What is the reason for being? The ultimate human question. The answer is, we don’t know. But I believe, as Steven Pinker said in his book ENLIGHTENMENT NOW, the goal of human effort is PROGRESS. He crafted his definition of progress, not from the words of great philosophers, not from religious text, rather from empirical facts. For it requires only the convictions that life is better than death, heath is better than sickness, abundance is better than want, freedom is better than coercion, happiness is better than suffering, and knowledge is better that superstition and ignorance. Any effort to advance any one of those elements for the benefit of mankind is progress. We don’t know why. There is no goal, only progress.
He then wrote the book that amply justified his conclusion that the people of the world are far better off today than at any time in history. The problem for the World is, we are not on the same page as to what the goal is, much less how to achieve it. Every concept is a belief. Every person has their own beliefs. These beliefs are conflicting. And we believe it is lawful for a person (or group of persons) to use force to impose their will on another. The problem you millennials are facing is: once you justify the use of force to impose your will on another, there is no logical reason not to use all of the force available to you until the enemy succumbs or is destroyed (or you are).
Such is the conundrum you millennials face, so, what do you do with your life while you have it? It’s a big world out there and you can’t solve all of the problems. You find what your good at, you find what you’re not good at, and then you find a niche to work in that calls on what you do good and does not call on what you do badly. Then work hard at it and leave the world better off than you found it. Hopefully, that’s progress.
It’s real murky out there. With everyone having a different opinion on what the goal of humanity is and it seems everyone is writing a book about it, I don’t know how you can figure out the answer. But that is what these messages are meant to do. I wasted most of my life trying to live according to Roman Catholic dogma. These messages are what I found out and I hope it saves you some time in not having to learn what I learned the hard way.
Let’s start with God. You have to believe in God, or not. You have choices to believe in the God of Theism, 2,800 verities; the God of Judaism, 3 major brands; and the God of Islam, I don’t know how many interpretations there are. Then there are the Eastern religions: Hindu, Buddha, American Indian, etc. I think you would benefit from reading Worlds Apart, by Geisler and Watkins. That will give you a big boost in understanding the different interpretations of God. But there is another source of confusion about God and that is dogma. Men have written about God and other men have deified their work. But dogma is to my spirit as an eggshell to the chick. I am birthed within it and could not grow without it, but if I do not break free…dogma will entomb my soul. Are you trapped in dogma?
Dogma is the personal belief of one or more persons about life after death presented as a fact of life for all persons. But the fact is, the answer to the questions of life after life, is that there is no factual answer, only belief…the singular, individual, and unique belief of each person. That is why one person’s belief is as good as another. That is why no one should be allowed to tell another person they have the REAL GOD and use force to impose it.
I know it’s a big world out there and our generation didn’t do what it might have, but it’s the world you will live in. Think of life a 100 years ago and life now. Make it better!
This article was written by Lawrence McGrath.
Originally titled: 1st Message for Millennials
Click here to purchase his book on Amazon.
Mr. McGrath is an author, father and grandfather. A retired marine pilot, lawyer, college professor, college president, bank president, and consultant.