Monday, October 31, 2005

Conversations with God, part 6

The meaning and purpose of life

The whole reason God created us is so that God could experience herself through us. Our purpose in life, then, is to experience ourselves, and we do that by creating, deciding, and being Who We Really Are. Indeed, there is only one purpose in life, and it is stated in a few different ways.
There is only one purpose for all of life, and that is for you and all that lives to experience fullest glory (p.20).

The point of life is therefore to create—who and what you are, and then to experience that (p.104).

There can be only one purpose for relationships—and for all of life: to be and to decided Who You Really Are (p.122).
Given those three statements, you'd thing that life actually had some specific purpose, and according to God, "There is a divine purpose behind everything--and therefore a divine presence in everything" (p.60). But after finding out that God has a purpose in everything, and that the one purpose in life is for us to create and experience Who We Really Are, God turns around and says that life has no purpose at all. She says, "Not long ago you lived life as though it had no purpose. Now you know it has no purpose, save the one you give it" (p.157). This statement contradicts everything God said before. There's a divine purpose in everything, but life has no purpose except the one you give it. There can only be one purpose in life, but each person gives life whatever purpose he chooses.

Walsch's God can't even decide whether she cares what kind of lives we live. Near the beginning of the book, she says, "You are living your life the way you are living your life, and I have no preference in the matter. This is the grand illusion in which you have engaged: that God cares one way or the other what you do" (p.12). But then later, she says, "I desire for the whole life process to be an experience of constant joy, continuous creation, never-ending expansion, and total fulfillment in each moment of now" (p.65). Does God have a preference in the matter or not? Is there a divine purpose to life or not? We are given contradictory answers to both of these questions.

to be continued...

Part 7

12 Comments:

At 10/31/2005 2:57 PM , Blogger daleliop said...

Weird, on the main page it says Conversations with God Part 3 has 6 comments, but when you click on it, there are only 5 comments inside.

 
At 10/31/2005 4:21 PM , Blogger ephphatha said...

I noticed that, too. Weird.

 
At 10/31/2005 4:22 PM , Blogger daleliop said...

Weird.

 
At 10/31/2005 8:47 PM , Blogger Steve said...

Sam - i would be interested to see you post your thoughts on Supreme Court nominee Alito! A lot of issues important to Christians are up in this confirmation hearing, including abortion, religious displays on public property, the pledge of allegiance, etc

 
At 10/31/2005 9:38 PM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Steve, I don't know anything about Alito. I'll have to read up on it. What's your take?

 
At 10/31/2005 10:03 PM , Blogger Steve said...

Im against Alito. I'd rather see a progressive put on the court.

In general, I think the US has become a one party country, and if the Judiciary becomes more subserviant to the other branches based on political affiliation and judicial philosophy, the checks and balances that protects us as citizens will be undermined.

Then again, I think many of the issues the Supreme Court weighs in on (Roe v Wade) only occur because the legislature is too afraid to cast their votes to controversial issues. Perhaps the controversies of the court can be mitigated if the legislature starts doing its job!

 
At 10/31/2005 10:11 PM , Blogger Steve said...

If you want the broad take on Alito

-Anti-abortion (Planned Parenthood v Casey, ruled that wives must notify husbands before having an abortion)
-Believes religious displays can be on public property if accompanied by a secular symbol (like Santa Clause)
-Pro Business
-Mixed record on Civil Rights
-Once ruled that an Iranian woman could seek asylum based on gender discriminaion

etc. His record is generally conservative.

 
At 11/01/2005 4:35 AM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Steve,

I guess there's no good solution for Bush. The republicans have a majority in the Senate. If he doesn't appoint somebody conservative enough, the conservatives aren't going to approve. That seems to be what the whole controversy surrounding Miers was. But if Bush gives the republicans exactly what they want, the democrats are going to be upset about it. There's no winning.

I think it's a shame that it even matters whether a judge is conservative or liberal in their personal opinions. Their job is to interpret the constitution and apply the law to cases. Take the abortion issue for instance. Maybe a judge thinks abortion ought to be legal. But if his reading of the constitution as well as common law indicates that it shouldn't be legal, then he should vote against it, even if he wishes it were legal. It's up to the legislature to make laws, not the supreme court. Their job is to interpret and apply the law. In think Renquist was entirely right in his minority opinion in Roe v. Wade that the distinction made between the three trimesters was a blatant example of judicial legislating. No such distinction had any precedent whatsoever. Roe v. Wade was obviously decided on ideology more than on law.

But I live in the real world. I realize a judge's ideology does matter. It affects their interpretation (or construal) of the law. I am pretty strongly pro-life, so I would like to see a pro-life judge appointed. I would like to see abortion become illegal. But some of these other issues I could care less about. I could care less whether we have a copy of the ten commandments in a court room. I especially could care less whether "under God" is in the pledge of allegience. I haven't even said the pledge of allegience in 15 years or so. I'm surprised that so many people expend so much energy on these seemingly unimportant issues. I definitely wouldn't base my opinion of any nomination on those issues.

Sam

 
At 11/01/2005 5:00 AM , Blogger Steve said...

Well, I think that the court has never really exersized the kind of Judicial restraint conservatives talk about today. The entire issue of Judicial Review in Marbury v Madison 1803. was (by some standards) a case of judicial activism, since its no where in the constitution that the supreme court has to right to overturn the other branches of governemnt.

Most cases of "judicial activism" have resulted in civil rights, women's rights, and other positive things in our history. Times of "judicial restraint" include the famous Dredd Scott decision where African Americans were determined to be "seperate but equal" under the law. A narrow, but perhaps correct, reading of race law at the time.

But if I had to advise Bush, I'd tell him to pick a candidate that is conservative but also a racial or gender minority. The Supreme Court, for most of its 230 year history, has been a white male institution, and in the year 2005 there should be more than 1 woman and 1 african american on the court. The good old boys club needs to end.

 
At 11/01/2005 5:04 AM , Blogger Steve said...

on the issue of abortion, I think that its a matter of women's rights, but I can understand why its also viewed as a "human rights" issue.

I think that the ideal world has no abortions, but the real world has some tough choices for scared women, for women in positions of poverty, for women who are otherwise unable to care for and raise a child.

Its easy to say that these children can be dumped into foster care or the American taxpayer out of a sense of humanity, but I think in a practical sense if a woman doesn't wish to carry her baby to term, its right for her and better for society if she exersizes that control over her body.

 
At 11/01/2005 5:25 AM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Steve,

I don't want to get into the whole abortion issue here. There's too much to cover. But I want to say one thing about Dred Scott. I think the Court decided correctly in Dred Scott. It was not their place to change the law. I think the whole issue was handled correctly. The Legislature changed the law, not the supreme court. The Supreme Court only applied the law.

Now of course judicial activism can have good results just as it can have bad results. But that shouldn't be why we are for or against judicial activism. I think we should generally be against judicial activism because it's puts too much power into too few hands. It disrupts the balance of power between the different branches of government. There's a reason why it's so hard for the legislature to pass an amendment. It's because the constitution is the standard by which the Supreme Court is supposed to judge every other law. They can declare some laws unconstitution on the basis that they conflict with the constitution. But they can't very well declare the constitution unconstitutional.

Sam

 
At 11/01/2005 1:31 PM , Blogger Steve said...

well I think judicial activism occurs because the legislature is not doing its job as it is afraid to real get into abortion and other issues, but I also think its natural for the courts to be confronted with things the laws never anticipated, and its inevitable the application of those laws will have some creative license from the judges who oversee the process. And yet, thats not a terrible thing because each judge can be overturned by a higher judge, all the way up to the Supreme Court.

But perhaps I'll sound a little more radical here, but I would argue that I want the courts to be MORE activist, because I want to impose on the general population social policy which is not entirely democratic. you might say in this sense I have a concept of "objective morality" in that I think women's rights, civil rights, etc are simply good policy, and if its left to the legislature, it may take 100 years or 150 years to pass the kind of laws we want.

The judiciary is a safety valve on the social pressures of our time. It gets society ready for things to come, whether its Brown v Board of Education, or Miranda v Arizona (another activist judge case... which established Miranda rights).

 

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