The Truth about Meaning

If God does not exist; if the universe is apathetic to us; if there is no other life for us than what we have now; what right do we have to claim morality? Human dignity? Justice? Tell me, why does it matter if one meaningless human being kills another? It’s not as if their lives would be worth anything anyway. If there is no purpose to human life, if all we have is the here-and-now, what is the point of being moral? It’s not like there is anything to work toward. Just death. Death for all. The same destiny and fate for everyone, regardless of what morals they did or did not have, regardless of what they did with their life. Whether rich or poor, what possessions or merits or achievements they accomplished will go with them into the grave. And there they will stay, and eventually even their memory will perish. Even the ties we create with people will be forgotten and corroded when we die. Our loved ones, our families, will all be forgotten when we die, and when they die they will forget us, too.

And eventually all will perish, with no hope for resurrection or meaning as a recompense for death.

This is what does not make any sense about the logic of those who claim there is no God, yet still lay claim to the dignity of being a moral, sentient, conscientious human being. Why do we know what meaning is if the universe is as meaningless and random as some claim it is? What place would purpose have as a knowable concept if it does not exist in the universe? And what of every culture’s craving and knowledge of repentance, of forgiveness, of expiation and mercy and love? Why does every known culture feel the need to worship something? Why do people feel the need to make things right on their death bed? Why are there laws governing our actions toward others, and consequences for what  is deemed ‘right and wrong’, if we live in an amoral universe that cares nothing about our fate?

If the Universe is really as meaningless and our lives as random and purposeless as some would suggest, it might be just as well for us to be dead. Maybe this is why so many have committed suicide. In their minds, it is better to end their brief light of life than to be tortured by a conscience that cries out for meaning where there is none.

And if the gentle reader would permit me to be blunt, I believe it is not strength of will, but stubbornness and stupidity that prompts those without faith to scoff at those who hold it dear, and to say to them, “I am strong because I don’t need to use religion as a crutch to get through life.” These people are blinded to the conclusion that human reason and logic would bring them to, and they suffer without merit or validity. That very statement, in and of itself, suggests that the speaker is indeed suffering, struggling with the concept of meaning in a ‘meaningless’ world. They believe their strength comes from rejecting faith, which would bring reason and meaning, and a logical conclusion to their mental dilemma. In reality, it only makes their dilemma more frustrating and their struggle fruitless.

And this is where the search for truth has led me. I am not a random lump of matter floating around in space. Neither is anyone else. No one can convince me that my God does not exist. No one can tell me that truth is relative. Truth is truth, and it remains what it is regardless of human perception or interpretation. The faith is not my faith. It is the faith of the Church; it is the truth that God Himself laid out for us to see and follow; it is what guides every human being’s conscience and intellect; it is what tells us who we are, what we are, why we are here.

It is “the true Light that enlightens every man who comes into the world.” (St. John 1:9 [DRA])

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