Why doesn’t everybody believe that there is a purpose in Life?

23 06 2013

why deosnot every one believe that life has a pBecause some people think there is no real purpose or destiny to human life! They believe that only the things we make, like cars and watches, have design and purpose in them. We know what the purposes of these objects are because we designed them. (For instance, we know that the purpose of a car is transportation, and the purpose of a watch is to tell time.) But the things in nature, like trees and stars, were not designed by any human beings, so we do not know their purposes as we know the purposes of the things we design. So some people believe that there are no real purposes in the things in nature, but only in humanly designed artificial objects.
But one of the things in nature is human beings. They are not artificial objects! They are not artifacts like cars or watches. We did not design human nature; we only carry it on, by reproduction.
So the people who deny that human life has any real purpose argue this way:
If only artifacts have purposes, while things in nature do not; And if we are things in nature rather than artifacts; Then we have no real purpose.
So the answer to the question “What is the purpose of my existence?” is that there is no real purpose; we can imagine or make up any subjective purposes we want, but there is no objectively real purpose to human life. Life is purposeless, pointless, meaningless, in vain. “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Eccl 1:2).
This is the worst philosophy in the world. For it denies us the things we need most: meaning and purpose; a reason to live, learn, grow, and endure.
Meaninglessness is unendurable. Even pain isn’t as bad as meaninglessness. We can accept pains if they are meaningful: for instance, the pains of childbirth, or the pains of sacrificing for someone you love, or even the pains of martyrdom for a good cause. But we cannot accept meaninglessness. Even pleasures are not worthwhile if they are meaningless. (That’s why a billionaire can choose to commit suicide.) And even pains are worthwhile if they are meaningful. (That’s why a woman wants to give birth to a baby.)
The idea that objective things have no purpose is really atheism. For if God is real and if He created and designed everything, then everything has a purpose.
We can see some of the purpose of the things in nature. For instance, we can see that one of the purposes of stars is to enable us to think. For (a) if we did not breathe and bring oxygen to our brains, we could not think; and (b) if there were no green plants, we could not breathe, since their photosynthesis replaces carbon dioxide with oxygen; and (c) if there were no sun, there could be no green plants, for green plants need sunlight and heat, and (d) if there were no stars, there would be no sun, for the sun is a star. Therefore, if there were no stars, we could not think.
But many of the things in nature have designs and purposes that are not clear to us. They do not seem to be useful for us. (For instance, we wonder why God made so many mosquitoes.) So it takes a little faith, a little trust, to believe that everything has a purpose and that “all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Rom, 8:28), though we do not see this. This is especially true of things that make us suffer. We do not always see how suffering has a good purpose.
But if the Creator is all-wise, all-good, and all-powerful, then the quotation above from Romans 8:28 is true. If He is all-good, He wants what is best. If He is all-powerful, He is able to bring about what is best, in the end. And if He is all-wise, He knows what is best.
And since we are not all-wise, we do not know what is best in the long run. That is why we have to trust Him with all those mosquitoes and even with much worse things, like cancers. He knows how to bring greater goods out of great evils. That is what He did two thousand years ago on the Cross of Calvary when He brought about the greatest good for us, the greatest gift we have ever been given–salvation from sin and the ability to enter Heaven–through the greatest evil that ever happened, the torture and murder of Jesus Christ, the only perfect man who ever lived, the man who was God Himself.
Christians believe this. Many people don’t. Can Christian give them any reason to believe their religion’s answer to the question “Why do I exist”?
The best reason we can give them is ourselves: our love and our joy. You can’t argue with the happiness of a saint.
The greatest love, and the greatest joy, is mutual: it comes from both loving and being loved. The next-greatest joy comes from loving, even without being loved back. Even this second-best joy of loving without being loved back is greater and deeper than the third joy, the joy of being loved without loving. That is why saints are so happy: they are never in the third level of joy but always in the second or the first. (In fact, since they know God always loves them, you could say they are always in the first.) That’s why the prayer attributed to Saint Francis says:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, may I always seek not so much to be condemned as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

By Peter Kreeft

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