1. Where do you come from?
Me personally: I was born, like any other mammal, as a result of sexual reproduction.
Where did humans come from? From a spiritual perspective, humans could be more advanced souls, reincarnated as humans due to advances in spiritual enlightenment. That’s one view from a spiritual perspective. It could also be that as life evolved via evolution, and the physical forms of creatures became more advanced, so did the souls inhabiting the bodies grow spiritually as we became more and more aware of things around us, and learned about the world and about ourselves through time. Life could simply be the interaction of that spiritual energy with matter, allowing it to grow and evolve. There are many, many theories out there, but the fact of the matter is...we simply don’t know. Science tells us evolution happened. That cannot be disputed. How life started, and why...well, your explanation is as good as mine. My question to you would be this: does it matter where we came from? Isn’t it more important to know NOW where we are, to live the life we have NOW and do the best we can to ensure that there will be a tomorrow for our children?
2. What is your purpose on earth?
We don’t know. We simply are. You might as well ask why otters exist. What is the purpose of otters on earth? Like otters, we are simply another part of the ecosystems of the earth. We’re a product of it in the same way otters are. For whatever reason we are here, we must never forget ourselves and rise above ourselves by assuming that we have a higher purpose than otters. Or elephants. Or mice. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe there isn’t a purpose, and we should be grateful just to be alive at all? Whether life started through the actions of gods, or whether it’s a natural phenomena, it’s really a wonderful thing to be a part of this world, and to be alive. Isn’t that enough? It’s our nature to want to learn about the world and ourselves, so maybe that’s our purpose. To know and understand, to accept and just be a part of it all.
3. Does life have a meaning?
The meaning of life can be whatever you make of it. It’s your life, so if to you the meaning of life is to subject yourself to god, then so be it. Does life have a greater meaning to the glory of god? Eh. I doubt it. Your life has meaning to you, and to those around you. That’s all the meaning it really needs.
4. What is just and fair for you?
Well, that’s a difficult one. Just and fair is subjective, isn’t it? Let’s take theft. A street urchin is really hungry and steals a loaf of bread. Theft is wrong, right? But stealing that loaf means the child gets to survive. Would it be justice to send the child to prison, and brand him a thief? Of course. He IS a thief, after all. Theft is wrong, therefore he must be punished. But would it be fair? Ah! Now it becomes interesting. Life is sacred, yes? That means everyone must have the means to allow their own survival. Was it fair of society to expect the starving child not to steal if his survival depended on it? Would it be fair to the baker if society expected him not to press charges, and simply absorb the cost of feeding the starving child? Fair and just can be very difficult, and very conflicting. “The greatest good to the greatest number” still means that a certain number of people will suffer, and who gets to decide who those people will be? If you were one of those consigned to suffering, would you think it is fair? I doubt you would. Your notion of good and just will depend on your position in society, and it will be governed by your own sense of your worth, and what you are entitled to. We as humans tend to just make it up as we go along, as any anthropologist will you.
5. God forbids, if your child is murdered and the person is never caught and brought to justice, how would you handle it, seeing that life has no meaning and we are just here on earth to live and die. Where would you get justice from?
Karma. No one’s life is ever all good, or all bad. Negativity has a way of breeding more negativity. Where will you get justice from? There often isn’t any. That’s just a fact of life. Where does the zebra mother get justice from when the lion eats her foal? She doesn’t. It’s life, and life happens. Are people so caught up in themselves that they live only for vengeance? Because that’s what you really mean here. Vengeance, not justice. If the justice system fails you, you wait for god to punish the person who wronged you for all eternity. Ask yourself truthfully: is that justice or vengeance? Getting back to that thieving kid. Say he is never caught. Will god send him to hell for all eternity because he didn’t go to prison? Fact of the matter is...the gods or spirits are not going to seek out justice and vengeance for you. It is up to YOU to deal with what life throws at you. It is up to you to deal with your loss, your grief. You can choose to forgive or not. If you can’t do that, then your faith is nothing more than a crutch. Something empty of meaning or value. If the gods/spirits fought our battles for us, where would we get the chance to grow and change within ourselves? We must all take ownership of our own feelings and reactions, and deal with them rather than leave it up to the gods.
6. An intelligent, thinking child brought up by atheist parents becomes a Christian how do you respond? Oh and becomes preacher and starts a new church, would you say your child has a problem?
No, not really. If it’s his path to become a Christian, then that is his choice. We must all follow the path that fulfils us best. Just as long as he doesn’t expect me to follow his path, or coerce others into doing so, he can do whatever he wants to.
7. What about all the injustice in the world that goes by unreported, where must everyone else get justice from?
If you don’t report injustice, you have chosen to accept the injustice done to you. You seek justice for yourself via legal means, and if that fails you...find it within yourself to move on with your life. Take measures to protect yourself, and learn from whatever mistakes may have been made. Your car was stolen? Perhaps next time don’t forget to lock the door. Or install a security system. At the end of the day, you can only do so much. At some point, something bad will happen. But it will not only happen to you. Chances are the perpetrator will also suffer reverses at some point. Answer me this: if your god was so vitally interested in justice, why does he not prevent it if he can? Why wait until the perpetrator dies, and then punish him for all eternity? And what if the perpetrator later in life converts and is “born again”? Where is your justice then? Will god ignore that and toss him in hell anyway? To be fair to you, he will have to be unfair to the born again perp. No. Better by far to just do what you can to protect yourself, use the justice system, and if all that fails...use your capacity for forgiveness and just move on.
8. How do you answer your own child that is searching for meaning and purpose in life?
I would give them guidance as best I could and let them find their own meaning, their own path. Intelligent children will do that anyway, no matter what you teach them. They’ll learn even the things you don’t want them to, and then they’ll make up their own minds, again, whether you want them to or not. It is not for you to decide their path. So just gently give them perspective, and let them choose for themselves.
9. Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway?
They have meaning because their legacies will live on in those it affects. It might not have lasting meaning, but it has meaning NOW. Those who feel love NOW will know the meaning it has to them NOW. Sometimes that love results in children, and the love we have for them NOW will affect how they grow later, and how we treat them now will affect how they’ll teach their own children. Why do you say it has no meaning? Just because our lives are transitory doesn’t mean nothing we do matters. It does. The research we do now will be built on by future generations. The art and music we create now can be appreciated by others long after we are gone. How many people NOW owe their existence to the age of love in the 1960’s? Who among us do not know about Vincent van Gogh? Or Wolfgang Mozart? Their art and music still has meaning today, in some cases even more than it did while they were alive. If you look at history, the old Greek philosophers had a profound impact that we still feel today. So did the French revolution, or WW1, if you want more recent examples. Time doesn’t begin and end with our births. Everything we are now is a result of actions taken by those who came before us, just as our actions now will impact future generations. The love you have for your spouse, your child, your job...all of it will impact those around you. That thieving kid? If you give him a break NOW and give him that loaf of bread, maybe he’ll grow up to become the next Einstein. Or the next Hitler. Your actions can profoundly affect him, even if to you it has no meaning. If you do give him the loaf, he may become Einstein. But if you deny him, he may become Hitler. Even the smallest of our actions can have the profoundest of consequences. So I wouldn’t say it was meaningless. Life isn’t meaningless because it starts and ends. Life is meaningless only if we choose to do nothing with it here and now.
10. Is death the end of life?
Who knows? Maybe? Does it matter? If you can say you did good with your life, and can die happy, then does it matter whether it ends or not? Personally, I believe so, but I haven't got proof of that except my own intuition - and that's hardly enough to say with absolute certainty is it?
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