THE PRINCIPLES OF RELIGION
Now, it is impossible for a limited, human being to determine the purpose of our existence. Likewise, it is impossible for a human being to determine the nature of how our existence came into being. Any attempt at such speculations using human logic alone, is futile, for, as explained above, we are limited and can in no way grasp that which is beyond limitations. Likewise, it is impossible for a human being to determine the path which will achieve the intended purpose of Creation and bring it to its ultimate fruition. One person will use his limited intellect and come up with one “purpose” and “path”, while another will come up with entirely different reasoning. Firstly, how are we to determine which of them is correct? Secondly, by definition, their opinions are both wrong, because they were solely determined through human intellect, which is constrained by its limitations.
We are, therefore, forced to say that if any information on the purpose of existence and the path to its fulfillment is to be known, it must, of necessity, come from that which is beyond our limited existence. More specifically, this knowledge must be bestowed upon us by the Creator Himself, for only He can know the purpose of His Creation and the path to its fulfillment. Therefore, only the Creator can inform us of our intended purpose. Likewise, only the Creator can inform us of the true nature of existence, both His and ours. Since we are limited, it is impossible for us to determine and know this through our own efforts and devices.
It is therefore clear from all the above, that for this to be known to man, the Singular Infinite Being Himself would have to reveal it. There would have to be prophecy, which is the revelation to us, from the Singular Infinite Being who is above and beyond limited existence. If someone were to claim to have attained this knowledge without having received it from the Singular Infinite Being (that is, without prophecy), but rather through his own devices, we would, of necessity, be forced to categorically reject it as false.
Now, it is clear from the fact that there is a passage of time from the period in which the intention for Creation has not yet been fulfilled, to the point of its ultimate fulfillment, that its fulfillment is not solely dependant on the Creator alone. If this was not the case, it would be completely superfluous for there to be a passage of time. Since the Singular Infinite Being is unlimited and beyond the constraints of time, He could skip straight to the end result, in which the intent and purpose would be fulfilled immediately. Therefore, we are forced to say that the Creator intentionally and specifically gave over the fulfillment of Creation to a created being, who, because of his limitations, can only fulfill it gradually.
This created being would need to be endowed with superior intellect and free will, so as to be capable of receiving the knowledge of the intended goal, and fulfilling it with intent and purpose, for if this creature fulfilled the intention reflexively, without thought or choice, the whole matter would be rendered a useless endeavor, for it would have been just as well for the Creator to have fulfilled it Himself, immediately.
Now, since it is, specifically, man, who has been endowed with superior intellect and free will, it is clear that he must be the creature that was chosen to fulfill the ultimate purpose of the Creator in His Creation and that the Creator intended to make His will known to us. Otherwise, it would be completely superfluous for us to possess intellect and free will, and we could simply be like all other creatures which fulfill their purpose instinctually, without thought or choice, just as it is the inborn essential nature of an animal to fulfill its purpose instinctually. Rather, we must say that we were endowed with intellect and free will so that we could be informed of our purpose and fulfill it, freely.
From the above it is clear that if there were no revelation from above (prophecy), there could not be any relationship between us and that which is beyond our own limited existence and certainly not with the Creator. Furthermore, there could not be any established path of life or standard of morality etc. Rather, each person would, of necessity, “follow” his own heart, for there would be nothing else to follow. What one person or society would see as moral, another could see as immoral, since there would not be any means to establish universal standards.
Moreover, if no purpose would be revealed to us from above, there would not be any imperative to abide by any laws or morals altogether, no matter what their source, and certainly, one set of laws or morals could not be held as superior to another. Rather, each person or society could follow the dictates of their whims and pleasures without regard to the will of a Creator, for no laws or morals would have been given by Him. Even physical punishment or death for transgressing rules set by social convention would be rendered meaningless, for ultimately, if no purpose were made known to us in regard to our existence, there would be no purpose to live for and it would make no difference whether we lived or died. It is therefore understood that without any Divine purpose and law, that is, a law received from the Singular Infinite Being, there could not be good and evil, reward and punishment, or any ultimate purpose to our existence whatsoever.
However, we cannot say that the Singular Infinite Being is compelled to inform us of our purpose, or to decree laws and morals upon His creatures. However, though He is not compelled to do so, nonetheless, He could choose to. This is because in order for us to be aware of purpose and to distinguish between good and evil etc., the Singular Infinite Being would have to inform us of it. As long as this information would be missing, it would be impossible to consider anyone as being either good or evil or as doing the will of G-d or going against it, since the will of G-d would not have been made known to us. Moreover, as long as this information would be missing, we would only be capable of following the whims of our hearts, because since revelation would not have been given from above, it would be quite futile to seek anything which is beyond our limitations, since, as explained above, that is beyond our capabilities.
The opposite is also true. As soon as such information would be revealed to man, he would no longer be justified in merely following the whims of his own heart. Rather, he would have to follow the will of G-d, and the laws decreed by the Singular Infinite One. Furthermore, once we would have this information, we could be certain that there is a definite purpose to our existence. If after this information would be imparted, a person would transgress the Divine will, he would be a sinner who transgresses the will of G-d. Certainly, we must also say that once this knowledge would be bestowed upon us, there would be an absolute definition of good and evil. That is, the definition of good would be the fulfillment of the will of the Creator, and the definition of evil would be the defiance and transgression of His will.
There would certainly also be positive consequences which would result from fulfilling His will and negative ones from transgressing them. That is, if there were Divine laws, but no consequences or results, they would be futile acts that lead nowhere. However, since, as explained above, the Creator did invest intent and purpose in His Creation, we are forced to say that consequences would have to result. Those who fulfill the will of G-d would reap positive results, and those who transgress it would reap negative ones. This is necessary to say, for if this was not so, no purpose would be fulfilled by doing the will of the Creator. There would, therefore, be no purpose in the Creator imparting it. Therefore, if His will is imparted, since, as explained above, there is purpose and intention, it is certain that its fulfillment would lead to positive results, and its transgression would lead to negative ones.