Are Our Souls Restless?

Does every individual search for God?

Bill Moyers on Faith and ReasonIn his television series entitled Faith and Reason, Bill Moyers asked Mary Gordon whether she thought Augustine’s quote was true.

Augustine opens The Confessions with praise of God, and follows this with one of the most famous passages in all of Christian literature — his introductory observations about the individual’s restless search for God.

The-Confessions-Augustine-Boulding-300x300Augustine says, in a prayer, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord.” Whether or not we seek God, or even believe in God, is that restlessness a universal aspect of the human condition or something that is subjective and/or arbitrary?
Furthermore, from the Objectivist perspective, is there a hunger inside of each human being that causes a restlessness? If so, what satisfies that restlessness? These are the kinds of questions that are at the root of (what I think is) a healthy conversation between Objectivists and Christians. If we can agree on what we are seeking–the fulfillment of our lives as human beings–we can begin to ask about how to reach the destination in the best possible way.

Do you think that each individual has a longing in his heart? Would that be a good thing?

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One thought on “Are Our Souls Restless?

  1. > Human life – achievement, joy, love, friendship, etc., and the amazing universe we live in are profoundly meaningful without any alleged supernatural elements.

    If “supernatural” means “magic, ghosts, and goblins” then I agree with that statement. But if “supernatural” means something more along the lines of “eternal, spiritual, and more-than-worldly” then I don’t.

    If life in this world is all there is, and when you die physically then all your experiences and memories die with you, that is something that would make me think that human life, achievement, joy, love, etc. were all ultimately meaningless. They’d lead nowhere except a 6-foot hole in the ground, and once a person died then poof, their experiences, emotions, etc.
    all disappear as though they never happened. And although what I do in life affects others and they will remember me…they’re headed for 6-foot holes just like I am. So ultimately my experiences, theirs, and everyone else’s…all meaningless.
    > I think it’s worth some introspection to see whether this is true for oneself.

    Yes I think it certainly is, but again it depends on one’s interpretation of “supernatural”. In that passage Rand seems to be casting “faith in the supernatural” as “blind faith in unknowable mysticism”. No one should ever
    choose that. But it’s not the same thing as realizing that there are things that you don’t yet understand.

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