PDF [Article] Good and Bad Reasons for Believing

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Go the extra mile that most will not take. Be amazing by persevering. Take the crap job that pays nothing. Put the hours in, pay your dues.


It will pay off. But you will have to work. Let it remind you of the responsibility you have to honor your gift.

This all begins with humility. Which really means a willingness to listen and change. To do the work and become a professional. If you do this, if you take the time to make your work great by never settling for good enough , it will make all the difference. So start persevering today.

What do you think is the difference between good writers and bad writers?

Share in the comments. Bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is, in fact, a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits.

In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength. Get the Book. Many want to get together for coffee; few want to write. So what can you, the aspiring writer with something to say, do?

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Make a choice Choose to be different. You can outlast those who are lucky and out-work those who are lazy. Being a starving artist is a choice. AIDS is epidemic there, killing around 3 million people each year. It is almost impossible to exaggerate how bad your luck is if you are born today in a country like Sudan.

The question is, how does religion affect this problem? Many pious Christians go to countries like Sudan to help alleviate human suffering, and such behavior is regularly put forward as a defense of Christianity. But in this case, religion gives people bad reasons for acting morally, where good reasons are actually available.

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In those same desperate places, one finds secular volunteers working with organizations like Doctors Without Borders and helping people for secular reasons. Helping people purely out of concern for their happiness and suffering seems rather more noble than helping them because you think the Creator of the universe wants you to do it, will reward you for doing it, or will punish you for not doing it. But the worst problem with religious morality is that it often causes good people to act immorally, even while they attempt to alleviate the suffering of others.

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In Africa, for instance, certain Christians preach against condom use in villages where AIDS is epidemic, and where the only information about condoms comes from the ministry. They also preach the necessity of believing in the divinity of Jesus Christ in places where religious conflict between Christians and Muslims has led to the deaths of millions. A person need not be evil to preach against condom use in a village decimated by AIDS; he or she need only believe a specific faith-based moral dogma.

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In such cases we can see that religion can cause good people to be much less good than they might otherwise be. We have to realize that we decide what is good in our religious doctrines. We read the Golden Rule, for instance, and judge it to be a brilliant distillation of many of our ethical impulses.

If we are civilized, we will reject this as utter lunacy. Doing so requires that we exercise our own moral intuitions, keeping the real issue of human happiness in view.

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The belief that the Bible is the word of God is of no help to us whatsoever. As we consider how to run our own society and how to help people in need, the choice before us is simple: Either we can have a 21st-century conversation about morality and human happiness—availing ourselves of all the scientific insights and philosophical arguments that have accumulated in the last 2, years of human discourse—or we can confine ourselves to an Iron Age conversation as it is preserved in our holy books.