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Meaning what, exactly? (3)

16 November, 2006

A thought:

Is a life that derives its ‘meaning’ from a God,  somehow less worth having than a life that I lead according to a meaning that I myself construct, without reference to a supernatural being?

If I choose to believe in a God, in order to feel that my life has a meaning (= ‘there must be a reason for all this, so it must be the case that there is a God with a Plan for me ‘), am I not believing that the meaning of my life is subordinate to the whim of another being? (What’s more: a being who, if we believe the Old Testament, is not even very pleasant, or moral, or consistent… do we want the meaning of our lives to be determined by him?).

If I need to believe in a God, in order to feel that my life has a meaning, am I not just pushing the question away (= ‘I can’t work out what the meaning of my life is, so I’ll abdicate my responsibility and just assume this God knows what he’s doing’)?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 17 November, 2006 2:53 pm

    God seems to be differently defined by the majority of people who believe in his/her/its existence.

    Therefore when people talk about their belief in “god” I am not convinced that they are talking about the same concept as the person beside them who also claims to believe in god.

    “God” seems to become what individuals need most in their lives. Those who need comfort, believe in an omni benevolent god. Those who seek justice or revenge believe in a wrathful god.

    And so on. The gods seem too much like our individual selves for it to be a coincidence.

  2. 19 November, 2006 3:15 am

    This is what makes Socrates and Aristotles concept of an unchanging God the most interesting and poignant. There is a large sense in which we conform to God and not God to us, in that line of thinking.

    The then difficult thing to understand is in what way we conform ourselves to God, and how we know to do this.

    Or if you like Process theology, the idea that God is di-polar, one pole is absolute (his love), and another pole responsive to humanity (he creates possibilities).

    I think the important thing to think about is the starting point: did we want revenge and then God does, or does God want love and because of that we do too?

    It seems that we should be very able to debunk lying believers by now: God is not a self-serving means to an end, nor a self-serving end. Does God participate in causal-nexus!? Probably not, at least this seems to make sense.

  3. 19 November, 2006 3:16 am

    At-least, the most compelling and least loud voices in Christian history have been those who have spoken out of a non-self-serving asceticism of sorts.

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