A Matter of Meaning

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What gives one meaning in this world? It’s an age-old question, one that has been pondered since the dawn of conscious reflection, however far back that began.

Here I am just going to note down some reflections myself, as I don’t hold answers to this. I’ll do my best to explain how I am looking at this, without giving examples that could simply trip the thought process up by not being good enough. I lean a certain way towards each of these, but as I have found out time and time again, that does not mean I am correct in my leanings and subsequent decisions.

Is the grade/wage or societal level of an individual more important at distinguishing value to a wider group than the experience of an individual? It might seem like it’s a simple answer but influencing a group to take into consideration the experience of an individual when trying to make value judgements is something we rarely do today, both collectively and as a society. What do we really believe gives someone meaning?

As a group, say a business of some kind involved in selling commercial goods, how often do we strive to understand and incorporate an individual’s story over the individual facts that their working life presents? For example, within the stats focused world that we find ourselves in today, collecting key information, such as ‘clock in’ time, amount of emails sent/received, break time length, call volume, sale numbers (the list could go on) is far more useful than understanding an individual’s story and then best placing them within a framework that amplifies the known qualities of this individual based on their historic narrative. Do we want meaning, or are we simply after desired results? It might seem like a silly question, but everyone reading this wants meaning. The issue is that often within our life circles we are consistently willing to trade another individual’s meaning for our desired results.

Where do we find meaning within our personal life? I am told repeatedly that I am a human ‘being’ and not a human ‘doing’ and that I should spend time being far more often than I am doing. But doing creates capital as I spend money on my doing which stimulates the economy, so life becomes all about doing. From the adverts I watch to the events I look forward to at the weekend, rarely are they just being. Note here that I am fully aware that ‘being’ also involves spending money, say on items we use to spend time with others in conversation or meditation (or however you define ‘being’). But this isn’t even the heart of the meaning crisis I think we really have in this sector; I think we crave being but also want intimacy, and I am not sure that you can have both of these things at the same moment. Intimacy requires one to give of themselves, and I am not sure you can just ‘be’ in that situation as giving is a ‘doing’ act.

Again, here I am just trying to pop the lid off some of the thoughts I have been mulling over for the last few weeks, trying to show how there is so much confusion over an often ‘simple’ matter of meaning.

Is our value linked to our meaning, or is meaning simply a by-product of something else? Is it really as simple as grade/wage vs experience, being vs intimacy or facts vs stories? I don’t think so. But I think defining ‘value’ and ‘meaning’ in a post-Christian framework isn’t a simple task, and one the requires a lot of thought and work.

_End of Blog Blurb_

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It has taken me a few years to get to a place where I am able to share my loss of faith and to start writing about the journey that I am still on for you all. I hope you find it useful.

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Grammar, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation: I am massively dyslexic. It has taken me years to get to the level I am currently at with writing and I have done this mainly through reading. I want to be better and ask you, reader, to please forgive any errors in my writing. I hope you notice improvement upon improvement over the coming years.

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I’ll see you back here at the same time next week 🙂

-Sam

When Belief Dies #77 – 'Carts, Horses & Certainty' with Roger Bretherton When Belief Dies

This week Sam sits back down with Roger Bretherton to look at certainty and what Roger holds as his bedrock to his faith. The video version of this conversation can be found here on our YouTube channel 12 hours after the audio version goes live. Is a relational faith enough? Can it be pinned down? What would undermine this? Is there a circle that one can enter to start to know God? Is it someone's fault if they can't or don't believe in God? We close with a challenge for Roger to complete to push into this more effectively in the next conversation. *Note* I was wrong about where the verses about a hanged man being cursed are found in the OT, it's actually within Deuteronomy 21:22-23. *Note* Roger's Bio: Dr Roger Bretherton is Principal Lecturer for Enterprise in the School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln. He worked as a clinician, manager and trainer in the NHS for over a decade, and joined the University of Lincoln in 2007, where he specialises in coaching and positive psychology. You can find/follow Roger here:   Website University Page The GOD Lab – 8 Spiritual Experiments You Can Try at Home   Twitter (hermit) We hope you enjoy our show. When Belief Dies aims to honestly reflect on faith, religion and life. Your support via Patreon enables us to cover the costs of running this show and look to the future to make things even better as we build upon what we already have in the works. Please take a look and consider giving. Alternatively, you can support the show with a one-off gift via PayPal or Bitcoin. Use the following link to navigate to the website, to find us on social media and anywhere else we might be present online. #Podcast #Deconstruction #God #Agnostic #Christian #Atheism  #Apologetics #Audio #Question #Exvangelical #Deconversion #SecularGrace  #Exchristian
  1. When Belief Dies #77 – 'Carts, Horses & Certainty' with Roger Bretherton
  2. The Ehrman Episodes #1 – 'Christ & Christmas' with Bart D. Ehrman
  3. When Belief Dies #76 – 'Purpose & Pokémon' with Daniel Kelly
  4. When Belief Dies #75 – 'Handbooks, Atheism and Honesty' with Dr Joshua Bowen
  5. When Belief Dies #74 – 'A hell of a topic' with Daniel Kelly

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