Many Christians, including myself, have made the argument against atheism that if you accept atheism, then you have to forget the idea that life has any meaning. More often than not, this is met with a sort of personal put-down. Something like, “you theists are so immature if you need a god to make life meaningful for you. We [superior] atheists are capable of finding meaning in ourselves.”
While this sentiment might sound smart, there is very little argumentation in it. It is certainly no-where near as rationally convincing as it is repulsively pretentious.
Here’s the problem. Many of these atheists have come to admit that, if there is no god, then life and the universe have no objective meaning; once we’re dead, that’s it – the universe won’t mourn us. But if that’s the case, why would you congratulate yourself for coming up with your own meaning in life?
See, atheists often make the claim against theists that we are living in a fantasy world, that we have invented a supreme deity to help us find purpose and feel better about life, and then they boast in their ability to find meaning without resorting to a god. But if an atheist has conceded that there is no objective meaning in the universe without God, how can he accuse the theist of fantasising by inventing a God for himself? Has not the atheist committed just as inordinate an intellectual transgression by making his own meaning? Must he not admit that his meaning is an outright fabrication that has no ground whatsoever in the real world? Aren’t atheists supposed to be obsessed with cold, hard, objective rationality, and with believing whatever the evidence says, regardless of how they feel? After all, either we exist for a reason, or we don’t. We cannot justly live under the impression that our existence matters for something if the brute fact is that it doesn’t.
The atheist who so proudly makes his own meaning has committed the very same felony he accuses the theist of: he has invented and believed a sentimental notion in order to get him through Monday to Sunday.
At least theists believe that their God actually exists outside of themselves.
It will probably then be
argued asserted that there is no evidence for God!
That’s simply not true.
But if it is, then there’s certainly no evidence of meaning.
We must accept the consequences of the worldview we believe.