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God's purpose as irrelevant to life's meaning: reply to Affolter


Elsewhere I have contended that if a God-centred account of meaning in life were true, it would not be because meaning comes from fulfilling God's purpose for us. Specifically, I have argued that this ‘purpose theory’ of life's meaning cannot be the correct God-based view since God would have to be atemporal, immutable, and simple for meaning to logically depend on His existence, and since such a being lacking extension could not be purposive. Jacob Affolter has developed a fresh account of the kind of purpose that is necessary for meaning in life, has argued that a God without extension could ground it, and has also provided some tentative reason to believe that only such a God could do so. I respond in three ways: by questioning whether the sort of purpose Affolter thinks is necessary for meaning in fact is; by arguing that an extensionless God could not ground it; and by indicating the way that a purely physical world could.

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Thaddeus Metz Could God's purpose be the source of life's meaning?’, Religious Studies, 36 (2000), 293313

Jacob Affolter Human nature as God's purpose’, Religious Studies, 43 (2007), 443455

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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