Saturday, April 23, 2005

the meaning of life

This has been on my mind for the last few days, when I'm not occupied with other things. Where is my life going anyway? What is my purpose in life. (Bear with me . . .)
One thing I lost when I left the Christian fold is an easy answer to this question. The answer that usually came to mind was the one in Ecclesiastes 12:13

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

Now, obvously, as an atheist I can't say this means much to me anymore. Life is easier when someone else can tell you who you are and what your purpose is in life. We atheists are more free--and freedom is wonderful though it can be tough. So what do I do now? It's not an easy question. Well, what is meaning anyway? Meaning is the significance that humans give to things--a very subjective concept. The conclusion I've come to so far is that I must find a meaning to my own life, if I am to have one. Maybe the purpose of life is to find that meaning . . . dunno, that sounds a bit too philosophical. This one is going to take a bit more seeking to figure out.

Since I'm visiting Ecclesiastes, I'd also like to post my favorite bit from the Bible--one of the bits that actually makes sense.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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