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essay1 - English 3 Sec 30 Dr P Gilmore Essay#1 Final Copy...

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English 3, Sec. 30 Dr. P. Gilmore Essay #1, Final Copy December 10, 2007 Finding Meaning without Religion Does life have purpose and meaning? Articles that deal with this question often refer to religion, suggesting that God created humans and that one must devote oneself to God. After reading article after article with this idea, it’s refreshing to read about a totally different perspective. “The Tree of Life” suggests that humans created God, instead of the other way around. Moreover, it suggests that one doesn’t need religion to find meaning. In “The Tree of Life,” Paul Kurtz presents a mostly solid, though at times misleading, argument that one does not need religion to find meaning. Kurtz’s article is about Secular Humanism and finding meaning in a world without religion. He presents a rational, scientific worldview in which humans are only a miniscule part of the vast universe. Moreover, he argues that the universe is not “created for man.” Instead, “we created God in our image to fulfill our dreams and hopes of eternity.” Afterwards, he defines meaning and how we create it, providing several examples in the process. Finally, he concentrates on finding the
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meaning of life without focusing on God. To structure all of his arguments, he divides his article into two sections with the headings “Living in the Universe without God” and “Creating Our Own Meanings.” Each section flows smoothly, with each paragraph logically building upon the previous one. The second section also builds on the first one in the same way. This article contains elements of personal essays, arguments, and analyses. Kurtz presents his personal observations and thoughts throughout the article. Moreover, by asserting that one does not need religion to find meaning, he is taking sides in an argument. In presenting this argument, he anticipates and attempts to disprove the arguments of the other side, which contends that there is a God and that one needs Him to find meaning. Finally, he presents a thoughtful analysis of secular humanism and how it’s used to find meaning in life (237-241). The main idea of Kurtz’s article is that one does not need religion to find meaning. Building on this thesis, he also presents several themes. First of all, he argues that science has “dethroned the God of classical religion and challenged the idea that the universe has a fixed order of ends.” To support this theme, he provides various examples of scientific advances in the last few centuries that philosophers used to disprove the “classical proofs for the existence of God.” For example, the laws
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of physics are predictable and do not need to meet any goals. Furthermore, the
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essay1 - English 3 Sec 30 Dr P Gilmore Essay#1 Final Copy...

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