Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Atheism and Purpose

Some atheist suggested in the comments section of an earlier post that the point of this series is to make atheists feel bad. These posts have nothing to do with insults or put downs. These are just the facts of atheism, facts that anyone can see when atheism / naturalism / materialism is taken to its logical conclusion.

I said in “When Atheists Ask” that some atheists attribute to themselves X amount of value or worth. Well, you can do that of course, but it’s meaningless. After all, what meaning can the result of an accidental chemical exchange have? And if your life is meaningless, then neither does your life have inherent value. And if your life has only an arbitrary level of meaning and value, then so too with purpose.

On atheism, there is no goal or purpose for the universe.

Both its beginning and its ultimate end are pointless and without purpose.

On atheism, the universe and everything in it ends in a pointless nothingness.

Honest atheists like Nietzsche and Wells, atheists who have travelled to the logical end of naturalism have found only silence.
Nothing of value.
Nothing of meaning.
Nothing of purpose.

On atheism, all your striving, all your effort, all your arbitrary assignments of worth and meaning and purpose will one day be gone forever, gone as if they’d never existed in the first place. This is not an insult or a put down. On atheism, this is simply a fact.


A great existentialist once wrote:
“The fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 3:19-20.

What purpose can there possibly be for an accident of nature?

Think about that until you understand it. Natasha gets it. You can too.

“Human life is mounted upon a subhuman pedestal and must shift for itself alone in the heart of a silent and mindless universe.” Hocking, “Types of Philosophy” 27.

If Creator God and eternity do not exist, if atheism / naturalism / materialism are correct, then you are the chance result of chemical and biological exchanges, thrust into a universe without inherent Purpose, to live a life without inherent purpose.

If Creator God and eternity do not exist, if atheism / naturalism / materialism are correct, then you are living in a universe without inherent Meaning, to live a life without inherent meaning.

If Creator God and eternity do not exist, if atheism / naturalism / materialism are correct, then you live in a universe without inherent Value, to live a life without inherent value.

These things are not insults or put-downs. They are simply the facts that result from an honest acceptance of an atheistic, naturalistic, materialistic world-view.

Attribute what you want to this short and meaningless existence, on atheism, it all ends in death. On atheism life is utterly without reason.

“If God is dead, then mankind is dead also.”

Think about that until you understand it. Natasha gets it. You can too.

If Creator God DOES exist, then the universe and everything in it were brought into existence, from nothing for a reason, for a purpose. If we were created by God for a purpose then our lives have meaning and they are lived out within the context of that meaning.

If God and eternity DO NOT exist, then the universe and life itself is an accident and your life is without inherent meaning and purpose. What’s more, it is a psychological fact that human beings cannot live emotionally healthy lives without believing that their lives have meaning and purpose. That is why atheists, in a move that is completely inconsistent with a naturalist world-view, invent or pretend to have meaning and purpose in their lives.

But pretending to have a life of meaning and value and purpose is more pitiful than accepting the truth. It is literally living a lie; believing a lie; believing a lie that one has told oneself.

I repeat, if atheists have “found” meaning and purpose and value in their lives, it is ONLY because they have stolen those concepts from the Christian culture in which they were raised.

In Summary:
The reason I say that atheism is absurd, illogical, incoherent and inconsistent is because atheists themselves are determined to live by the absurd and inconsistent. This is nowhere more clearly seen than when atheists claim meaning, value and purpose for themselves when these things do not and cannot exist if Creator God does not exist.

This is what makes the lives of atheists inconsistent. For:
If an atheist lives consistent naturalism, s/he can not be happy.
If an atheist is happy, it is because s/he is not living consistent naturalism.

As Bertrand Russel once wrote, the best that an atheist can do in this terminal existence, is to “build our lives upon the firm foundation of unyielding despair.” “A Free Man’s Worship” 107.

On atheism, to exist without meaning, value, and purpose requires that one accept the absurdity of h/her existence and live as bravely as possible. That's what your leaders expect from you. Put on a brave face, make them multi millionaires through buying their books, and then bugger off.

On atheism, life holds no purpose.

18 comments:

Zzzst said...

Are you saying you believe in YHWH out of fear that your life is meaningless?

I repeat, if atheists have “found” meaning and purpose and value in their lives, it is ONLY because they have stolen those concepts from the Christian culture in which they were raised.

Wasn't raised in a Christian country. Amazing but true fact, non-christians still feel meaning and purpose and value in their lives.

Chris Mackey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Mackey said...

That's what your leaders expect from you. Put on a brave face, make them multi millionaires through buying their books, and then bugger off.

...

Chris Mackey said...

Didn't you just finish saying that Christianity doesn't give life value?

How does Christianity make life on earth have inherent value?

It doesn't
.

Anonymous said...

I get the feeling Makarios is literally unhappy that other people are happy.
He pounds his tiny fists against the keyboard: "Why, oh why, aren't you as unhappy as I think you should be!"

Ginx said...

"Fundamentalism: the terrible, pervasive fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun."

~ H.L. Mencken

Marcus Wellington said...

'having fun.'
You and I know that 'having fun' is almost always means doing EVIL.
There is another words for athiesm and that is NIHILISM. Nihilism is when you KNOW you are going to HELL so you 'live it up' here, faking happiness before you burn in the Lake Of Fire.
Read The Bible before its too late.

Ginx said...

That's hedonism, not nihilism.

That's pretty pessimistic. I feel sorry for you that everything you enjoy is so evil. I enjoy pretty harmless things like conversations over dinner with my wife, but I suppose we can't all be so lucky.

atheistsnackbar said...

part 1

I don't think the purpose of this blog is to make atheists feel bad as much as it is for makarios to feel good. I only say that because anyone that's already written 20 anti-atheist posts since the year began shows signs of obsession.

Anyway Makarios, your quite presumptuous, as would be expected from someone who has the supposed final word on existence. Your armchair analysis of the atheist is not only silly in that it suggests a unifying, underlying foundation about the character traits of ALL atheists, as well as make a very creationist-like mistake on which I will elaborate...

Under the god hypothesis, existence is a dynamic container of which all relevant knowledge is available. In this scenario one can make assumptions on the meaning and emptiness of a dynamical system already charted, already known. Science does not claim to know where the boundaries end, and therefore a judgement about meaning in an uncharted system, is premature and impossible. It's a silly thing to disqualify the search for meaning, as a meaning itself.

I know very vibrant and animated atheists whom are very excited to be alive, far from hollow. And this is not about some emulation of Christian values, these people are electric with excitement to discover.. a healthy and often overlooked virtue.

If god doesn't exist, then theists themselves created meaning. Meaning in that scenario, was assigned, attached to that which they found important. Atheists in the same scenario can just as easily assign value and be as dedicated to it as someone operating under the same mechanics. Just as the Muslims assign sharia law, and the Hindus assign beef, sacred. Not all values can be correct in the god scenario, and thus some were created as sturdy as yours, without god's blessing, under your very own god scenario.

continued...

atheistsnackbar said...

Part 2

Your argument, makarios, is slippery. You can easily quote Nietzsche while leaving out an atheist of an opposing view point to suit your needs in argument. Nietzsche is not the final word in modern times, Nietzsche is dead. Your argument is just a bunch of assumptions that you seem to proclaim as logical conclusion because you, no doubt believe them to be as such. And you don't seem to be motivated enough to search beyond your usual assumptions. You will say, well if a creator exists than "x" must be true, or if there is no god then the atheist must "y", and you throw around these conclusions as if you were the old wise man of the mountain. For knowing as such may warrent a nobel prize for your contributions to psychology. Not all atheists are as you say. Atheists are individuals with different attributes and different thresholds, just like individuals of faith. Some Christians commit suicide, while others live happy, eventful lives. Not to mention there is no evidence to support the idea that where atheism is abundant, crime is high, and so on...

Moral truth is not necessarily inherent, if so we wouldn't need human rights movements to teach us that black people are equal, or that women are equal, or animals, or gays, or maybe even someday atheists :) One might wonder why god didn't bestow the completed version of a code of morals in us the first time. And don't try to tell me that its the religious engine behind these movements because good luck finding a Christian to support gay rights, it happens, but not that much. All of a sudden, its the secularists schooling the Christians on acceptance.

Your paradigm dictates your reasoning, and you seem to not be able to process atheism in a way that perhaps honest atheists process it. Let's say there were two engines, one called the theist engine and the other, the atheist engine. What your doing is, pointing at the atheist engine and saying, "look!, see, the atheist engine doesn't have this part! how is it going to function properly?!" But the atheist engine doesn't require that device, as its a different system that works in a different way. Let's say you have a part called "value" in the theist engine, and it has an important function for your engine. The atheists have a device that is similar, we'll call "virtue". The parts look very different, but behave similarly. The theist Value mechanism operates under mechanics that require the assumption that it's being supervised in order to properly function, and if it doesn't do as instructed, it will be removed. But the atheist value mechanism, operates under the assumption that if it works properly, the other parts will, and the engine will continue to exist.

You say that atheism is pointless, but i challenge that. I say theism is pointless, and heres why..
I'm sure you can agree with these qualifications for god ...

god is all powerful.

god is all knowing.

If one can accept these qualifications, than we can easily assume, that god not only knows what will happen before it does, but chose a destiny for how his cosmic dance will play out. If god knows what will happen as he sets space/time in motion, than it was a choice. It could not be random if he knows what will happen, no matter what. In that sense, there can not be free will, if things play out exactly as god sets them in motion to. And if god doesn't know what will happen that means god is not all knowing. And if you can change things, that means god is not all powerful. If these things are compromised, than by what criteria can he be god? so we are left with either, god is not god, or you never had a choice about your destiny, being that it was all god's plan. If you never had a choice than there is not free will, if there is no free will, than god created x number of people, specifically so he can watch them burn for eternity. we are left with a problem there.

But I digress...

Ginx said...

atheistsnackbar: you're blowing smoke rings into the wind with those posts, though I enjoyed them.

Makarios said...

Atheists - dull of mind - slow of thought:

. Knowing the future is not the same as determining, or fixing or creating the future.

. God’s knowing beforehand the free-will decisions that you are going to make, does not take away from your free-will ability to make those decisions.

Why is that so difficult to understand?
=====================

Where have I said that atheists cannot be happy? Hmm?

No Name said...

As a Christian, I could never be happy knowing that the vast majority of people were going to a place of torture my God created.

Makarios said...

A lot of people ask, Why God send billions of people to hell?

And that IS a good question.

But a better question, I think, is this.

Why would God take billions of people who deserve to go to hell, and save them instead for eternity in heaven?

Anonymous said...

How am I going to be happy knowing all those people, my loved ones, some of my family burning forever?

atheistsnackbar said...

"Atheists - dull of mind - slow of thought"

wow.

anyway,

"Knowing the future is not the same as determining, or fixing or creating the future."

In god's case it is. Since we can agree that god knows AND determined the future himself. I'm not sure what you mean by fixing the future but okay.

"God’s knowing beforehand the free-will decisions that you are going to make, does not take away from your free-will ability to make those decisions."

And your calling me dull? If it's given to you, it's not free will, that directly negates the point of freedom. If you play out god's divine plan exactly as he instructed, than you never had a chance to change your destiny, because doing so would alter god's will. Since your stuck in that path, a number of people will automatically go to hell, unless they defy god's will, which is impossible under the god hypothesis. My reasoning can't be dull if the best argument you can come up with it is to say, "uh, god still gives you free will, because he just does! Can't you understand that, you atheist?" Usually argument requires more than just declaring something without cause to believe it. Because I sincerely doubt however you explain it to me, that I'll be too dull, or slow of mind to understand your advanced reasoning makarios. lol.

Come on makarios, if your going to have a rational argument, than lets have one. Dont just get all defensive and call names. Perhaps I AM blowing smoke rings.

Makarios said...

"How am I going to be happy knowing all those people, my loved ones, some of my family burning forever?"

You won't be. On the up side, you'll be able to lean over and give them a hug.
=============

Snack - if you didn't get it the first time, you most certainly won't get it the second time either.

atheistsnackbar said...

"Snack - if you didn't get it the first time, you most certainly won't get it the second time either."

Makarios, your still avoiding my question. I'm worried that you can't answer it. I'm wondering if your too dull and slow to understand what I'M saying. If there was an imaginary entity whom existed under the restriction of ONLY having the capacity to observe the course of free will as it plays out, without relation to creation, than one could see how what your suggesting could be validly said, HOWEVER...

God is directly responsible for the path existence takes, not as a passive observer, but as the designer of the path itself. It isn't just that he knows the outcome, but its part of his design. It isn't free will, if you were already going to do it! There's no part in that scenario that IS FREE! what part of that don't YOU understand? Freedom requires a choice, if it was pre-chosen for you, it isn't a choice.

I really think you can't wrap your head around the idea of free will being an illusion under the god scenario. It doesn't matter if you wake up and decide to eat eggs in the morning, if you were always going to pick eggs that morning, it only seems like you had a choice, but to have sausage defies god's vision of how the whole thing plays out, and directly contradicts what we believe about an all powerful creator. And to defy god's vision, suggests god never knew.

IF god put everything in motion, than all motion is his choice, if its his choice, than its not yours, free will cannot be given.
I can only repeat that so many times. Your telling me that if i didn't get it the first time, i never will, but you didn't say anything the first time. You simply declared that atheists just don't get it. that's not an argument.

ONE MORE TIME...
". Knowing the future is not the same as determining, or fixing or creating the future."

- True, but that doesn't apply to god, because god simultaneously knows AND determines the future. Therefore your distinction between knowing and determining is pointless text and has nothing to do with the argument of free will as it pertains to god. next...

". God’s knowing beforehand the free-will decisions that you are going to make, does not take away from your free-will ability to make those decisions. "

- Your words are slippery, because they are formed to neglect the argument by saying "god KNOWING BEFOREHAND". This is incomplete. Yes he knows before hand, but that doesn't accurately describe his role, as he, NOT ONLY knows before hand, but DETERMINES beforehand, as well. That's like applying the physics of space without time, the two are attached and function as such. And god determining before hand does indeed take away from your free will decision, because it was never your decision. It was determined, makarios.

Am I still not getting it? Is the idea above me? Perhaps I cannot grasp the genius that is makarios? Give me a break, if you wanna respond like a grown up, I would appreciate that.