Big Questions

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The big questions:
What is a good life?
What is truth?
What is God?

The concept of a ‘good life’ varies from person to person. Someone’s impression of what constitutes a ‘good life’ can tell you volumes about them. Some people say fun is the most important factor; others place emphasis on morality. The meaning of life is a subjective question. The meaning can be different for everyone, depending on their values. To me, a good life involves adventure. We are pleasure-seeking beings, and we can enjoy life the most when we are exploring new things. In order to lead a good life, one should make the most of every opportunity they are handed. Life is composed of experiences. Having more diverse experiences enriches the quality of life.

 

Another thing which enriches life is the pursuit of truth. What is truth? This is a question which I have given a considerable amount of thought to. I was raised in an environment where I was constantly being told that only a certain set of beliefs was true. I don’t agree with the notion that truth belongs exclusively to a specific religious group. I think in order to find truth, one needs to explore as many of the possibilities as they can. Truth is a balance of opinions. No one should claim to have the complete truth if they haven’t gotten an accurate picture of the contradictions to their truth. I turn to Hegel’s Dialectic as a good model to demonstrate the intangible quality of truth. Someone’s assertion of what is true operates as the “thesis” and then someone’s contradiction operates as the “antithesis”. Somewhere in between is a “synthesis” of the two which is the truth. The “synthesis” becomes the new thesis and is open to contradiction. The process continues. Truth is a balance. It is defined by people collectively and applies to them individually.

 

Truth applies to people on an individual level similarly to theism. God is personal, dealing with people individually on their level, in their language. Any attempts to institutionalize Him only limits Him. Although attempts have been made to universalise God, e.g., Roman Catholicism as the only religion in 16th Century Europe, people interpret ‘God’ differently depending on their culture, heritage, experiences, and other factors. I have pried my image of God free from the claws of religion. The God I have come to know differs dramatically from the God I grew up hearing about. He is nothing but kind to me. He understands me perfectly. He gives me advice that’s far more sound than I get anywhere else. This is the God I know, and I have salvaged his reputation from the debris of human assumptions.

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6 responses »

  1. Hi,
    I’m in Mrs. Behan’s current Writer’s Craft course but I’m also in the philosophy course this semester. I see above you state you were taking a more psychological approach but I was just thinking about commenting from a philosophical perspective. While I totally agree that the concept of a ‘good life’ is unidentifiable and completely subjective, I’d really love to be able to accept my own subjective point of view on the concept of truth, but I can’t bring myself to do it. My senses deceive me every day, and there is no logical way I can be certain of anything. It is not a personal truth I find myself in the pursuit of, but an objective truth, of which I am not entirely sure can exist. The only way I know of for something to be true is for its validity and soundness to be deductively proven. Eg. The light in either on or off. The light is off. Therefore the light is not on. It is only these conceptual ideas that can be universally proven.
    The only way a country is a country, is if a specific group of countries agree that is is one. In saying this, we know that this has no validity in proving it’s a county, for if everyone (even including me) agreed that I killed President John F. Kennedy, it would mean I did, but this method of inductive reasoning is the only way we can function as a society. In the end, our understanding of our lives boils down to a trickle of certainty and a whole lot of probability, which makes grasping any form of absolute truth so difficult.

    Stay cheesy,

    Ben.

  2. I use to struggle with what truth was growing up and I was taught about Jesus, but not the way i have come to know Him now. I would like to define if I may truth- which is Jesus. He said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus is the definition of truth- whatever He said, He did, His conduct,..is truth. In fact the word way is defined in the strongs concordance: a course of conduct, a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding. I think that’s pretty cool…that entails every part of us to be like Jesus! God’s word is truth and final. it never changes and it stands forever, it’s living, powerful…it’s LIFE it’s AWESOME!

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