The Paw Print
The meaning of life from anyone’s perspective differs in a number of ways; Professor George Backen presents four general answers for the meaning of life. Beginning with Supernaturalism, believing in a higher power.
Naturalism has two categories, subjective and objective. Subjective is generally when individuals pick and choose their beliefs from many religions. Objective basically says life is meaningless but, lives can have meaning through intrinsic value. Lastly and probably least favorite throughout the world is
Nihilism. Nihilism translates into a life is a joke with no punch line, essentially no purpose. Nihilism immediately presents one problem, no sense of purpose at all.
Considering purpose drives all human decisions and actions, and then Nihilism is a paradox.
Subjective Naturalism is fun to play with. Attend any party in your life and causally bring up religion. Somewhere in the conversation bring up who has what religion.
“I’m spiritual,” says some person. A genuinely inquisitive attitude towards this spiritual person will produce honest and wholehearted answer, which is sure to offend someone close by.
Make sure you have a full beer and watch as these people poorly argue their points. From time to time step in and add fuel to the fire where they fail to argue their points.
Subjective Naturalism has its problems as well. Backen points out that to be happy, Subjective Naturalists need what they desire.
Since the majority of people don’t know what best for themselves, why would religion be any different? Short answer; it’s not. Objective Naturalism avoids directly answering the meaning of life is… Says life is meaningless but can have meaning. Resembles a quote from Wedding Crashers,” Shut your mouth when you’re talking to me!” Makes perfect sense, right?!
Objective naturalists are saying there is no essential meaning to life, but we can find meaning from what is important to us.
The problem with Objective Naturalism and the rest of the answers to the meaning of life, no higher power.
Supernaturalism answers all the problems and questions with its higher power. It is thought people need to believe in something greater than themselves to be happy. The perfect example is interviews from the movie “Religious” with Bill Maher.
Whether or not Bill Maher is your favorite person, it won’t change how happy people are to accept Jesus as their lord and savior in the interviews of Bill’s movie.
Suggesting Christianity is the religion representing Supernaturalism in this article. Christianity provides the holy trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
A Christian’s soul will go heaven and live the rest of eternity with all their friends and family. The Holy Trinity gives us the concept of immortality.
Immortality is a driving factor to purpose and meaningfulness in life. Immortality pushes people to get into heaven, because one has to be good and attempt to avoid sin. Heaven is eternal bliss and complete happiness, everything people on earth try to attain by any means. Now that is meaning to life!
Actually Supernaturalism doesn’t answer all the problems and questions. It presents more problems and further questioning than the other answers. Professor Backen’s anecdotal evidence provides a universal truth.
“Why would I want to spend eternity with my family, when I can’t spend five minutes with them at Thanksgiving without wandering if I’m boxed-in in the driveway?” A damn good point! Backen had plenty of problems provided with Supernaturalism, although one more point should suffice here. If we are all part of gods plan, then all of us are essential to god’s plan. In the beginning of man, god provided man with free will. So throughout history it is probable at least one man did not fulfill his duty in god’s plan. If one part doesn’t line up in gods plan, it all crumbles. So if god’s plan is ruined, then what is the meaning of life, and why should anyone behave? Those arguments are just a fraction of answers and problems Professor Backen provided.
I attended the lecture hoping catch some strong arguments between Backen and attendees. Friends of Backen prodded him with a couple jokes. A couple stabs at arguments by the attendees but still nothing concrete.
Even though the argument segment wasn’t an all out war. I very much enjoyed the lecture. Backen was very informative and lightly comical throughout the hour. I hope he decides to do another lecture very soon and loaded with more controversy.