A Video Plea to a Young Believer February 8, 2010

A Video Plea to a Young Believer

A. Hughman has made a video that is a plea to young believers.

It doesn’t ask that they become atheists — he has a different goal in mind:

I love the video. My worry, though, is that many young Christians will say they have no problem with expressing doubt.

They question plenty of things:

Evolution.

Sex education.

And, yes, in some cases, certain things their religious leaders say.

But they have no doubts whatsoever about things like the resurrection of Jesus, or the existence of an afterlife, or that a god listens to their prayers. They won’t bother ever questioning those beliefs, and nothing that others say will get them to reconsider.

(Thanks to Ashley for the link)

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  • Karen

    “But they have no doubts whatsoever about things like the resurrection of Jesus, or the existence of an afterlife, or that a god listens to their prayers. They won’t bother ever questioning those beliefs, and nothing that others say will get them to reconsider.”

    But we all did (shrug). I guess it depends on the person.

  • Quite nice positive message in the video. Well done.

  • JulietEcho

    Yes, I know far too many Christians who think that “normal” or “healthy” doubting only applies to minor points of theology or non-religious ideas. When a Christian starts to doubt central dogma, it’s not usually treated by other Christians as normal or healthy – it’s described and treated as a “crisis” and it’s usually assumed that something must be terribly wrong with the doubter’s relationship with God.

  • It is a great video. It’s important to encourage critical thinking even if you think your words are falling of deaf ears…because you don’t “know” if what you’re saying may get through one day.

  • Just one question. Isn’t “question everything” a philosophy too? (sort of).

  • I like the video, but I wonder whether “don’t ever be sure of anything” is really a good idea. I guess that the intended meaning is “don’t be dogmatic” and “don’t be sure about something you can’t possibly know, or without having all the facts”, but it can easily be interpreted as “don’t be sure, period”, which sounds a little too New Agey for me… You know, “you can’t ever know anything”, “truth is fluid”, “you make your own reality”, and so on.

  • Hugh Kramer

    While it’s important to question everything, especially basic assumptions, there’s a necessary corrollary that needs mention too: learning how to ask questions. Get some grounding in logic and critical thinking.

    ‘Cause there’s good ways and bad ways to look for answers.

  • Wendy

    Wish I could watch the video, but I’m at work and have no sound. 🙁

    “But they have no doubts whatsoever about things like the resurrection of Jesus, or the existence of an afterlife, or that a god listens to their prayers. They won’t bother ever questioning those beliefs, and nothing that others say will get them to reconsider.”

    That’s a broad generalization, dude. I’m sure many Christians doubt these things, but are maybe too afraid to admit it. There are especially plenty of Christians that don’t believe in the literal resurrection, or virgin birth, etc. Of course there are the stubborn fundamentalist literalists, but here you make it sound like they’re *all* like that.

  • How horrifically BORING. It’s not until one is 1/3rd of the way into the video (1 minute and 17 seconds) that Hughman starts making her or his point. Until then it was all melodramatic lead up and pleading to “please listen”. I’ve seen too many of these videos already (from both sides of the debate) and they are getting incredibly tiresome.

  • Korny

    Ooooooh, pretty disco Jellyfish. Fuck yeah natural selection.

  • I liked the end of the video. It started really slow though for me…I get the premise, but I think it could have been stated more directly and effectively. With that being said thanks for posting and keeping an open mind.

  • I always find “I’m not trying to change your mind” intros to be irritating. Yes you are! Even if the goal is merely to bring someone from 100% certain faith down to 99.9%, that is an attempt to change their mind.

  • I think the producer of the video really missed the whole point of free thought. Instead of claiming “Nobody has a clue what life is really about” and then listing people that don’t know and challenging the watcher to accept they may never know, he/she could have pointed out that our life does not necessarily have to have any higher meaning at all. By assuming there is a higher meaning (i.e. what life is really about), many people will ultimately turn to belief in the supernatural as a substitute for a real answer, when in all likelihood, there is no answer. I would venture to say, based on what we know about evolution of life on Earth, that the evolution of homo sapiens into what we are today was in no way preordained. I think it would be more effective to get people to accept the fact that there very likely is not a higher meaning to even search for.

  • Mikko

    The song in the video is “No Surprise by Radiohead”

  • Daniel H.

    Is this video a joke? It’s a masterpiece of irony. Do I need to point out why?

  • Risi

    “Nobody has a clue what life is really about”

    WTF? Are biologists extinct species where this guy comes from? Of course we have many clues what life (more precisely all living organisms) is/are about. They are all about proliferating imperfect copies of themselves.
    I get the need for positive messages like this video, as well as for not sounding overly confident about things but puh-leeze, let’s not disregard what is easily observable in nature and what’s obvious. By claiming the above, the author is implying that there *must* be something more about life than meets the eye – which itself is just another quasi-spiritualistic and to-be-questioned dogma.

  • @Jeff Hope,

    Good point.

  • Derek

    I can’t be sure of it, but I suspect that I just completely wasted three minutes and fifty-two seconds of my life.

    However, I can be 100% certain that I won’t get them back.

    Also, I’m not convinced uncertainty could be considered a virtue…and quite frankly neither could belief. I had a similar conversation with a friend not long ago, who said faith is a virtue. I’m quite sure that faithfulness is a virtue, but just faith? I dunno.

    Cheers and Excelsior!

  • you know the whole not being 100% sure of anything is the very basis of science, the point being that we dont know things for sure we can only base things on those that we observe and make logical conclusions based on those observations and to allow these conclusions to change with further discoveries, which is kind of ironic that religious people often acuse scientists of pretending to know everything

  • Benoit

    Re “Uncertainty is the virtue.”

    I know a Christian who will reply (no uncertainty there) that this statement is self-refuting.

  • Donna

    I’m sorry but that just… plain… sucked.

    It was tedious and self-righteous as hell. And gimme a break, can’t be sure of anything:

    Just for beginners: I’m sure the sun will come up tomorrow. I’m sure if I don’t eat, I’ll starve. I’m sure I will die some day and so will you. I’m sure I’ll still be overly proud of my grandson tomorrow and that I’ll probably continue to obnoxiously post about him.

    I think this was just too freaking agnostic for me. With that usual irritating agnostic snark: I’m smarter than you because I say we can’t know anything. What a retarded supposition. No, you’re just too lazy to think it through.

    Besides, Jeff Hope beat me to it. There is no secret or meaning of life. Life just is. Accept that. I do. Hence, I’m not still searching for a deeper meaning that the film maker claims we all are.

    However, life is still an adventure. Always has been and always will be.

    (Whoops! Is that something else that I’m sure of? Did they claim to be sure of that also?)

  • Hey, some good remarks out there. I think the video was a simple and considerate message from a creative and young thinker. Obviously it will not change anyones mind that is a believer. Some of them are smart and some of them are not so smart but they are all a tough and stubborn bunch. I am inspired by the more intelligent and toughtfull remarks here. I do think however that saying you don’t know anything is the key to all true philosphy and free thinking. What more there may be to life is simply a perception, how it all began is tangible in the physical world. I am not sure it really matters to any of us in our life as it is but remember it ain’t over yet. Even though we may not see this in our lifetime an answer may be revealed a long time from now. I just hope mankind can make it that long with religion and belief guiding the way. I agree that life just is and that we die and that is it. However there is no 100% certainty in a 50-50 proposition. The meaning in our life is in how we live it and our perception is our life. Life is just a fantasy anyway. As to how it all began it probably always has been and will be long after we are all gone. I just want to ask more questions, it’s the journey, not the destination.
    Sincerely’