…
“In the beginning there was nothing and God said ‘Let there be light.’ And then there was still nothing, but you could see it.”