Why Was I Born? | Existential Podcasts

Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to by the kind financial support of listeners like you. Become our patron for as little as $3 month to gain access to the weekly series Our Sunday talks, which focuses on topics related to spirituality and spiritual growth. Learn more at LivingHour.org/Sunday. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Adventures in Common Sense by Dr. Frank Crane, published in 1916.

There is one question upon whose answer rests the success or failure of life. It is the question: “Why was I born?” A strange fact is that nobody knows the answer. The purpose which the Creator had in mind when it made me and you has never been known, never will be known. Curious that the most fateful of all problems should be forever unanswerable! We may Believe this or that to be the reason why we were created; but we cannot Know.

Notwithstanding this fact, the net result of my life depends upon The Theory I form to answer this query. But how can I tell which theory is best when there is no means of knowing which one is true? Well, there is a way to tell which theory is, if not true, at least approximately true. This way is suggested by what is called Pragmatism. That is to say: The answer most likely to be true is the one Which Will Work.

We cannot answer the question “Why was I born?” by investigating Causes. The secrets of life are beyond us. The Creator will not be interviewed. But we can select an answer by noting Results. For instance, you might say, “I was made in order that I might get all the pleasure possible out of life.” But this solution means wreckage. Its fallacy is proved by the addictions, madness, adulteries, and heart-breaks that constantly attend the end of the pleasure seeker.

How about: “I was made in order that I might escape this evil world and get safely into a better one after death.” Such an answer leads logically to the asceticism that marked the dark ages and the hard morbidity that characterized Puritanism. Meanwhile, “I was born to labor for others” means a race of slaves. “I was born to live and to enjoy myself upon the fruits of others’ labor” means a class of snobs.

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