Zingeving in het seculiere denken

Uit een interview met Tim Keller over zijn nieuwe boek Making Sense of God.

Rejecting “discovered” meaning, secular persons are left with only “created” meanings. How do these contrasting perspectives lead to the cultivation and suppression of thought, respectively?

As I mentioned, secular people espouse a materialistic view of the universe. When we die, we rot, and eventually no one will remember anything we’ve done. There will be no civilization to remember anything that was ever done. Nothing we do will make any lasting difference. Life is ultimately meaningless.

I believe the only way to “create one’s own meaning” in that context (e.g., by spending time helping the poor) and have a meaningful life is to suppress—to not think too much about your actual position. If you say to secularists, “You know, in the end nothing you do matters,” they will say, “Don’t be morbid; don’t think about that.” So meaningfulness comes through suppression.

For a Christian it’s the reverse. If you’re feeling down, like your life isn’t really counting, the solution is to cultivate rationality—to think more. Remind yourself that Jesus died for you and your future is secure, and that God is in charge of history and we will live forever with him in glory.

Secularists, then, get through ordinary life by not thinking too much about their view of the universe. Christians get through life by thinking more and more about it.


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