I found a new post that attacks the atheistic worldview based on whether or not that means life has purpose. It’s a little different than most religious material I read, but I find that the authors reasoning is flawed.
First off, whether or not life has purpose is irrelevant to whether or not God exists. Just because you may believe that in a perfect universe, some all-powerful disembodied mind needs to exist for purpose to arise, doesn’t mean it’s so. I can argue that natural candy flavored water gives water meaning, but the reality is that unless we add an additive, water tases like…well…water. Wishful thinking doesn’t change this.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to some of what he said:
But the question is, “How is something given purpose?” You see, mere existence does not create purpose. Purpose goes much deeper than existence. I submit to you that no thing can have a purpose unless there is a creator acting on the thing. Purpose does not exist without a creator.
Why doesn’t it?
Even in the example the author gives above this part, he states that you wouldn’t use scissors to light a fire. Basically, the purpose of the scissors is to cut things, but who gives these scissors purpose?
The scissors actually have no real purpose until we pick them up and put them to use. We also might not use the scissors to cut, but maybe we use them to pry something open or pick our teeth, although I wouldn’t recommend that last bit. Use a tooth pick, people. Much less potential for harm that way.
Anyhow, the point I want to make is that scissors aren’t conscious, which is why they need someone acting on them to give them purpose. Humans on the other hand are very much conscious entities. We give the scissors a purpose and we can give ourselves a purpose, while scissors are incapable of doing either.
Point being the author uses a really bad analogy to try and make his point.
I want you to look at purpose from an atheistic perspective. Without alluding to any god at all – yes, that includes the Cosmos or Mother Nature – can you tell me my purpose, my reason for existence? The honest answer to that is, “No.”
Um, why would you leave the universe and nature out of the equation? That’s a bit disingenuous, since neither of those things are God(s).
That’s like me saying, ‘can you tell me what the purpose furniture serves without alluding to a living-room, house or the people that may live in those structures.’
Just because you might not be able to come up with a reason for your existence doesn’t mean the ‘honest answer is no’.
How can I say that? Because while you may be able to conjure up a purpose in your mind, the simple truth is that whatever purpose you conjure up is exactly that: conjured up.
Conjured up like magic?
I rather think an all-powerful, all-knowing, disembodied, invisible mind with super powers is a little more likely to be ‘conjured up’ than a flesh and blood human brain that can form thoughts and experience existence.
From an atheistic perspective, I do not exist to help others, live with others, or even just live. I simply fortuitously exist. But as we said earlier, mere existence does not create purpose. There is no purpose driving evolution. Evolution is circumstantial, not purposeful.
Why can’t helping others be a part of an atheists purpose? What prevents it?
I know plenty of Christians who help themselves and rarely if ever lift a finger to help others. Did this God not let them in on their purpose?
it does not even exist even if atheists insist it does, and whatever purpose an atheist contrives, it is just as contrived as anybody else’s idea of what their purpose is.
Oh no! We have to think for ourselves!
Quick, someone hit the fire alarms and evacuate the planet!
From my perspective, you’ve essentially given up thinking and reasoning for yourself, because you allow primitive human(s) to do your thinking for you. They wrote that book you revere, and at some point they came up with their own reason or purpose and you follow along with it.
That means a person who says life’s purpose is to destroy things is just as logically accurate as someone who says life’s purpose is to preserve things.
Why would it follow that something that harms our species is more logical than an action that helps our species survive?
And sometimes preserving something is less important than change.
For example, the bible teaches slavery is okay and people used it to put people in chains. I think destroying that institution was a pretty good change. Preserving it would be unethical.
Just one of the many things the Christian God got wrong, in my opinion.
What I find amazing is that there are some atheists who are okay with the idea that purpose is a simple contrivance on their part. They still claim that life has purpose even though they know it does not.
You just finished saying some atheists have said they’re fine with purpose being created by us, and then in the next breath go on to say it doesn’t exist. If we make it exist, then it exists. If I think my purpose in life is to raise my children to the best of my ability, then that’s the meaning I have given myself. That doesn’t mean I can’t change my stance, but at that particular point in my life, that might be my purpose.
I honestly don’t see how the existence or non-existence of a disembodied mind would change that.
That is hypocrisy at it’s highest. Why? Because they insist that God does not exist, therefore we should not live by His standards. Yet they know purpose does not actually exist and they still say we should live with purpose.
Which God and what standards? As I pointed out above, if we went by Yahweh’s standards, slavery could be fine.
I think religions were created by people. It’s flawed, ancient thinking and like anything created by humans, faults may exist. Religion often tries to prevent changes from taking place, even when the evidence clearly shows that their book is wrong.
You don’t need a magic God in the sky to give your life meaning. Purpose and meaning don’t have to be eternal to be special either.