What is the religious purpose of life?

I'm writing something and I have to state what religion says about WHY were here.  How does God answer that? Why am I here?

So far I've put down: 1 to worship god. 2 to exert your free will and be judged by it.

It's been so long, I can't remember what the religious purpose of life is.  But I do remember all those stupid "Got Purpose?" signs everywhere.  Can someone enlighten me.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on December 24, 2012 at 12:24am

Tom, for goodness sake, why do you ask if you should "offer congratulations or condolences?" What did I say that implied either one? 

And you really don't want me to help find you a purpose. That is something no one else can do for you. You are the definer of your life, the author of your book, the captain of your ship ... 

What I can do is say that you have everything you need inside you to define yourself. You have a body that works (I make an assumption here), you have a brain that works (another assumption) and you have desire. There, that is all you need. Just reach inside, find what you like to do or what you are good at and what makes time fly when you do it. Is it connecting with people, or working on machines, or building a structure, or taking care of animals, or putting seeds in the ground, or tooting a horn, or beating a drum. Pay attention to your patterns and as dear old Joseph Campbell used to say, "follow your bliss"!

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 24, 2012 at 12:09am

Your word, “Orderism” makes sense to me. Even when the world and life seems chaotic there is an underlying order to even the most scrambled of lives.

 Even the ancients recognized order … the sun rose and set every day and there were the seasons that came, one after the other, and according to ancient calendars they created there was a pattern. Their crops had patterns and the wise people could recognize drought or wet that would either cause them to adjust their farming or move elsewhere. Babies born, grew, had children, they grew old and they died. A pattern repeated individual after individual. Occasionally a sickness, accident, malformation or wars occurred and they learned how to grieve and celebrate the individual life.  

 There were forces over which they had no control and many times they responded with ritual thinking they had some control over natural events. A person doesn’t have to be very old before he or she realizes there is no control over some things. Coping strategies helped to find a new sense of order.

 In each of these events, from astronomy patterns, agricultural seasons, and life and death, ritual played a part in their lives and religions. They realized life was orderly, even in the midst of disorder.

 I like your idea about Orderism. It seems to have some possibility for maintaining balance when everything seems about ready to collapse. 

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on December 23, 2012 at 11:54pm

I like that anti-theist label better too. We all go through life with misconceptions, albeit not as impressive as belief in god.

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 23, 2012 at 11:45pm

John, your question, “What is the religious purpose of life?” has no meaning for me because there is no religious purpose of life. We come into this world without a purpose, without a meaning, without a plan for our lives and without a planner to create a plan for us. It is up to each one of us to define who we are. We reveal who we are from the inside, not the outside.

The word you created, “acolsophist” (follower of wisdom): A person who follows a philosophy of life, from the Greek words "akolouth" -follower, and "sophi" -wisdom.

 

I am not interested in following. Whenever I have done so my life has been unhealthy and conflicted. I would chose a more active word, i.e. adherent, enthusiast, advocate. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 23, 2012 at 11:15pm

John, I recognize that “atheist” is a negative word and you are quite correct to point that out. I intend a negative word, in fact I really like anti-theist better. I have very strong feelings about the role of religion in creating conditions of war instead of problem solving or conflict resolution.

The old stories from the Bronze Age set up conflict and from what I have read and understand, it was just pure nonsense! A people created a god that was greedy, jealous, vindictive, vicious, and cruel who instructed or invited or encouraged “his” people to go and slaughter innocent people. I think it was a group of greedy men wanting something they didn’t have and were willing to do anything to get what they wanted. So they created a “god” who told them to slaughter their neighbors and they are still doing it. It was a means to an end and they continue as if we haven’t learned how to live as civilized homo sapiens.
It was the same greedy men, selfish, domineering who created their god with messages that women were inferior to men, that women should be obedient and submit to brutes and thugs. It is no wonder women became helpless and passive, it cost them too dearly to stand up for themselves and that belief system came down from father to son, from mother to daughter over these thousands of years.

I am not atheist; I am anti-theist. 

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on December 23, 2012 at 9:12pm

Wow Tom, your teachers must have scrapped their their lesson plans when you entered the classroom. That was not supposed to be didactic. It was supposed to be funny.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on December 23, 2012 at 6:10pm

Gotchurmeaning, glen. Like life itself, it don't have no intent but what people give it.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on December 23, 2012 at 5:49pm

Look Tom, you're aggravatin me now. I oughtta split your nuts off the back side of your ass. This shit has got to stop or I think there will be a lawsuit.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on December 23, 2012 at 5:32pm

Two on one? I can handle two. Don't know about three.

Glen, I don't know what you intend with "..., you got a critique that isn't cute, funny, fresh?" Maybe "Do you have a critique ... to make?" Or maybe "Have you received a critique ...?"

Joan, shall I offer congratulations or condolences? You've found a purpose: to help me find one. Thank you.

Comment by JP Carey on December 23, 2012 at 4:58pm

Well now there are 2 words in use, "Theist" and "Atheist" to describe a person's world view.  The problem is that "Atheist" is negative position.  I've said before it's like "I'm a non-golfer. We gather to discuss how we don't like golf".  I propose a 3rd position for which I haven't found a word for yet -so I propose "ACOLSOPHIST" (follower of wisdom): A person who follows a philosophy of life.  from the Greek words "akolouth" -follower, and "sophi" -wisdom.

Collectives will form.  Even if everyone was a "Free Thinker", soon people would say "lets group to do something", and groups would still form.

An atheist president is VERY POSSIBLE if she was branded something else, an "Acolsophist", a Naturalist...

Orderism is ready to go.  It's thought out and has been rewritten more than a few times.  It's just that I'm not that inspiring of a writer and I keep rewriting.  It will come out, and I'll let the world have it for completely free.  It's a naturalist view, it accepts the nihilist view, and it proposes an optimistic vantage point. 

Orderism is considered an "informal philosophy", a "philosophy of life", or a "Weltanschauung" in German which means a cohesive world view.

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