Do You Believe in God?


Good morning, John. Thank you so much for your video on Monday.
It felt like there was this hole, and Nerdfighteria had been asking us this question for so long,
and we had left it unanswered, and it felt very… it felt kinda wrong. It felt kinda
like a gap in our body of work. And it points out that often, asking questions
about the questions that we want to ask is far more useful than answering the questions
themselves. So for example, interesting question about the phrase “belief in God.” There are
more words that are hard to define in that sentence than words are easy to define. For example, “God”? Even people who go to
the same church, ostensibly believe in the same god, all have different visions of what
God is in their head. Everyone is always going to have a slightly different perception of
what that thing– he, she, it, is. But at the same time, it’s a very particular thing
to each particular person. And then you have the word “belief.” Interestingly,
uh, the question of what the difference between belief and knowledge is is not just a philosophical
question; it is an entire branch of philosophy called epistemology. So obviously, uh, not
something to cover in a video blog, but the longest-running definition is that knowledge
is belief that is true. Which is kinda strange to get your head around, which is why there
is an entire branch of philosophy, uh, concerning it. When we believe something, we accept that
there is a chance that it’s not true, but we have faith nonetheless that it is true.
Like it’s weird to talk about having faith in things that you know, like I know that
this water is not going to poison me if I drink it. Whereas, if I say that I have faith
that this water will not kill me if I drink it, now I’m not so sure I’m gonna drink it. But what really bugs me about the question
“do you believe in God?” is not that there are many more interesting questions surrounding
that question, like “why do we ask it?” and “what does ‘believe’ mean?” –is the motivation
behind asking that question. People who have asked that question to me, or to other people,
I’m just curious, why do you want to know? Because it seems like there’s really only
two reasons to want to know the answer to that question. One: Because you’re not sure yourself, and
you’re trying to inform your opinion, and you think that I’m some kind of authority.
To those people, I say: Thank you for thinking that I’m an authority on this. I am not, and
that’s going to have to be something that you figure out on your own. And if anybody’s
telling you different, uh, then they’re wrong. This is a question for you to answer for yourself. There’s kind of a 1.5 here, which is that
you want to reinforce your beliefs, and you wanna feel like, “Oh Hank, he believes the
same thing as me, so now I feel better about my beliefs.” Well that’s not actually going
to work, uh, for you; you have to feel good about your beliefs for your own sake. So basically 1 and 1.5, I’m not gonna help
you with that, uh, you gotta have to figure it out on your own. And the second reason to ask if someone is,
believes in God is kind of a shortcut to think that you know more about that person because
of a very simple answer, which is dangerous. This is the kind of pattern recognition that
we do constantly as people: we try to categorize things. And that’s usually really useful – until
you start dealing with people. Sometimes I feel like when someone asks me
if I believe in God, it’s like a blind person asking if I’m black so that they can put me
in the right category. People are constantly searching for little things that they can
use as markers to identify how and what people are. Like, “gay people are all like this,”
“Christians are all like this,” “atheists are all like this.” And that is – I mean,
duh – that’s really dangerous! So that’s my biggest fear, that people are
asking because they want to inform their opinions of me with this little one-word answer that
says so very little about who I actually am. After you’ve formed a strong opinion of who
I am and understand how I live my life, that’s when I’ll be comfortable telling you about
my beliefs and practices, which is that I am a Satan worshipper who feeds on the blood
of newborn unicorns. John, I will see you on Friday.

100 Replies to “Do You Believe in God?

  1. So the answer is "I don't want to answer because I don't want to be put in a box, OR just because I don't feel like it." What if I'm asking to form my opinion of you? What if I'm asking not because I think you are "an authority" but because I consider you smarter than me and I want to know what you think? What if I'm just curious like a cat?

    Also, let me add another layer to that question for you. IF you chose to answer that question in the form it was asked, no matter your answer, you have acknowledged that there is a God. Think about that for a minute.

  2. I'm a new listener. I think you did the right things. The main preacher I listen to is always saying you have to be like the Bereans (Buh-ree'-ns). They listened to the word (this is before the Bible, mind you, and they still had believers) with all openness of mind, and searched the Scripture daily to see if it was true. Trust but verify. That's the kind of mom I was, too. I knew the exact moment my son was comfortable/stupid enough to hide drugs (pot) in his socks.

  3. I believe in God for this reason. I Am. Not only this but I know I am. About a month before I was born I knew sensations but of course I don't remember them. I have memories of when I was in Diapers, When I was in my crib, my first Christmas (My dad got me an electric race car set but he played with it more than I did.) I remember being at certain photographs when they were taken even the ones I wasn't in and my mother saying to me "You can't possibly remember that! You were only 6 months old!"
    Now I'm pretty old and soon I'll "be shuffling off this mortal coil" and of course I don't know what will happen, but when it does I will either go to "the afterlife, the great beyond, the happy hunting grounds, ect." or nothingness for eternity, and I will know no more. BUT in the 4.5 billion years the earth has been around how did I end up here and now? Why wasn't I a caveman , an Egyptian building the pyramids? Why not a Roman Soldier, an African tribesman, a dark ages peasant?
    What if my mother married someone else? what if my mother got pregnant the month before or the month after? Would I still be me? How did all the consciousness who have descended breed together to keep producing people over the years and centuries and milenia to produce ME?(and you for that matter) but I know I AM. When science can explain all that then just maybe I'll question, but other than that I will continue to believe in God as I understand Him.

  4. which one? mankind has invented so many. is their one where i will get a new dirt bike when i die…that is the one i will believe in.

  5. Only believers dance around the question like this. So, there is your answer.
    Also, you don't have to dance around the question. If someone judges you based on your answer, that's their problem. Would you even want to be friends with a person who makes snap judgements like that?

  6. I understand Your worry on the instant categorization especially when youre talking to SO MANY people. especially when you're ,but I feel like there is use to that even in this situation.

  7. I think youre an ok dude but your energy level makes me tired just watching you.im getting old i guess

  8. Me at 7: I hope I can see God, I won’t believe until I see
    Me at 9: WHOA THERE, THAT ISN’T THE GOD I WANTED?!
    Me at 10: So I’ve seen about 3 now and not the one I wanted to, okaaayyyyy
    Me at 12: I’m blessed by Lupa, don’t fucking test me
    Me now: I don’t follow the Greek Gods religiously but I do believe in them so shut up

  9. I wonder how many times you and ur brother fought growing up?

    WHO WON?

    do a pay-per-view rematch… for science!

  10. asking questions about the questions we want to ask is often far more important than answering the questions themselves

  11. We can never know anything for sure. We believe in everything. There is nothing we know for absolute certainty. For example: That glass of water might be poisoned , even if you prove it somehow it's not, there will always will be chance that you are wrong, since we can't rule out every possibility about how the glass can be poisoned. Since those possibilities seems infinite.

  12. motivation 1)reinforce,2)categorization,3)to see how well or bad you answer the question to learn better eloquence.
    as far as 2 you are agnosticism or something of that flavor?
    as far as 1 you reinforce a agnostic view point.

  13. This is true, if you state one view or the other half the people will disregard everything you say about religion.

  14. I will issue the same fair notice here that I routinely issue Anoushka's Balanced Psychologies and Hannah Cranston's now defunct Think Tank. It is this, my eye is perfect. I can see through the fog of allocution. I know both the tongue speaks and what the tongue wants to speak.

    The point you are making over the belief in a deity can be made about socialism. With the electoral victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, people are asking Democrats (especially candidates) if they are socialist. People are asking what is the difference between socialism and democratic socialism. Why does Swedish socialism look differently than Venezuelan socialism. Is it fear mongering to denounce socialism, or do it's detractors have just cause. Much like your God question, there are a lot of preliminary questions that may prove even more challenging than the primary one. Yet, you don't seem to be perturbed over the discussion of socialism or political identification.

    Your apprehension over theological inquiry has to do with your apprehension over theology. Your reconstruction of religious inquiry as bad form is indicative of your overall hesitance on the issue of religion. I am not scolding you for this, I am just pointing it out. The concerns you stated are not your true concerns because you can easily apply these fears to any identity question. Are you a scientist? Are you Canadian? Are you married? Are you a father? Are you a business owner? Are you a college grad? Are you a gun owner? Are you sports fan? Any identity can operate as a shorthand. So when you spin the wheel of anxiety, why does your admonition land of religious faith? It's not the question that is problematic, it's your personal relation to the question. You are not comfortable with the question without any of the implications you spoke about, because those same implications are present in the question are you married?

    Again, you have every right to be uncomfortable with discourse about God, but I will not permit you to hide behind a fear of prejudgement. That is not the most pressing worry for you when asked if you believe in God. The one reason you consciously left out of your enumerated concerns is the reason why you don't like that question. You don't want to be proselytized. You're like me, you have nice guy disease. I am very forward in print, but in the flesh I actually go through great pains to not insult or dismiss anyone. I care about other people's feelings, so I craft my speech to that effect. However this is the true reason you don't like that question. It's also bad for your brand to discuss divisive issues.

    I will end by saying this, it's okay to protect your prerogative, just don't pull the escape lever, you're better than evasive answers.

  15. I don't have a problem with religious people except for when they want to use the law to impose their Bronze Age morality and propagate the nonsensical idea that the Christian majority in this country is persecuted.

  16. Its ironic to think that people think that the "Theory Of Evolution" is not real and ridiculous and it is nothing more than a theory but the "Theory Of Creation" is also a theory. It's kinda funny and kinda stupid for these christians.

    Also the "Theory of Evolution" has more scientific proof than the "Theory of Creation" which was in the Bible doesn't support any scientific evidence.

    The Bible is also just a book written by Greeks and not god.
    It's funny that people still think that and just believe in God since Christianity is very popular and it seems to them that atheists and Muslims are nothing more than idiots.

    If you want to know more about the origins of the Bible;

    www.allabouttruth.org/origin-of-the-bible.htm

  17. I wonder if a YouTuber from, say, the U.K. or Sweden, would feel this question is a trap–or is this purely an American thing?

  18. Or third, the reason I hear about most often in the churches I have attended throughout my life (which are predominantly not megachurches run by greedy arch-conservatives only out for political power) is to see if there is a window there to "introduce you to the love of Christ" and to "save your soul for eternity". But I suppose you could also bring that back around to just feeling bettter about one's own choice.

  19. I don’t know why people are acting as if the question wasn’t properly answered. If you actually watched the entire video to the end as i did you would have heard him clearly state that he is a Satan worshipper who feeds on the blood of newborn unicorns.
    You guys have got to watch the video before impulsively commenting.

  20. I find it quite difficult to have much confidence in the character of somebody who believes that there is an actual manifest entity called God which does all the stuff that's mentioned in the Bible. I've never found it appropriate or relevant to ask someone, but I would probably want to follow it up with "Old Testament God, or New Testament God?"
    Nobody will ever know for absolute certain, but documented history points to organised religion's origin being little more than a way for the rich to control the poor, the same way parents convince their children to behave or else Santa won't bring them any gifts.
    It's possible to be a good person without religion as a moral compass, and it's totally possible for evil on a global scale to use that moral compass to gaslight and cover up atrocities. Eventually, we will outgrow religion and while it won't fix global evil, it will result in less ignorance among the poorest in the world.

  21. is it weird that all this video did was make me glad i dont wear glasses so im not constantly pushing them back up into position every 5 seconds?

    i think there is a reason #1.75 where some people are just really interested in the beliefs of other people because its fascinating to hear another person's perspective and experience.

  22. I know for a fact the Universe did not make it self every thing comes from something, "only a fool saies in there heart theres no God"

  23. Friend: do you believe in God?
    Me: of course! Why do you ask that?
    Friend: i'm an atheist.
    Me: as long as you stay by my side idk who you are.

  24. I'm amazed that people actually are able to believe in a god . I find it interesting that their brain does not automatically override the belief and reject it .

  25. I had to lose touch with reality to believe in God and miracles. When I went crazy because of how messed up the world is and things I couldn't face, Christianity guided me back to sanity. It is an important cultural support group and holistic method of coping with this difficult life we live. Think about the hardships people have gone through and hardships you will go through. That is why it is good to believe in a good loving God that forgives, like Christianity. We have come to this point where believing in God is the best way to stay sane. It is all a part of our evolution and history. Think about the wars and fears past generations had to deal with. This life really can turn into a living hell. There is a lot of judgement with sin that is inescapable and it was killing people. That is why Jesus was necessary to save them. Foregiveness is all around us now and we must not take it for granted.

  26. Yes!! I Do Believe In GOD!! How Did Life, The Different Races Of People!! The Different Animals, The Land, The Sea!! And The ( SUN 🌞 ) That Shines Down On The Earth 🌎!! I Just Have To Say 1 Thing!! I Know Man Didn't Do It.

  27. I myself do not believe in any gods, but if you believe in a god or a specific religion, I'm just curious. What convinced you that your belief is true?

  28. your dftba video was shown by my sister 10 years ago but i'm looking for that collab you did with the car song thing i can't find it

  29. lol if someone wants to study religion and the range of people's beliefs and extremists and shit they should look at comment sections like these. istg.

  30. Never really given this much thought, but I agree with everything he said. Asking that question of anyone is self reaffirming, and a misguided attempt to, I’ll say categorise rather than understand, someone. You should be able to ask someone their religious beliefs simply because it’s a part of who they are, but it actually tells you so little about someone and is so loaded with social and political baggage, that no one gets anything from it. Good video, as always.

  31. If all the tools evolution has giving me increase my understanding of people, shouldn't my approach to the unknown be personified? Shouldn't that personification take a place of authority as the unknown can cause more consequences then Then known?

  32. I agree entirely because I watched all of Crash Course Philosophy and I started thinking the same way LOL!! I think these brothers are the most unbiased intellectuals I have ever come across. While I may disagree with some of their insights, I genuinely think they try to be as objective as possible!!

  33. I belive in God. He is flipping awesoME! . So caring , I love him . also angel number 💛13💗 is a number of great blessings and my lucky number . #ilove13 💞#13lovestaylorloves13💞 .

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