Without God as the foundation of life it is hard to find meaningful existence. He is the foundation of meaning. History tells us that without God worldviews and ideologies fail even as meaning is being sought in current narratives and courses, however worthy they might be. They can never satisfy the inborn soul search of man: what is the purpose of man?
Here is why.
- Atheist Richard Dawkins: there is no meaning.
The universe we observe, with its blind physical forces and genetic replication (selfish genes), has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is and we dance to its music. – the words by Richard Dawkins an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. An atheist and writer of, amongst many other books, ‘The God Delusion’
As a materialist and atheist one is forced to come to no other conclusion than Dawkins did. To try and create meaning in life with this worldview, one has to be dishonest and delude yourself, as ultimately nothing has meaning.
So how do you live honestly without God? Some suggestions by famous thinkers and atheists: Friedrich Nietzsche – ‘Face the absurdity of life and live valiantly’ or Bertrand Russel – ‘Come to terms with life by realizing the world is a terrible place’, and Albert Camus – ‘Honestly recognize life’s absurdity and then live in love’ (Frank Turek, Christian Apologist, would say ‘stealing from God’ to make sense of life’. God is the only source of love).
With a worldview that there is no God you cannot live honestly – believing there is no ultimate meaning in life, and be happy, with the sword of ‘no ultimate meaning’ hanging over you head. You have to delude yourself to believe you can live honestly, happy and meaningful when there is no ultimate meaning.
People will keep on searching for meaning, it is engraved onto the soul.
- Douglas Murray: people try to find meaning elsewhere, as religion has collapsed in many lives, and even more so in the Western World.
I have a lot of respect for Douglas Murray, a British author and political commentator, founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion and associate editor of the British political and cultural magazine The Spectator. I think his insight into current issues, social and political, are astounding. Quoting him is not so much about what he said but more about what came out of the discussion about modern worldviews and the meaning of life.
Modern Society in Denial. Douglas Murray https://youtu.be/1dgaUjH-kJ0
Douglas Murray, ‘Something incredibly deep has happened in our societies. Collapse of the grand narratives. For the first time in human history man has no explanation for what we are doing here and no story to tell about what we should do other than through other narratives though weak, eg accumulate as much money as possible and enjoy life – fairly shallow’ Reminds me of Ecclesiastes 1: 1-3 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
‘This is the consequence of collapse of religion, which is very much irreversible now, the collapse of all major political ideologies other than capitalist economy. And recently a lot of confidence was lost in capitalism. We have run out of things to believe in and pretend to just find your own meaning in the world. So people get caught up in new ideologies. Justice movements is a way to give life meaning. Equal rights for women, LGTB, race rights are good but are the products of liberal rights but except of being the product of it we have flipped it around and trying to sit on the products that can’t support itself. Each are more unstable than we are willing to admit. E.g. being gay, still a lot unknown, we know so little about trans people, women’s rights, and racial issues are so deeply complicated, these problems are very complicated, and we don’t know much about it.‘
Good causes are good, but like most things in life, can give meaning and satisfy the soul for only limited periods of time.
- William Lane Craig: life without God is absurd.
‘Man is the only creature who asks ‘why?’. Without God the answers are dark and terrible; we are only the by-product of nature, the result of matter + time + chance. There is no reason for our existence, and we will end up in death.’ William Lane Craig, Christian Apologist.
Very little, more likely none at all, of what an individual did who lived a hundred years ago,, or any time in history, are remembered today and none of their acts of right or wrong, good or bad, has any significance today – unless the individual was very famous and or did very remarkable things in his or her lifetime. Even these famous are remembered for the significant thing they did but none of their day to day acts; moral decisions, acts towards others, love and kindness shown or withheld, possible cruelty, have any significance today. All forgotten into the endless space of time.
Each individual will die, the whole human race and the universe will cease to exist. And end up as a cold, dead, lifeless, lightless universe swallowed up by black holes. If the human race then end up in nothing, with no conscious mind knowing or remembering its existence, then the human race is ultimately nothing, has ultimately no meaning. What you do today is only important today to satisfy your selfish genes and propagate them to an ultimate meaningless end.
The modern western society, to a large extent, has lost its moral compass, has lost its meaning in life. It tries to find meaning in social justice movements, which in itself is good, but can never satisfy the yearning of the soul. (LGBT, race, woman’s rights, green environment, humanism serving the less fortunate, etc)
- Timeless Truths and Meaning: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’ John 14:6
The struggle to find meaning is not new, it has forever been in the hearts of men.
Around 950 B.C.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.” Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?“ Ecclesiastes 1: 2-3
And around 400 BC St Augustine wrote that there is a God shaped void in each human that only God can fill.
‘Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.’ Ecclesiastes 2:11 ‘For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of animals is the same. As one dies, so dies the other.’ Ecclesiastes 3:19
‘Then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend (everything) what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they can’t really comprehend it.’ Ecclesiastes 8:17
The conclusion of the writer on the ultimate meaning in life: : ‘Fear God (awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty) and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.’ Ecclesiastes 12:13
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22: 37-9
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
Why should you regard wisdom of thousands of years ago? Because 2 + 2 = 4, this has been true ‘for millions of years’ – has always been true and will always be true. Truth does not depend on time. And God is omnipresent – always present in all space and time, all the time the same time. And Christ is current, present and a reality in the lives of million of Christians today who has a living relationship with Him.
Furthermore, Christianity can be investigated for its truth. It is the only religion not based on ‘blind faith’ (Buddhism, Baháʼí Faith; endless search for the ever evading ‘enlightment’) nor fear (Islam; fear of hell, and the consequences suffered through family and friends if the faith is renounced) but Christianity is based on historical verifiable facts and a personal encounter with God. www.torquetalk.nl
If God made us to His image, Genesis 1:271, then we have a free will to love (not a dance to our DNA to propagate our genes re the atheist Dawkins’s worldview), free to appreciate the beauty in the creation, the beauty in music and art and find endless delight in recognizing and loving the Creator2. We can know and experience that He has a plan for our lives3 and eternal life4; an existence in the presence of the loving God5 who is love 6and nothing but good7.
(1So God created mankind in his own image. Genesis 1:27 2Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:2. 3 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future Jeremiah 29:11. 4 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16. 5, 2015 And if I go and prepare a place for you, … and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. John 14:3 6 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16. 7 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8)
Christianity is the only religion that can be factually investigated. If you doubt, think about the most important question ever asked in history and in the words of C.S Lewis, atheist turned Christian, there are only there possible answers to this question; Lunatic, Liar or LORD.
“But what about you?” He (Jesus Christ) asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Investigate the facts; the evidence for the resurrection, the reliability of the New Testament of the Bible, investigate the prophecies, everything you think Christians just accept as true. No, there are good, reliable evidence. For each.Follow us >>