Depression, God(s), Happiness, Late Night Thoughts, Meaning, Purpose, Religion

Is there a God-Shaped Vacuum in All of Us?

Yesterday, someone on an internet forum (let’s call him, “Ralf”) asked the question, “Is there a ‘God-shaped vacuum’ in all of us?”

Ralf began by stating that so many different things — entertainment, financial pursuits, sensual pleasures, emotional attachments, social acceptance, and so forth — fail to bring us “a sense of purpose and fulfillment”.  He went on to say, because those things don’t bring us a sense of purpose and fulfillment, we have a “vacuum” in us.  And he concluded, the vacuum can only be filled by “God”.

I suspect most of us have heard someone make that sort of claim before.  It seems to be common enough.  Yet, I think it’s only partly accurate.

Here’s what might be accurate about it: It does seem true that some people feel their lives lack purpose; and, of course, without a sense of purpose there can be no sense of fulfillment.  If that’s the case with you, then you can have all sorts of things — entertainments, riches, sex, fame, praise, power, and so forth — and still feel your life is meaningless.  So, I think Ralf’s claim might be true enough in that respect.

Ralf and I part company, however, over how to best deal with that meaninglessness.  In my view, he wants to escape from it, and his chosen method of escape is to posit the existence of a deity who somehow gives his life meaning.  While I don’t know whether that really works for Ralf, I do know it doesn’t work for me.

Bluntly put, what Ralf has told me about his god doesn’t turn me on, for I don’t care if my god-given purpose on earth is to be tested for whether I merit an afterlife in a heaven or a hell.  Maybe that makes my life meaningful to Ralf’s god, but it’s inadequate to make my life meaningful to me. There is nothing in me that wants to bounce out of bed in the morning and cheerfully face the challenges of another day just because I’m put on this earth to be tested for whether I merit heaven or hell.

There’s no “God-shaped vacuum” in me.

So far as I can figure it out, the best way to deal with existential feelings of meaninglessness, as opposed to feelings of meaningless caused by some sort of psychological disorder such as depression, is to pursue your “boon”, “passion”, “life’s work”, or whatever you want to call it.

What that is varies from one person to the next, but once you find and pursue yours, you will almost certainly discover any existential feelings of meaninglessness are replaced by a profound sense of purpose.

At least, that’s been my experience.

38 thoughts on “Is there a God-Shaped Vacuum in All of Us?”

  1. I personally prefer when they call it a “Jesus-shaped hole”, because it was ripe for the innuendo. Anyway, I basically agree with you in saying that it isn’t a “God-shaped vacuum”, just a vacuum. It is filled whenever you feel fulfilled. That people can fool themselves into feeling fulfilled by cramming a Bible in their “vacuum” is neither here nor there.


  2. Its strange to call a different kind of life a hole. Because for atheists theres a god shaped lump in the religious.

    Saying that, it seems a shame not to use our evolved capacity for things like wonder, awe, and universal compassion. How to get them out without the old grand narratives is a real problem.


  3. No, there’s no Jesus shaped hole in anybody, but human beings aren’t really rational creatures. (Wasn’t it in the Big Chill that a character called humans the rationalizing animals instead of rational animals?) In any event, none of us reaches the “Vulcan” ideal: in some way, somehow, each of us holds and acts out based upon something irrational.

    Unfortunately, the competence to know when we are being irrational, and to what degree, is just as rare as most other types of competence. Your Ralf there, thinks that his hole is filled by Papa Chango Smurf or whomever just as incompetent people in the workplace don’t see the damage their incompetence does. They simply have an attenuated grasp of reality, one where they claim to be fulfilled but are, in fact, just rationalizing their sloth in not developing a fulfilling life.


  4. Interesting stuff!
    I’m not sure that existential feelings of meaninglessness are distinct from “meaningless caused by some sort of psychological disorder such as depression”, I think such disorders and illnesses are spiritual phenomenons.
    I don’t think we have a vacum inside, I think we have a mountain to get over – the ego. I think what we are is process – the process of becoming. I don’t think we can properly start that process until we conquer the ego. I think what we call the ego is the same as what the gnostics called the demiurge. That ego creates it’s own flawed cosmos, and therein lies the source of existential angst.
    That’s my thinking with regard to my own experience of existential angst in any case.


  5. God has been misinterpreted by a lot as a person. God and Divinity is a feeling within oneself. An ancient eastern spiritual thought. Eastern thought about God is made up on no Religion (I mean no Rules). We don’t have a vacuum shaped like God.


  6. @ Ordinary Girl: That would be my answer too. 🙂

    @ AS: You have put it beautifully!

    @ Paul: Thank you, Paul. We need passion in life even more than we need entertainment, don’t we?


  7. @ Apicturehelduscaptive: You raise quite a profound point! Have you had a chance to read much Joseph Campbell, yet?

    @ Pompotous: I think we are in agreement that we humans are to some extent “born irrational”. I am not sure it is possible to eliminate all irrationality from our character — or even if it is desirable. But it certainly should not be allowed to dominate our reasoning, in my opinion.

    @ Stephen: I have never been much of a fan of conquering the ego and trying to eliminate it. Instead, I would advocate keeping it in its proper place. The ego is often made to be the most important thing about us. But it seems to me that it is really just a tool with some remarkable uses. To make the ego more important than it is, is to make the tool the craftsman.

    I am intrigued by your thought there is no distinction between existential despair and a psychological disorder. I would think we can learn a great deal from carefully observing disorders. But I am not yet prepared to say that disorders are spiritual phenomenons.

    @ Dinesh: If you feel like it, could you elaborate on that? I’m excited at where your thoughts take me!


  8. I am fortunate to feel, almost all the time, that I have a fulfilling life. It is a life without gods. I therefore conclude that either:

    1) I am not human
    2) Gods are not universally needed
    3) Ralf is wrong about gods existing and spending time going around filling holes

    There are probably other conclusions I could draw but I think I can stop with #3, since #3 is almost certainly right. To be fair, even though gods don’t exist that doesn’t preclude people filling holes, successfully, with the idea of gods. But the fact that placebos can cause real changes in symptoms doesn’t make a placebo real medicine.


  9. Hi Erik! That strikes me as a very good critique of the notion there’s a god-shaped hole in everyone. Thank you for that!

    Yesterday, I stumbled across this quote from Joseph Campbell over on the Whiskey and Cheese blog:

    People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

    I’m curious what you make of Campbell’s point there?


  10. Dinesh Babu: you bring up a good point that there are a variety of ways to define/conceive of “god,” but traditionally Western thought has done so as a supernatural agent. I’d be interested, too, in having you elaborate on your point, but I suspect that most people from Western cultures would want to label what you are proposing as “spiritual.” This is a much looser term even than “god,” but in as much as it is based on acceptance of the supernatural I’m afraid I’ll have to argue against the existence of spiritually too (see next)


  11. Stephen: I think your recognition of the similarity between existential angst and depression is valid, in-as-much as the proximate cause of all depression is, probably, neurochemical imbalance. The reason for the imbalance, though, can range from a clearly identifiable life event (e.g. loss of a loved one) to one’s baseline neurochemical set point.

    Spiritually needn’t, and shouldn’t, be a part of this explanatory model. Identifying the penultimate cause, as it were, is critical because some causes are amenable to therapy, time, etc, while significant baseline imbalances often require pharmaceutical treatment. Ascribing angst, depression or what-have-you to a “spiritual phenomenon” at best adds nothing to this process as it just says “we don’t know,” and subtracts much since it implies “we can’t know.” Further inquiry is thus curtailed, leaving us with no real explanation for which we can develop a solution.


  12. Hmmm. I’ll take a quick stab at Campbell’s quote now, Paul, but I might have more later after I think about it for a bit.

    I think rapture feels good, and that most people seek to feel good, so in that sense anything that makes us feel rapturous is something that we are bound to seek. Whether feeling alive, feeling connected with the world, or even finding “meaning” in one’s life makes even most people feel rapturous in the way Campbell describes is an open question. I’m not sure that most people, frankly, think about their lives this deeply or in this way. Sadly, I think quite a few people haven’t the resources, the interest, or in some cases the skills (how about that statement for your Carnival) to do so. Fortunately, I think many people are able to find happiness in their lives without doing so, and for many this is sufficient. So no, I guess I don’t think most people are seeking some sort of transcendental experience or state as Campbell does. Campbell seems to, inappropriately, project his own desires, his own source of joy, onto, well, everyone.

    I’d go further in my critique, though, and argue that Campbell confuses the experience of rapture with evidence for a transcendental state when he implies that there is more than “the purely physical” reality or that one can have an individual reality separate from, what?, the reality of others?

    What Campbell subtly denigrates as “the purely physical plane” is all there is. If one feels rapture, or has a sense of transcendence, one does so because such things are achievable within the physical plane and no other plane or state of existence is implied. That’s great! That’s good news! Embrace it! Revel in it! Don’t waste time seeking that which isn’t there, then feeling let down when you can’t find it.

    For those fortunate to be happy the grass is greenest right where they are standing. Campbell asks us to go look for a fence to climb over anyway. Some might find the other side equally green, but it is an unnecessary exercise for many and some will be disappointed that it wasn’t greener after all.


  13. @ Erik: Brilliant comments! You’ve given me quite a bit to think about there, Erik. Thank you for that.

    I agree with Campbell that some people — at least — are seeking “an experience of being alive”. But I think you’ve made a great point that many — perhaps most — people are not.

    I am inclined to think that for many of those who are not seeking an experience of being alive, the notion their lives have some meaning or purpose is a substitute.

    I am not at all sure what Campbell means by a “purely physical” reality. From reading some of his books, I get the impression he doesn’t believe in a spiritual realm that is metaphysically different from a material realm. So I find his choice of words there rather confusing.


  14. Meowlin: your quote gave me pause. I’m not sure what Musashi meant by it since I can’t find the context (is it from The Book of Five Rings?), and I’m not sure what it means to you either. At least you are alive to elaborate, if you like.

    As an atheist of course I don’t respect deities any more than I respect any other fictional character, so the quote doesn’t hold true for me. What I was interested in, though, is why it holds meaning for you (or any others that might like to chime in).

    The quote suggests to me the belief that a supernatural agent exists, that this supernatural agent aught to be accorded deference, but that for this deference we should expect nothing in return.

    Setting aside the unlikelihood that supernatural agents exist, I have to ask “on what basis should this purported supernatural agent be given deference?” By extension, why should real people (animals, anything) be given deference or respect.

    Fear is a popular answer (a la the Authoritarians–we keep coming back to that, don’t we?), but I put that in the same category as street thugs discussing the “respect” that they get. I wonder if there is often even real respect in this case, or merely superficial respectful behavior. It is important to exhibit the behavior, but it doesn’t say much for the character of the recipient.

    Mutual respect is always nice, but the latter part of the quote suggests that this isn’t the case, or at least that the respect from the deity is unlikely to be equal. It would be like according respect to a slot machine because sometimes you don’t walk away with empty pockets.

    Many people seem to exhibit respectful behavior in the interest of ingratiating themselves and receiving tangible benefits from the relationship. This reason, though, is contiguous with the fear rational only substituting positives gains rather than avoiding negative losses.

    Finally there is the free gift of respect without expectation of reciprocation. This is rare, however, since most people expect to at least establish some degree of mutual respect when they give respect. Mutual respect without other expectations also implies equivalent status, which normally isn’t the case for purported deities.

    Sorry, I overanalyzed it, didn’t I?


  15. God has been equated to a super natural being so far by Humans (including Atheists, because Atheists use the God in the same meaning as theists, for argument). My idea of God is similar to what Einstein had.

    If at all there is a being called God, and if at all the universe is created by God, there was no intelligent design behind it. God probably did a one time random work of art called the universe or a river of multiple universes and probably stands back and enjoys the work of art. This also means that we do not need to have a “God” creator, to create a random work of art.

    Imagining this or Accepting this as a fact or trying prove it right/wrong does not matter.

    What matters is we are intelligent beings born out of the universe like how a flower or fruit blooms out of a plant. We are part of this work of art and that is the connection that needs to be realized. And since we belong to this work of art, there is no external divinity. To us the Universe itself is God and since we are born out of it and connected to it, we have God in ourselves.

    PS: I really do not like to describe it as God as God, as per dictionary is an Omnipotent being. Sorry if I am not very clear, writing this at about 10:45PM ! These are all not entirely my thoughts, they are just some facts and thoughts read, understood and inferred in few books and websites. I do not claim to know everything and I do not mean to say I am completely right. I keep an open mind to accept new thoughts and correct myself once a while. I also do not believe in standing one way or another and arguing. But this doesn’t make me an agnostic nor I am interested in forming a new category or cult.


  16. Dinesh Babu:

    I agree that the definition of god(s) should be a supernatural being. Of course atheists use this definition, but because I accept the definition does not mean that I think that such a being exists in reality. I define “dragon” as a giant lizard that can breath fire, as do many, but dragons don’t exist either. I’m pretty sure we’re on the same page here but I just wanted to be explicit.

    One of the things that makes this type of discussion so difficult is that the idea of god is so flexible, which is why I think adding the type of god that is “all things”/”we are all collectively god”/”the ultimate ground of all being” etc only makes the conversation harder and why I’d prefer to keep god=”supernatural sentient agent” and spiritual=”supernatural non-sentient non-agent sense of connection/oneness”. Getting these definitions right is hard, but extremely important. I don’t flatter myself to think that my definition above should be the last word on the matter.

    Your proposition that the universe is, or is akin to, a work of art is poetic and has a certain appeal from that point of view. Sadly, I am not a poet. I am a scientist. As such I am interested in reality. Your poem contains two gigantic ifs that have significant impact on our understanding of reality. There is no evidence for a god or gods. There is no requirement for a god or gods. Thus postulating the existence of a god, if one is interested in describing reality, does not help and does much harm by both introducing an erroneous assumption and serving to limit exploration.

    I sometimes also think that sustaining a discussion as to the existence/non-existence of god(s) is irrelevant, and that we should get on with the business of living. I am repeatedly sucked back into the discussion, however, because of the ramifications I see on the business of living when, as is almost always the case, the default position is the existence of god(s). This assumption has a profound impact on how people understand the world and how they behave in it, and as such is fundamentally important to address if one is interested in affecting how people behave.

    A work of art has an artist. Not everything that is beautiful is a work of art. The universe is beautiful, and ugly. People are flowers, and thorns. There is no evidence for or need of an artist for the universe to exist. A beautiful sunset just is. We can describe it in terms of air particulate levels and angles of refraction, or we can just appreciate it, but no agency was involved in establishing that specific confluence of events that we can all agree is beautiful.

    In as much as we are all a product of the same basic building blocks and forces of nature, and in as much as the atoms making up my body, the current arrangement of which allows me to communicate with and connect with others, was once a part of a star, or a flower, or even you, yes we are all connected. I exert gravitational effect on you, and you on me, even if we don’t notice it. Poetry may help us notice this connection, and I would call that good. But there is no need to suppose a supernatural connection, and none can be demonstrated. Isn’t it enough that we are connected, demonstrably, right here in Paul’s Cafe?

    Do you ever look out at a city and think “there are people living, loving and dying out there right now that I’ll never, could never, connect with directly?” Or is the very fact that I have these thoughts a connection of sorts with the unnamed, uncounted and uncountable multitudes? Depends on your point of view, I guess. I’d say that my gravitational impact on them is a stronger connection, but then I am pretty big for a human.


  17. Erik, I think my point of view is almost aligning with your thoughts.
    To me trying to prove the existence or non-existence of God really doesn’t matter. In fact, I am actually seeking a better definition of God, not the one in the dictionary or probably an entirely different word. Because to me God and Religion has divided people, rather than unite them and even the Advocates of “There is no God” have only succeeded in dividing the people, by successfully creating and having arguments with the Theists.
    I want people to be united, not under a particular thought, but just be united. Yes my thoughts are bit poetic and yes Poetry (with music like Songs) connects people. This connection is not anything supernatural. Everything that is in the confines of the Universe (or the Multiverse) is perfectly Natural. So when you fall in love with a girl and get a feeling as though you had been in love for several generations, it is just a natural feeling. One doesn’t need to prove it, it is just enough if you feel it.
    But if Science, some day describes this love in terms of a mathematical equation and proves it with an experiment, I will definitely take that rather than argue. This is a much better state than being fundamentally associated to a particular religion.


  18. “your quote gave me pause. I’m not sure what Musashi meant by it since I can’t find the context (is it from The Book of Five Rings?)”

    I don’t know. It’s shown at the end of the second film of the “Samurai Trilogy”: ” Duel at Ichijoji Temple” (dir. Hiroshi Inagaki, starring Toshiro Mifune)

    “The quote suggests to me the belief that a supernatural agent exists, that this supernatural agent aught to be accorded deference, but that for this deference we should expect nothing in return.”

    Not exactly (IMAO, of course). What I think Musashi (assuming the quote is actually his) is saying is that he accepts the idea that deities exist, but he realizes that if he is to accomplish anything, it will be the result of his own work, not divine intervention. That’s a rather fine distinction, but, I think, a significant one. I’ll try another way of explaining it: The “Gods” may decide what events (certainly natural, and perhaps others as well) occur in the world. How I respond and react to those events is up to me.


  19. (cont.)

    Actually, even the God-driven events of nature aren’t a sure thing for all deists – there are those who believe the world, the universe, whatever, is just a big experiment set up by deity/deities and set loose to run its course.

    “Fear is a popular answer (a la the Authoritarians–we keep coming back to that, don’t we?), but I put that in the same category as street thugs discussing the “respect” that they get. I wonder if there is often even real respect in this case, or merely superficial respectful behavior.”

    Decades ago, when I was attending “conformation” classes for my parents’ religion (LCMS), almost every “correct” answer in the workbook started with the clause, “We should fear and love God that…” I decided, no. You can get one or the other from me; but don’t ask for both.

    “Many people seem to exhibit respectful behavior in the interest of ingratiating themselves and receiving tangible benefits from the relationship.”

    I think Musashi was also commenting on this phenomenon by disavowing it.

    “Finally there is the free gift of respect without expectation of reciprocation. This is rare, however, since most people expect to at least establish some degree of mutual respect when they give respect. Mutual respect without other expectations also implies equivalent status, which normally isn’t the case for purported deities.”

    I can’t help but wonder if there’s not a shade of this in Musashi’s statement as well. Just as, say, a cat might think of us humans, “You’re bigger. And certainly more powerful too. Doesn’t mean you’re better,” – maybe this is part of what Musashi is saying about deities.

    – M. \”/


  20. Meowlin: Thanks for your thoughts. I think I was beginning to approach some of the same conclusions regarding what Musashi might have meant, but as usual I’d been writing/revising my comment for far too long and needed to just get it posted and get on with my day. And, as usual, you’ve managed to put the thoughts down that I would have liked to have clearly and concisely. Thanks.

    Dinesh Babu: I seriously doubt that anyone will be able to come up with a definition of God that everyone would be able to get behind. That sounds like a life work to me, good luck with it.


  21. Copying and pasting to a blog is not usually wise. Pascal did not say, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in all of us…” While he said something similar, it was not that! The real deal from the Penguin edition of Pensees has it this way:

    “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself” (148/428).

    Much of what I find here is sincere attempts to fill the void with mental chaff.


  22. In science, there is physical (observable) evidence and there is consequential (unobservable directly) evidence. How many of the recently discovered extra-solar planets can we actually see? We deduce their existence from the ever-so-slight movement of their “suns,” among other signs. Who has seen an electron? I marvel at chemistry and nuclear physics and computer science- how do these brilliant minds, who can create the integrated circuit and discover how to split atoms, operate? How did Mozart compose masterpieces from young childhood? How can an autistic person, with seemingly very little connection to the “outside world,” commune with it so effortlessly via music or mathematics?

    Although the Bible does state that the physical environment is evidence of the Creator (e.g., “For the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, His everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse” Romans 1:20, ASV), one might go through life, living in and with this physical environment, and still not deduce the existence of a Creator or deity, because this is actually a third type of evidence: anecdotal. (Anecdotal evidence is what says that zinc helps prevent colds, protein increases the metabolism, and drinking 8 glasses of water keeps a body hydrated.) And it seems that the more one is “educated” the less one accepts anecdotal evidence as true evidence, as true “science.” (As a nerd wanna-be myself, I do not consider this skepticism necessarily a bad thing, and I personally go on “crusades” against quackery all the time!)

    I would posit that, rather than never deducing the existence of a creator, one actually loses that very deduction somewhere along life’s journey. (I could add to my argument something like “who heard thunder as a child and didn’t wonder if it was really the angels dancing in heaven.” Since children also have imaginary friends and wish upon stars, I will not enter this.) Suffice it to say that a child’s imagination is borne on the wonderment concerning the mysteries, the hidden stories, of the world. Education taps that imagination (at least it is supposed to) so that critical thinking, creativity, analysis, and conclusion propel the mind forward into maturity and productivity. I believe it is unfortunate, therefore, that instead of sparking the sense of wonder, much of our education hinges on “this is the fact; memorize this; that is wrong.”

    I further believe that as the student incorporates not only the very limited facts but also the extremely limited attitude of our educational system, some part of the imagination ceases to be. Here’s some anecdotal evidence for you: ask a kindergartner to tell you a story, any story, and you’re likely to be occupied the rest of the afternoon in the student’s fantasy land; ask the same of a high school valedictorian, and you’re likely to get an account of some event if anything at all. Only the rare, the “gifted,” even the “disabled,” will retain the ability to tap into that deepest level of humanity which is beyond anything physical or any kind of observable evidence.

    For a scientific explanation, one could delve into synapses and neurotransmitters and the dreams of REM sleep. To me, those answers merely open new avenues of questioning: how does a person who loses part of their brain to disease or injury recover functioning by employing entirely new areas of the brain? If memories and personality and language are simply a pattern of neuronal firing, then halting or removing those neurons should erase those memories and personality and language. Sometimes it does, but in seemingly miraculous cases, sometimes it doesn’t. One must conclude that neuronal patterns are, at the very least, not the whole story. [Further, on a slightly political note, if there is absolutely nothing more to the function of the mind and emotions than physiological processes, why does so-called modern medicine consider “mental health,” a.k.a. behavioral health, entirely different than “medical (physical) health,” as if someone can control mental conditions simply with behavioral choices and nothing more?]

    I offer neither concrete evidence nor circumstantial evidence regarding the existence or non-existence of God. In this case I also do not offer anecdotal evidence. Rather, I appeal to the considerations of the undamaged, “ungrown,” uneducated child which we once were, and some believe still resides within us. The most conclusive statement in the Bible is this: “Human nature (lit., the human mind) and the human heart are a mystery*!” (Psalm 64:6 GWT- *some translations say “deep” or “cunning;” lit., “concealed”). Because we humans are a mystery and by nature wonder at mysteries, some humans find the revelation of the mystery in faith, while some choose to ignore the mystery altogether, or to narrowly funnel their wonderment into non-mysterious things such as mere physical evidence.

    The distillation of the debate is this, not whether God exists or not, but rather, what choice do you make with regard to the inescapable mystery which is the human condition? I believe that this is what Pascal referred to: “this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object.” It goes far beyond happiness, even “meaning,” but perhaps Pascal was speaking to a simpler audience.

    “The mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations but has now been manifested to His saints; To whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26-27, RcV).


  23. Its funny so many of you are put off by ‘Bible Bashers’ cos so am I, and I’m a Christian. I don’t believe that the whole ‘God-shaped hole’ thing means much to many, especially atheists. Alot of people so comfortable with their lives, and so firm in their beliefs and logic system, that they wouldn’t even feel any void that exists, much less believe such a statement. By the way, Jesus loves you! lol


  24. Jesus loves me . . . except when he doesn’t. A lot of people channel a Jesus who’s a right bastard. Everyone has their own Jesus. Their like snowflakes. :?)


  25. dopp: who else has ever died for you?

    El: it’s interesting that atheists simply MUST argue against the existence of God. Why can’t they just ignore people of faith and the existence of religion? Something to think about.


  26. In considering “Ralf’s” answer to the feeling of void in our lives being filled by God– its wrong to imply that the God of the bible has suggested life’s purpose is living so as to qualify for heaven (or hell). In fact, the God of the Bible makes it clear that entrance to a postive afterlife is never meritorious. The biblically informed Christian finds purpose not in living to earn God’s favor, but in serving both God and humanity because of faith Christ’s meritorious sacrifice that wins our entrance to the afterlife. We live because we have found life, not because we are in pursuit of it.


  27. “Who else has ever died for me?”

    Nobody. Not even Jesus, except metaphorically. And to be specific, the belief is ACTUALLY, that a vengeful God manifested in the flesh as Jesus so his own torture and murder could appease himself, which is downright silly. Why not just forgive without the silly charade? Unless of course, the meaning of the story is something else entirely than its details . . . . perhaps?



  28. To all – In my opinion and personal experience, this is probably the most important discussion you will even have in your life, both earthly life and if you are a ‘believer’, your eternal life. Being such, I would recommend doing a little deeper research into the matter. (I have had a similar discussion with myself, being an extremely rational ‘A’ type.) Most people out there, including most Christians, including me a year or so ago, are misinformed and confused about what is referred to as, ‘religion’. (And that’s for a purpose and another discussion.)

    So, I decided to consult the considered source for an explanation of the religion with which I felt most compatible – Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, yes that C.S. Lewis. Lewis himself was an atheist at one time in his life and does a marvelous job in describing the source of Christian beliefs. So if you want to make a ‘rational’ decision on the matter, I would recommend reading the book (it took me a couple of times) and then come back to this site and see if your thoughts are the same…Like I said do the research.






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