001 The Meaning of Life and Other Tall Tales

In Meaning of Life on October 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I was amazed at how many people showed up for the post entitled “An Alternative View of God.” You have inspired me to push a little further into the nature of God and the meaning of life. There are so many places to start from, and by definition only one place to end up, that it would be easy to find ourselves bogged down in meaningless side journeys without guidelines, principles, or rules to keep us on track.

On the other hand, an excess of restrictions could just as likely have the same result, which is why we invite some serendipity to lighten the load (the Tall Tales). To make matters worse, however, some of what we are going to explore cannot be proven because we simply don’t have enough data to form a fact-based conclusion. We hereby rule out approaches that are 100% faith-based conclusions because we could write that book in 25 words or less, and we wouldn’t be any closer to resolution of our quandary.

Another factor in the decision to stay away from faith-based explanations is that there is a trend in modern religious studies to seek historical explanations for proofs of God (i.e., fact-based explanations), though this trend does not always trickle down to the layman. I don’t wish to mislead anyone. What I am proposing is not a new form of bible studies. I am certain that the church of your choice can do a better job with that task than I can. My focus is only on what it takes to get a better idea of what life is all about. With this in mind, we begin.

Methods of Inquiry

My approach to God is to discover what is reasonable to believe, based on observed facts rather than on wishful thinking, using the following definitions:  a fact can be proven to be true or false; opinions cannot be proven either way. It is important to note that anything that cannot be proven is, by definition, an opinion. More importantly if you cannot prove your facts, it’s because they are your opinions.

It is not at all unusual to think that we are talking about a fact, but learn halfway through the conversation that we were expressing a preference. We can have that discussion if we want, but we must always know if we are coming from fact-based information or from wishful thinking. It saves time, and it helps us to get closer to the truth. Having in general limited ourselves to this constraint, opinions presented as well-reasoned speculation are welcome for discussion. In this context, speculation means theory, and a theory is an opinion we are trying to prove to be a fact.

More to follow …

If you found this website of any interest, you may also want to follow this link:

The Problem of God

Copyright © 2009-2010 by Tad Laury Graham

The Meaning of Life and Other Tall Tales


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