Discovering Your Destiny: Part 1

The final topic in this four part series is Destiny. What is our destiny? Do we even have one at all? Does the concept of destiny even make sense? Answers to these types of questions depend on your worldview. Based on the last 3 posts, Origin, Meaning and Morality, I am sure it will be obvious to many people which direction we are headed.

So let’s begin as always, with my favorite worldview to use as an example – atheism. In an atheistic worldview, there is no meaningful destiny. We are just smart animals – some smarter than others – and when we die our decomposing bodies will feed other animals. That’s really all there is. Whether we work hard, play nice, accumulate wealth, support our favorite charity, or live like Mother Theresa or Adolf Hitler – our end is always the same.

In many ways, an atheistic worldview is like a game of Monopoly. You can get lucky, make lots of money, own some property, and even buy a railroad. When the game ends, however, everything goes back in the box.

I realize, of course, just because you or I want to believe in an ultimate destiny for mankind, it doesn’t mean there is one. If atheism is true, then everything I’ve said is also true, whether we like it or not. But why should anyone believe atheism is true? As we have seen, atheists have serious questions without answers. Questions like: Was the universe caused by something or nothing? Can we really determine morals and human consciousness from random particles smashing together? How did life emerge from non-life by chance, if the best scientists in the best labs can’t create it? These questions, to name a few, are gaping holes in the atheistic worldview. Our innate sense of justice – something we cannot escape from – should also be a strong deterrent from embracing atheism. After all, we know evil is a real thing. And if there is nothing but the cold dirt waiting for us, then every act of injustice will go unpunished. All who suffered at the hands of evil people ultimately have the same fate. There is no justice; just our DNA dancing around until it dies. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

For those who are Buddhist or Hindu, the concept of destiny may be even more depressing. In this worldview, the best they can hope for is to do more good than bad in this life and be reincarnated as someone better. If however, someone lives a life containing more bad than good, then they will likely come back as a crippled person, a homeless person, or maybe even an animal. People are destined to carry on in this never-ending cycle of reincarnation until they reach Moksha or Nirvana, at which point they will cease to exist! Millions of years of living crappy lives, until you are finally good enough to POOF out of existence, doesn’t sound any more fun than rotting in the dirt.

Within Islam, a final judgement definitely exists. However, it is ultimately up to us to accumulate more good than bad in our lives, then the scales will be tipped in our favor. Anyone who is honest knows it is difficult to do more good than bad throughout their entire lives. In fact, the oppressiveness of the entire system leaves devout Muslims engaged in a lifelong battle to compulsively track their daily actions. Some have been known to go as far as walking to the mosque and counting every single step in hopes that each one would count as a good deed in their favor. The reality is – no one wins in this system. In the end, even Muhammad was not sure if he would go to heaven, which should be a scary thought to anyone who adheres to this worldview. If the founder of the religion didn’t have assurance, neither will anyone else.

Since we now have an understanding of these different worldviews, my next post will address the claims of Christianity to show that they are not only more reasonable, logical, and supported by evidence, but also that they leave a lot more room for optimism.

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