Graham

004 The Meaning of Life and Other Tall Tales

In Meaning of Life on October 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm

THE ROLE OF RELIGION

At first, I thought we could avoid the issue of religion with regard to the meaning of life, and I hoped we could simplify our approach in so doing. But religion is clearly at the center of this question because religious leaders have altered the original meaning of life by removing the sting of death. We will begin our examination of the role of religion by discussing the three traditional relationships man is said to have with God. These relationships are believer, agnostic, and atheist.

Believers

Most believers in the United States are faith-based, which is to say that they believe in God because the Bible says he exists. In Christianity, disbelief is the only unforgivable sin. I would speculate that the reason for this stipulation is that it shuts off arguments that cannot be proved. The problem with blind acceptance is that you may have backed the wrong God. In the time period that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, more than 200 other would-be “Messiah’s” were traveling around the Middle East in an effort to fulfill the prophesy.

Agnostics

Because neither the existence of God nor the absence of God can be proved with any degree of certainty, some of us—the author included—take a wait and see approach. From the data available, the question of the existence of God remains a question. But with or without proof, I believe with absolute certainty, at the same level of conviction that we find in the faith-based believer, that a “fair and just God” does not hide from his creations for more than 2,000 years, only to come out of hiding to bring down the apocalypse. And then what? Rewind and do it again?

Atheists

The atheist is satisfied that if he cannot prove God’s existence, then God does not exist. He ignores the fact that he cannot disprove God’s existence, so at best we have a stalemate.

CHOOSING YOUR RELATIONSHIP

It is not my intent to convert anyone to a different category than you have already chosen. It is my intent to get you to know why you made the choice you did. I recommend that you avoid pat answers, that you understand what you believe and why you believe it when you profess it. Until we have better answers, to do otherwise is a crap shoot.

Copyright © 2009-2010 by Tad Laury Graham

“The Meaning of Life and Other Tall Tales”

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  1. [The Week, November 6, 2009] just published some numbers that I think might be of interest.

    34 Million adult Americans (about 15% of the population) have no religious affiliation, up from 8% in 1990.

    Fewer than 10% admit to being atheists.

    Atheists and Agnostics taken together have grown from 1 million adults in 1990 to 3.6 million today.

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