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.