The Meaning of Life

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Aldarron
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Re: If all you knew about Jesus

Post #1

Post by Aldarron »

Volbrigade wrote:
......

Here's how I see it:

If God doesn't exist, then if your life is to have meaning, you have to manufacture it.

........

So.

Here are the courses of action available to you.

You can accept what I've just written; and that there is, and can be, no real meaning or purpose to life, and try to make the best of it -- it'll be over in a few decades anyway, what's the diff? Or you can make the "worst" of it, and become one of those sociopathic monsters whose only goal is to experience maximum pleasure -- or just maximum, period -- everything and everybody else be damned. Or just say "screw it", and put a pistol in your mouth --

Or you can become a mystic, and say "there is a meaning and purpose, we just don't know what or why or how it is (yet)..."

Or you can be so vague and sentimental and provincial in your outlook that you just sort of make up your own little "meaning and purpose", so to speak. But mainly, just try to stay busy enough that it's not an issue. Which is very easy to do. And, like the first choice -- it'll all be over in a few decades, anyway. And you begin to realize, as you accumulate them -- those decades start to fly, after the first 2 or 3... ;)

Choice #3 is a very prevalent, and popular one. So is choice #2. #1, I submit, is a little stark for most peoples's taste: and tends to produce either monsters or suicides.

Now, if I may, I would like to present an alternate view:

If Christianity is true, then the universe is the product of the creative act of an eternal, uncreated Mind-force and Intelligence, that is the wellspring of all existence.

That Mind-force -- known to the ancient Hebrews as YHWH, and to us as "God" -- exists outside of our time domain; is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; and expresses His infinite intelligence and artistry in the stunningly beautiful and orchestrated universe He invented -- including the biosphere of one privileged planet, which he fashioned as an environment for the one creature He made "in His image" -- the only creature that has free will. Man.

Since He is the Creator of our dimensional reality, He makes the rules. And if He says He is "good", then He's "good". And whatever He calls "good" is "good"; and what He calls "bad" is "bad". No matter what we think about those judgments.

We'd have a real problem then, if He called injustice and deceit and treachery and lying and murder "good"; and sex and ice cream and the love of a mother for her children "bad". Because then our Creator would be a cosmic fiend.

But He's not.

In fact, He demonstrated to us what "good" is, in terms we can understand, by becoming one of us, and living a life of perfect "goodness". A life that was recorded, and the account of which has spread to all nations, in all languages.

So we know He is "good".

And we know that He has gifted us with many "good" things. such as a measure of intelligence, in the "image" of the intelligence that He has. We have used that intelligence to produce science and technology.

And because of that, we now understand that we live in a limited, bounded, temporary dimensional environment -- which is precisely what God has been telling us in His message system to us, for 4000 years.

And we know, from that message system, that once we leave this 4D, temporal dimensionality, we can enter into His eternal one, which is unbounded spatially, and outside of time.

And that we will be adopted joint heirs with His Son, Jesus Christ, and share the same manner and mode and quality of existence that He has.

And while we don't know what that fully entails, from our side of the divide between the temporary and the eternal --

We know it's "good". Really, really good. Beyond our imagining good. Beyond ANYTHING we know of in this present world good.

Therefore, my friend -- the meaning and purpose in acquiring that mode of existence is an eternality of GOOD.

The meaning and purpose of existence in a godless, random universe is nothing.

It follows that the meaning and purpose that an infinite (Christian) life has, that a finite (atheist) one doesn't?

Is total.

It is EVERYTHING.

I believe that is the reality, and the choice, that each of us is faced with.
Every once in a while I see this sort of thing and I'm really baffled. Exactly where in the Bible or anywhere else does it say a persons life is supposed to have meaning?

Where's that commandment? Prior to western individualism and "snowflake syndrome", no one even thought to ask such a randomly silly question - silly because it elevates individualism to a cultic level of importance.

Take note that, as is often the case, the above question conflates purpose with meaning.

The purpose of any life is obvious, and that is to perpetuate itself; to create and raise children or to contribute to the raising of children, preferably with shared genetics.

Having children and perpetuating the species is a perfectly good purpose. I like life. Being alive is wonderful, and passing the gift of life to a child is a very fine purpose, it seems to me.

So purpose is covered, but what about the meaning of life? Well, meaning is entirely subjective by definition, and each must answer that according to their own dictates.

However, why is it all necessary to "feel" your life has meaning or "feel" it is important for the universe to care that a kiss is different from a kill. Why?

Where is it written that a personal meaning should matter, or be important?

Nobody needs validation from invisible spiritual forces for their own subjective experience of meaning, satisfaction, or morality in life. It is irrelevant and simply wrong to place some hyped up importance on "meaning" in life.

Certainly meaning and purpose can be individualized, but they are always nevertheless understood and experienced within the culture and society in which the person lives. There is no need or reason or sense in looking beyond our own culture and our own social circles to contextualize such things. Nor is their any reason to think it is particularly important for an individual to feel that their life is personally meaningful or to even care or worry about it at all.

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Re: If all you knew about Jesus

Post #11

Post by Volbrigade »

[Replying to post 10 by Divine Insight]

Volbrigade wrote:

Quote:
There's no need to invoke any God.

Well, no -- there IS a need to. A GREAT need to.

That's nothing more than your subjective opinion.
If you say so. But if it is --

Volbrigade wrote:

Once we establish that, then we can begin to investigate the character, nature, and "properties", if you will, of that Mind.

The human mind will do just fine. And we can hardly investigate the character, nature, or properties of any imagined God, because no one has ever seen this imagined God. Therefore there is nothing to investigate.
-- then what would you call that?

Let's talk about "Love".

Can there be meaning and purpose in the universe, without love?

Do wild animals have meaning and purpose to their lives?

If you say "no" -- why not?

And if you say "yes" -- which ones? All of them? Or just the "higher" ones? Does a worm? A crocodile? How about a Mama Bear, who will tenderly tend to, and risk its life, for its cubs?

Just wonderin'...

We can kind of imagine infinite power. The kind of power that manifests in the origin and manifestation of the universe, and whatever manifestation it may have had prior to the universe's origin. We can kind of get our minds around that.

We can sort of imagination infinite intelligence. The sort of intelligence it would take to design a universe capable of sustaining life -- the synchronous tuning of hundreds of physical constants, to an exacting standard -- gravity, electro-magnetism, strong and weak force, speed of light, the periodic table of elements, and on and on... and the design engineered into living things, right down to the molecular code that contains their blueprints...

We can sort of imagine that. Get something of a handle on it.

But try to imagine infinite Love.

What would it look like? Forgiving your cat for crapping in your corn flakes -- that's "love", sure...

But what is infinite love? Can you picture it? Imagine it? Describe it?

How about this:

Love so great that the entity that made the universe, and all that's in it -- which includes you and me --

Became one of us, a man; who lived a life of poverty and hardship and ridicule and contempt; finally willingly subjecting himself to torture and an agonizing death --

all so that you could be reconciled to Him? And enjoy the boundless qualities of eternality, in an unlimited spiritual environment that is not "in bondage to decay"?

The whole message of Redemption is a picture of infinite love. A portrait of "amazing grace".

That, my friend, is the meaning and purpose of existence.

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Post #12

Post by Danmark »

Volbrigade wrote: Can there be meaning and purpose in the universe, without love?
Of course there can. It is the wildest of assumptions that "love" is integral to finding meaning and purpose. To assume or to set as a prerequisite that "love" is necessary to meaning and purpose is nothing more than the assertion of a bias.

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Re: If all you knew about Jesus

Post #13

Post by Divine Insight »

Volbrigade wrote: Let's talk about "Love".

Can there be meaning and purpose in the universe, without love?
I have no clue. You would need to define what you mean by love.

Is it possible to love life itself? And if so exactly what would that mean?
Volbrigade wrote: Do wild animals have meaning and purpose to their lives?

If you say "no" -- why not?

And if you say "yes" -- which ones? All of them? Or just the "higher" ones? Does a worm? A crocodile? How about a Mama Bear, who will tenderly tend to, and risk its life, for its cubs?
I have clue how meaningful their lives are to them. They seem to cling to it dearly, so I would imagine it means something to them. They also protect their offspring in many cases. In other cases they don't. But then there exists humans who would sell their own child for profit. So are some animals actually on a higher level of love than some humans?

I have no clue whether something like a worm enjoys its existence. If it's living in a nice warm pile of cow dung it probably is pretty happy. :D
Volbrigade wrote: We can kind of imagine infinite power. The kind of power that manifests in the origin and manifestation of the universe, and whatever manifestation it may have had prior to the universe's origin. We can kind of get our minds around that.
We can imagine fairies too. Does that make them real? :-k
Volbrigade wrote: We can sort of imagination infinite intelligence. The sort of intelligence it would take to design a universe capable of sustaining life -- the synchronous tuning of hundreds of physical constants, to an exacting standard -- gravity, electro-magnetism, strong and weak force, speed of light, the periodic table of elements, and on and on... and the design engineered into living things, right down to the molecular code that contains their blueprints...

We can sort of imagine that. Get something of a handle on it.
Actually that would be pretty difficult for me to imagine someone actually designing all that stuff. It's much more easily understood as just the results of very simple rules that allow complex things to evolve. In fact, that would actually be the more intelligent way to design a universe in any case. ;)

The most intelligent designs are the simplest.
Volbrigade wrote: But try to imagine infinite Love.

What would it look like? Forgiving your cat for crapping in your corn flakes -- that's "love", sure...

But what is infinite love? Can you picture it? Imagine it? Describe it?
I don't know about "infinite" love. But I can certainly imagine a extremely high level of love.
Volbrigade wrote: How about this:

Love so great that the entity that made the universe, and all that's in it -- which includes you and me --

Became one of us, a man; who lived a life of poverty and hardship and ridicule and contempt; finally willingly subjecting himself to torture and an agonizing death --

all so that you could be reconciled to Him? And enjoy the boundless qualities of eternality, in an unlimited spiritual environment that is not "in bondage to decay"?

The whole message of Redemption is a picture of infinite love. A portrait of "amazing grace".

That, my friend, is the meaning and purpose of existence.
And that, my friend, is the stupidest thing I ever heard. Not to imply that you are stupid because I'm quite certain that you didn't make up that particular fairy tale. But I read that fairy tale too and I found it to be the stupidest story I ever read. Especially considering that it claims to be the actions of an infinitely loving omnipotent God.

Any God who would have done what you have just described would need to be so extremely inept and impotent that he could have never created this universe to be sure.

To begin with if he had no choice in the scenario you have described then he's clearly inept and just dust in the wind reacting to things he has no control over. He would be basically as helpless a moral human man.

And if he actually had a choice and chose to do such an ignorant foolish thing, then I hold that he is one sick puppy.

There is no excuse for an omnipotent God to have had himself brutally butchered on a pole to make it possible for humans to reconcile themselves with him. In fact, there's absolutely no rational or sane reason why having God beaten to a pulp and nailed to a pole should be required to reconcile anything.

You speak of intelligence and engineering. But what if a human engineer designed a car that would only run if he was nailed spread eagle on the hood of the car. Would you think that was infinitely brilliant? :-k

Of course you wouldn't, you would think that was the stupidest thing you ever heard in your life.

For me, nothing changes when the engineer of humans has to have himself beaten and nailed to a pole in order to reconcile the humans with him.

Moreover, how exactly is this supposed to work?

Humans who are undeserving and unworthy of this God suddenly become deserving and worthy, if and only if, they condone having their creator beaten and nailed to a pole to be their scapegoat on their behalf? :-k

How would that make these humans anymore worthy or deserving of this God? If anything it would make them even more disgusting. The idea that they have such a lack of morality that they would actually condone having their creator beaten and nailed to a pole as their scapegoat?

I wouldn't want to have anyone to do with anyone who would condone that or accept it.

In fact, if we actually were created by the sick madman you have just described, then not only do I refuse to condone his sick demented game, but I feel extremely sorry for the poor thing. It's clearly suffering from some serious mental problems.

All I could do is tell it that I feel extremely sorry for it and hope it gets well soon.

This idea that a sacrificial lamb is required to appease the wrath of a sick demented God is nothing to be respected at all.

As I had stated previously. To even suggest that the Bible has anything to do with a God is to insult any God that might actually exist.

Of all the religions in the world, Christianity is one of the sickest. Even Islam doesn't stoop that low.

Of course Christianity wasn't the first religion to come up with this idea of a sacrificial demigod or son of God. This was a very popular pagan myth that predates Christianity by several hundreds of years if not thousands of years.

In fact, Christian theologians have even acknowledged this FACT. Their apology for this is that Satan knew that Christ was coming and inspired men to write similar tales before the coming of Christ specifically so that we would question that it's just yet another copy-cat religion.

Surely you don't buy into that apology? :-k
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Re: If all you knew about Jesus

Post #14

Post by Bust Nak »

Volbrigade wrote: Now, the REAL question is: where does that meaning a purpose come from? What is its source?
The real answer is, it came from me. I am the source. I am the one who assign meaning to the universe.
that is not the issue. It could have meaning of which "you" are unaware.
No, it can't. Since I am the one who created meaning to the universe, I have to be aware of my own creation.
Or "you" could manufacture a non-existent meaning, where there is none.
I am not sure what you mean here. If I could manufacture meaning, and I have manufactured meaning, how then can you say meaning is non-existent? Did you meant I manufacture meaning where there was none?
In the first place, they don't survive. Not for long. Some longer than others, of course. But all cease "surviving" at a certain point. Some rather quickly. Many are destroyed in their mother's wombs. Not much "meaning or purpose" there.
How much meaning would qualify as enough meaning, is irrelevant to whether meaning exists or not.
In the second place, the universe is not "extremely meaningful" for a great many humans...
Well I am not those humans.
No. Sorry. Actually, it isn't. And even for those for whom it IS meaningful -- they could be wrong in the meaning that they assign to it, could they not?
No, I cannot be wrong with my assignment, since I am also the one who provide validation for my assignments.
Well, no -- there IS a need to. A GREAT need to.
"Need" might be the wrong word. People "needs" things that aren't actually required. There is no logical necessity to invoke God.
Because, as I've stated many times, if the universe is a mindless place, with a mindless cause; if all interactions of matter are mindless and unguided and random then there can be no meaning or purpose to it.
You presume that a mindless cause implies a mindless place. Said presumption is false.
Not objectively. Personally, yes -- but the assignation of meaning and purpose to a universe, and an existence in it, that has none, is an avoidance of reality. A "flawed idea".
That completely backwards. The mere assignation of meaning and purpose to a universe, bring into existence meaning and purpose. A failure to acknowledge said existence is an avoidance of reality.
Then there has to a mind and intelligence and will to provide it.

Once we establish that, then we can begin to investigate the character, nature, and "properties", if you will, of that Mind.
Right you are. Feel free to ask further question as to my character, my nature and properties in your investigation of a mind and intelligence has provided meaning to the universe. Then again, you can just check your own mind and intelligence that has provided meaning for you.
And that investigation will always lead -- if followed diligently and with an open mind, searching for truth -- to the God of the Bible, and His expression of infinite Love (which is the ultimate meaning and purpose -- the God in your hypothetical is thus disqualified as being unloving. A similar disqualification applies to Allah, Vishna, Krishna, and Zeus -- etc.) through Jesus Christ.
False by counter example. My open minded, diligently followed investigation, searching for truth lead to the objective conclusion meaning and purpose is personal, subjective and the only one who can provide mean is one's own self. Nobody, no gods can provide meaning for me other than myself. Nobody, no gods, can provide meaning for you other than yourself.
Can there be meaning and purpose in the universe, without love?
Depends on how broadly you define love. There can be no meaning nor purpose in the universe without desire/preference. Does desire/preference qualify as love? Love certainly seems to be a subset of desire/preference.
Do wild animals have meaning and purpose to their lives?
Yes.
And if you say "yes" -- which ones?
The ones I personally care about, since I am the one who create meaning.

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Re: If all you knew about Jesus

Post #15

Post by Volbrigade »

[Replying to post 14 by Bust Nak]

Okay.

So, in terms of "meaning and purpose in life", what I'm getting (in general) from more than one source, in terms of the anti-theist position, is roughly (paraphrasing):

"It is what I say it is."

"Love is not a necessary part of the equation (and must be defined, at any rate" -- true enough. But that just opens up an endless semantical debate. I will use as my operative definition John 15:13: "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends"; it's further application can be extrapolated from that)"

"Order, meaning, design, purpose, and mind can all arise from mindless, random processes and events."

That last I maintain is an unsupportable and absurd ad hoc assumption, which cannot be defended with anything other than "well, those things exist -- so it it axiomatic that they did!" To which I counter, "yes, they exist -- because God ordained them." Along with pointing out that many anti-theists have concluded (I believe rightly) that those things do not exist in a mindless, random universe (see below).

Which just brings us back to the original, persistent, unsolvable "either/or" and choice.

A fact which I further maintain is supportive of my (theist) position; but acknowledge that is merely my considered opinion, and therefore not "admissible".

Therefore, I hold that the anti-theist position reverts back to one, or a combination, of the following:
Here are the courses of action available to you.

You can accept what I've just written; and that there is, and can be, no real meaning or purpose to life, and try to make the best of it -- it'll be over in a few decades anyway, what's the diff? Or you can make the "worst" of it, and become one of those sociopathic monsters whose only goal is to experience maximum pleasure -- or just maximum, period -- everything and everybody else be damned. Or just say "screw it", and put a pistol in your mouth --

Or you can become a mystic, and say "there is a meaning and purpose, we just don't know what or why or how it is (yet)..."

Or you can be so vague and sentimental and provincial in your outlook that you just sort of make up your own little "meaning and purpose", so to speak. But mainly, just try to stay busy enough that it's not an issue. Which is very easy to do. And, like the first choice -- it'll all be over in a few decades, anyway. And you begin to realize, as you accumulate them -- those decades start to fly, after the first 2 or 3... Wink

Choice #3 is a very prevalent, and popular one. So is choice #2. #1, I submit, is a little stark for most peoples's taste: and tends to produce either monsters or suicides.
My intent here is to advance the alternate, theist position, in contradistinction; and specifically the Christian position, as being the ultimate form of theism.

Since D. I. concludes that the brief account of God's redemptive plan and act that I provided is "the stupidest thing" he's ever heard, it appears that a further defense of that plan and act is in order.

Which I will set about in my next post; time constrains me from adequately doing so at present.

The meaning and purpose of your (collective) lives is to await the appearance of that defense.
8-)

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Re: If all you knew about Jesus

Post #16

Post by Bust Nak »

Volbrigade wrote: Okay.

So, in terms of "meaning and purpose in life", what I'm getting (in general) from more than one source, in terms of the anti-theist position, is roughly (paraphrasing):

"It is what I say it is."
I wouldn't call it the anti-theist position. If Jesus himself shows up tonight and convince me he is the son of God, meaning and purpose in life would still be exactly what I say it is. Of course I would also take Jesus/God's advice into consideration seriously in deciding what meaning and purpose I assign, but I would still be the one who do the assigning, I would still be the only one who could assign meaning and purpose to the universe.
"Love is not a necessary part of the equation (and must be defined, at any rate" -- true enough. But that just opens up an endless semantical debate. I will use as my operative definition John 15:13: "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends"; it's further application can be extrapolated from that)"
Self sacrifice is a valid example of love, I don't think self sacrifice is required for meaning or purpose.
"Order, meaning, design, purpose, and mind can all arise from mindless, random processes and events."

That last I maintain is an unsupportable and absurd ad hoc assumption, which cannot be defended with anything other than "well, those things exist -- so it it axiomatic that they did!" To which I counter, "yes, they exist -- because God ordained them." Along with pointing out that many anti-theists have concluded (I believe rightly) that those things do not exist in a mindless, random universe (see below).

Which just brings us back to the original, persistent, unsolvable "either/or" and choice.

A fact which I further maintain is supportive of my (theist) position; but acknowledge that is merely my considered opinion, and therefore not "admissible".
Given this either/or saturation, principle of parsimony demands that the scenario with the least unknowns be preferred. I would argue that "well, those things exist so it is axiomatic that they did" does not have that massive unknown that is introduced with God.
Therefore, I hold that the anti-theist position reverts back to one, or a combination, of the following:

Here are the courses of action available to you...
Sure, I make my own meaning and purpose sounds like it fits option 3, but I object to the part about trying to stay busy enough that it's not an issue. One can spend lots of time to think long and hard about the meaning of life and confirm for himself creating your own meaning genuinely isn't an issue. Indeed, far from an issue, creating it is the solution for meaning of life.
My intent here is to advance the alternate, theist position, in contradistinction; and specifically the Christian position, as being the ultimate form of theism.
I would say that's just a variation of option 2. A mystic who says "there is a meaning and purpose, we invoke a god to explain it..."

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Post #17

Post by Excubis »

Meaning of all life is to LIVE or be ALIVE beyond that is personal, belief, and opinion, I really do not see the importance of such a question. Now many people think there needs to be more to it, but in reality to all living things purpose is to be alive, stay alive and make more living organisms who in turn do the same. Simple it is a true biological rule of all organisms. The meaning to life, to be alive and make more living organisms. :D
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Post #18

Post by Volbrigade »

Okay.

Let's continue on with the matter at hand, which is a defense of the proposition that the story of Redemption, as told in the Bible, is an illustration of Infinite Love, and thus is the ultimate meaning and purpose of existence.

But only, of course, if it is true.

And anything that is objectively true trumps any subjective, personal meaning. So we can dispense with those as being irrelevant.

Likewise, whether it is "stupid" or not is merely a personal opinion, and likewise irrelevant.

Not to mention that it is certainly no more "stupid", by any criteria or calculation, than the idea that the universe is the product of mindless and random events (and yes, events that are mindless and unguided are by definition "random". The protest that molecules linking up in a certain way is not "random" is merely an attempt to have one's cake and eat it, too. And, if thought through carefully, is a backdoor affirmation of God). And that molecules formed microbes accidentally, which increased in information -- importantly, by random processes -- to form everything else, including organisms capable of manufacturing a subjective meaning for their existence, when obviously there can be no objective one.

That sounds pretty "stupid" to me.

So:

The Biblical view.

The power that made the universe is timeless (eternal), all-powerful, and all-knowing. And good.

And also creative. He made creatures that exist in His direct presence -- angels;

and he constructed a dimensional environment full of creatures that don't. Including us.

And to us he instilled characteristics that are similar to His: thought, mind, will, choice, and creativity --including the ability to procreate, which the angels do not have (though they have all of the others). And the ability to love.

The dimensional environment created by God is framed by an indeterminate number of physical "rules" -- gravity, electro-magnetism, the strong and weak force -- which are measurable and detectable. Violating those rules has consequences. Walking off a high building leads to harm; violating rules at the subatomic level produces destructive explosions.

These rules were ordained by God, as part of making "the best of all possible worlds".

Likewise, there are rules which govern the hyperdimensional aspects of existence -- what we refer to as the "spiritual". There are spiritual rules, or laws.

The Bible tells the story of man choosing to violate those spiritual laws, through his disobedience to God. It is the spiritual equivalence of choosing to walk off a roof, or splitting an atom.

There are consequences.

Those consequences include spiritual and physical death. And a diminished environment that is "in bondage to decay".

And every man has joined in this disobedience, or rebellion against God, by inheritance -- the first man (Adam) being the federal head of the human race. Which at first blush seems unfair, but just wait...

Of course God, being all-knowing and outside of time, was not taken by surprise by Adam's rebellion. And he had a plan in place from before creation -- "before the foundation of the world".

And the Bible tell the story of that plan's unfolding.

It's a doozy of a tale, full of drama and action and intrigue and violence and power and glory and love -- all the aspects of the human condition, good and bad.

And it's all historically accurate and scientifically verifiable. Well, most of it. Except the miracle parts. But those are explainable as the intervention of the transcendent "metacosm" upon the dimensionally limited macro/micro-cosm.

And its climax involves the Creator God Himself, the infinite power and glory, emptying Himself of that glory to become one of his creatures, puny man.

And paying the price for man's rebellion, by undergoing the death due him for "walking off the roof". A price only He could pay.

It is an act of limitless, infinite love; the sacrifice of one man for another.

Only, in this case, it is the sacrifice of one man for all men-- Jesus being the infinite God, in the form of a man. "He, being infinite, suffered in a finite amount of time what we, being finite, would have suffered for eternity."

Because "as sin entered through one man; so salvation (redemption) is through one man."

Do you see the utter, infinite beauty of it?

With the result that now man is restored to a sinless relationship with God; and able to fulfill the meaning and purpose for which he was created, which is to be an eternal creature in God's image.

Now -- someone is no doubt asking the age old "why" question.

Why would God go to so much trouble, and create such strange conditions for man's redemption? Why not simply make a creature that is incapable of disobedience and rebellion?

I trust, though, that no who is of the opinion that "to live and be alive" is the meaning of life is asking those questions. Because nothing I've written counters anything to do with that. You "live and are alive" whether you are a sinner or not; whether you are aware of it or not.

We must assume, since God is good, that there was no better way to construct a world, in which exists a creature capable of choice -- of willingly choosing whether to obey; and willingly choosing to love. We can also assume that God created a great many creatures incapable of making that choice. And many of them are glorious to behold, even in their diminished ("fallen") condition.

And finally, we may surmise that God foresaw that a "redeemed" creation, and humanity, would be even better than an originally perfect, unfilled one.

For instance, the latter may have had no need for courage, patience, persistence, selflessness, self-sacrifice, self-control -- or faith.

Now all of that may be stupid, to you.

If so --

you must satisfy yourself with the other stupid alternative, as mentioned above.

8-)

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Danmark
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Post #19

Post by Danmark »

Volbrigade wrote:
Likewise, whether it is "stupid" or not is merely a personal opinion, and likewise irrelevant.

Not to mention that it is certainly no more "stupid", by any criteria or calculation, than the idea that the universe is the product of mindless and random events (and yes, events that are mindless and unguided are by definition "random". The protest that molecules linking up in a certain way is not "random" is merely an attempt to have one's cake and eat it, too. And, if thought through carefully, is a backdoor affirmation of God). And that molecules formed microbes accidentally, which increased in information -- importantly, by random processes -- to form everything else, including organisms capable of manufacturing a subjective meaning for their existence, when obviously there can be no objective one.

That sounds pretty "stupid" to me.)
As you say, "whether it is "stupid" or not is merely a personal opinion, and likewise irrelevant." What appears "stupid" to you is what appears most likely to others. It isn't just a matter of opinion however.

It certainly is not a "backdoor affirmation of God [you'll have to explain the basis of that claim]. The idea of a random interactions based initially on nothing more than the natural laws of physics and chemistry, is what we are left with when we remove the unfounded speculation of a god as a driving force.

We are witnesses everyday to how this natural process works, and how genetics and natural selection and the tendency of certain elements to combine to form molecules occurs. We see it. We can trace its history. In contrast we do not see evidence of any god, much less of one who creates by magic.

What we are left with is to find meaning ourselves, and to recognize there is no preordained "meaning" or purpose in the universe. To be scrupulously honest we have to admit our ignorance and accept the fact the universe just is.

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Post #20

Post by Volbrigade »

[Replying to Danmark]
And finally, we may surmise that God foresaw that a "redeemed" creation, and humanity, would be even better than an originally perfect, unfilled one.
A thousand curses upon autocorrect! You have to really stay on top of it to keep it from turning the "meaning and purpose" ( ;) ) of your sentences to mush. Here's one that escaped my notice -- I'll try to remember to correct in the the original. It should be "unfallen".

Autocorrect has to be a liberal invention. It is a draconian solution which is worse than the problem it attempts to address; is uninvited, unwanted, and impossible to get rid of (I know there's a way to turn it off -- it's just not intuitive). My old laptop didn't have it -- just another of those "improvements" that nobody wants.
It certainly is not a "backdoor affirmation of God [you'll have to explain the basis of that claim]. The idea of a random interactions based initially on nothing more than the natural laws of physics and chemistry, is what we are left with when we remove the unfounded speculation of a god as a driving force.
Exactly.

So it goes like this:

There is no God. So the universe is a mindless product of a mindless cause, or causes.

Therefore, everything that has ever happened is mindless and random.

Except that mindlessness and randomness somehow produced mind and order and design and information.

Because we can identify those things; in our own thought processes, and in the "un-random" nature of chemical bonds, etc.; and the steady increases in information (which is definitionallly opposite to randomness) necessary to turn microbes into men.

So that proves that just because there is no God, that doesn't mean that everything is random.

Ergo -- there is no need for God.



Except it proves no such thing.

The initial premise is false.

God DOES exist, and He IS required for the "un-random" nature of reality.

Ergo, "our own thought processes, and in the "un-random" nature of chemical bonds, etc." as well as the nature of evolutionary changes (always "downhill"; always involving a loss of existing information) are proof of God's existence.

Of course, we as individuals are free to choose either of those two conflicting realities. It is a matter of our own personal preference, what we want to believe.

But only the theist position is true.

That's why I want to believe it.

The only reason to believe the alternative is in order to NOT believe in God, for one's own personal reasons -- such as the freedom to generate one's own personal, subjective, and irrelevant views on the meaning of life.

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