Is There Meaning to Life?
For More Information: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/meaning
Reasonable Faith features the work of philosopher and theologian Dr. William Lane Craig and aims to provide in the public arena an intelligent, articulate, and uncompromising yet gracious Christian perspective on the most important issues concerning the truth of the Christian faith today, such as:
-the existence of God
-the meaning of life
-the objectivity of truth
-the foundation of moral values
-the creation of the universe
-the reliability of the Gospels
-the uniqueness of Jesus
-the historicity of Jesus' resurrection
-the challenge of religious pluralism
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Is There Any Meaning to Life?
Y’know, nobody asked me if I wanted to exist.
Ha. You’re right!
Yeah, one day - boom - there you are! And you think to yourself, Why am I here?
Well, what do you think? Is there a reason we’re here? Do our lives have any real significance?
Well, that depends.
On whether or not God exists.
Wait ... hold on. Are you saying that my life has no significance because I don’t believe in God?
No, not at all. I’m saying that if God doesn’t exist, it doesn’t matter WHAT you believe ... our lives would have no objective meaning, value, or purpose. Many Atheists themselves recognize this: If Atheism is true, life is absurd.
OK...and why do they think that?
For starters, if God does not exist, then the physical universe is all there is - which means you and I are just accidental byproducts of nature, right?
That means we were not intentionally designed. So there’s no purpose for us being here!
It gets worse! If God does not exist, there is no absolute standard of moral value. You’ve heard of Richard Dawkins, the Atheist ... he points out that, in a materialistic universe, “There is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference...”
So you’re saying atheists can’t be good people?
No, I’m not saying that! Many Atheists live good lives. What I’m saying is Atheism fails to provide an objective basis for saying any particular action is good or evil.
Oh, come on. After millions of years of socio-biological evolution, humans have developed a sense of morality - we all know it’s good to feed a hungry child and bad to torture someone for fun.
Of course we do. But that’s precisely what Atheism cannot explain! If there’s no God, then what we consider right or wrong is nothing more than an accident of evolution or a human social convention.
So what? I’m good with that.
Really? Evolution implies survival of the fittest, not morality. And social convention means that racism, intolerance, and cruelty are not really wrong, they’re just currently out of fashion.
OK, so Atheists need to come up with some objective standard for rights and wrongs ... How about this: If an action leads to human flourishing, then we can say it’s objectively good. And if it doesn’t, it’s objectively evil.
But why think that human flourishing is good? Aren’t you being species-centric? Why not refer, instead, to the flourishing of rats? Or cabbages?
And who gets to decide what contributes to human flourishing? Hitler was convinced killing millions of Jews would promote human flourishing. And Margeret Sanger thought forcing poor people to be sterilized would lead to human flourishing. As Kai Nielsen, an Atheist philosopher, points out: “Pure practical reason ... will not take you to morality.”
So if Atheism is true, there’s no legitimate basis for saying that behaving one way is worse than behaving any other way. So it really doesn’t matter how you live your life! Your day-to-day choices are meaningless.