Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Moltmann on Why We Exist
"Joy is the meaning of human life, joy in thanksgiving and thanksgiving as joy. In a way, this answer abolishes the intent of such questions as: For what purpose has [humanity] been created? For what purpose am I here? For the answer does not indicate ethical goals and ideal purposes but justifies created existence as such. The important thing about this answer is precisely the awkward surprise it contains. When we ask, For what purpose do I exist?, the answer does not lie in demonstrable purposes establishing my usefulness but in the acceptance of my existence as such and in what the Dutch biologist and philosopher Buytendijk has called the 'demonstrative value of being.' Recognizing this, we escape the dreadful questions of existence: For what purpose am I here? Am I useful? Can I make myself useful?" (p.19)
Do you agree? Why do you think you exist? Is that even a valid question, given Moltmann's concerns about demonstrating one's existential value?