Author Topic: The purpose of life?  (Read 996 times)

Offline Daniel

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2346
  • Thanked: 503 times
The purpose of life?
« on: January 13, 2019, 01:31:25 PM »
What is the purpose of our lives? Are we here to be saved, or are we here for the glory of God?

Catholics seem to say it's both, as if we glorify God by being saved and/or we are saved by glorifying God. But practically speaking, how does this work, exactly? These require two entirely different attitudes. The former is selfish while the latter is selfless. And neither position sounds quite right:

The man who sees his own salvation as the end of all things is willing to go so far as to oppose God, in order to be saved.
The man who sees the glory of God as the end of all things is willing to be damned if his damnation is for the glory of God.
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2140
  • Thanked: 1619 times
  • Religion: The Way
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 01:33:37 PM »
The purpose of existence itself is the glory of God.

The salvation of the elect is a mere sub-product, if I may call it thus, of the general purpose of creation. All that exists, exists to glorify God.
DISPOSE OUR DAYS IN THY PEACE, AND COMMAND US TO BE DELIVERED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION, AND TO BE NUMBERED IN THE FLOCK OF THINE ELECT.
 
The following users thanked this post: Daniel

Offline Michael Wilson

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 6618
  • Thanked: 4303 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 02:00:52 PM »
There is a "proximate end" and a "final end" to creation; the "final end" is the Glory of God; the "proximate end" is for creatures to work out their salvation, by knowing, loving and obeying God, and by this means to give Him honor and glory in Heaven for all eternity.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
The following users thanked this post: Lynne, Daniel, Xavier, Philip G.

Offline Quaremerepulisti

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3879
  • Thanked: 1268 times
  • Religion: Catholic (Byzantine)
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 05:08:49 PM »
Ah yes, the $64,000 question for those who claim salvation/predestination is completely explained by the will of God.

Is God glorified more by the damnation of anyone than by his salvation?

It seems prima facie absurd that God could get more glory from a creature's disobedience and rebellion than his obedience.  But anyway.

If NO, then universalism follows as a logical consequence.  It can't be said God allows X's damnation for His "greater" glory, since His glory is better attained by X's salvation.

If YES, then either God must, by logical or metaphysical necessity, act in the way that best attains His glory or He is not so bound.

If the answer to that question is:

YES, then souls are damned via logical/metaphysical necessity.  God therefore creates souls He knows MUST be damned.  (Not WILL, but MUST).

NO, then despite the flowery rhetoric about how much God loves the world and spared not His only-begotten Son, in the final analysis He is not willing to part with something most dear to Him - His glory - for the good of His creation, no matter what horrible suffering it entails.  That makes Him as moral as Kim Jong-Un or Mao Tzetung, who were and are willing to promote the good of their subjects, just so long as it redounds to their own glory.  If not, forget it.
 

Offline TheReturnofLive

  • Korporal
  • **
  • Posts: 458
  • Thanked: 116 times
  • Saint Thomas the Apostle, pray for me, a sinner!
  • Religion: I have no idea.
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 03:04:37 AM »
"According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown."
 

Offline Gardener

  • Drink the poison yourself.
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8330
  • Thanked: 5729 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 09:23:03 AM »
42
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.
 
The following users thanked this post: Non Nobis, Lynne

Offline Lynne

  • happy to be Catholic!
  • Mary Garden
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 9083
  • Thanked: 3834 times
  • We're all special snowflakes
  • Religion: Catholic (SSPX)
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 09:27:31 AM »
In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”
 

Offline nmoerbeek

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 1745
  • Thanked: 922 times
    • Alleluia Audio Books
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 10:35:55 AM »
What is the purpose of our lives? Are we here to be saved, or are we here for the glory of God?

Catholics seem to say it's both, as if we glorify God by being saved and/or we are saved by glorifying God. But practically speaking, how does this work, exactly? These require two entirely different attitudes. The former is selfish while the latter is selfless. And neither position sounds quite right:

The man who sees his own salvation as the end of all things is willing to go so far as to oppose God, in order to be saved.
The man who sees the glory of God as the end of all things is willing to be damned if his damnation is for the glory of God.

The purpose of life is to Love God.  The whole book of Ecclesiastes more or expounds on the meaning of Life and concludes by saying "Fear God and keep His commandments", Our Lord Jesus Christ gave his disciples a new commandment "Love one another as I have loved you". 

So then this is the purpose of life, Love and Fear God, keep His commandments, and Love your neighbor in the manner in which Christ has loved us, which we do because it is a commandment of God.




"Let me, however, beg of Your Beatitude...
not to think so much of what I have written, as of my good and kind intentions. Please look for the truths of which I speak rather than for beauty of expression. Where I do not come up to your expectations, pardon me, and put my shortcomings down, please, to lack of time and stress of business." St. Bonaventure, From the Preface of Holiness of Life.

Apostolate:
http://www.alleluiaaudiobooks.com/
Contributor:
http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/
Lay Association:
http://www.militiatempli.net/
 
The following users thanked this post: Non Nobis, Xavier

Offline clau clau

  • My other bike is a Pinarello
  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 984
  • Thanked: 966 times
  • Religion: Traditionalist videogamer - I only play 8-bit video games
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 03:51:53 PM »
6. Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

http://www.boston-catholic-journal.com/baltimore_catechism.pdf

I think the Internet makes people stupid.
Would you like to shake hands with Pope 1 or Pope 2 -
 me (inspired by Dr Seuss) see: https://seuss.fandom.com/wiki/Thing_One_and_Thing_Two

But when he's dumb and no more here,
Nineteen hundred years or near,
Clau-Clau-Claudius shall speak clear.
 
The following users thanked this post: Non Nobis, Josephine87

Offline Non Nobis

  • Why are you fearful?
  • Mary Garden
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 4482
  • Thanked: 3148 times
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 06:21:48 PM »
Ah yes, the $64,000 question for those who claim salvation/predestination is completely explained by the will of God.

Is God glorified more by the damnation of anyone than by his salvation?

It seems prima facie absurd that God could get more glory from a creature's disobedience and rebellion than his obedience.  But anyway.

If NO, then universalism follows as a logical consequence.  It can't be said God allows X's damnation for His "greater" glory, since His glory is better attained by X's salvation.

If YES, then either God must, by logical or metaphysical necessity, act in the way that best attains His glory or He is not so bound.

If the answer to that question is:

YES, then souls are damned via logical/metaphysical necessity.  God therefore creates souls He knows MUST be damned.  (Not WILL, but MUST).

NO, then despite the flowery rhetoric about how much God loves the world and spared not His only-begotten Son, in the final analysis He is not willing to part with something most dear to Him - His glory - for the good of His creation, no matter what horrible suffering it entails.  That makes Him as moral as Kim Jong-Un or Mao Tzetung, who were and are willing to promote the good of their subjects, just so long as it redounds to their own glory.  If not, forget it.

So, do you think God is 100% love but 0% power when it comes to the doings of men? God basically just watches, lovingly with promptings of grace, but  finally helplessly? Who knows, maybe His glory will go to total pot as He watches? It's all a matter of luck.

Or, instead, do you think all men are saved, preserving God's power and making His love trivially obvious?

I'm not arguing here, just trying to understand your view.  You have many complaints about others' views but I never understand exactly what you think.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 07:39:01 PM by Non Nobis »
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 

Offline Philip G.

  • Korporal
  • **
  • Posts: 347
  • Thanked: 167 times
  • Ordinaria Cultus
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 02:48:54 AM »
The man who sees his own salvation as the end of all things is willing to go so far as to oppose God, in order to be saved.
The man who sees the glory of God as the end of all things is willing to be damned if his damnation is for the glory of God.

Those two statements are garbage.  When you separate salvation from the glory of God neither occurs.  This one "or" the other thinking reminds me of the three temptations of Jesus. 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 03:15:48 AM by Philip G. »
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 

Offline Quaremerepulisti

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3879
  • Thanked: 1268 times
  • Religion: Catholic (Byzantine)
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 08:16:14 AM »
So, do you think God is 100% love but 0% power when it comes to the doings of men? God basically just watches, lovingly with promptings of grace, but  finally helplessly? Who knows, maybe His glory will go to total pot as He watches? It's all a matter of luck.

Or, instead, do you think all men are saved, preserving God's power and making His love trivially obvious?

I'm not arguing here, just trying to understand your view.  You have many complaints about others' views but I never understand exactly what you think.

You're anthropomorphasizing God by the very way you put the question.  You're univocally grafting human concepts of power and love onto God.  When you do so you end with an unanswerable contradiction that has to be explained away under the pretext of "mystery".  For human power and love are distinct.

Whereas God's existence, His essence, His will, His power, and His love are ontologically absolutely identical, per Divine simplicity.  Which means that, if something is not logically entailed by His existence it cannot be logically entailed by His will, His power, or anything else, and that to say something happens "because God's will" is identical to saying "because God exists" - e.g. God's causation (unlike creaturely causation) is intrinsically non-determinative, since God's causation is identical to His existence, and His existence does not entail the existence of any created thing.

 

Offline St. Columba

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 780
  • Thanked: 253 times
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2019, 08:33:55 PM »
Whereas God's existence, His essence, His will, His power, and His love are ontologically absolutely identical, per Divine simplicity.  Which means that, if something is not logically entailed by His existence it cannot be logically entailed by His will, His power, or anything else, and that to say something happens "because God's will" is identical to saying "because God exists" - e.g. God's causation (unlike creaturely causation) is intrinsically non-determinative, since God's causation is identical to His existence, and His existence does not entail the existence of any created thing.
Forgive me Quare, but may I ask: is not then God's perfect will ontologically identical to His permissive will?  And if so, how can evil be absent in the former but not in the latter? 

I am not making any claims here, just asking....

Thanks for enlightening me!  :)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 08:38:08 PM by St. Columba »
People don't have ideas...ideas have people.  - Jordan Peterson quoting Carl Jung
 
The following users thanked this post: Pon de Replay

Offline Non Nobis

  • Why are you fearful?
  • Mary Garden
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 4482
  • Thanked: 3148 times
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2019, 12:24:28 AM »
So, do you think God is 100% love but 0% power when it comes to the doings of men? God basically just watches, lovingly with promptings of grace, but  finally helplessly? Who knows, maybe His glory will go to total pot as He watches? It's all a matter of luck.

Or, instead, do you think all men are saved, preserving God's power and making His love trivially obvious?

I'm not arguing here, just trying to understand your view.  You have many complaints about others' views but I never understand exactly what you think.

You're anthropomorphasizing God by the very way you put the question.  You're univocally grafting human concepts of power and love onto God.  When you do so you end with an unanswerable contradiction that has to be explained away under the pretext of "mystery".  For human power and love are distinct.

Whereas God's existence, His essence, His will, His power, and His love are ontologically absolutely identical, per Divine simplicity.  Which means that, if something is not logically entailed by His existence it cannot be logically entailed by His will, His power, or anything else, and that to say something happens "because God's will" is identical to saying "because God exists" - e.g. God's causation (unlike creaturely causation) is intrinsically non-determinative, since God's causation is identical to His existence, and His existence does not entail the existence of any created thing.

Thoughts that come to mind.

God's ability to create is entailed by His existence=essence. God's actually creating something is not entailed.  If God does create/cause/change things HE is not determined or changed, but the thing created/caused is determined: although not as a logical entailment from His essence. God CHOOSES to cause something, He is not determined to do it; His ABILITY to choose is entailed (His freedom) and the POSSIBILITY of there being something other than Himself is entailed.  When we cause/determine some thing we change too, and there is (I think) a logical entailment from cause(s) to effect(s). God's causality is different; you  want to say it is non-deterministic but maybe THAT is being anthropomorphic. I think God does determine things but is not Himself determined.

FREEDOM in God is one thing that makes Him able to create something other than Himself without logical entailment. His freedom is entailed by His existence/essence, but does not determine Him. Freedom and  power are different in God than in us; but I still think God can determine us.  I am not talking about free will here, but in general.

The Bible certainly talks as though God can determine us (even forgetting free will); how do you explain that? The Bible speaks anthropomorphically; but I don't know how to avoid it.

This is how I see this now. 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 12:28:20 AM by Non Nobis »
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 

Offline Daniel

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2346
  • Thanked: 503 times
Re: The purpose of life?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2019, 06:11:19 AM »
I'm not sure we can make a distinction between God's "ability" to create something and His "choice" to create something. Because God is simple. There is no potency in Him. There's no potency for Him to choose one thing over the other, and there's no potency for Him to create stuff; He just always is creating that which He always is choosing to create.

Speaking of which, this has always had me confused. How can God create, freely, when He never had the potential to choose to create?

If we start with the existence of the world, and we work our way backwards, I'm not sure how we can arrive at the Christian doctrine of God as Creator. But I easily arrive at the pantheistic doctrine, that the world emanates from God by necessity. I must be missing something here but I'm not sure what. Maybe my definition of "free choice" is faulty... I don't know.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 06:19:47 AM by Daniel »
 
The following users thanked this post: Pon de Replay