Before publishing my first book – Discovering Life’s Purpose – in 2018, a friend kindly read a prepublication manuscript. When his wife learned what he was doing, she asked, “What’s he trying to do – convert the world?” When I learned what she had asked, I reflected on her question. It occurred to me that this is most people’s reaction to their exposure to anything that sounds even remotely religious.
They are not interested in pursuing other’s ideas of life’s purpose and consider others’ invitations to do so as an invasion of their privacy. The topic of life’s meaning has become the elephant in the room.
Who can blame them? Most of us have been exposed to overly zealous proselytizers. The most fanatical of these – Bible or Koran in hand – confront you with a citation that they claim proves them to be right about any topic they impose on you. Most proselytizers sincerely believe that you need to accept their religion or be damned for eternity. They feel obligated to tell you what to think.
Countless books address life’s meaning. Many people seek them out when they reach the stage in life where they are searching for meaning. However, most find that rather than describing how to conduct the search, these books simply describe the destination. Their authors describe their thinking rather than how to develop yours. They, too, feel obligated to tell you what to think.
By contrast, Discovering Life’s Purpose describes ways of thinking and illustrates how to use them by tracing the author’s experience in applying them. It invites you to share your thinking. It aims at improving the reader’s and the author’s knowledge.
So, what are your options when you are confronted with advice about what you should think? You can ignore and reject what you’re being told but might that not expose you to the risk of missing an insight? You can accept what you’re being told, but might that not expose you to the risk of accepting faulty conclusions? Fortunately, you have another option. You can invite them to share the reasons that support the thinking they are offering you. You can pursue whether the reasons that lead them to their conclusions are sound. Using reasoning, you can develop your ability to discover flaws in their thinking or alternative arguments that refute their reasoning. Reasoning can protect you from being told what to think.
The Meaning of Life Video Series is a proven way of helping you master reasoning and use it to develop your knowledge, as good as any knowledge of which humans are capable. It describes three types of reasoning. Deductive reasoning develops conclusions that necessarily follow from things we already know (premises.) Inductive reasoning develops conclusions based on the consistency of what we observe. Comparative analysis of arguments presents thinking for and against a conclusion. All three lead to reasoned-based knowledge. Of course, reason-based knowledge is subject to correction whenever its reasoning can be shown to be flawed. All human knowledge is susceptible to correction. No human knowledge is absolute. But it is knowledge.
Armed with this knowledge, you need no longer accept being told what to think about life’s meaning. You know what to think. Using reasoning, you are equipped to strengthen your knowledge when you are fortunate enough to find someone who knows why they have reached the conclusions they insist upon.
Are you tired of being told what to think?