Thursday, December 5, 2013

Purpose and Meaning Without God? Part 1

I would like to break from my traditional format of facts, evidence and logic and approach this blog at a philosophical angle. Atheism claims to be about science and facts. I have already talked about the flaws of their arguments against God and the Bible. Now I want to point out the problem with their worldview as it pertains to every day life.

Atheism is much more widely accepted in just about every facet of society today. Prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and the late Christopher Hitchens pride themselves on being self-sufficient, moral people without the help of a God or crutch called religion. They are aggressively, even evangelistically, teaching their doctrine of godlessness in institutions across the world.

They bring to bear an interesting supposition; there is nothing a Christian can do that an atheist can't.

I agree whole-heartedly. Just as Christians can (and often do) an atheist can see a need in society, have compassion and work to fulfill that need. An atheist can feed a hungry person, comfort a sad person, care for a child, dig a well in Africa to provide clean drinking water, clothe the homeless, etc. An atheist can seek justice for a crime committed or rally for a worthy cause. An atheist can love their neighbor, do good things in a community and be a bright spot in someone's day.

What an atheist can't do is provide a logical explanation based on their world view for the inherent moral compass of humanity. Everyone is born with a conscience. Yes, it can be seared, but initially every human being feels inside of them things like justice, compassion, and a desire to be better as well as guilt, shame and unworthiness.

Let's follow the logic of atheism to its end. An atheist says "there is no God." If there is no God, there is no divine creator of life. Evolution explains how we got here. We're all just cosmic accidents. The only thing that separates us from an ape is a few mutations and a few million years of evolution. We have no soul. We have no eternality. We have no purpose.

What hopelessness!

To make matters worse, if we are simply intelligent animals with no soul, then who's to say that we have some moral code to follow. Can't we live how we want? If we see something we like, can we not simply take it. Even if it belongs to someone else? If someone annoys us or makes our life painful or difficult, why not just kill them.

Or, if we cannot find satisfaction, love or fulfillment in this life, why not just commit suicide and cease to exist?

When followed to its end, atheism provides no hope, no answers, no meaning to life. An atheist cannot say things like love, justice, hope and purpose. At least, they can't say these things and remain honest, consistent atheists.

The truth is that we are created in the image of God. A Christian can say "I love you" because he/she knows the love of God. A Christian can say "don't lie" because he/she has been commanded be God not to lie and knows the negative ramifications of disobeying that command. A Christian can get out of bed every morning with a smile on his/her face regardless of circumstances because they know that "all things work together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose."

Did you catch that? Purpose! What a wonderful word.

Here's another one: hope.

A Christian who is filled with God's spirit has experienced "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Friedrich Nietzche was an atheist who understood the ramifications of a godless society. He was honest and consistent with his beliefs. He penned the “Parable of the Madman.” (Link posted below) In this parable the madman (Nietzche) explains to a group of bystanders in the marketplace that God had died and that they (the onlookers and the madman) were responsible for His death. He then speaks in great detail of the consequences of such an action. At the end of his rant he realizes and states that he was too early and that the people were not ready to hear what he had to say. He says “This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men…deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves.” (emphasis in original)

We are now seeing and have seen what Neitzche was talking about. Vicious dictators who were atheists and haters of Christianity have killed millions and millions of people in this past century. Hitler is just one example. 

The atheist worldview is just not livable. People cannot live without hope, purpose and meaning in their lives. God created us with a desire for relationship but even the most fulfilling relationships with other people cannot completely satisfy. Someone said that we are all created with a “God-shaped hole” in our lives. True fulfillment, true hope, true purpose and meaning only comes through living life as He intended it to be lived. And that’s why we have the Bible. It instructs us on how to align our lives with His will. 

C.S. Lewis explains a universal truth about human nature. People are often baffled at the simplistic notion of the passing of time. "Has it really been 5 years?" "You've grown up so much!" We say silly things sometimes. Of course time passes. It's a reality we have all been familiar with since we were old enough to comprehend it. So why does it surprise us so much? Lewis compares this peculiarity to a fish being constantly surprised by the wetness of water. The only explanation, he proceeds to explain, is that we were made for another world. We were made for eternity.

There’s so much more here that I could talk about, but once again, time restrains me. I hope this series of blogs has been a blessing. I hope you have learned something, or that I at least provoked you to think about some things on a deeper level. 

At any rate, it’s finals week and I’m extremely busy. God bless and have a wonderful holiday season! Don’t forget the reason!

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