When I was in the eighth grade, my teacher had a poster stuck on the wall that explained the meaning of happiness. I believe (though I am not fully sure) that the quote was from Johnny Cash.
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me that I didn’t understand the assignment, but I told them that they didn’t understand life.Johnny Cash
This quote really got me thinking about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Of course, we already know that the answer is 42, according to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But in all seriousness, I have struggled to find an adequate response to that question. Scientifically speaking, we are no different than any other creatures, or even inanimate material for that matter (pun intended). As a result, I find it quite surprising when people claim that humans were created to spread good throughout the universe. With regard to religion, there are many truths that are evident in unconventional places. Modern religion is highly monotheistic and speaks of a God that cares deeply for the welfare of the human world. Yet there is still evil in the world. In Hinduism, for example, there are a multitude of gods that, just like those of the Greeks, treat humanity like pawns on a chessboard. As a result, it is to these gods that Hindus pray, asking for protection and other favors. On top of all of this is the fundamental being of existence, the Brahman. No one ever prays to him, nor are there any temples built to honor him. The reason for this is that the Brahman is so fundamental that he does not care for humanity nor for the universe. Whatever happens in the universe is completely irrelevant. Why is it that in monotheistic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, that God is so concerned with humanity? In the grand scheme of things, we are absolutely nothing. This is question that really has no simple answer, yet it warrants a discussion between all of the faiths.