Interactive Gospel
- Considering 'Religious' Issues -
by Paul Hazelden


1.   Summary

We believe that life cannot be fully lived without considering some basic 'religious' issues.

You know the questions people ask:

You can call these questions 'religious' or 'philosophical' - they are probably in a crossover area which belongs to both camps, but does not entirely belong to either. They are not religious questions (like questions about creeds and liturgies), and neither are they philosophical (like questions about the nature of truth or the meaning of freedom). So I put the term 'religious' in quotes to show my uncertainty.

In any case, if we are to function as human beings, we need some kind of answer to these questions. It may be a very poor answer, or an extremely tentative one, but we find it impossible to live with no idea at all whether our life has any meaning. For the most part, it seems that people in the Western world believe that their life does have some meaning and purpose, even though they have no rational grounds for this belief.

  1. I'll go along with that
  2. Please explain further
  3. I object to what you've said
  4. What are the alternatives?

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2.   Further Details

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. That's probably going a bit far, but it does seem fairly obvious that it is hard to live fully if you have no idea what you are living for.

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3.   Objections

I don't recall anyone ever objecting to this idea when I have suggested it.

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4.   Alternatives

The only alternative seems to be where most people are: they feel that life is worth living, and think they are making a fair attempt at living life to the full, but have never really considered any of the basic questions.

I cannot disprove their position, but I can offer this observation: when people start to consider these questions, they generally find that life does not get any easier, but it does become better at some deep level.

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Copyright © 1999-2005 Paul Hazelden
 
http://hazelden.org.uk/ig/ig_religious_issues.htm was last updated 4 May 2008
Page content last modified: 10 November 1999, 12 July 2005
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