Stan’s Obligatory Blog


We don’t need no steenkin’ purpose…

Filed under: — stan @ 1:32 pm

The other day I happened on the web site for The Purpose-Driven Life. I’ve been hearing people talk glowingly about this book, and I was a bit curious. Also, Lucinda has been asking lately about whether I believe in God. So this is a timely issue in our house.

They have the first few chapters available online at the site.

Choice bits from the introduction:

Point to ponder: If there were no God, and everything was the result of random chance, there would be no purpose to your life.

I’ve truly never understood why people have a problem with this. There is no purpose to life, other than to reproduce. Why is this so hard for some people to swallow? I don’t understand this whole thing about ‘people have to have a purpose’. What’s wrong with that? Unless they’re thinking that it’s somehow like how “pigs don’t have a purpose”. Are they afraid that if they don’t have a purpose, the Boss is going to eat them? (“Dont’ get on that ship!… It’s a cookbook!”)

If there were no God, we would all be “accidents”, the result of astronomical random chance in the universe. You could stop reading this right now, because life would have no purpose or significance. There would be no right or wrong, no good or evil, and no hope beyond your brief years on earth.

This is another of those canards that I just don’t get. Sure, life has no purpose, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t right or wrong, good or evil. Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose. You don’t need to invoke an imaginary God to establish this. I just don’t get it.

When I was a kid, to me, religion was like watching football. It was just something that other people did on Sunday. Religions just strike me as really quaint little superstitions. Maybe it’s a fun thing to think about, but it’s certainly not a basis for making major decisions. So that’s what I’ve been telling Lucinda when she asks me about God. I tell her it’s just a superstition, and that if she grows up and wants to believe in it, that’s her business. But I tell her not to automatically believe it’s true just because somebody else says it is.

2 Responses to “We don’t need no steenkin’ purpose…”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I disagree. I think there is a purpose, just that I have no idea what it is. I also don’t think that it is something that is arguable–that’s not what I’m trying to do here. You either believe or you don’t, and it would be nice if both groups would be respectful of one another.

  2. Stan Says:

    Indeed. It would be nice if people could just hold their own private beliefs and be respectful of others. Note above that I never said that people who believe differently from me are not good people, or that they’re going to Hell. But they regularly do that to me.

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