Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Absurdity of Life Without God

Monroe County

Several years ago I was invited to speak at Wayne State University in Detroit about the existence of God. I was wondering how, more specifically, I should go about this. I decided to call William Lane Craig, who is an old friend of mine (Bill was one of my first campus pastors, and I sang in his wedding). Bill suggested that I speak on "The Absurdity of Life Without God." So I did.

What does this mean? Here's Bill explaining this idea, from his book On Guard.

"My claim is that if there is no God, then meaning*, value*, and purpose* are ultimately human illusions. They're just in our heads. If atheism is true, then life is really objectively meaningless, valueless, and purposeless, despite our subjective beliefs to the contrary.

This point is worth underscoring, since it's so frequently misunderstood. I'm not saying that atheists experience life as dull and meaningless, that they have no personal values or lead immoral lives, that they have no goals or purpose for living. On the contrary, life would be unbearable and unlivable without such beliefs. But my point is that, given atheism, these beliefs are all subjective illusions: the mere appearance of meaning, value, and purpose, even though, objectively speaking, there really isn't any. If God does not exist, our lives are ultimately meaningless, valueless, and purposeless despite how desperately we cling to the illusion to the contrary." (30)

Of course. As many atheists in history have rightly acknowledged.

*Meaning - having to do with significance; why something matters.

*Value - having to do with good and evil, right and wrong.

*Purpose - having to do with a goal; having a reason for something.

If God doesn't exist, none of these do, either.