A: Uh –
B: Because He wants to, of course. He isn’t answering to a boss of any kind, is He? If so, then that boss is the real God.
B: Actually, I don’t believe that He does. Eternal Truth is what it is, and there’s nothing that anybody can do about it, not even God. In a sense, then, one might consider God as being responsible to Eternal Truth.
Now. Do you suppose God is sitting up there in the clouds, eternally watching movies and eating popcorn, or just in general lazing about the place doing whatever it is He feels like doing?
A: Well –
B: Yes and no, I should say. Of course He’s not lounging around all the time. However, I do think He’s doing what He feels like doing, because what He feels like doing is helping people.
A: Um – sure.
B: Now if God has a purpose to His existence – which one would presume He has – He must be using His time optimally so that He would accomplish that purpose.
A: And what is that purpose?
B: This happiness that I mentioned before, of course.
A: What do you mean, “of course?”
B: The pursuit of happiness really is the object of every, well, object in the universe that has any kind of ability to pursue anything. Take time to think about it: it is their modus operandi at all times. Why should God be any different?
B: If He’s not pursuing happiness, He must be pursuing misery. Do you really think God is pursuing misery?
A: Why not? Some people actually want to be miserable. Seriously!
B: In a way, they really are just pursuing their own twisted version of happiness. They believe they will be happy by being miserable – whether they’re feeling sorry for themselves, or are stubborn in some way, or just want to be right, or want to deny the truth, etc.
A: Oh, I suppose.
Well then, what kind of happiness is God pursuing?
B: This brings me to another particular of God’s nature: He loves everything perfectly. What does it mean to love perfectly? Well, you know what love is, don’t you?
A (wearing a goofy grin on his face): Well, that depends…are you talking love, or love?
B (sighing impatiently and rolling his eyes): Buddy…don’t be a goob. If you love someone, what does that mean? It means you are concerned for that person’s welfare; i.e., you want that person to be happy. If you don’t care whether that person is happy, then you are interested in that person for your own selfish designs, or you don’t have any interest in that person at all – either way, you don’t really love the person. So since God loves everyone, He wants everyone to be happy – perfectly happy. Ultimately, in the same way that He is happy. That’s perfect love.
A: You’re saying He’s completely altruistic in His motives in loving everyone?
B: Actually, I think He finds joy in love. Certainly people have found joy in love (meaning wanting other people’s happiness). He loves everyone not just because He wants their happiness, but because it makes Him happy. And this is the kind of happiness that God is pursuing.
Anyway, I imagine you’d like an answer to that question you asked a little bit ago, about why one would care about God’s omniscience, omnipotence, and creation of us?
A: Meh. I don’t really care. More than anything, I just want you to leave.
B: You’ll get an answer anyway. Since God loves us perfectly, we can then trust in Him to solve any problems we have. There is at least one way around every obstacle we face on our way to happiness – there must be, since He wants us to be happy, and if we can’t get past the various problems we face, we won’t be as happy as we otherwise could be. If the problem cannot be solved by God, it cannot be solved by anyone, and in that regard, we will have reached the maximum amount of happiness possible.
Furthermore, I have an answer to a question you asked way back, that is, what purpose God has to all of His works. We can take the concept of purpose further when we try to answer what it means for a thing to have happiness, which is to fulfill the measure of its creation. If God created it – which, as I assumed before, He did for all things – He must have had some kind of purpose for it. This concept may very well be central to our discussion about the definition of happiness. Because God is perfectly loving, He wants as much happiness for all His creations as possible. Therefore, a creature “fulfilling the measure of its creation” is enjoying the happiness that God intended for it when He created it. God’s purpose, then, is in having His creations (which include us ourselves) enjoy their maximum amount of happiness, and we enjoy that when we help others of His creations enjoy their maximum amount of happiness, and so on. More on this next time.