Why is Christian Apologetics important and Why would a Life without God be Untenable?
“You believe in God? Tell me, what evidence do you have that God even exists?”
“Oh, I can give you at least 5 good reasons, evidence for His existence! And more if you have the time!”
In 1 Peter 3:15 we read ‘Always be ready to give a logical defense’ (be ready to explain it). This is what Christian Apologetics is about.
In Greek this term apologia means well-reasoned and thought-out reply (response)
Christianity is the only ‘religion’ with a history based on verifiable facts
For whom is Christian Apologetics?
◦ All Christians – the Great Commission Matthew 28:19 ‘ ‘ and to strengthen our own faith
◦ Parents with children
◦ The skeptic and the atheist – to put a pebble of truth in his/her shoe
and pray that the Holy Spirit will change the pebble into a seed that will grow
What does the Scripture say about apologetics? A few important verses from the Bible.
- ‘Always be ready to give a logical defense (be ready to explain it) to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance that is within you, yet with gentleness and respect’ 1 Peter 3:15 If we have the knowledge, we don’t have to be anxious about how to answer, we can calmly give a good answer and that will make people think more about what we’re saying and the responses. If we have the knowledge, there should not be any reason to feel apprehensive in any situation.
- ‘Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone’. Colossians 4:5-6 Seasoned with salt, meaning real meaning and truth in your response that people will remember what say. Do it with grace. We as Christians must offer graceful truthful answers even as we might experience opposition like – ‘You’re not talking sense’-. Ask ‘Why do you say that? Which of the facts I presented are non-sensible and why?’
- ‘We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’. 2 Corinthians 10:55
- ‘See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ’ Colossians 2:8 It is always important to bring people back to the point and point it out if they are attacking you as a person. ‘Let’s talk about the argument instead of me’ By the same token, we’ve got to be careful not attacking them. If we talk to people about Christ, even if they come with really confronting and difficult arguments, we should carefully listen to them and hear what they say. It is important to defend what we believe and why but also challenge them in what they say. ‘Why do you say that?’ ‘How did you come to that conclusion?’ ‘Or what are the sources of your knowledge for what you’re saying?’
We can be in a position to demolish every argument, every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God if we equip ourselves well. Christ, who created heavens and earth is the truth and we have the truth on our side. If we gain the necessary knowledge, no one can stand up against the truth of Christianity.
A large number of philosophers in the world are non-Christians, and some are outspoken atheists with very clever arguments. But if you carefully sit back and think about what they are saying, and listen to Christian philosophers’ arguments, one can always come to really good responses.
There 10 important questions one can ask the non-believer and help them to rethink their position. These questions form a strong basis for Christian apologetics and we as Christians should familiarize us with the answers.
- How do you get something from nothing? The beginning of the universe.
- How do you get life from non-life? What is life?
- How do you get a mind, consciousness, from matter?
- How do you get design without a designer? The fact that everything around us looks as if designed.
- How do you solve the problem of evil? No God, no evil, but evil is real.
- How can life be insignificant, have no value? If we are mere matter in a purposeless universe, what gives us value?
- How can life be meaningless – if there is objectively/ultimately no meaning, no goal with the existence of the universe?
- How can there be no free will if we are just a physical brain and nothing more?
- How can there be no human identity? Your physical body is always changing. Why do you stay the same person?
Let’s look at a few of these questions
1. How do you get something from nothing?
The Bible teaches that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Throughout history scientists for millennia, believed that the universe was eternal. There was no beginning which was in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches. Before God created there was nothing.
From the early 20th century Astro-physical evidence emerged that there was an actual beginning and in the mid-60s, this concept became the accepted model under the scientific population worldwide. It was accepted that there were a beginning and people could no longer deny it. The evidence is overwhelming, and we can ask the question, ‘if there was nothing and now there is something, what and how did that happen? If we don’t believe that there’s a God that created at some point in the past, there is just no answer. Theories like the multi-universe, or the oscillating universe, are mere theories. There is just like zero evidence for it. These are attempts, desperate efforts, to avoid the fact that the Bible can possibly be correct, a finite beginning from nothing.
2. How do you get life from non-life?
Early in the history of our planet, the earth, everything consisted of inorganic material. Rocks and dust, and all the elements of the earth. What happened that the inorganic material changed into organic material, and life emerged. How did life start? Scientists have no explanation; not even what life is. Science might possibly be able to explain this in the future but to exclude an intelligent Mind, one who guided, and designed the processes, would be difficult if not impossible to explain.
Nobody knows what life is. We can study life and many things about life but have no idea what it is. It is interesting that if you have a living cell, and a dead cell, and you put them side by side, e.g., two identical muscle cells, the one alive, the one dead (immediately after it died) and you study them under the microscope, and they will still look identically the same. One can see no difference though the one has life in it and the other not. When a cell dies, and life goes out of it, what happened, ‘where did the life go’? There is no answer to this question. We don’t know what life is.
3. How did we get a mind, consciousness, from matter and what is the mind, and what is consciousness?
There was nothing, then something, inorganic material turned into organic material and there was life. But even more astounding, organic material developed consciousness. And we do not know what consciousness is. Nobody knows what consciousness is. We can study and know a lot about inorganic material, about organic material, even so about life and consciousness yet we have no idea what life and consciousness are.
4. How do you get design without a Designer?
Observing the universe, the design, and the fact that it is so finely tuned, is totally amazing.
Stephen Meyer. What are the arguments for intelligent design? 1. The foundation of life and the DNA molecule. There is a four-character digital code that is responsible for producing the proteins and protein machines that cells need to stay alive. DNA encoding uses 4 bases (cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine). This appears very digital. DNA is a code carrier, just like the ROM (read only memory), RAM (random access memory) and the attached hardware stores (hard disks, flash drives memory sticks optic discs etc) are code carriers. The sequence of cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine in the DNA forms the genetic code the information (instructions) for producing proteins. It is comparable to the digital code of zeros and ones in computer ‘language’. The computer processor use this two-symbol system of 0’s and 1’s for instructions (information), We know from our experience, from uniform and repeated experience, which is the basis of all scientific reasoning, that information comes from an intelligence, whether we’re talking about the information in a computer program or information in a paragraph in a book or assembly instructions, or information embedded in a radio signal. Whenever we see information, we always come to a mind, that information always comes from a mind, not from a material process. So, the discovery of information at the foundation of life is decisive evidence for a designing mind in the origin of life. 2. The argument from Fine Tuning. Physicists have been discovering since the 1950s that the basic laws of physics and the initial conditions of the universe were set up just right to allow for the possibility of life within very fine tolerances. For example, the strength of the gravitational attraction, or the expansion rate of the universe. If any of these factors were off by a slightest of a fraction either way, life would not be possible in our universe. One great astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle FRS (24 June 1915 – 20 August 2001) was an English astronomer who formulated the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis and not a Christian. ‘A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.’ 3. Intelligence, a Transcendent Form of Intelligence in that the universe had a definite beginning. And this is something that’s come into our awareness through astrophysics and astronomy over the last 100 years. As scientists formulated what was first called The Big Bang Theory. And this is simply stunning that the material universe, if you go back far enough, reaches a singularity of point where matter space, time and energy themselves come into existence. And as a consequence, there’s really no material explanation that can be posited, because it’s matter itself that comes into existence at a finite time ago, even time and space apparently began. The first words of the Bible, ‘in the beginning’, and the modern astrophysics has discovered that there was in fact such a beginning.
So, we have evidence of design, but also evidence of design from the very beginning of the universe, of the fine-tuning and evidence of a beginning in this, these discoveries are from astronomy and astrophysics but point very clearly to a Designer.
It takes at least 26 fundamental constants to give life in our universe.
A major component of the cosmological evidence for the existence of God is the value of constants that govern the universe. Over the centuries scientists have determined the value of these constants, and all of our knowledge of the cosmos is based on these values. You either have to believe that these precise numerical values are a product of chance, or that they have been consciously designed by a Creator. It’s the precise values of these constants that allow the cosmos to exist and to remain stable.
A. Cosmic Constants
- Gravitational force constant
- Electromagnetic force constant
- Strong nuclear force constant
- Weak nuclear force constant
- Cosmological constant
It’s important to distinguish cosmic fine-tuning from local “fine-tuning” – for life.
B. Fine-Tuning for Life in the Universe
For physical life to be possible in the universe, several characteristics must take on specific values, and some of the 109 listed below as examples.
- Nuclear force constant
- Gravitational force constant
- Electromagnetic force constant
- Ratio of proton to electron mass
- Ratio of number of protons to number of electrons
- Ratio of proton to electron charge
- Expansion rate of the universe
- Entropy level of the universe
- Velocity of light
- Age of the universe
- Uniformity of radiation
- Average distance between galaxies
- Average distance between galaxy clusters
- Average distance between stars
- Decay rate of protons
C. “Local” Planetary Conditions
But even in a universe fineBut even in a universe fineBut even in a universe finet even in a universe fine-tuned at the cosmic level, local conditions can still vary dramatically. As it happens, even in this fine-tuned universe, the vast majority of locations in the universe are unsuited for life. Twelve broad, widely recognized fine-tuning factors required to build a single, habitable planet. All 12 factors can be found together in the Earth.
- Steady plate tectonics with the right kind of geological interior
- The right amount of water in the crust
- Large moon with the right planetary rotation period
- Proper concentration of sulfur (which is necessary for important biological processes).
- Right planetary mass (which allows a planet to retain the right type and right thickness of atmosphere).
- Near inner edge of circumstellar habitable zone (which allows a planet to maintain the right amount of liquid water on the surface).
- Low-eccentricity orbit outside spin-orbit and giant planet resonances (which allows a planet to maintain a safe orbit over a long period of time).
- A few, large Jupiter-mass planetary neighbors in large circular orbits (which protects the habitable zone from too many comet bombardments).
- Outside spiral arm of the galaxy (which allows a planet to stay safely away from supernovae).
- Near co-rotation circle of the galaxy, in a circular orbit around a galactic center (which enables a planet to avoid traversing dangerous parts of the galaxy).
- Within the galactic habitable zone (which allows a planet to have access to heavy elements while being safely away from the dangerous galactic center).
- During the cosmic habitable age (when heavy elements and active stars exist without too high a concentration of dangerous radiation events).
Francis Crick (1916-2004) was one of Britain’s great scientists. He is best known for his work with James Watson which led to the identification of the structure of DNA in 1953. Not a Christian.
‘An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.’
5. How do you solve the problem of evil?
What is evil if God does not exist? No God, no evil, but evil is real. How do we solve the problem of evil? If you are an atheist, then it’s just bad luck – just the way the dice falls. But in Christianity suffering has deep meaning and implications.
6. How can life be insignificant, and humans have no value? If we are but a highly developed animal? What gives human life value?
7. How can life be meaningless – objectively/ultimately have no meaning? Where does meaning come from in a universe that will ultimately burn up into nothing? What ultimate significance and meaning can one’s life possibly have if you evaporate into total nothingness at death. If that who is you, becomes less than a vapor. And your consciousness not even a memory.
8. How can there be no freedom? No free will?
If we are the ‘end’ product of a highly evolved animals and our brain development functions purely through neuro chemical reactions, how could one explain rationality and, free will? The materialist and atheists have to accept that we have no free will. Sam Harris, is one of the most famous ‘new atheists’ wrote that ‘free will is so convincing that we all believe we have it, but we don’t have it.’ And the same applies for rationality.
We as Christians believe that God is a rational God. He created a rational universe, and we are created in His image. We have a rational mind that can investigate the rational universe but for an atheist, there is no reason that the universe should be rational. There was a Big Bang, and now everything is rational, and it’s all based on rational immaterial mathematics. Mathematics is not something that you can hold in your hand. You can work with it. But it is an immaterial concept. And the whole basis of the universe is based on the principles of mathematics. So, you have to have a rational mind, separate from your materialistic physical brain, to understand it and work with it.
9. How can there be no human identity? Your physical body is always changing, and every molecule, atom in your body constantly replaced. Why do you stay the same person?
10. Where does rationality come from – discussed under free will.
In Christian Apologetics, all these subjects are well addressed and explained.
Why Would Life without God be Untenable, If Not Absurd?
Three things that are important.
- Meaning and purpose in life. Without God why would human life have any ultimate value if everything is going to end up with the universe in a dark cold death without anyone to remember anything?
- Where does the value of humans come from, what gives it it’s value? Just the individuals’ or societies’ opinion that humans have value? What is the basis for human value? We as Christians know God created us in His image which puts us apart from all other life on this planet and gives us immense value and, and equal value of all races and all sexes.
The atheist might fight for these same values. He believes that, but he has no objective basis for what he believes but just his opinion.
- And the same with moral values. How do we know what is right and wrong? Is it because of a standard outside of us? A perfect transcended standard – objective morality? Or is it just the individual’s opinion – subjective morality? Subjective morality can only be an opinion, the community’s opinion or individual opinion, or cultures’ opinion, but which one is it? Which opinion are you going to accept? Or is there objective morality outside of us? Perfection that we measure everything against?
Man is the only creature in the whole of the universe who asked ‘why’ questions. Why am I here? Why have I been created? The logical conclusion of the materialism/atheist is that we are no more than a byproduct of the universe, the result of matter, time, and chance. That through billions of years the right kind of matter came together at the right time and here we are. A byproduct by chance, with life and consciousness and rational thinking. And that there is no reason for our existence. If that is the case, the ‘why’ question, why do we exist becomes a dark and terrible answer. The philosopher Lawrence Ansley said, ‘If God is left out of the equation, the only prospect is that all will end up, the whole universe will end up in a purposeless death’ Science tells us that the universe will eventually run out of useful energy. And so does the Bible tell us that there will be an end to the present order of the world and universe.
Modern man thought that he got rid of God, especially over the last 200 years. In the western world more and more people believe there is no God, want to believe there is no God. But the problem is in killing God, humans have orphaned themselves. Suddenly they had no hand to hold to guide them, to give value in life, neither meaning in life. Suddenly, there was nothing to hold on to. “God is dead” remains one of the most famous quotes from the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Christopher Hamilton wrote that Nietzsche was haunted by God and talk of his murdering God. Talk of his attempt to exorcize God from his soul by thinking through in a way that perhaps no Christian thinker has ever done what it would be really to believe in God, and really not to believe in Him.
Humans need to have something to hold on to. The problem is, if you don’t worship God, hold on to Him, you will worship other things in life, put your hope in other things, which are all temporary and when these collapse, your life collapses, or you have to find the next thing to hold on to, to worship. But you are in reality an orphan in this world, if you reject God.
Without God, man, and the universe, are doomed to nothing more than a cold, dark, purposeless death. Science tells us the universe is running out of usable energy, and eventually everything in the entire universe will end up in death. We know that the world was created a specific total amount of energy. And usable energy is slowly getting less and less. Entropy is a measure of the amount of energy in a physical system not available to do work. As a physical system becomes more disordered, and its energy becomes more evenly distributed, that energy becomes less able to do work. And eventually the whole universe will run out of usable energy and collapse into a dark, cold, lifeless, nothingness. In the words of Sartre, a French philosopher, ‘the universe is marching irretrievably to its grave.’ There is no hope, no escape for humanity. And the Bible confirms that the heaven and earth will come to an end. For the Christian we have the hope of the ‘New heaven and earth’ that will be created. But in the atheist worldview each individual will pass out of existence when he dies, and what ultimate meaning could there be? Does it matter if you lived or not lived at all?
If you believe there is no God, and you were on the earth for a brief period and then disappear out of existence and become like before your birth, with no conscious mind and non-existence of any memory or recall, and zero significance exists for you as a person, what was the point of your life? Whether you were good or bad, and eventually nobody would remember you or that you even existed, who you were and what you did in a 100 years from now, 200 years from now?
Ultimate meaning is what it is about. One’s life might have meaning today, meaning you might create, but ultimately, at the end of it all, there will no meaning and because everybody and everything will die, disappear out of existence. Nobody will remember anything. So, does it matter how I live? I can actually live as I like to, as ultimately it is of no significance neither personal consequences once death had its last laugh. But we cannot live like this. The world will turn into utter chaos. But if God exists, what we do and how we live become greatly important today and with eternal consequences.
Science and the Bible tell us there was a beginning and tell us there’s going to be an end. Each of us will die and the human race will stop to exist. The universe is heading towards a cold lifeless, lightless chaotic conglomeration of stars swallowed up by black holes and nobody will remember anything that happened and it will be of no significance – this is the horror of modern man. Because he ends in nothing, he is ultimately nothing. He is doomed to purposelessness in a forgotten vacuum of nothing. Lest there is a God that will do what He promised, the creation of a new earth and a new heaven. William Lane Graig.
So even though living a life believing there is no God and therefore that there is no ultimate meaning, man cannot live like that. It’s in the fiber of our being to find meaning in life and live like it has. People live as if their lives have meaning. ‘We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it’s forever’ Karl Sagan. But ‘How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone’ James 4:14. To create your own meaning in the face of ultimate purposelessness all seem pointless, is in realty living a life of self-delusion.
Morality. What does morality even mean without God? If there is no God, there is no perfect standard to compare to. C.S. Lewis said that unless we know what a straight line is, we cannot know what a crooked line is. God is our perfect standard. We measure our lives and values, and judge, against this perfection. It guides our morality and is the source of knowledge to know right from wrong. This is objective morality. This notion means that morality is natural, and already in our nature, and should be universal, and is not up for interpretation. Objective morality conforms to the nature of God and is ‘written on our hearts’
If not, it becomes a mere matter of opinion. How can you criticize anyone for his personal opinion? What can the basis be for questioning someone? If we are just the product of unguided matter, time and chance, where do moral values come from? How did it show up in the universe?
Subjective morality, in contrast to objective morality, is just an expression of taste, whether individual or collective, a subjective feeling of relative judgments. The implications are that we cannot judge war because we can’t say someone is in the wrong. We may know what is wrong but cannot justify why it is wrong. It is just an opinion against some else’s opinion, and one cannot judge or criticizes the one who differs from you. And for the strict materialist/atheist the opinion is the mere product of neurochemical reactions in the brain and there is no standard outside of the brain to measure against. Just a neurochemical ‘opinion’ against the neurochemical ‘opinion’ of another brain and there’s no basis for telling someone that he/her is right or wrong.
If our final outcome in life is to disappear from existence, it means our existence is no more than from nothing to nothing. Humans seek meaning and purpose in our hearts, just as the Bible says ‘eternity is in our hearts’. Deep inside we know this is not the end. It is very hard, even for the atheist, to accept that there is nothing beyond life. We all either wish or hope that there will be something more than the final day.
If we are honest to ourselves, and we say there is no God, then we cannot be but in a in a situation of despair. If God is dead man is dead, man has orphaned himself. And there is no future hope. But what is the truth? What we believe is not of the essence but what is true.
Nietzsche stated that the implication of no God is nihilism. That it is impossible to know anything at all and all values are based on nothing, especially moral values as there are no basis for it. If one is a convinced atheist, this would be the necessary conclusion.
Without God there is no goal or purpose in the universe. Man is merely a bio-electrochemical machine controlled by altering genes, which implicates no freewill and no rational thoughts. Frank Turek often states that in the materialist/atheist’s view, we are just moist robots. That is all what we are. Material particles put together by an unguided process and purely by chance over millions of years. And therefore, no free will outside of us. However, the Bible tells us we have a soul, a spirit, a mind – which is all basically the same thing though with different capacities or dimensions. This is the immaterial facet of our being. And this is where freewill is realized and our rational thought originates. In the image of the immaterial God, we are created.
Consciousness and our minds are not the same as our bodies. The body is different, and the Bible talks about the carnal man, the flesh, that we have to fight against. Our material body, and our mind, the soul is in constant conflict, in a moral fight all the time and that is what puts us apart from animals. We were given a free will to fight the basic instincts, the carnal desires of the body – to choose between right and wrong. The less we fight these basic instincts, and the more one gives in to your fleshly body, the more animal like we become. We see in the actions of criminals, but also everyday people caring for themselves without regards to fellow humans, hard businesspeople walking over others for own gain. Acting animal-like to advance themselves, self-care their first priority. But if one becomes focus on one’s spiritual being, one moves closer to God, towards what God created us to be and we will care more and more for our fellow man. But if you don’t believe in God, it’s very hard to travel on this road. God gives us, through the Holy Spirit, the strength, ability and the wisdom and the power to fight the carnal man within ourselves and become more Christ- like.
Three philosophers, not believing in the existence of God concluded: Friedrich Nietzsche said there are ‘two possibilities: face the absurdity of life or live valiantly with courage and determination’. Atheist Bertrand Russell ‘build your life on unyielding despair’. Albert Camus’ solution was, ‘come to terms with the absurdity of life, then learn to live in love with one another’. But if you talk about love, you’re actually stealing from God. God is love is the only source of love in this world. Without God, we’re in desperate situation and have to try to make the best of reality.
Francis Schaeffer is an American Christian philosopher, describes a two-story universe that we live in. On the lower level is the finite world without God. In other words, the life where there is no ultimate meaning of purpose in life. And if you are a materialist that is where you live, you believe that everything came from nothing with no goal or purpose and will end in nothing. Even if I try to create purpose, eventually, it will also come to nothing. But the upper level is a life with meaning, purpose and value because of our belief in God, that He created the universe with a purpose. To live happily and consistently without God in the lower level is impossible because you live in despair. If you are honest and consistent with your beliefs. So, what people do is to jump up to the upper level, even though not believing in God. ‘I believe in love’ they would claim. And ‘I believe I have to care for other people (but where do one get the idea that people have value), and want to live a moral life’ (but if there is no objective morality, it is but a mere opinion which is totally unpredictable and can change from moment to moment), and these statements and views are jumps to the upper level. You have to be consistent and live on the lower level without God and be unhappy or be inconsistent, dishonest and jump to the second level in order to be happy. Modern man lives in the lower level because he believes no there is no God, and he cannot live here consistently and be happy. So, he takes leaps of faith into the upper level where there is meaning, value and purpose. But he has no right to do that. He would be inconsistent and dishonest with himself and a position of despair. People cannot live like this; nobody lives like this.
People often argue that one has to create one’s own meaning, but this is only possible from a free will, to freely choose, and a jump to the second level. one does not have free choice on the first level. If we are just material, we are moist robots, reacting to the chemical reactions in our brains and there is no free choice.
So, people are really trapped on this low level. And to create meaning is a leap of faith to the upper level.
Let us consider ethical values. Where does that come from? British philosopher and atheist Bertrand Russel said ‘I don’t know where it comes from. I just don’t understand it’. Obviously, he can’t because he believes we are matter only and how does matter produce ethical values? Dostoevsky wrote, ‘All things are permitted but man cannot live this way. Everything in him cries out to what is wrong but does not know why.’ Thus, the same as what Bertrand Russell said, we know things are right and wrong, but we can’t explain it.
Sartre admitted that the Holocaust was wrong and could not live consistent with his denial of absolute ethical values. He admitted that the Holocaust was wrong but could not understand why he felt it was wrong. We know that it is wrong to kill other people. But if it’s just your opinion against someone else’s opinion, why is it wrong? What makes it wrong? What is the thing that actually makes it wrong if God is left out of the equation?
Atheist might fight for woman’s rights which is obviously the right thing to do. But if God does not exist, then women have no equal value. In nature male is dominant. But nobody can live with such a dehumanizing view. But if God doesn’t exist, then woman doesn’t have equal value if we are just highly evolved animals. In 90% of the animal world, the male is dominant. So, what makes us different? Why should we treat women as our equals if we are just high highly evolved animals? But we are all created with image of God, and He has made us all equal. All races, all sexes are equal.
Francis Crick, the scientist who with Watson, first described the DNA molecule, also an atheist, said in observing and describing DNA that ‘man is no better than a laboratory specimen.’ – that’s what we are, just laboratory specimens. And Peter Singer, an Australian moral philosopher and atheist agrees and said that Down Syndrome babies, babies with spina bifida should just be killed. They have less value than some animals. There’s no reason for them to live. By implication just laboratory specimen gone wrong.
The atheist who is true to himself, honest to his worldview, would come to this conclusion. But saying ‘No, all humans have equal value’ is dishonest to his belief system. The is no basis for believing that all humans have equal value in a materialistic worldview. In the animal kingdom, it’s survival of the fittest. So, if Putin wants to wipe out Ukraine to take it all for himself, why can’t he do that? If he’s just a highly evolved animal with his opinion against the opinion of another highly evolved animals? Animals wipe out other animals to gain territory for themselves.
To create purpose is a self-delusion as I have alluded to earlier. Ernest Bloch, German Marxist philosopher, said ‘the only way modern man lives in the face of death is by subconsciously borrowing the belief in immortality that his forefathers held to, even though he himself has lost and has no basis for believing it since he does not believe in God.’ He believes that life ends in nothing, and this is hardly sufficient to keep the head high, to work as if there is no end. Carl Sagan said ‘We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever’ Bloch makes the leap of faith to ‘live as if immortal’ which is inconsistent to his belief system jumping to the second level to borrow from Christianity. No one can live without having any prospect of a future. One has to believe that although knowing it’s not true. Subconsciously you borrow from the second story to be able to find to find meaning in life.
The dilemma is that the postmodern man denies God’s existence with the consequence of absurdity of purpose, meaning, and objective moral values. Without God life is ultimately without meaning or purpose. If you are consistent in believing and living this, you will be profoundly unhappy. To live happily demands a lie. Man desperately try to escape this. L D Rue an American philosopher, offered the ‘Noble Lie Option.’ We deceive ourselves by means of some noble lie thinking that we exist in the universe that has meaning. You’ve got to believe the lie otherwise you will be consistently unhappy, and that’s what most people will do. They would believe that there is meaning in life and that there is purpose in life and that people has value but they have no basis to support what they believe.
Our quest for personal wholeness and self-fulfillment becomes only relative to the individual. In order to live, modern man must live in self-deception. But once you see this lie, it doesn’t work anymore like a placebo, not knowing it is a placebo, it might work. But the moment you know you are taking a placebo it will not work anymore. And so atheism fails.
Biblical Christianity offers meaning, value, and purpose. The existence of God makes sense of morality, the moral force behind the moral law, of shame and guilt, of equal rights, of human value. What is behind shame and guilt, why do shame and guilt exist if we mere highly evolved animals?
A life without the existence of God makes no sense and is simply incoherent with reality. God is the best explanation the meaning and purpose of the universe, for our existence. He is the best explanation for human value, for morality. We should not cling to our beliefs, right or wrong, but to what is true.
‘The unexamined life is not worth living’ – Aristotle
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