The Great Questions of Life Don Cupit
Polebridge Press, 2005
Review by Lloyd Geering
It is sometimes said that religion constitutes our answer to the great questions of life. But what are these questions? Do the traditional religions answer questions that people no longer ask? Have we entered a period of such radical cultural change that even the great questions are being expressed differently?
Don collects into groups the questions he hears people asking. The first group look for a cosmic moral purpose into which we can fit our own life. (Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? ).
The second group deals with speculative questions. (Is there a God? Is death the end? How did it all begin?) A third group asks about chance and contingency. (Why is there anything at all and not nothing? What does it all mean?) Then he deals with questions that ‘arise around the margins of the modern worldview’. (What is ultimately real? Who am I? Is that all?) In less than 100 pages Don invites us to ponder the most basic questions of human existence and come to our own conclusions. While he provides many fascinating insights he offers no final answers, for the time for dogmatic answers, as given in the past, has come to an end. We must live with the questions and the way we live our lives constitutes our answer.
‘Religion has to change sharply’, says Don, ‘Instead of being a way of escaping from time, chance and death, it will have to become a way of accepting and affirming this life, with all its limits, as a package deal.’ This is a book that a discussion group would find very profitable to work its way through and, short though it is, many weeks could be spent in the process.