I have a philosophical problem with submitting my destiny to a higher being.
In a discussion on religion at a website called Pharyngula, a commenter wrote that:
In all things, I have peace, because I know God loves me, and I know He has a plan, a purpose, and a destiny for my life.
Slaveowners had a plan, purpose and destiny for their "property", and cattlemen have a plan, purpose and destiny for their livestock. Somehow in neither case are the objects of this attention comforted by this. Explain to me again why one should follow the alleged plan of an alleged creator? And do you always do exactly what your mother tells you?
Which shows how difficult it is to marry liberal modernism and religion. Liberal autonomy theory tells people that what really matters is that they are self-determining individuals who author their own lives. This conflicts with the Western religious view in which we are created by God and that by submitting ourselves to God we live according to the essential truth of our being.
It is possible for a vast gulf to open up between liberal secularists and the religious. For the second liberal quoted above the religious view is a degrading one, reducing individuals to slaves and cattle. For the religious it is the secular liberal view which limits the nature and purpose of human life.
It's interesting that Pope Benedict has recognised the significance of this line of division. In a papal homily he has spoken of the temptation of men to think:
that God is a rival who curtails our freedom and that we will be fully human only when we have cast him aside; in brief, that only in this way can we fully achieve our freedom.
The human being lives in the suspicion that God's love creates a dependence and that he must rid himself of this dependency if he is to be fully himself. Man does not want to receive his existence and the fullness of his life from God.
He himself wants to obtain from the tree of knowledge the power to shape the world, to make himself a god, raising himself to God's level, and to overcome death and darkness with his own efforts. He does not want to rely on love that to him seems untrustworthy; he relies solely on his own knowledge since it confers power upon him. Rather than on love, he sets his sights on power, with which he desires to take his own life autonomously in hand. And in doing so, he trusts in deceit rather than in truth and thereby sinks with his life into emptiness, into death.
Love is not dependence but a gift that makes us live. The freedom of a human being is the freedom of a limited being, and therefore is itself limited. We can possess it only as a shared freedom, in the communion of freedom: Only if we live in the right way, with one another and for one another, can freedom develop.
We live in the right way if we live in accordance with the truth of our being, and that is, in accordance with God's will. For God's will is not a law for the human being imposed from the outside and that constrains him, but the intrinsic measure of his nature, a measure that is engraved within him and makes him the image of God, hence, a free creature.