The Benefits of Belief

The Benefits of Belief


In this Prager University course, I want to
focus not on the evidence for God’s existence, but on the benefits of belief. If God exists, then the world didn’t just
evolve by chance, but by deliberate design. There’s an Artist behind this incredible work
of art, this big, and beautiful world. If God exists, we’re living in a great story,
an epic like “The Lord of the Rings,” with real heroes and heroic tasks. Ultimately,
all the twists and turns of this epic narrative will be paid off, everything will make sense.
It will even have a happy ending, not necessarily, or even likely, in our own lifetime — even
Moses didn’t get into the Promised Land — but over the grand course of time in an
afterlife, which exists as surely as God exists. If God exists, the presence of evil, hard
as it is to accept, makes sense. God allows it for a reason — namely, to preserve our
free will. And God will reconcile all injustices in the end. If there is no God, life is one
big crapshoot. If God does exist, morality is a real, objective
feature of the world. If there is no God, morality is just the rules we make up for
this little game of life we play. If God exists, love is the nature of an eternal
reality. If there is no God, love is just a fleeting feeling, no more than a bunch of
chemical and neurological interactions. If God exists, you are of infinite value.
He knows you — as a parent knows his child. He’s accessible to you. If there is no God,
each of us is as insignificant as a rock on an unknown planet. If God exists, death is conquered because
if there is a God there is a reality outside of space and time. If there is no God, there
is nothing immortal, and all the good things in life are destroyed forever. You, and everyone
you love, and everything you think matters are all consigned to oblivion. If there is
no God, life is pointless. Everything we’ve done and lived for will ultimately be in vain. Can I prove with an absolute certainty that
God exists? I can make the case that overwhelming evidence suggests that he does. But no I can’t
prove that He exists with absolute certainty. That’s likely part of His plan. God deliberately
doesn’t give us absolute proof so that we’re free to choose or not to choose to believe
in Him. So which way do you want to go? Be honest. Doesn’t your heart at least hope
that there is a good God, a transcendent validator of love and all the highest human values?
Of course it does. Why would anyone not wish that life has some ultimate purpose, that
good and evil are real, that there is ultimate justice, that our love for others means something? If you choose to live as if there is a God
— even if you are not sure there is a God — you lose nothing and you gain everything. Religious Christians and Jews are happier,
live longer, and are more charitable than their less observant or secular fellow citizens.
These are not my opinions — these are the findings of a multitude of scientific studies. If you have been an atheist for a while, it
may be difficult for you to change your thinking, even if you find some merit in the many rational
arguments for God’s existence. But you can change your behavior. You can live as if God’s
exists, even if you hold doubts. Why not? As I said, you lose nothing and you have everything
to gain. This behavioral approach is far from new.
The Jews have long had a saying, “We will do, and we will understand,” which acknowledges
that action often precedes understanding. So why not begin with an action? Why not pray
the prayer of the skeptic? “God, if you exist, you must know that I’m not a believer. So, please, God, give me the gift of faith,
in your time and in your way. I want to believe whatever is true. Amen.” If you say that
and mean it, and give it some time, be prepared, because He will not ignore that prayer. Go on, say it. Find a private place and say
it. Your Creator is listening. I’m Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy
at Boston College, for Prager University.

100 thoughts on “The Benefits of Belief

  1. But I don't want free will anymore! I want to do the right thing and the right thing only! I don't want to commit wrong anymore so long as I live!

  2. I respectfully disagree. There is no "God" or afterlife. These are ancient beliefs based on fear and superstition. Emotions over logic and reason. Humans are not special. We are just another lifeform on planet earth. Death is final.

  3. This reminds me of a poster I once saw, in a prison bathroom (of all things) back in 1981: "If I believe in God, and there is no God, I have lost nothing; but if I do not believe in God, and there IS a God, I have lost everything." Those words made all my mistakes and fears recede to the background, when I knelt before that poster and prayed. It literally altered my life outlook. I pray now that others consider what is real and true. Sometimes "Reality" is not what you can touch and taste and smell. But you do feel the Reality of God deep inside.

  4. I find god pretty irrational, but I still live by my code of "enjoy life like there is no god, but also be as kind as a saint if god does exist"

  5. If you swap “god” with “Santa Claus” and the “afterlife” with “Christmas presents” this video is practically identical. Why should kids behave? Because Santa is watching and won’t get your Christmas presents if you’re bad! You can even go a step further and swap out flying reindeer, elves, and chimneys for talking snakes, arks, whales, and burning bushes. The difference is that we outgrew Santa Claus. It’s time to outgrow the adult fairy tales as well.

  6. Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth. I believe in Christ, He is my God and will feed His sheep while imperfectly following in the footsteps of my Shepard.

  7. “Well then, God. Whether you’re the Christian god, Jewish god, one of the gods of ancient mythology, Allah, or karma or anything within or beyond human imagination.
    I’m sorry, but I’m asking for your mercy or forgiveness. My parents taught me that if your actions cost others, you only need forgiveness from yourself and the person/people it affected. No third part could ever do it complete justice, but it’s the best solution we have.
    I’m sorry I won’t ever follow you, even if you prove yourself real. Because your actions has affected me and everyone I care about and more, an I can’t forgive you for that.”

  8. If you who do not believe in God, do yourself a favor and try too believe, you will believe when you die and stand before the God you do not v believe in, if you like too Sin and do not want to change that is up too you, if you have a heart, U have a Soul,!!!

  9. The Christian God is a mass murderer, a hypocrite, intolerant, vain, demanding, childish and seemingly full of terrible ideas. Why would I want this? I could believe that I'm Elvis, but I'm not sure if believing in lies is healthy. There isn't an ounce of evidence for a God, much less the specifics of a Christian God. More irresponsible lies.

  10. I thank God, (Yah) daily, l also suffer daily, from the life l lived before returning, to the Lord Jesus, but my suffering is not anything at all, compared, to what the Son of man.(Jesus) done, for all who want to live, Eternally, with the Creator, of all things, even, mankind, do not be decieved lucifer, is on his tour,of the Earth, daily, seeking whom he may take to, everlasting, damnation, for not accepting, Gods, only chance, of Eternal life,!!!

  11. At some point, when I was an atheist, I sincerely wished that I could believe in God but couldn't. Today, I'm a firm believe in God as a Christian and he has found a way in my heart. And for that, I'll always be deeply thankful.

  12. I dont hate Christians.
    I dont hate God.
    I dont hate this video.
    Im not but hurt.
    I dont judge and i believe in rights.
    Any athiest who do judge,hate God,or hate Christians shouldnt be able to.You cant hate something you dont believe in.

  13. Yeah you have fuckall empirical evidence that God exists. Everything that you said the second time is true, except that life has no meaning. Realising you only get one chance makes it more meaningful. We aren’t fatalistically awaiting an afterlife or killing ourselves and others like your Muslim friends for the promise of one. And finally you do lose with Pascal’s wager, you delude yourself. I decided to stop bullshitting myself when friends told me growing my hair long does not distract from noticing my baldness. Plus isn’t ‘betting’ on God’s existence for heaven grossly hypocritical? Is the creator of the universe really that stupid?

  14. Nah thanks… I can accept nothing after I die. 🙂

    I don't need to be comforted with an after life… I am just happy to have lived even at all.

  15. Religion is just another way to devide and rule us, no one needs religion any more as most of the morrals religion teaches is either common sense or its immorral by todays standards, but people would rather believe a lie then face the truth

  16. A video based entirely on assumption.
    No, there is no God and it doesn’t mean any of the crap you say it means.

    Yes. It would be awesome if there’s a God but there’s not.

    You’re also ignoring the dark, disturbing, confusing, path one must take to come to a genuine understanding that there’s no God.
    -a path that ultimately leads to an incredible appreciation and depth of understanding that affords real peace, simplicity and respect for your very own life.

    When you tell people there’s a God, you perpetuate an unprovable assumption and self-deception that suits your psychology. Since the dawn of man, man’s wanted an explanation.
    How about just letting life be an honest question as opposed to an EASY assumption/deception?

    -there’s no God, life still has an incredible depth of meaning and wonder.
    -there’s no God but there’s still real, deep and wonderful love.
    -there’s no God but there are still values and codes.
    -there’s no God but you can still feel deeply connected to your own existence.
    -there’s no God. Thank God there’s no God. It’s a beautiful thing and needs no explanation.
    -your existence doesn’t require an explanation or assumption from any God.

  17. I was athiest for most of my life, suicide ideation dominated my life for that entire time, I felt no point or purpose in anything I was doing. In my adult life I came back to christianity, my suicidality was lifted and I started making changes and doing the things I should have been doing for years. Faith can give you strength to change your live for the better, athieism takes from you and gives little in return.

  18. '' We will do, and we will understand. ''
    This one doesn't make sense. According to this I can do whatever I want without understanding why am I doing it in the first place and then I will understand. It's just like: I will kill someone and then I will understand it's wrong. I believe the best would be to THINK in the first place, to understand that is wrong and not to do it, or (in another case) that is right and then to do it. It would spare a life. It would spare a lot of bad things from happening.
    It's better to think first and then to act.
    I know that just believing in God won't hurt anyone, but it will betray one's mind if one isn't convinced of His existence. I mean it's just like jumping into a relationship without knowing for sure that you love the person. It might turn out into something wonderful, but it might also turn out into a mess. You have to think and to understand first.

  19. You're claim ing there's an Artist responsible for worms that eat little childrem eyes too, no only hummingbirds

  20. When I left school at sixteen I knew everything, and knew that God was a fairy story, just like father Christmas. But something was lacking so I ended up searching for spirituality, slowly but surely I came back to God, nothing else made sense.
    Now, I live on faith, I don't go to church, oddly I find it full of doubters, but I guess that's the point. I do pray sometimes, usually the lord's prayer, but I have lost my fear of death. It's still scary, but that's not the same thing. I can see how having faith helps people cope with life, but I always could anyway, but I am lucky there I guess.
    And I like this video, and will share it, if it helps one person, it's worth it.😇

  21. God creates evil because without evil, no one could be moral, duh. Life is pointless without God, says the Christian. God doesn't want you to know it exists, it wants to confuse you. All other religions are wrong, and ours is right. Athiest? Pretend you have imaginary friends, even if you dont believe in them. Talk to them regularly, they may answer back in the form of correlation, and psychosis. Lol. Lord of the rings! An epic! Itll pay off with a happy ending when you die!

  22. “If gawd is reel, ten I am speshul an te wurl is gud.
    But if gawd not reel, ten I hav to come to terms wit realitee, an I dun wanna do tat.”

    What a shitty video. Honestly, if you need to believe in some sort of imperceptible being creating you in order to feel good about yourself, then you really need to work on your self-esteem.

  23. It is true that having something to believe is good for us. However, why should I prayer if I don’t believe there is a god at the first place? It sounds like self deception.

  24. 0:25 You DARE to compare this shitty fiction book to the amazing work that inspired millions to become better people? Damn, how brave.
    Almost as brave as Fingolfin when he challenged Morgoth.

  25. The entire point to Prager U is to challenge the current popular narrative. The current popular narrative is that God doesn’t exist. So… get mad all you want, atheists, but this is literally what you get with Prager U.

  26. Your only mission is to find ways to be a longer lived more efficient replicating evolutionary cipher. All the rest is just philo/theo fluff. I don't believe that but I do believe that is all sanstheistic sophisticates have to offer.

  27. If there is no God, Morality is whatever the those in power say that it is. To reject God means a corrupt party can take God's place and rule over every aspect of our lives. It happened to Russia, China, and many evil dictatorships throughout the history of the world. Learn from these mistakes throughout history. Without God, it's simply a dog-eat-dog world where evil inevitably wins over good. To be openly against God is also hypocritical, because you're treating your own ideology as if it were a religion– and as if you are the god of that religion.

    I understand if you find it hard to believe. While I have seen things that show evidence both for God and against God, nothing is concrete. There are always levels of uncertainty either way. However, from what I have seen, I have come to the conclusion that God does exist, just as someone come to the conclusion that God doesn't exist throughout their own experiences.

    While I'm on the subject, think about these four scenarios.
    1) You embrace in God, and he is real. You get two things. A life unburdened by the concerns of mortality and oblivion, and an eternity of happiness in the afterlife.
    2) You embrace God, and he is not real. You don't get the latter from 1, but you still get the former. You're still better off than someone who never believed their whole life.
    3) You don't embrace God, and he is real. You lose both the former and the latter from 1, and become dependent on whatever things in life you can grasp on to in order to be happy in the moment.
    4) You don't embrace God, and he is not real. Same as 3.

    Looking at all these scenarios, belief in God always produces a better outcome, no matter what. Believing in God is a game you always win, and not believing in God is a game you always lose. Given that, why would you not want to accept the possibility that God exists?

    There's no harm in giving it a chance. Shutting yourself off from anything related to God, turning the other way, and refusing to even explore the possibility is a foolish move, given that logic. If there is something from the bible that you don't understand, it might be smart to look into it, seek a knowledgeable person or book on the subject, and see why things are written the way that they are. Most criticisms I've seen of the bible come from misinterpretations. You may just be surprised. Some may use the "facts not feelings" excuse to reject the idea of God, but rejecting the idea that you could possibly be wrong would mean you are actually the one prioritizing your feelings over facts, something far too present in the world today. Listen to other points of view, and try to conquer preconceived notions that may blind you from being objective and unbiased.

  28. "Life has no value unless I can LIVE FOREVER"
    "Diamonds have no value unless I can have an UNLIMITED SUPPLY"
    Oh wait that's dumb.

  29. Five minute on god's existence without telling us which god he is talking about.

    I have said that prayer, and say it every day – for about 30 years now. Still nothing.

    The thing is. I AM living as god intended. – God made a big deal about free-will, and as I am exercising that free will obviously I should not be punished.
    It is not free will if only ONE option is accepted.

    In the christian world view, with an omniscient god, free will is impossible.

    Look – in an example where you are presented with options A and B, and there exists a entity (god) that knows with absolute, undeniable certainty that you will choose B, is then A a real option?

    If yes, then god is not omniscient, which follows he is not omnipotent, which follows he is impotent.

    If no, then we have no free will.

    So when this man asks us to live as if god exists, atheists already does. The claim is that god gave us free will, and obviously also allowed us to act on it. Anything else would be absurd. So we act on it, just as god supposedly planned.

    I am not atheist out of malice. I didn't stop believing just so that I could bother other believers. If god is real, he made me this way – with a critical mind, and so that I wouldn't just accept things on face value, but demand evidence before I choose any path.

    He made me so that I would not embrace conceptual foundations alone, but coupled with empirical evidence. As such, there is no rational reason to believe there is a god, and that is how I conclude.

    And if you are right, I am doing JUST as god wanted me to.

  30. @PragerU, I think that making belief in God the gateway to Christian values has been Christianity's downfall in disseminating and maintaining Christian values. Christian values are already demonstrably correct without the appeal to the supernatural.

    A restraint on teenage sexuality, a promotion of sex within wedlock and the raising children by a pair-bonded mother and father are all supported statistically as far superior in the short and long term for individuals, families and society. A child raised by a single mother is many times more likely to be molested and suffer from short and long term mental and physical issues, an adult with many previous sexual partners is many times more likely to suffer divorce and fail to have children. Homogeneous societies that share and promote common values are far more peaceful, unified and prosperous than those comprising diverse cultures.

    So, please don't keep hammering the belief in God as a requirement. I'm an Atheist, but I respect and promote Christian values and honour Christianity's crucial role in the development of Western culture. Accept that it is tough and perhaps even impossible for those raised in Atheist households to ever believe in God.

  31. 2:12
    1. "Love" is just a hormone in your brain.
    2. Nothing matters.
    2:17
    3. You are right! Nothing matters, Its called Nihilism
    2:22
    4. No
    2:25
    5. There is also very much evidence proving that God doesn't exist.
    2:33
    6. We arent 100% sure that god exists, But that must be his plan.

    There is just so much Bull**it in these 21 Seconds That I compiled into this comment!

  32. This boy is telling me that life sucks and then giving me a nice happy Christianity pill so that I won’t be sad.

  33. If this were true, it'd be really, really nice, huh…
    Might as well just believe it's true. It makes me feel all fuzzy and warm.

    -PRAGUERYUNIVORSITY

  34. if u want a proof for god existance, please say that pray. see what will He do on u, it is overwhelmed for me, i hope u got it too

  35. There are too many "just-sos" to be just science, or to be explicable thereby. There is too much autobio to jettison Theo.

  36. If you don't believe in God, what are your thoughts on people that die for what they believe? How can Atheists be that noble? If they do act in such a noble act it has to be based on beliefs too. The people that die to save their loved ones? At what point does logic become less important than belief and actions?

  37. The benefits of belief: it doesn’t matter if there’s no evidence to suggest the existence of a higher power, as long as blindly following a religion makes you more comfortable, then you’re good!

  38. I was an atheist, the day my father passed my girlfriend was rocking our daughter asleep when her electronic doll house said “Goodnight baby” that required someone to push a button for it to do so but no one did. Never happened before and never happened since. That was all the evidence I needed.

  39. I think I'm one of the few people comforted by knowing that life is meaningless. If I believed life had a purpose, it would make me terrified that everything I did wrong would come back for me no matter what I did. Life being pointless means that I can enjoy it however I want, and when we all die, my wrong doings wouldn't matter.

  40. Praise The Lord! He sure does exist. Check out my YouTube Channel and Listen to My Testimony if you need some additional proof. Much Love to All of you who read these Words. Jesus Loves You and So Do I!

    Shalom- 😎👍

  41. And all the good things in life will be destroyed forever Yes, and all the bad things too. If we just said "Guys! Believe that God doesn't exist! Because he's a fake poopy-head and eventually; all the bad things in life will be gone forever!" We would be eaten alive by you savages.

  42. Why must thus channel paint atheists as being immoral? I'm a decent fellow, and my personal beliefs don't stray much from scriptures. But I also don't believe in a god.

  43. It's difficult to persist with objectivity, but it is necessary as the highest ethic. We don't consider it ethical to fabricate lies about the world to make ourselves feel better. Why should we do the same about the nature of all existence?

  44. PragerU, please stop it with the objective morals already. Just stop. You're just embarrassing yourselves.

  45. Even if you did believe in god. Which god is the real god? Should you hedge your bets and praise them all? What if you believe that there is a god but its just part of the simulation we live in? Believing in something for the sake of it, or even worse, pretending to believe in something for the sake of it or just to make you feel better about yourself is just sad at very least.

    From the tone of this video I take it that the professor is a Christian. Religious people usually want you to believe without evidence, but they aren't often willing to accept evidence. If the prof is not religious, why is he telling people that pretending to be religious is good?

  46. 3:08– 3:16 "If you choose to live is as if there is a God, you loose nothing and you gain everything."

    That is a logically flawed argument for so many reasons.

    First of all, about which God are you talking. Yes it matters, because we are talking about ways that belief in God can influence your life. Living your life as if the Hindu God is real means never eating beef. Living life as if Allah were real and the Quran is to be taken as the infallible word of Allah, the creator of the universe, that would mean advocating for the genocide of all non-Muslims.

    Second of all, there is ample evidence to suggest that the world would benefit without religion. PHIL ZUCKERMAN once wrote a thesis essay titled "Atheism, Secularity, and Well-Being: How the Findings of Social Science Counter Negative Stereotypes and Assumptions." Here is a link to that essay ( https://pitweb.pitzer.edu/academics/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2014/12/FAC-Zuckerman-Sociology-Compass.pdf ). In that essay, he explained in great detail, using emprical evidence from legitimate sources, how more religious nations usually have higher murder rates, highly religious U.S. states like Louisiana and Alabama have among the highest murder rates, atheists account for less than one percent of all people in American prisons, atheists and agnostics have far lower divorce rates than religious people, conservtive Christians are more likely to be victims of domestic abuse compared to their secular counterparts, religious teens who take purity pledges are equally as likely as their non pledging peers to engage in sexual activity and more likely than their non pledging peers to have unprotected sex and the least religious nations in the world report the highest levels of happiness.

  47. Prager I like his politics but he is so so stupid when it comes to faith honesty if you really want to be a voice for the young new conservative movement then stop preaching Iron Age pseudoscience

  48. Can sum it up… can you afford to take a chance at being wrong about God??? Saying "oops " in the afterlife just doesn't cut it. Ok… so you take your chances and you realize after you die that there IS an afterlife… what then?? I'm sure it's come across the minds of many atheist or agnostics and to some extent some individuals who boarder on which path to follow…. according to the Christian teachings.. God has given man FREE WILL… yeah, you CAN choose what kind of life you want to live BUT is it according to the way you want to live that would get you to a pleasant afterlife…. .. if an afterlife is not of importance to you, ok, that's your choice, your thing, but don't claim ignorance because life has presented you with many opportunities to prepare yourself for an eternal life in God's presence… as for the alternative, well, I wouldn't (most definitely) want to be you.🔥🔥
    It amazes me that human beings can reject the existence of a higher being or THINK they know more than GOD… (arrogance)… the greatest gift I'll EVER receive in the afterlife is that I'll NEVER have to read or listen to the ramblings of people who don't believe in God
    People will argue that Christianity along with Islam and Judaism has brought great suffering to the world… yes, true but it is not of God's fault… bad men have brought sorrow into this world in the name of religion… but make no mistake, who are you or anyone in position to judge God.. Faith in God is a personal thing and true, no one should push it on you…. Free Will, remember?…. but taking a chance in being a non-believer will be THE biggest risk you'll EVER take.

  49. I got my own way to believe in god !!!!!! Be rational with this matter!!!! Fanatics not welcome 🙏 in my circle ⭕️

  50. I just am not afraid of god, that is of course if we are speaking of the deist god that retired, for the theist god takes advantage of 'matter' and say has one human kill another human by the 'will' of god, that is the violent expression of belief that i do fear. I cannot pretend sir, to have faith in a god, his standards are quite abysmal, dare one aim higher? To have belief in god is to be under his twisted morality.

    Can someone explain to me why nobody questions this word belief? Why whether it is a matter of spirituality or self-worth, a motivation of any-sort is diluted in belief? Why does there have to be a point to life one way or another?

    Personally sir, one has grown weary of people's narrow convictions, i am not afraid to fail, life is quite lively once you let go of the struggle for meaning, do you not feel just fine in the morning? Are you stressed out everyday? If you start to aim higher than this petty little god you can begin to be honest and have compassion and respect for the life that is all around and through seeing that perhaps start taking responsibility for the goodness of this experience together. In that there is real meaning, to be an animal that takes responsibility for himself and is one with truth so as not to lose balance when someone attempts to knock him down. One is the light in the darkness, no longer lost. This is not preached and enforced by some authority, one could say it is truth and one just has to look at it for himself to see a beauty in every-thing which is quite interesting because you gain a certain physical energy of vitality when you see clearly without the dilution of some belief your third eye is the spirit of god so long as you got the good book. How can you be connected with life if you got a bubble of belief between you and life? You dont have to believe in a bird, a tree, a mountain, the dinosaur was not in your lifetime but we got the bones of the dead beasts to behold.

  51. Exactly. I believe because I choose to believe. But more importantly because I NEED to believe. I don't need proof, absolute or otherwise. There is no purpose to this existence or even in knowledge without God. It is all pointless, even the concept of "good" and "bad", without him. Furthermore, I believe in God because I believe in sin. I find it completely impossible that this perfect natural world would bring forth the sentient weapon of mass destruction that is us upon itself. And if sin is then not a natural part of this world, but something that corrupted the natural order, then…I need no further explanation.

  52. Science can’t find God, or you can’t understand the existence of God, does not mean God does not exist. It just means our science and your understanding of things aren’t that advanced after all. Aren’t there many things that science can’t explain or solve today? Aren’t there many things you can’t understand? God is one of those things.

  53. If there was a kind, loving God who created a wonderful world, that would be great. The one who made this video leaves out a ton of reality. Sure, he's well-fed and doing well, but he ignores the immense suffering that takes place in this world and the suffering his evil God is to put on billions of innocent mankind in this God's hellfire. The fact is, these evil Gods that people believe in force these people to become self-absorbed and to turn a blind eye from obvious facts, even though they are intelligent.

  54. ‘’I feel like believing there is no hunger and suffering in the world’’
    ‘’But…’’
    ‘’So what, it makes me feel good!’’

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