Sunday, August 3, 2008

Our Purpose

What is the meaning of life? If we were created, for what purpose were we created? Why are we here, what are our responsibilities? What is 'good?'

These questions have puzzled men for as long as men have been puzzled. What is our purpose? To what end were we created? These questions have been answered many times by many people in many ways. The meaning of life is to serve the Lord and to work for His kingdom, the Christian may say. The meaning of life is to create our own meaning, the Atheist may say. Perhaps our purpose is submission unto Allah? The answers are usually only satisfying to a certain group of people, and that is why people continue to search for their purpose.

At one time I had an answer to this question. My answer was that a thing was meaningful only so long as it was existent. I envisioned meaning in this way: when a man is alive his life has meaning so long as he influences the people or the environment around him. Once he dies his influence on the world lives on, though it quickly fades and unless he was a remarkable man he will slowly become more meaningless with every generation. Eventually, a meteor or the death of the sun will ensure that his entire life is meaningless. The only way to escape this would be by serving G-d, because G-d is eternal anything you do in service to Him will be forever meaningful.

Service unto G-d was the only escape from the essential meaninglessness of life and our realm. Not only was this the only way one's actions and life could be eternal, this was our purpose. G-d created us to serve Him and to love Him. However I find that it is time to update my views on this topic, for I am no longer certain that G-d created us for the purpose of loving and serving Him.

Certainly I believe that G-d continues to be involved in our lives and expects a relationship with us, however this is merely a factor in why he created us. The reason he created us is that we may live. Living, and living well, is the end in and of itself. We were given our lives that we may live, I am no longer certain that there is a higher reason than this.

Living well is something that all men can do and all men can not do. Not all men have equal grounds for believing the proper doctrines of Christianity. G-d never seemed to even attempt spreading Judaism, and the Jews do not feel a need for converts anyway. All men, however, are given life and the goal seems to be that men live well.

Living well means living a ethical life and doing what one ought to do with what they are given. We have our responsibilities in life, and then there are things we must leave to G-d. The meaning of life is to live and to live well. That is my now my conclusion, G-d cares about our behavior, but we we created simply to be what we are.