Recently, I had been doing some friendly debating amongst some friends and family on Facebook. The topic of the debate was the idea of objective morality. Throughout the entire debate, I have been pleasantly surprised that proponents of both sides have kept things quite amiable.
One stumbling block that we had run into involved the definition of certain terminology. Another was one of getting off track and answering questions that were not asked. So, I posted a blog to clear up some of the discrepancies with how I was defining certain terms.
After that, the debate continued…and still is continuing.
But, in all this, I can’t help but wonder something about the position of atheism. Perhaps it is a topic for further debate later as I don’t want to get too off topic with the current premise being discussed. What I wonder is…how does one live with this world view?
Seriously! How does one determine a purpose for their life? If all we are is a combination of matter, motion, time and chance….where does purpose come from? Or hope?
I would think that life with this world-view would be hopeless and depressing. If I knew that of the billions and billions of years of the existence of the universe, my entire being when looked at on this scale would approximate to zero. If I’m only in this world for probably 70 or 80 years (give or a take a few) and then I simply cease to exist, that seems to be a pretty bleak way of looking at things.
This, of course, is not actual proof of the concept of theism. But, even if I’m wrong and the atheist is right, I would at least spend my life feeling like I have a purpose. Feeling like I matter. Feeling like it is important for me to become a better husband, a better father, a better employee, a better friend, a better citizen.
Now we circle back around to “what does ‘better’ actually mean?” We’re right back at looking at objective morality. A concept that most atheists apparently believe is strictly hypothetical at best and irrational at worst.
Yet, I think we would find very few atheists, even, who do not admit that there must be some moral difference between helping a stranger rebuild their home after a tornado vs. brutally murdering another person for the sheer pleasure of doing it. I think we can all agree that one is objectively “good” and the other is objectively “bad.” If we can’t see that, and we hold to the idea that moral values are determined by society, then we could not condemn Hitler’s armies for mass murder. After all, that society felt that that was a highly moral thing to do!
Not to get too far off track, I guess my point is…I just don’t get it! Why would you subscribe to a world-view that reduces to such an extent? It’s one thing to profess to be agnostic. At least then it’s a simple matter of not knowing. But to claim to be truly atheist is not only an extremely arrogant claim (to make such a claim presumes that you know enough to know every possibility, something that cannot be accomplished by any mere human) and leaves one with no purpose, no sense of meaning and no hope for the future.
In the end, I can only pray that those people who profess this view will one day realize how loved they are, and learn to embrace and accept that love.
Grace, love and peace.