The Purpose of life — Theism vs. Agnoticism vs. Atheism
What is the purpose of life? What is the meaning of Life? How SHOULD we spend our time on this earth? All timeless questions that have riddled mankind for quite some time. I’d like to take my shot at an answer…
I believe that there are many possible answers to this set of questions (see the rest of this site). However, to start the journey, I submit that you need to come to as firm of a position on your belief(s) in God/Gods and in the existance or non-existence of the “supernatural”. From what I can see, there are three answers to the question: You either believe (1-theist), don’t believe (2-atheist) or believe that you don’t know or can’t know (3-agnostic).
Actually, I believe that Gnostic/Agnostic is a statement of knowledge and theist/atheist is a statement of belief (see chart below). I think that many people use the word Agnostic as a colloquial quasi-third choice in the atheist/theist answer set.
I believe that each of us is best served if we SOLIDLY choose one of these three paths (really only 2 in my opinion). Yes, this typically does mean serious introspection and a willingness to put in the time and effort required to choose one of these paths.
Once your path is chosen, many answers should become apparent.
Theists – Altruism, giving back, service to god, charity, piety, god-given moral code
Atheist – Personal happiness, service to oneself, personal-not-religion-provided moral code
Agnostic – (in the Colloquial usage) Unable to decide on either of the above two paths.
The point of this whole discussion is to create a starting-point or anchor to base the rest of your life’s decisions off of. Its kind of like building a house of cards. You must start with a foundation to build from. Your particular building will be based off of your own personal beliefs, values and opinions of your life and your place within the world.
If your a theist, search out the true definition of your “highest calling”. Be true to that definition. Spend your time following the path that leads to the achievement of that definition.
If your an atheist, determine how your life SHOULD be lead. Determine the definition of your “highest moral code”. Spend your time following the path that leads to the achievement of that definition.
If your agnostic, I think you may have a more difficult journey. Theism and atheism differ in so many ways, however BOTH end up with a solid “magnetic north” that each individual can use their own compass to find the right path. As a professed Agnostic, you may believe that ultimately the information may be unknowable in an absolute sense. This may surely be the case, however, our actions are based on our beliefs and NOT in what we absolutely claim as knowledge. Try to not sit in the middle with a stance of; “we can’t know so why bother”.
This fundamental choice lays the foundation for the rest of your philosophic journey. Its VERY important. I’m not as concerned with what answer(s) you arrive at, but that you take the journey and DO arrive at an answer for yourself.
In any event, find the definition of what YOU believe to be your highest moral purpose and spend your time following the path that leads to the achievement of that definition.
What do YOU believe to be YOUR “highest moral purpose?”
Youtube video on the definitions on the above terms.