Sunday, July 19, 2009

Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

My friend S gave me a copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, the emperor of the Roman Empire from 161 to 180 AD. In the book he quoted Socrates, ‘to avoid dying the worst of deaths’ - that is, the inability to return in kind benefits received.

It reminded me of a discussion with my students the importance of the existence of God. Some of the students did not think the existence of God is very important for them. I think otherwise.

If there is no God, then surely it would be foolish to pretend that there is. However, if God does exist, and if Jesus did sacrifice Himself for us, then it would be extreme ungrateful of us to ignore Him, wouldn’t it? A person with honour will want to return any favours. Surely we have to show our gratitude towards He who gave us our lives, and who loved us so much that He died for our sins?

It is not something that we can simply ignore. We have to answer that question: Does God exist?

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