Uncommon Sense

April 25, 2021

The Meaning of Life, Part Whatever

Filed under: Philosophy,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 10:42 am
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If you have read this blog for any length of time you know my thoughts on “the meaning of life,” mainly that meaning is something we create, rather than something given to us or something we find.

Just to cover all of the bases, I decided to open myself up to a feeling of purpose, of meaning from outside of me. I tried not to force anything, like a source or even a meaning, I just opened myself to the possibility and went about my business.

Both my partner an I are long in the tooth (she is 67, I am 74) and have mastered taking care of one another and ourselves fairly well, and our children are launched into very nice lives, so what other meaning might present itself?

And then it came to me, apparently our meaning in life at this stage of our lives is to make her dog happy. When I see the two of them together playing and the dog is happy, I am happy. When he wants a treat or to be petted, I oblige and am happy to do that. He seems happy to be with me, also, although he has a bit of a licker problem. He likes to lick my chin very, very much, even early in the morning before I have shaved, so I assume he may just be cleaning his tongue off, but he seems to want that and I am happy to oblige.

Never having been a “dog person” through much of my life, maybe I missed the meaning in my earlier life of making my cats happy, can’t really tell.

Considering how much Americans spend on their dogs, maybe this is the meaning of life much of us share. So, is this meaning god-given? If so, it would have to be Anubis or Set if Egyptian, Fenris, or maybe Hecate, or the Morrigan (I am part Irish, you know), or, oh, in America it might just be Coyote, the trickster god. If so then this “meaning” we perceive from the outside may be a trick on our meaning seeking natures.

The search goes on!

PS I just realized that dog is god spelled backwards . . . a sign do you think?

November 13, 2018

#10 of the 10 Reasons to Believe God Exists

A week and a half or so back I covered #1 on this list, so if you need to see where this list was posted and by whom, please consult that post. Here is #10!

  1. Purpose and Meaning. For anything to have purpose and meaning, God must exist. If Hawking is right in that the universe is all there is and there is nothing else, nothing, including his research, has any meaning or value. Meaning, value, and purpose are found only because God exists.

Now this is an argument! Step 1: Include your conclusion in your first premise. Ta da! “For anything to have purpose and meaning, God must exist.” I suggest that these people are making the fundamental error in their belief that purpose and meaning for their lives comes from without. If that is true then when someone dies, their purpose and meaning live on! How that happens is beyond me. Purpose and meaning are things that are created by humans. My argument? If humans were to disappear instantaneously, what would happen to all of our meaning and purpose? Would alien archeologists coming to investigate the remains of our civilization be able to determine what they were? (Basically I think they would conclude that city dwellers would have been obsessed with collecting dog shit in little plastic bags that they preserved in large plastic, wheeled tubs for some religious purpose as there seems to be no practical purpose for that.)

As a counter argument I offer the following from Jonathan Gamer:

The Existential Argument Against God’s Existence
(Jonathan Garner)

  1. It is a known fact that many people find their life and journey to be meaningless, purposeless, and many humans/animals find life not worth living/continuing.
    2. Premise 1 is very surprising on the hypothesis of classical theism, but not surprising on the hypothesis of indifference.
    3. The intrinsic probability of indifference is much greater than that of classical theism.
    4. Therefore, other evidence held equal, classical theism is very probably false.
    Clarification
    It is important to notice that Premise 1 isn’t so much concerned with objective values. In other words, perhaps every life really does have intrinsic value and purpose. Nevertheless, some people don’t see this.

And To Conclude …
The list’s author makes the truly astounding comment that:

“I could certainly list other reasons to believe in God’s existence. But these will suffice for now. (Stephen) Hawking was a man of great intellect. Yet, despite his great mental prowess, it is quite odd that he could never quite see the evidence for God. While he could see, he was quite blind. Hawking said that ‘religion is a fairy tale for those afraid of the dark.’ I believe John Lennox provided a stronger claim by noting that ‘atheism is a fairy tale for those afraid of the light.’”

These are not serious claims, of course, but opinions. And the comment “Yet, despite his great mental prowess (Hawking’s), it is quite odd that he could never quite see the evidence for God.” is just priceless considering the offering of the wimpy intellectual arguments of this list. The arguments were almost juvenile and certainly lacking in development even compared to the arguments available from the current crop of apologists. That a genius couldn’t see what a simpleton could, doesn’t bring the genius’s comments into dispute.

 

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