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Reasonable Faith 2: The Absurdity of Life Without God

02/09/2011

I think Luke does a great response:

The gist is that Craig is assuming that life must have God to be meaningful, but he does not back up what he means by “Ultimate Meaning” simply saying that life can’t have it, since it ends, and theres not God.

But even assuming God exists, where does meaning come from? If God intends us to worship him forever after death, I am still able to say, “So what?” and claim that this is a meaningless existence. Even if the quality were high, and I was happy for all eternity, ultimately, why should I really care? It seems that even if God exists, meaning must come from within, not without.

Kindle Notes:

Pascal argues that since the odds are even, reason is not violated in making either choice; so reason cannot determine which bet to make. Therefore, the choice should be made pragmatically in terms of maximizing one’s happiness. If one wagers that God exists and he does, one has gained eternal life and infinite happiness. If he does not exist, one has lost nothing. On the other hand, if one wagers that God does not exist and he does, then one has suffered infinite loss. If he does not in fact exist, then one has gained nothing. Hence, the only prudent choice is to believe that God exists (1036).

Note: False dichotomy. Perhaps God rewards those who use their reason and conclude God doesn’t exist. With no evidence either way, this family of options deserves equal weight.

Negatively, he tried to show that if the existence of God is denied, then one is landed in complete moral relativism, so that no act, regardless how dreadful or heinous, can be condemned by the atheist. To live consistently with such a view of life is unthinkable and impossible. Hence, atheism is destructive of life and ends logically in suicide (1053).

Note: Depends on what you mean by “morality.” Even without God, pain is worth avoiding, so why not a happy life be worth pursuing?

But there is one more stage along life’s way: the religious stage. Here one finds forgiveness of sins and a personal relationship with God. Only here, in intimate communion with one’s Creator, does man find authentic existence and true fulfillment (1076).

Note: From whence does this theistic meaning come?

For Carl Sagan the “Cosmos,” which he always spelled with a capital letter, obviously fills the role of a God-substitute. Though these men profess not to believe in God, they smuggle in a God-substitute through the back door because they cannot bear to live in a universe in which everything is the chance result of impersonal forces (1321).

Note: Boo WLC for saying that just because Sagan capitalized “Cosmos,” he had to have a God substitute. A source of wonder need not be defined as “God.” It is wrong to hijack the feeling.

Moreover, the only way that most people who deny purpose in life live happily is either by making up some purpose-which amounts to self-delusion (1323).

Note: And if God exists, whence meaning? Show how it is not also “made up.”

In order to be happy, one must believe in objective meaning, value, and purpose (1387).

Note: Is this true? It seems manifestly untrue. Craig would say that this just shows people are inconsistent.

According to the Christian worldview, God does exist, and man’s life does not end at the grave. In the resurrection body man may enjoy eternal life and fellowship with God. Biblical Christianity therefore provides the two conditions necessary for a meaningful, valuable, and purposeful life for man: God and immortality (1403).

Note: Craig still does not support his thesis that God can provide meaning. What meaning? Worshipping God forever?

Thus, we need not make him defensive by a frontal attack on his personal values; rather we offer him a foundation for the values he already possesses (1418).

Note: Perhaps this is wht Der believes. Unfortunately, only through a non-investigation of the issue can one think God is the answer.

Point out that without God to provide a transcultural basis for moral values, we’re left with socio-cultural relativism, so that such practices are morally unobjectionable-which scarcely anyone can sincerely accept (1423).

Note: False dichotomy. Depends on what you mean by morality. Harris’ conception would falsify this.

I sat down, but the point wasn’t lost on the audience. The next man who stood up said, “Wait a minute. I’m rather confused. I’m a pastor and people are always coming to me, asking if something they have done is wrong and if they need forgiveness. For example, isn’t it always wrong to abuse a child?” I couldn’t believe the panelist’s response. She replied: “What counts as abuse differs from society to society, so we can’t really use the word ‘abuse’ without tying it to a historical context” (1434).

Note: It sounds like Craig has a serious problem explaining the commanded genocide then. Heis inconsistent in his worldview if he says genocide is wrong.

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