I’ve been watching Ted Talks recently and decided to watch a pro-God video in the interest of being open minded. It’s by Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life which has sold more than 30 million copies. You can see the video at the bottom of this post.
But I wanted to mention something that he said that I absolutely, %100 agree with:
“Your world view though does determine everything else in your life, because it determines your decisions, it determines your relationships, it determines your level of confidence. It determines, really, everything in your life.”
-Pastor Rick Warren
This was terribly surprising to me to hear a theist talk like this. I’ve expressed this idea numerous times to believers and they usually imply that I’m crazy or delusional. They believe God instills us with our personalities and that destiny works the same for everyone, regardless of whether or not they believe in it. They tell me their inability to get a job or manage their emotions is because they’re “just wired this way” and insist that I’m successful because God instilled me with intelligence and luck and that those things can’t be changed with a perspective shift. I try and tell them their depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger management problems and inability to communicate with their children is a result of their world view. They say no, their children are simply wired to be disobedient and their own minds are simply wired to be depressed and anxiety ridden. They tell me “You just don’t understand”.
But I point out to them some certain facts about my life: I’ve never been broke. I’ve never been in debt. I’ve never had a nightmare I didn’t enjoy. I’ve only had two panic attacks in my entire life, and one of them could barely be considered panic. I’ve never had a headache that wasn’t cured with a glass of water. I’ve never met a dog that wanted to bite me. I’ve never raised my voice to a child–in fact I’ve never even had the desire to do so. I catch a cold at most once every two-to-three years. Since the turn of the century, I’ve had the flu only once. Several times during contract negotiations with different companies in the last few years, they offered to pay me more than I was asking for, and these are for jobs I love doing, after interviews for which I didn’t even bother preparing. I’ve only had a couple short-lived jobs over the years that I didn’t enjoy. I’m currently in an income bracket somewhere between middle and upper-middle class, and I’ve never really put any serious effort into my career. I’ve just been screwing around having fun writing code, and people just keep throwing money at me for it. If I’d actually been putting serious effort into improving my life, I’d probably be a millionaire by now.
I mean, when you look at it logically and comparatively speaking, my life is amazing. I feel like Kramer from Seinfeld where nothing can possibly go wrong for me, but it’s not because of my genetics or because of God or the way I’m “wired”. It’s because of my world view, because I’ve been an atheist most of my life, devoted to logic and reason. My world view has trained my brain to make logic based decisions even when I’m not thinking about it. This is what I attribute the majority of my joy for life and my success to. I don’t believe I could be who I am today without my atheism, and I certainly don’t believe I could be successful.
It’s too bad that more believers haven’t heard this idea from Pastor Rick Warren and really taken it to heart. If you’re having problems controlling your life, managing your relationships or maintaining a happy perspective, maybe you should experiment with other world views. If you can’t stand the idea of atheism, then okay, try some of the other myriad of perspectives and simply experiment with them and record the results of how they affect your life. If you’re not happy, what do you have to lose and if your current perspective is truly the correct one, won’t your experiment just confirm that?
“It’s not about me. It’s about making the world a better place.”
-Pastor Rick Warren
Amen, Brother. I don’t see how that has anything to do with God, but Amen.