The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life - The Meaning of Life Swenson: Our...

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The Meaning of Life Swenson: Our happiness is found in our relation to the eternal Pojman: Only belief in God allows us a satisfying and inspiring view of the world Schlick: The meaning of life is not in our purposive activity, but in play Klemke: The meaning of life is in the power and depth of our subjectivity The nature of the philosophical perspective Breaks away from the automatic point of view We have been raised with certain philosophical prejudices Used “my own case” as a springboard to the universal For the vast majority of mankind, they live their lives very close to the specific tasks/chores/demands of thou Our mind starts to wander and raise questions during these mundane tasks; it isn’t enslaved to the specific task anymore “I was such a bundle of nerves last week before that test. Why did I take it so seriously? What SHOULD I take seriously? What are the important things in my life? Etc.” It uses my experience in the world to become a springboard for the purpose of life itself Therefore, the question of the meaning life is often seen as the paradigmatic philosophical question. Three proposed “necessary conditions” 1. There has to be moral truth. The most important decisions we make in life are our moral decisions, 2. We need free will Unless we hold ultimate responsibility for what we become, human life can’t be meaningful 3. God must exist
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He will lay out and teach us what a meaningful life is, what the meaningful path is to pursue The question of today’s lecture Are free will and God compatible? The problem explained Predestination and freedom “God from all eternity did… freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass” God’s omniscience and freedom There is nothing God does not know- including the entirety of your future God’s knowledge is absolute… so if he knows I’m going to get married on x date, how could I possibly get married any other time or not get married at all? Solutions To solve the predestination problem: Adopt the compatibilist position on freedom Our acts are free when they flow without the impediment from our own nature Problem with this proposal: We are not responsible for our natures God becomes responsible for both good and evil Conclusion: Theist must adopt libertarian conception of free will. God in his omnipotence (his ability to predestine every event) chooses instead to give us free will in the strongest sense To solve the omniscience problem:
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“God’s foreknowledge of future events does not compel them to take place.” (Augustine) Just because He knows we’re going to do something, doesn’t mean he’s making us do it. If your friend knows you’re going to propose, that doesn’t mean that he’s making you propose Problem with this solution: If God know now that I will do x, then I cannot do otherwise than x Even if God’s foreknowledge doesn’t cause our acts, it does make it necessary that I perform them The “Eternalist” Solution (Thomas Aquinas) Since God is outside time, the knowledge he has is of the
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PHIL 1305 taught by Professor Gordon during the Spring '08 term at Texas State.

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The Meaning of Life - The Meaning of Life Swenson: Our...

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