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Should we devote our lives to God?

04/01/12

Permalink 11:56:00 pm, by Norgaard Norgaard Email , 564 words   English (US)
Categories: Mailbag, Traditional Religion is Flawed

Should we devote our lives to God?

One aspect of one's worldview is their beliefs regarding the meaning of life. This is perhaps the most perplexing of all questions that one can ponder. We are all born into this world with no knowledge and we slowly gain knowledge throughout our childhood and adolescence so that we can survive in this world and live our lives as we choose. We might not have a problem finding meaning in what we are doing at any point in our lives, but there is still this bewildering question of what the overall purpose of our existence might be. We can find meaning in the moment for what we are doing, but if we try to figure out what the overall meaning of life is, we don't have an easy way of finding an adequate answer to this question.

I recently received an email from a friend named Tom who gave his thoughts regarding the meaning of life:

“The Meaning of Life is To Glorify God and Enjoy His Blessings. This is a praphrase (sic) from a Book of Common Prayer.”

Tom's statement does seem reasonable, but I do have some disagreement. Now, I think I do agree that one of the main purposes of our lives is to enjoy the blessings that our we have been given. As a Deist, I believe that God is ultimately the creator of the universe, and thus God is also the creator of our lives and the provider of our blessings.

Where I disagree with Tom's statement is that I don't actually believe that we need to glorify God, or that God needs glorification, because God is already perfect. Perhaps our personal act of glorifying God does help us to keep in mind that all things come from God, but it is also quite important to understand the natural world as God created it. I believe that many people want to glorify God so much that they construct false ideas of what God is, like that God is jealous or vengeful or needs or constant attention and worship or that God might favor some people over others. I don't think that God has humanlike emotions.

Personally, I don't think it is all that necessary to keep God in mind all the time. I believe that when one realizes that there is a creator of the universe that can be called God that they achieve a higher level of enlightenment, but understanding the natural universe is also necessary for one to become more enlightened. The natural universe is so complicated that it is very, very difficult to understand it, so this is what I believe we should be focusing on the most. Also, it doesn't look like God actually reveals Itself1 to us in any significant way. Because of this, if we try to focus a lot on God then we are liable to create false ideas about what God is. I'll say that one of the most important meanings of life is to understand as much as possible about the natural world that God created.

What are your thoughts on this topic? What is the meaning of life? Let your voice be heard in the forum. You can also email the me at brandon@enlightenedworldview.com

1 Note that I choose not to use masculine pronouns like "He", "Him" or "Himself" to refer to God because It is neither male nor female.

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