The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren

Debate specific books

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 18572
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 146 times
Been thanked: 212 times
Contact:

The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren

Post #1

Post by otseng »

This thread is to debate/discuss the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

If you would like to participate in this thread, sign up on the signup sheet.

For now, we'll debate the book in only this thread. If we start to have a lot of people participating, then we can split it off to several threads.

We'll go through the book a chapter at a time, but anyone can make comments at anytime about chapters that we've already covered. Please hold off on discussing future chapters until we get to it.

Book debate format:
- Start off with background info of the author and book.
- Try to cover one chapter at a time and discuss the points made in that chapter. No chapter opened up will be closed until the entire thread is closed.
- Give final thoughts on the book.
- Close the thread.

User avatar
Cathar1950
Site Supporter
Posts: 10501
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:12 pm
Location: Michigan(616)
Been thanked: 1 time

Post #21

Post by Cathar1950 »

otseng wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:
otseng wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:Why would we think there is just one purpose?
Experience indicates there are many purposes.
Such as?
The first thing that came to mind was; You got to be kidding.
You were the one who stated "experience indicates there are many purposes". Why would I be kidding to ask what are those experiences you are referring to?
Why do you flip the light switch, turn on the stove or set your alarm?
How would that be relevant to purpose in life?
Even if there was just one purpose only God would infallibly know that purpose, not humans. Any human imaginings of purpose would be subjective and limited.
In Christianity, God has revealed his general purpose for man - to love God and to love others. For more specifics, that it what the book addresses.
Look at the problems with the free-will and determinism. Even with a belive in God and your Bible you can't come to anything but some confusing as well as conflicting opinions as the writers disagree and have different purposes for their writings. This holds true for the readers too.
Actually, it all makes sense to me. Especially compared with the alternatives.
My experiences have taught me that here are many purposes.
What is the purpose of an ant?
What is the "all" that makes sense to you?
Does an ant love one another and God?
Of course Loving God and like the first commandment love your neighbor as your self are not just a Christian teaching nor is it the main or only Christian teaching.
The devil is in the detail as well as what it means to love God or love others.
What is the purpose of loving God or loving others? Like "the Wedding Song", if giving is the answer then who's the giving for?
Rick Warren assumes not only God and the Bible as having the answer but fails to show that there is really one answer or purpose.
My purpose or purposes as to my children is going to be different then my purposes for my friends or other loved ones and it will change as my children mature.
As Robert Price points out, it often seems like what becomes the purpose of God is largely the reflection of the believer or their echo.

We both know that there is more to Warren's Christianity besides loving God and loving others.

Compassionist
Sage
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:56 pm
Has thanked: 311 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Post #22

Post by Compassionist »

I agree with Cathar1950. :D

Compassionist
Sage
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:56 pm
Has thanked: 311 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Post #23

Post by Compassionist »

otseng wrote:
Compassionist wrote:Firstly, it presumes that the Biblical God is real and really created life (as opposed to being imaginary).
Of course. The book presumes this.

I sense that this thread is not going to really be a review of the book, but rather using the book as a conversation starter for other issues. I don't have a problem with this, but I need to shift my thinking for this perspective instead.
I am glad that you are not forcing me to focus narrowly on the book. Thank you.
otseng wrote:
Compassionist wrote: Secondly, God's alleged purpose for life would not be objective, it would be subjective, from God's alleged omniscient, omnipotent point of view. Do you understand?
Not really. Also, just to let you know, I do not beileve that God is omnipotent (but rather super-potent).
What is the basis for your belief?
otseng wrote:
Compassionist wrote:Clearly, the Bible has many contradictory verses. I am not convinced that the Bible is any more reliable than any other religious books.
You are certainly free to think that.
Actually, I am not free. I have been and continue to be a prisoner of causality. If I could have been convinced that the Bible is more reliable than the Quran or other religious books, I would already have been thus convinced.
otseng wrote:
Compassionist wrote:Of course, with omniscience and omnipotence comes omniculpability. We are prisoners of causality.
I understand what you are saying. However, like I said, I do not believe God is omnipotent.
Again, what is the basis for your belief in a non-omnipotent and non-omniculpable God?
otseng wrote: As for omniscience, I do believe that. However, I also believe that we have freewill. And that the two can exist together.
I don't see what the alleged omniscience of the alleged God has to do with the alleged free will of people and other living things. Please demonstrate to me that I have free will. If you can, I will be most grateful, as well as most astounded.

otseng wrote:
Compassionist wrote: If you had my genes, physical environments, nutrients and experiences, you would have been typing these words right here, right now and if I had your genes, physical environments, nutrients and experiences then I would have been reading these words wherever and whenever you are reading these words. Everything is proceeding inevitably according to causality. Do you understand?
I understand, but I do not agree.
On what grounds do you disagree? Please explain fully. Thank you.
otseng wrote:
Compassionist wrote:Different people would have different opinions of what drives me.
Yes, they would. I think the point that Warren was making is how others perceive me, not necessarily how I perceive it, or what it actually is. I might think I'm doing things for noble purposes, but come across as being a selfish person.
Why would other people's perceptions or interpretations be more important than my actual motivation? Are you familiar with the three levels of self-sacrifice? I have made many first level, second level and third level self-sacrifices. Just in case, you don't know what these levels of self-sacrifice mean, here are the explanations:

1st Level Self-sacrifice: Making a sacrifice when the beneficiaries know about sacrifice e.g. Harry Stamper in the 1998 film 'Armageddon' who sacrifices his life while the rest of humanity looks on in admiration and gratitude. Besides, by saving the life of his daughter's fiance he is ensuring her happiness which in turn makes him happy. Sooner or later, everyone dies but not everyone gets a good death. His was a good death. Real world examples would include those who sacrifice their lives, those who volunteer for free, those who donate money, goods, blood, platelets, bone marrow, organs, etc. publicly.

2nd Level Self-sacrifice: Making a sacrifice when the beneficiaries know nothing about the sacrifice e.g. in the episode called 'The Voyage Home' of the TV Series 'The Outer Limits' (first shown on 30 June 1995) Ed Barkley sacrifices his life to prevent aliens from colonising Earth. Quoting from the closing narration of episode: 'theThe true measure of a hero is when a man lays down his life with knowledge that those he saves... will never know.' theThe death of this hero is also a good death because at least he knows about his self-sacrifice in order to serve the greater good (from his point of view, not the alien's). Real world examples would include those who donate anonymously.

3rd Level Self-sacrifice: Making a sacrifice when the beneficiaries are allowed to mistake the self-sacrifice for the very opposite of self-sacrifice e.g. Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 2008 film 'The Dark Knight' takes the blame for the wrongdoings of Gotham's White Knight i.e. Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Real world examples would include those who portray themselves (through words or actions or omissions or all three combined) as 'bad' in order to benefit others.
otseng wrote:
Compassionist wrote:Why would anyone love a God who is either imaginary or evil? Just look at all the unfairness and suffering life consists of! I am happy to love everyone but God because I am convinced that God is either imaginary or evil.
If God is evil, I would not want to worship it either. But, I do not believe that God is evil, but good.

As for the problem of evil, that is a huge area in itself and could take up an entire thread (or even a book).
On what basis do you believe that God is real and good, as opposed to being either imaginary or real and evil?

User avatar
Cathar1950
Site Supporter
Posts: 10501
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:12 pm
Location: Michigan(616)
Been thanked: 1 time

Post #24

Post by Cathar1950 »

I am not arguing for or against God or gods.

The universe might very well have a purpose. Maybe the purpose is to respond to the conditions or create novel conditions and the rest is what can emerge from conditions.

I tend to reject the concept of God outside of time and space as meaningless. I tend towards a more organic, social and relative God that is enriched and enjoys with creation as well as the possibility of God suffering with creation. A God that is what is and a self surpassing as the memory of everything that is and was and will be as it happens. Maybe even a social and relative sourse of novelty. It helps me sleep at night.

But what ever God might exist seems to be incomprehensible even for theists and deist. Maybe God is the sourse of awe.

Maybe purpose is a discovery or invention?

What is the purpose of an orbit?

Maybe the purpose of everything is simple to respond to conditions and relationships as everything does and because there is change in the relationships and conditions so are changes in responses and every response also changes the conditions and relationships.

Compassionist
Sage
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:56 pm
Has thanked: 311 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Post #25

Post by Compassionist »

Cathar1950 wrote:I am not arguing for or against God or gods.

The universe might very well have a purpose. Maybe the purpose is to respond to the conditions or create novel conditions and the rest is what can emerge from conditions.

I tend to reject the concept of God outside of time and space as meaningless. I tend towards a more organic, social and relative God that is enriched and enjoys with creation as well as the possibility of God suffering with creation. A God that is what is and a self surpassing as the memory of everything that is and was and will be as it happens. Maybe even a social and relative sourse of novelty. It helps me sleep at night.

But what ever God might exist seems to be incomprehensible even for theists and deist. Maybe God is the sourse of awe.

Maybe purpose is a discovery or invention?

What is the purpose of an orbit?

Maybe the purpose of everything is simple to respond to conditions and relationships as everything does and because there is change in the relationships and conditions so are changes in responses and every response also changes the conditions and relationships.
I am glad that your beliefs help you to sleep at night. It reminds me of the hypothetical man who prayed for the ship instead of maintaining the ship properly and excused himself with "God's Will" when the ship sank with all the passangers. All comforting beliefs are self-indulgence (including my belief that by my faith all are saved) but given how harsh life really is I am not surprised that people cling to comforting beliefs.

User avatar
Cathar1950
Site Supporter
Posts: 10501
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:12 pm
Location: Michigan(616)
Been thanked: 1 time

Post #26

Post by Cathar1950 »

Compassionist wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:I am not arguing for or against God or gods.

The universe might very well have a purpose. Maybe the purpose is to respond to the conditions or create novel conditions and the rest is what can emerge from conditions.

I tend to reject the concept of God outside of time and space as meaningless. I tend towards a more organic, social and relative God that is enriched and enjoys with creation as well as the possibility of God suffering with creation. A God that is what is and a self surpassing as the memory of everything that is and was and will be as it happens. Maybe even a social and relative sourse of novelty. It helps me sleep at night.

But what ever God might exist seems to be incomprehensible even for theists and deist. Maybe God is the sourse of awe.

Maybe purpose is a discovery or invention?

What is the purpose of an orbit?

Maybe the purpose of everything is simple to respond to conditions and relationships as everything does and because there is change in the relationships and conditions so are changes in responses and every response also changes the conditions and relationships.
I am glad that your beliefs help you to sleep at night. It reminds me of the hypothetical man who prayed for the ship instead of maintaining the ship properly and excused himself with "God's Will" when the ship sank with all the passangers. All comforting beliefs are self-indulgence (including my belief that by my faith all are saved) but given how harsh life really is I am not surprised that people cling to comforting beliefs.
That was a joke as I ca sleep anywhere, just ask my friends.
It is more like looking at the universe as one big soul.
I look at God as the Universe and everything that has happened, every experience and memory that has happened in an open future.
I also can't seem to get around the fact that conditions and responses are determined by relationships ans even feedback while the future has not yet happened. Every time there is any change in relationships it brings about new conditions and new possibilities...

If there is a God it would seem that God would by nature be beyond our comprehension and we see God in creation and a luring.
Morality is social and relative as it relates to how we treat others.

There isn't one purpose, but many and ever changing.
God is like a painting or art.

Whitehead said that the function of reason was to promote the art of living.
Function is purpose.

Compassionist
Sage
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:56 pm
Has thanked: 311 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Post #27

Post by Compassionist »

Cathar1950 wrote:
Compassionist wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:I am not arguing for or against God or gods.

The universe might very well have a purpose. Maybe the purpose is to respond to the conditions or create novel conditions and the rest is what can emerge from conditions.

I tend to reject the concept of God outside of time and space as meaningless. I tend towards a more organic, social and relative God that is enriched and enjoys with creation as well as the possibility of God suffering with creation. A God that is what is and a self surpassing as the memory of everything that is and was and will be as it happens. Maybe even a social and relative sourse of novelty. It helps me sleep at night.

But what ever God might exist seems to be incomprehensible even for theists and deist. Maybe God is the sourse of awe.

Maybe purpose is a discovery or invention?

What is the purpose of an orbit?

Maybe the purpose of everything is simple to respond to conditions and relationships as everything does and because there is change in the relationships and conditions so are changes in responses and every response also changes the conditions and relationships.
I am glad that your beliefs help you to sleep at night. It reminds me of the hypothetical man who prayed for the ship instead of maintaining the ship properly and excused himself with "God's Will" when the ship sank with all the passangers. All comforting beliefs are self-indulgence (including my belief that by my faith all are saved) but given how harsh life really is I am not surprised that people cling to comforting beliefs.
That was a joke as I ca sleep anywhere, just ask my friends.
It is more like looking at the universe as one big soul.
I look at God as the Universe and everything that has happened, every experience and memory that has happened in an open future.
I also can't seem to get around the fact that conditions and responses are determined by relationships ans even feedback while the future has not yet happened. Every time there is any change in relationships it brings about new conditions and new possibilities...

If there is a God it would seem that God would by nature be beyond our comprehension and we see God in creation and a luring.
Morality is social and relative as it relates to how we treat others.

There isn't one purpose, but many and ever changing.
God is like a painting or art.

Whitehead said that the function of reason was to promote the art of living.
Function is purpose.
That's better! You sound like a pantheist! You have personified the universe. I certainly understand and accept the concepts of interdependence, impermanence and emptyness from Buddhism. All of reality is a dance of causality. As I keep saying, we are all prisoners of causality. In fact, I am writing a play called "The Saviour" where the Saviour is a Compassionist Fideistic Saviour of All in the Omniverse but not in this universe (because I am that Saviour in this universe).

User avatar
Cathar1950
Site Supporter
Posts: 10501
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:12 pm
Location: Michigan(616)
Been thanked: 1 time

Post #28

Post by Cathar1950 »

Compassionist wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:
Compassionist wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:I am not arguing for or against God or gods.

The universe might very well have a purpose. Maybe the purpose is to respond to the conditions or create novel conditions and the rest is what can emerge from conditions.

I tend to reject the concept of God outside of time and space as meaningless. I tend towards a more organic, social and relative God that is enriched and enjoys with creation as well as the possibility of God suffering with creation. A God that is what is and a self surpassing as the memory of everything that is and was and will be as it happens. Maybe even a social and relative sourse of novelty. It helps me sleep at night.

But what ever God might exist seems to be incomprehensible even for theists and deist. Maybe God is the sourse of awe.

Maybe purpose is a discovery or invention?

What is the purpose of an orbit?

Maybe the purpose of everything is simple to respond to conditions and relationships as everything does and because there is change in the relationships and conditions so are changes in responses and every response also changes the conditions and relationships.
I am glad that your beliefs help you to sleep at night. It reminds me of the hypothetical man who prayed for the ship instead of maintaining the ship properly and excused himself with "God's Will" when the ship sank with all the passangers. All comforting beliefs are self-indulgence (including my belief that by my faith all are saved) but given how harsh life really is I am not surprised that people cling to comforting beliefs.
That was a joke as I ca sleep anywhere, just ask my friends.
It is more like looking at the universe as one big soul.
I look at God as the Universe and everything that has happened, every experience and memory that has happened in an open future.
I also can't seem to get around the fact that conditions and responses are determined by relationships ans even feedback while the future has not yet happened. Every time there is any change in relationships it brings about new conditions and new possibilities...

If there is a God it would seem that God would by nature be beyond our comprehension and we see God in creation and a luring.
Morality is social and relative as it relates to how we treat others.

There isn't one purpose, but many and ever changing.
God is like a painting or art.

Whitehead said that the function of reason was to promote the art of living.
Function is purpose.
That's better! You sound like a pantheist! You have personified the universe. I certainly understand and accept the concepts of interdependence, impermanence and emptyness from Buddhism. All of reality is a dance of causality. As I keep saying, we are all prisoners of causality. In fact, I am writing a play called "The Saviour" where the Saviour is a Compassionist Fideistic Saviour of All in the Omniverse but not in this universe (because I am that Saviour in this universe).
Pan-en-theism or panentheism as in the philosophy of Whitehead and Hartshorne.
Rather then claiming there is a God I am more interested in a possible God and what a God might be like if God existed.

I understand we have a will but much as you I see it as determined by conditions and experience. So talk as if freewill was a thing and I see it as two things where free means uncoerced. Our wills are conditioned. We respond. If the universe were not determined our responses would be meaningless and useless. We could never make plans. The universe is always changing and therefor the conditions and response change.

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 18572
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 146 times
Been thanked: 212 times
Contact:

Post #29

Post by otseng »

Cathar1950 wrote: Of course Loving God and like the first commandment love your neighbor as your self are not just a Christian teaching nor is it the main or only Christian teaching.
The devil is in the detail as well as what it means to love God or love others.
If God does not exist, there is no need to love God.
Rick Warren assumes not only God and the Bible as having the answer but fails to show that there is really one answer or purpose.
Actually, he claims there are 5 purposes.

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 18572
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 146 times
Been thanked: 212 times
Contact:

Post #30

Post by otseng »

Compassionist wrote: am glad that you are not forcing me to focus narrowly on the book. Thank you.
We will be covering a lot of ground then.
otseng wrote:Also, just to let you know, I do not beileve that God is omnipotent (but rather super-potent).
What is the basis for your belief?
I believe that God created the universe. So, he is greater and more powerful than his creation.

When people say omnipotent, it often means he can do anything. The typical question is "Can God create a rock so big he cannot lift it?" No, God can't do this. But, that doesn't negate he would still be the most powerful being in the universe.

Further, there is no Biblical justification that God can do anything. For example, the Bible states that God cannot lie.

Hbr 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Actually, I am not free. I have been and continue to be a prisoner of causality.
Let's do an experiment. Put both of your hands on top of your head. Now sing "Happy Birthday to Mr and Mrs Santa Claus" at the top of your lungs. Did you do these?
If I could have been convinced that the Bible is more reliable than the Quran or other religious books, I would already have been thus convinced.
Umm, I see that as an excuse than a valid reason. It would be nothing more than stating a truism. I am not the President of the US because if I could've been, then I would be the President.
I don't see what the alleged omniscience of the alleged God has to do with the alleged free will of people and other living things.
Many people do. But if it's not an issue for you, we can disregard it.
Please demonstrate to me that I have free will. If you can, I will be most grateful, as well as most astounded.
How'd the experiment above come along?
otseng wrote:
Compassionist wrote: If you had my genes, physical environments, nutrients and experiences, you would have been typing these words right here, right now and if I had your genes, physical environments, nutrients and experiences then I would have been reading these words wherever and whenever you are reading these words. Everything is proceeding inevitably according to causality. Do you understand?
I understand, but I do not agree.
On what grounds do you disagree? Please explain fully. Thank you.
I think our actions are determined by choice as well as all the other factors you listed.

Suppose your father was a mass murderer. You even look practically exactly like your father. You even live in the same trailer home as your father. Would you also become a mass murderer?
Why would other people's perceptions or interpretations be more important than my actual motivation? Are you familiar with the three levels of self-sacrifice?
No, I'm not familiar with the three levels of self-sacrifice. But that is interesting.

But, I don't think Warren is saying that others' perceptions are more important than motivation. But, it is simply a question to ponder.
On what basis do you believe that God is real and good, as opposed to being either imaginary or real and evil?
Well, let's break it up first. The first question to ask is if God exists. If God does exist, one can then wonder if it is good or evil.

Post Reply