Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Purpose of Afterlife

How exactly does belief in God make a substantive meaning to life? Life here on earth is meaningless, just a test to hope you get into heaven. Play by God's rules or go to hell. Then once there you spend eternity doing more of God's bidding and getting some sort of pleasure. You're in heaven for eternity...to what end? What's the point? We live on earth as a test to ensure we have eternal pleasure?

The purpose of life, in the theistic point of view, is to look forward to promised pleasure in the afterlife.

The purpose of life to the hedonistic atheist is to get pleasure in the present life.

What's the major difference?

The only real losers here are folks like me who live by the strictures of Orthodox life but expect no heavenly rewards.

6 comments:

Gil Student said...

According to the Kuzari, the purpose is to come close to God in THIS life.

Orthoprax said...

Gil,

Ok. Why? To what end?

Gil Student said...

That is the end!

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=purpose&x=0&y=0

Main Entry: 'pur·pose
1 a : something set up as an object or end to be attained

Orthoprax said...

Gil,

"Main Entry: 'pur·pose
1 a : something set up as an object or end to be attained"

Ok, but set up by whom? If that is the goal in life chosen by the individual, good for him. But that's just as valid a goal as the guy who wants to be a millionaire or the guy who wants to have sex with as many women as possible. Or the guy who wants to watch tv and eat food as a goal.

They're all subjective goals/ends. None tell us what the meaning of life is. The very fact that I can ask "why?" to the Kuzari's purpose, shows how incomplete it is. One man's goal is another's sidetrack.

On another note, if the purpose of life is fulfilled in this life, why need there be an afterlife? What's the purpose of that?

alex said...

You've probably heard of this story, but I'll repeat it anyway:

Atheist: I don't believe in God.
Rabbi: Me neither.
Atheist: What!!??
Rabbi: The God that you don't believe in, I don't believe in either.

(The rabbi is subtly saying that the other guy is using a strawman argument.)

Orthoprax said...

Alex,

Are you saying my post is a strawman?

What do you see as the purpose of life?