Skip to comments.The Absurdity Of Life Without God - William Lane Craig
Posted on 12/16/2008 10:31:38 AM PST by Michael Eden
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Fantastic. Thank you for posting this.
It was Whittaker Chambers who observed the great struggle we face is really between those who put their faith in God versus those who put their faith in man.
The recent controversy in the state of Washington regarding the atheist diatribe displayed next to the nativity scene reminded me of this as well.
Why does this author believe those ultimates are necessary?
And yet, I still want to live the most virtuous life that I can. Imagine that.
If there's one thing that we know for sure, one thing that even believers cannot argue, it is that faith alone is by absolutely no means a guarantee of virtue.
Now, I want to be perfectly clear that none of this shows that biblical Christianity is true. That is to say, it seems to me positively irrational to prefer death, futility, and despair to hope, meaningfulness, and happiness. As Pascal said, "we have nothing to lose, and infinity to gain." The cosmic orphan can come home.
I don't see how this person thinks that a half-hearted retread of Pascal's Wager is going to convince anybody who has had a serious thoughtful discussion with themselves and found and that they don't believe. You can't force yourself to believe something that in your mind you know not to be true.
I've thought long and hard about Pascal's bet and I have no wish to believe in a fairy tale just because the fairy tale might be more pleasant. I'd rather deal with the real world and accept that the physical universe cares not a whit for my existence, and it's up to me to preserve it and enjoy it for as long as I can.
It doesn't seem to occur to him either that many people do not want to live under the thumb of a celestial dictator who watches your every move. If Biblical Christianity says that all non-Christians go to hell, then I wouldn't want to go to heaven anyway. I actually take more hope, meaning, and happiness in knowing that it's all not true anyway.
Does the naturalistic worldview give us adequate reason to consider beings originating by chance valuable and worthy? Could a being whose origins are so iffy trust his own capacity to know? If consciousness is simply an epiphenomenon of matter, perhaps the appearance of human freedom which lays the basis of morality is an epiphenomenon of either chance or inexorable law.
I am going to print this and save it.
Mega bump for l8tr
It is truth that matters; choosing is irrelevent. The truth will remain the truth regardless of your choice, and the choice is bigger than just atheism or Biblical Christianity. There are a multitude of belief systems.
Decades ago I reasoned as you have. Then one day I took a look at the other side of the coin. As this author points out Hope has no meaning without Grace and Resurrection. Merry Christmas!
There are a multitude of “belief systems” but only one relationship that offers Grace. That is Truth.
You could be right
You're by definition using inductive reasoning. You could not have possibly studied every other belief system present across all mankind..
And you've ironically chosen the religion which happens to be the majority where you were born and live, much as people have done since the beginning of time. Geography is the number one indication as to what belief system you have.
Au contraire. One need not, for example, follow every single belief system that is polytheist to know that it is wrong by virtue of there being only one God. Therefore, it’s been narrowed down to possibly 3 belief systems. Of those, 1 pretty much contradicts the other 2, so that narrows the possibilities even more, doesn’t it...
Talking about the alleged absurdity of life if there is no God confuses the true issue. The existence or non-existence of God is not the real point here, since I'm sure that the author would readily agree that his life would still be meaningless even were God to exist, but if at the same time his soul were nonetheless to simply "revert to nothingness" after he dies.
Some may feel that that is a subtle distinction, but I think that it's important to distinguish between the supposed "absurdity" of life per se given the non-existence of God and the "absurdity" of life in spite of the existence of God, but if Man possesses no immortal soul.
Does anyone follow me here, and could they imagine their lives nevertheless having meaning, even if of limited duration? (After all, most sincere believers will readily confess that they can't know that they'll be "saved.")
Mark for later. Nice article.
1. With a few trivial word substitutions, the entire argument could be framed as an equivalent choice between (for example) Islam and atheism. Thus, the exact same argument supports the conclusions "You should accept Christianity" and "You should accept Islam". Obviously, these conclusions are mutually exclusive. An argument that is equally supportive of two mutually exclusive conclusions cannot be valid.
2. The argument implicitly assumes the existence of a deity who will look favorably upon belief motivated by a desire for reward (in this case, relief from existential angst). If, instead, there is a deity who looks favorably upon the ability to suck it up and bear with a bit of angst, the argument leads to the conclusion that atheism is actually preferred -- and yet there is no way to know in advance which alternative is correct.
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