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?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.
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?
It is EVERYTHING.
I believe that is the reality, and the choice, that each of us is faced with.
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.