Purpose-Driven Life – Agnostic Analysis

Here is a quick analysis from the Agnostic viewpoint of the five purposes for life as presented by Rick Warren’s book The Purpose-Driven Life.

1 – We were planned for God’s pleasure, so your first purpose is to offer real worship.

A supreme being created us for his own pleasure so we were designed primarily to worship him? This is our first purpose? It sounds like an argument that slaves were brought into this world to work for their masters so they should bow down before these masters. Religion needs this sort of subservience and loyalty to keep their believers in line. Agnostics do not believe we are slaves to the universe or whatever may have caused its creation, so we feel no purpose for worshipping any aspect of existence.

2 – We were formed for God’s family, so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship.

Agnostics can derive purpose from fellowship with humanity and as a part of society. We were formed in our human families. We usually love our parents for bringing us into this world and we love our children that we create. It is not an absolute love because there are truly evil parents and children that do not deserve our love. We can definitely derive meaning and purpose for our lives from our families and society.

3 – We were created to become like Christ, so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship.

A disciple is one who embraces and assists in spreading the teaching of another and an active adherent of a movement or philosophy. I am a disciple of agnosticism. Obviously by having this website I am willing to spread what I believe to be true, which is that humans do not have the answer to the question of our existence. I only believe this is a purpose in my life because I want to share what I have found as an important truth with everyone else. However, it does not define my existence.

4 – We were shaped for serving God, so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry.
5 – We were made for a mission, so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism.

Purpose Driven Life

Ministry is defined as the act of serving. Evangelism is zealous preaching and dissemination of the gospel. Once again Mr. Warren is focusing on servitude to my fellow human beings and defines our purpose as the service of others. The root of his view of our purpose is the preservation and spread of one particular religion.

Ask yourself if Christianity is more important than your own well-being and happiness? If you were to follow Mr. Warren’s purpose-driven life then you have to put God and that religion above anything else that you may want for your existence.

Of course I’d have to say I much prefer yesterday’s list that focuses on you and your place in the universe. Develop yourself as a human being, be a productive member of society, do not harm anyone and help when you can, take care of our surroundings, and enjoy life however you can without destroying our harming anyone or anything. At the core of your being, which list of purposes makes the most sense and feels the most real?

The Agnostic Purpose-Driven Life

Part of the beauty of the internet is the sharing of ideas and concepts across humanity. I did a quick search for “Agnostic purpose” to see if anyone else had already formulated something in response to the book The Purpose-Driven Life and came across the list below. It’s a good little list to give you an idea for your own purpose in life.

The Agnostic Purpose-Driven Life
by: Sabregirl

The Five Tenets of the Agnostic Purpose-Driven Life are these:
1) Personal Best: Develop your emotional, intellectual and physical self to your utmost ability.
2) Philanthropy: Leave society a better place than you found it.
3) Compassion: Do no harm to your fellow man and help when you can.
4) Environmentalism: Respect and care for the earth and its creatures.
5) Enjoyment: Have as much fun as possible as long as you don’t violate numbers 1 through 4.

The Agnostic

Journal Times Online – Probing under the surface of atheist anger

A Catholic comments on her attendence of an Atheist group’s dinner. I start my quote of the article with a great example of a definition of atheism that is along the lines of something I often use.

“Everybody is atheist about somebody’s god,” Smith said. “Atheists are just atheistic about one more god than you.”

Well, except we’re pretty attached to that one God. The atheists and their zero look a long way away.

Anyway, it’s not God who makes them bristle. It’s organized religion, they said, and only in practice.

“I think everybody in this room would fight for the right of religion to exist,” LaCourt said.

Referring often to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, they said churches shouldn’t get tax exemptions and faith-based groups have no business getting government funding. I agreed the separation of church and state is critical but explained my position that it’s sometimes taken to ridiculous extremes.

Even the atheists recognize the benefits of numbers that churches build. That’s why they hold the regular dinners.

“The one big advantage of religion is community,” LaCourt said. “For atheists, that’s hard to come by.”

I kept thinking about the “foxholes” saying, which reflects as much about courage in the face of death as it does about faith. I asked what the atheists believe happens after death.

“Everybody dies. It’s over,” Sorenson said.

Picture how terrifyingly blunt an atheist eulogy must be. The prospect of “game over” doesn’t seem to scare them.

“It makes us appreciate life all that much more,” LaCourt said.

We thanked each other for an interesting discussion, then headed back to our own separate foxholes.

The Journal Times Online

The State News – Reality is, we’re all secretly agnostic

Cat Fish, whoever she may be, must be an alter ego of mine or something. How else could she have hit on many of the same points I hit on in regards to religions and agnosticism. I’ll gladly quote the article here since I think it is right on target:

Everyone is agnostic.

How could I possibly draw that conclusion from my argument you may ask.

Easy: Agnosticism is the belief that it is impossible to know whether or not God exists. If every human is imperfect with a flawed perception, then no one can know for certain that a God is in fact real. Even Christians who believe they have literally seen and heard God can agree ? one of the tenets of Christianity, after all, declares that no man is without sin until he is cleansed by God.

The difference, of course, between an agnostic and a deity-based religion, for example, is faith. Assuming Christians believe it’s impossible to know for sure that their religion is the right one, they still maintain faith in spite of a lack of a guarantee in an attempt to search for the truth and find meaning.

Religions and ideologies are like mathematical equations without equal signs. Each has variables, additions, subtractions, maybe even squares and cubes. Agnosticism would have the fewest variables, representing no faith or convictions, just the belief that it’s impossible to know. If Christianity were to embrace this impossibility, as well, under the assumption that its ‘no man is without sin’ doctrine translates to human imperfection, it would have the same equation as agnosticism, plus extra variables ? like faith. The missing equal sign represents what most ideologies and religions seek: truth.

The pursuit of truth and perfection will continually improve conditions in the world, since the closest we’ll ever come to either is through trial and error, and having a little faith in finding them will bring us closer.

Still not convinced? Think about geography. It’s not coincidence that an incredibly high concentration of Muslims lives in the Middle East, nor is it merely chance that Christianity comprises about 80 percent of the U.S. population. One’s religion is commonly determined by his or her parents’ beliefs, and with good reason ? your parents are responsible for raising and instructing you to do what they know best. It’s natural to share morals with them, and it’s logical that being raised in an environment with a limited diversity of religions leaves fewer opportunities to develop different opinions.

Considering these factors, you may feel that your beliefs were entirely crafted of your own accord, but in reality, a specific set of conditions, including location, parents and social environment, have determined your beliefs.

If this is so, what is truth? Are you more correct than another because you were raised that way? Would you tell someone of a different religion that he or she is wrong?

No, probably not.

We’re all secretly agnostic before everything else, whether we want to admit it or not. Believing you have the truth over someone else is not only arrogant, but illogical as well.

Granted, the truth could actually be pretty scary and horrible.

And of course, you also could be yelling at this very moment, “What makes this column so accurate then?”

Nothing.

Every word of this could be a blatant lie ? or it could be a shining beacon of truth.

No one will ever know. Nobody’s perfect, after all.

The State News – www.statenews.com

Nonbelief Action Versus Prayer

Any change in the world is brought about by real action by real people. We obviously fight against the powers of nature and the chaos of the universe, but fight we must if we want anything outside of the status quo. Prayer and hope alone do nothing to change our circumstances.

If a person were wounded you could just watch and hope (or pray) they stop bleeding or you could take action and do something to help them. You can personally try to stop the bleeding and you can call for help. Society will step in and help where a supreme being does not.

Doctors have not always existed. Primitive man had no doctor to turn to that could heal the human body. Doctors developed out of a need of society to heal our wounded and sick. If prayer really worked, then we would have no need for doctors. If there was a God that really listened to us and intervened when asked, then we would have no need for police, firefighters, or any other profession that helps us and protects us from each other and the planet itself.

We have war because we collectively take no action to stop fighting with each other. We have famine because we do not do enough to feed everyone. We have any number of problems because we have not acted together for the good of society to overcome them.

Crime does not exist because everyone needs the same religion to guide them. It exists because some selfish people are not working for the good of society. There are plenty of religious criminals that pray they don?t get caught so they can provide for their families through their crime. The only answer to this is that society must take action to punish such behavior. Community-wide prayer will do nothing to reduce crime, but police in the community will work. Would you rather have prayer from the religious or police to protect you? Would you rather have a doctor heal you or prayers from a billion believers? Would you choose a society of Atheists with doctors, police, and other human intervention or a society of priests that would do nothing but pray for divine intervention?

One answer to those questions is that God works through people. That does not help you much if there are no people around to perform God?s work, which just shows us that it is only the people that matter in this whole scenario. It proves nothing about God?s divine intervention if humans are required to make it happen.

Nature takes action. The physical universe takes action. People can take action. Religion is only belief and hope in the power of prayer and a divine power that should be able to overcome everything else. I prefer to rely on the power of action. It is the only thing I’ve seen that has ever produced actual results.