Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meaning Without God

Can one really live a life of meaning without God? What is meaning if it is not purpose? If a purpose maker that transcends the boundaries of our individuality does not exist, then how can the attempt to make up meaning without Him be any less than self-deception; an illusion?

I illustrate with an example. Suppose you say that the meaning of your life is to work a particular vocation that you happen to be good at and derive lots of satisfaction out of (BTW, you'd be the exception and not the norm). That vocation could be anything, but let's say it is to be a police officer, just for sake of illustration.

Why is your life purpose to be a police officer, I might ask?. You might reply, "Because I'm good at it and I enjoy it." "Why do are you good at it and why do you enjoy it?" You might tell me how you are a good shot, and are a natural authority figure, love risk, love serving the community, etc. You might also tell me why you enjoy these things. But WHY are you good at these things and WHY do you enjoy them? Without God, do you really have an answer that goes deeper than evolutionary chance? Why would evolution care? Only beings care... Can the very chair you are most likely sitting in right now care? Can a random process have a purpose, a will, for your life?

If you simply believe in meaning without God because you WANT to believe you live in such a world, then stop asking questions. If you ask too many, they inevitably lead you where you don't want to go.

The Hand of Hope

In light of pictures like this, I don't see how there can be any doubt as to whether or not abortion is killing.

Perhaps this smacks you in the face because you had an abortion. I'm not throwing stones. There is forgiveness, but it is a forgiveness that only God can give. I certainly don't condemn the remorseful. How could I when I also have sin that begs the same forgiveness?

Now to those who distract us from the truth by arguing choice, murder is a choice, but do you believe society should permit it? Discrimination and prejudice are choices, do you believe society should permit them?

Friday, May 15, 2009

What screams louder?

C.S. Lewis changed the way that I think. To sum it up, he presents our emotions and longings as being "signposts" which point to truth. Prior to Lewis' interpretation, my instinct was to look at emotions only as an outworking to our world.

Lewis once said that the existence of the stomach was evidence that there also existed something in which it could be filled with. What does this truth tell you about the hole in your heart?

Lewis probably acquired this worldview by G.K. Chesterton. In his book Orthodoxy, he wrote:

The test of all happiness is gratitude; and
I felt grateful, though I hardly knew to whom. Children are grateful when Santa Claus puts in their
stockings gifts of toys or sweets. Could I not be grateful to Santa Claus when he put in my stockings
the gift of two miraculous legs? We thank people for birthday presents of cigars and slippers. Can
I thank no one for the birthday present of birth? Orthdoxy pg 30.

It seems that we have this innate longing to thank, or dare I even say worship, someone outside of ourselves. If this longing goes unfulfilled, we are destined to find life meaningless. This sentiment was acknowledged by OsCar Wilde.

Chesterton writes about this:

Oscar Wilde said that sunsets were not valued because we could not pay for
sunsets. But Oscar Wilde was wrong; we can pay for sunsets. We can pay for them by not being
Oscar Wilde. Orthodoxy pg 32

Like anyone of faith, my doubts sometimes scream at me. But what screams louder is this longing to live for someone bigger than myself.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why would nature care about our comfort?

When my wife's grandfather was in Hospice, the Hospice workers told us that right before someone dies, there is a chemical that increases in the body which lessens the pain.

This process begs the question, "Why would this process have evolved, given that evolution is driven by SURVIVAL of the FITTEST"?

Monday, May 11, 2009

An unexamined faith is not worth believing

If a scientist submitted a new theory, published in a scientific journal, it would certainly be subject to testing and analysis.

Yet, I'm astounded at how many skeptics won't perform the same testing process on religious claims. It is because they misunderstand faith. If faith is believing in something that has absolutely no evidence, then no testing is necessary. This is their mindset. But such a mindset not only misunderstands faith, it is a great excuse for the skeptic and non-religious to bury their heads in the sand.

"An unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates

A belief can be based upon faith but have evidence that supports it. For instance, the probability of my dying in a plane crash is very slim, thus I fly. However, because I can never ultimately know for sure if I'm not on an airplane that will crash, my belief is based upon faith. Even though it is a reasoned belief, reason doesn't obsolve it from being faith.

It is very convenient for the skeptic to divorce faith from reasoning. To do so, gives them a reason to not ask the ultimate question of religion's claims:

"Is it true?"

Before simply dismissing faith as man-made, I ask the skeptic to show me that he/she has examined religion's claims and has a good reason to reject them.

Simply claiming religion is man-made, without demonstrating evidence of such an examination, demonstrates prejudice, not a bold attempt to ask questions no matter where they might lead...