The purpose of life?

What is the purpose of life?

While we have deduced no apparent purpose of our life via extensive scientific inquires except that we must make meanings of ourselves in how we choose to live. Can we then call in to question the credibility assigned to teleology in theology? In answering this question, Quran in a way gives a one statement answer with a preceding verse to remind men of their forgotten purpose.

Quran 51:55-56 And remind [O Messenger], for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers. And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.

I would like to leave a short note here- that worship told in verse 56 is not just praying at certain times but an overall conductance of life to please God.

What is the fun in God creating us to worship Him? Is it not very selfish of Him to do that? Our understanding would be fair if we construe God to just be another super-human. But, He is not another human-like creature. He is not a creature Himself. God is in-fact the creator of the cosmos and the giver of life and death. In this view, His being brutal or cruel to control us by throwing scares of hell before us: is, construed as information in epistemology as God’s laws governing His creation. Therefore, anything that is explained as part of His plan for us and the cosmos clearly is fair; in-fact fairer. Perhaps, we must see it in this aspect as not being brutal or cruel. And that, it is disdainful to even think: that it is condescending of an exalted being that He be worshipped by humble creatures’ day-in day-out. Such an attitude is nothing but drab.

Quran 4:172 Never would Christ disdain to be a worshiper of Allah, nor would the Angels near [to Him]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant – He will gather all of them before Him [to reckon].

What is reckoned as a sin in the wake of freewill? The knowledge derived from Quran helps us understand- that wilful disobedience to God after learning His prohibitions and to deny fellow humans their rights earns us sins. But, if we are in favor of reform God will shower His mercy because of our sincere penitence which will then necessitate God’s forgiveness to us.

Quran 6:54 And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say [O Muhammad], “Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He (God) is Forgiving and Merciful.”

It looks like we are rather made to endure a precarious situation by God. In which many people who aren’t worried to consider God an option in their lives possibly face His vengeance? Well! It is stressful as we become expendable in life and catch on vulnerability to think of as standing before God for having disbelieved in Him for our earlier part of life. Having lived by His grant, those who have taken to opinion God’s non-existence or it as a thing simply redundant to consume any consciousness- It will be a huge confrontation at their passing away when they will get to experience the unseen world of Angels who are entrusted to expedite procedures of dying.  In-fact it only takes an open-heart acceptance to see God as our creator. For some it is worth contemplating concerning this subject: in a way, reading critique of the opposing views to see God as clear as day. If any has rejected the proposition of God’s non-existence citing premises of credible-evidence having not surfaced by our scientific enquiry, he has thus, defaulted to favouring belief in God’s existence. This principle in my opinion is the simplest of all to make our situation far from precarious.

Quran 39:53-54 Say, “O My servants who have transgressed upon themselves [by sins and disbelief], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”

And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.

Wouldn’t this be detrimental to many of us, as determinism told in Quran will very much confront us for our disbelief. Clearly yes, it is detrimental to reap the consequences for not acknowledging God’s existence. God has promised not to wrongfully judge us for matters we stand cleared from. But, the punishments will be meted out: only equalling our crimes while blessings will be multiplied for rewards; as He is the Lord of mercy.

Why couldn’t God help us with an easy way to confer belief? Instead of the bothersome cognitive experiences consonant at times and the dissonant part of it regarding God’s existence. I wonder what stuff could slip-in more easy than being hard-wired in to our first neurons after the separation of cells has occurred during the early stages of our development. Per few narrations ascribed to Prophet Muhammad blessings on him, God ordains Angels to dispense life in to the developing embryos at about forty days. Though there are variations in many narrations of this exact number. Mention of this number fourteen centuries ago clearly implies a non-human source at work. Aided with modern science we can see this more visibly than any of the previous people. When the size of the embryo at this stage in development is about 4 mills, 0.38 cm to be precise. One could not expect this information up until pre-modern times owing to our instrumentation to observe small stuff. If you experience ultrasound imagery of a developing embryo at about 5-6 weeks, one could see the heart has assumed its role to function- pumping blood flow. Along with the development of heart, baby’s spine and the nervous system with organs like liver, kidney and intestines take shape. Baby’s limbs begin to grow before the brain waves are detectable in week 6 of its development. And then the lips, mouth and fingernails develop. Leading into the 7th week more details emerge as the baby acquires hearing in 8th week, sight in 7th month and brains continue to grow up until early childhood days. [Click here for reference].

Quran 32:9 As He (God) proportioned him and breathed into him of life and made for you hearing and vision and mind- little are you grateful.

The above verse is telling that God proportions all elements of organs at a very early stage in the embryo and then dispenses life. This is when the first interaction with God happens. At about 6 weeks into development, when we can observe brain waves it is indicative of neurons beginning to form in response to awe of the creator- The following verse sheds some light.

Quran 7:172-173 As and when your Lord summoned the children of Adam – reproducing from their loins – and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest they should say on the day of Judgement, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.”

Or [lest] they must say, “It was only personalities invoked by our fathers [besides God] and we were but descendants after them. Then would You destroy us for what the whimsical have done [to us]?”

It is so plain to know why the concept of God haunts us so much. It is a connect deep within. This is precisely the reason why: Even if human upbringing is done in seclusion to the found cultures having to discuss the know of God; yet his reflection concerning God is inevitable. The questioner explores towards our beginnings and no amount of supplement theories are potent to put it at rest. As is evident in Dr. Richard Dawkins’s reflection on- an encounter with God if it turns out to be for him after he dies. Also, to mention the detail of forty days comes as information elucidating verse 39:9 from a Hadees source. This is so big a deal if you think about it critically that “it is a neck-bending signature from God implying guidance to man”. Our scientific enquires also help us to identify the spurious narrations that were made known by people in zest around the actual talk. This new way of sorting correct information is essential to differentiate the Hadees narrations attributed to Prophet Muhammad. Quran is technically a different word. Not the words by Muhammad himself but revealed of God by Angel Gabriel. Some Hadees information is also inspired of God or effected by Gabriel or reasoned by Prophet Muhammad and narrated by his own effort by using his own words for it is unlike the word of Quran.

What is the benefit of fighting scepticism towards belief in God? To accrue rewards, as great as youthfulness lasting for aye, a place teaming with never ending enjoyments: for it God has setup up three simple check points. If any successfully demonstrates sincerity to God, testifying that no other personality is worthy of investing true faith as the Lord that gives life and death then such an endeavour stands to be acknowledged by God.

Quran 2.62 -Those who believe [in the Quran], and those who follow the Jewish [scriptures], the Christians and the Sabians [truth seekers]; any [among mankind] who believe in God, the Judgement before Him and works righteousness [doing good] shall have their reward with their Lord- On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

To summarise belief in God, His Judgement and doing good actions will never let us to suffer in afterlife.

Is cognitive dissonance typical of humans? Under cognition, conscious portion of it is observable in almost all living species. However, the knowledge of how? Many living organisms including microbes, organise cognition need to be researched. Particle physics has open a new can of worms- That even particles demonstrate cognition such as observed in a double slit experiment. Quran, confirms this discovery by alluding towards non-living objects paying due rights of worship to the Lord of the cosmos.

Quran 22:18 Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people! But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates – for him there is no one to bestow honour. Indeed, Allah does what He wills.

Dissonance perhaps is predominantly observable among human beings who are rather a responsible player on the planet. As we are given to justifying. A phenomenon not observed clearly in non-human species. Humans are prone to self-tasking the responsibility to erect justice within societies; for which they constantly pursue reasoning. Say, for example if the need to justify was put aside then the barrier separating truth and falsehood would collapse. And then life would become very reflexive with only rudimentary laws governing human behaviour. This is true and observable in human societies in-so-far where comparisons are drawn to the likeness of animals of those humans who lack the potential to build character upon enquiry. The case where-in an argument for legal advocacy after observing homosexual behaviour in animals is put forward- Is childlike. If asked whether he would further advocate polygamy and paedophilia or the rogue behaviour of bullying away the weaker males in the neighbourhood off their partners to broaden one’s prospects of siring? I guess, he would retrieve his first case: If sensible enough, one would concede dissonance by rationale.

But reasoning is relative. Although universal principles are conscionable, observations tell that preferences interwoven in traditions and cultures drive our societies. Truth-finding itself is a perpetual concept. To conclude God’s non-existence with no burden to shoulder proof is sheer arrogance. At best one can be a Sceptic or an Agnostic but never an Atheist. Cognitive dissonance could be resolved upon good evidences like facts or a rationale, it can be logical or empirical. But, good can always be better. In a case in Nairobi National Park with Maasai-Warriors in Kenya- Faced with the traditions and strong-traits of Lion hunting for several reasons other than just to defend their live-stock the Maasai-Warriors were driven into cognitive dissonance. Due to the declining Lion population: Among several measures considered to induce dissonance, such as compensation for losses, education to conserve nature etc. Law to deter by force has had outstanding success within Maasai-Warriors subject to traditions. Anything life threatening including incarcerations have been a functional means to induce deterrence in human psychology. [Watch a YouTube video on Maasai-Warriors here]. When a society exhausts conscionable means to educate and dissonance has not yet occurred then it resorts to introducing force to induce dissonance. This is just fair. As, it well seems to be a natural result to administer goodness. God similarly has threatened men against disbelief by setting up a place of Hell to induce dissonance. If God did not disclose His ordained means to deter men from disbelief, then men would label God as unfair anyway for not disclosing information prior to their judgement.

Quran 7:179 Indeed He has let sprung for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts but they dare not to understand, they have eyes but they do not see, and they have ears but they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.

A quick note- Jinn race lives parallel to us in our planet. Many among Jinn are zealous to whisper men away from God in disobedience. Satan is a person from the Jinn.

At a different level: Problems such as gambling, alcoholism and addiction to drugs can be easily eschewed by continuous education. Vices such as these show fruitless investments and life-threatening consequences. In a way, easy to highlight before people to help them steer-away from such elements that result in human sufferings. It is easier having said than done. How can one fight the pressures for social drinking? In this case faith and obedience to God rescues mankind like piecing a cake than mounting force to quell such vices. This is precisely why believers who practice obedience to God in such matters where law has minimal requirement to address the issue or law has an obvious reachability limit, will be rewarded a greater degree higher than others in Paradise.

Quran 76:2-3 Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may examine him; and We made him hearing and seeing.

Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful (is up to him).

Cognitive dissonance is in-fact evidence for God’s testing humans for their faith and action. To be just in disposition is the principle requirement of a believer in God. It is equivalent of bearing testimony that there isn’t another god worthy of consideration. Instituting clear justice is the manifestation of worship of God alone. The verse cited below constructs this exact equation.

Quran 3:18 Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the Angels and the People of knowledge standing firm on justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

God is the first witness that there isn’t another god. And creation other than us that aren’t subject to a test or dissonance concerning justice, worship God and does not dissent over His existence. While many people wrong themselves by blindly following wrong ways casted by their predecessors. But, of those who make sincere enquiry and are committed to do justice truly testify God’s existence. Which is a lot of hard-work- To fight bias and prejudice does not come easy to anybody.

The teleology of theology is that God is the final judge and all matters and disputes return to Him and at last justice will be served. No one will be wronged by the Knowledgeable and the Wise God. Can anyone deduce a conclusion on God’s non-existence in absence of clear knowledge?

Quran 50:28-35 [Allah] will say, “Do not dispute before Me, while I had already presented to you the warning.

The word will not be changed with Me, and never will I be unjust to the servants.”

On the Day, We will say to Hell, “Have you been filled?” and it will say, “Are there some more,”

And Paradise will be distanced near to the righteous, not far,

[It will be said], “This is what you were promised – for every returner [to Allah] and keeper [of His covenant]

Who feared the Most Merciful unseen and came with a heart returning [in repentance].

Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity.”

They will have whatever they wish therein, and with Us is more.

If God did not institute test for the recipients of freewill then evidential findings of dissonance would be a contradiction. In other words, if teachings from God did not allude toward this teleology then cognitive dissonance would infer a contradiction. The teleology aimed at recognising God and then to be fair and just is instrumental to successes in afterlife.

Quran 11:123 And to Allah belong the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth and to Him will be returned all matters, all of it, so worship Him and rely upon Him. And your Lord is not unaware of that which you do.

How can one justify the claim made by theology concerning teleology as true? In other words, how proximate to rightness can justified true beliefs be considered. The reality of all matters other than agreed upon by consensus is only subject to relative perception and knowledge thereof is therefore subjective. Some true beliefs as some falsehood: do not need justification as they are overly clear to common consensus although practice of falsehood is differed to discretion. But it is wise to time and again ratify beliefs for truth-worthiness via pursuing knowledge. Justification is only attainable up to a potential built to perceive knowledge. Justification then must at best be clear from association of lows. The range of lows can be falsehood, bad-logic, preference of weaknesses over truth and preference of kin, kith, race over justice etc. If then one assumes a belief which directs him towards goodness, then what ensues is that it is necessarily true as it evades falsification of it. However, certainty of true-cognition can only be restored at the expense of the probability of dissonance and its susceptibility. In informed theology, this probability is the test or examination that we endure as part of God’s plan to sort the best among us. In what is identified as afterlife post reconstruction of every human DNA, known as resurrection where certainty will prevail as the only norm. In chapter, the clear truth numbered 69 in Quran: God, the Truth, attributed in Arabic as Al-Haqq informs about the certain-truth, which is worth our reflection.

The purpose of life, therefore is that we acknowledge God and hope to certain our beliefs by believing that we will meet Him one day. Which we can achieve by a solitary endeavour or by organising our societies towards bringing forth collective goodness for that exact purpose.

Image Credits-

Click here  by Annette Kölzow