God and the Meaning of Life:
Is the existence of God necessary for Life to be meaningful?
Jackson State Community College
Most people find it difficult to accept the stressful events of life such as the death of a loved one, serious injury, bankruptcy, divorce, etc, especially when something “senseless” events happens. How can family and friends come to terms with a death of a talented college student, not even 20 years old? Through its emphasis on the divine and the supernatural, religion allows us to “do something” about the calamities we face. In some faiths, adherents can offer sacrifices or pray to a deity in the belief that such acts will change their earthly condition (Schafer 93). On a more basic level, religion encourages us to view our personal misfortunes as relatively unimportant in the broader perspective of human history or even as a part of an undisclosed divine purpose. Friends and relatives of the deceased college student may see his death as being “God’s will,” or as having some ultimate benefit that we cannot understand now. The existence of God is necessary for social change and social control.
In most cases a belief in God gives life more meaning. Most of human history has been about survival, trying to find the means to put bread on the table and protecting your family. Very few have had the luxury to sit & contemplate the meaning of life. Belief in God and the after life gives the believer meaning beyond day to day survival. Parents who have to feed their children through a tube implanted in the stomach, or suction the saliva out of their kid’s mouth, knowing their child will be in a wheelchair for the rest of their life, turning to religion as a way of coping and to find the meaning beyond the day to day hardship (di Muzio 4). According to some, questions about the meaning of life are inextricably bound up with questions about God and religion. Without God, it...
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Peterson, Michael, et al. Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Gianluca Di Muzio. "Theism and the Meaning of Life." Meaning and Value. 2006. INDIANA UNIVERSITYNORTHWEST, USA. 12 April 2012.
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