This is the second post in a series, the topic of which is “how God fits in” with the content of The Catalyst of Confidence. If you have not read the first post, or the introductory post, I encourage you to do so before continuing.
In this post I will clarify the following specifics, which correspond to their respective lessons:
- Knowledge of the origin of a belief does not affirm or negate the validity of that belief. (Lesson I: Perception and Belief)
- The concept of morality can be understood as a goal. (Lesson III: Goals and Dreams)
- Contemplation of that which is good invariably results in that which is good. (Lesson IV: Thought and Concentration)
It's possible that the knowledge of how one has come to believe that which they believe can be alarming. Primarily because it can be perceived that such understanding discredits the validity of a given belief (because a person could have easily came to believe something different through the same process). For example, the reason I am a Christian is because I was raised as a Christian. i.e., I was brought up in an environment which encouraged Christianity. In other words, my belief in Christianity resulted from being exposed to specific information. This information, in turn, underwent the process of perception and repetition in my mind, eventually culminating in my belief in Christianity. However, knowing the origin of my belief neither affirms nor denies the validity of Christianity itself. If Christianity is true, it must be true independent of my belief in it. This is why the responsibility of every individual to carefully consider the reasons they believe that which they believe cannot be overstated. Ultimately, having a mature understanding of how one's beliefs are created enables a person to choose one belief instead of another. See also: Rocks Have Souls?
2. The concept of morality can be understood as a goal.
If a person accepts the existence of God, then they are almost certain to accept the existence of objective moral values as well. Morality itself can be understood as a standard which mankind ought emulate to the greatest extent possible. Knowledge of this standard can easily be understood as a goal, in the sense that it directs one's thoughts and actions toward a defined end (the standard itself). However, such a goal cannot be attained temporally, but rather must be pursued ceaselessly by mankind. Having knowledge of this standard coupled with it being a point of consistent concentration (or focus) enables a person to better discern the methods of how they can adhere to the standards of morality. In short, the methods of achieving a goal or dream may also be used to better maintain a moral life. See also: Lesson III: Goals and Dreams in The Catalyst of Confidence.
3. Contemplation of that which is good invariably results in that which is good.
In the Selected Quotes section of Lesson IV: Thought and Concentration we find the following quote from Philippians 4:8: “Fill your minds with those things that are good, and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” As explained in the lesson, the information one concentrates upon determines their dominating thoughts. Dominating thoughts, in turn, largely affect one's actions and behavior. Hence, the contemplation of good things (things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable) will invariably result in good actions, which are more likely to produce external results which are also good.