Generally speaking religious people often say that “life without God has no purpose.” Why? The principle seems to be that one cannot simply “invent” their own life purpose, that is like pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Life purpose has to be *given* to you by a being higher than yourself.
If that is the case, who gives God his purpose? And what is God’s purpose anyway? Is it to “just exist” and to “receive worship”?
OPTION 1 – Someone above God gives God his purpose. This is rather silly, for then God is not truly God, but there is another higher creature who is the true God, and we are back to the same question, who gives ‘that’ being purpose? This would go on ad infinitum.
OPTION 2 – God makes up his own purpose. This brings up interesting questions like (a) why does God pick one purpose over another? is it arbitrary? (b) can God change his purpose? Has he? Will he? (c) what made God even decide to have a purpose as opposed to not having one? And finally (d) if one being (God) can just make up his purpose, why can’t other beings do the same?
OPTION 3 – God derives his purpose from his nature. If that’s the case, then surely all creatures, for example humans, can just as well derive purpose from their nature not from God. If we allow it as a philosophical principle that some being (God) can find his purpose in his nature, then logically any other being (i.e. a human) can also derive purpose from his nature. It would seem that picking option 3 removes from one the ability to say “life without God is meaningless.”
OPTION 4 – God doesn’t need a purpose or meaning. Well then… this feels a tad nihilistic.
Can you think of any others?