Wed, May 5 2010 10:17 AM William Green

How should we live?

How should we live? 

For God?  For reason?  For others?  For the earth?  For "humanity"?   If we answer any of these, then the next question is, why?  Why should we live for God?  Why according to reason?  Why for others, the earth, or humanity?

The only reasonable answer to this question is that to do so will increase our own sense of fulfillment.  What other reason could there be?

Why does God's will matter to us?  Why does reason matter to us?  Why do others, or the earth, or humanity matter to us?  Is it not because living for these things produces in us a sense of fulfillment?  If not, why else? 

To claim to act without this self-interest is to claim to act without reason.

Reason demands self-interest in all things.

But this does not imply what is typically called "selfish" behavior.  On the contrary, "altruistic" behavior can be the source of great personal fulfillment.  If I live for fulfillment, I will love, show compassion, live with honor, take responsibility, work hard, delight in the beauty of nature, cultivate relationships, fight for justice.

I will be a hedonist, in John Piper's sense of the word when he advocated "Christian Hedonism"--living for the pleasure found in a relationship with God.  I will live for the pleasure of living (loving, working, caring, protecting, fighting, striving, relaxing, beholding), and for nothing else.  What else is there?

To live this way is to be truly human.  To live any other way is to be a slave and an automaton.

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