I'm debating a strong evangelical at work, and I've got him pinned to his strongest reason for belief: that there would be no purpose to his life without god. Of course I know that isn't true, but I want to respond to this thoughtfully. How would you respond to the statement there is no purpose without God?

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I like the flippant answer If you were created for a purpose, then you are a tool. But I don't think using that one will further my cause.
My purpose is to learn everything I can and pass down my experiences and knowledge to an earlier generation.

that and being happy...the earth is beautiful...friends, family, love...who could ask for more?
It makes more sense to ask is there a purposeful life with God? Does God need man? No. Does a god need tools? No. These things are useless if God exists.
I'd wait on you forever and a day
Hand and foot
Your world is my world
Ain't no way you're ever gon' get
Any less than you should
Cause baby
You smile I smile (oh)
Cause whenever
You smile I smile
Hey hey hey

Baby take my open heart and all it offers
Cause this is as unconditional as it'll ever get
You ain't seen nothing yet
I won't ever hesitate to give you more
Cause baby (hey)
You smile I smile (whoa)
Don't insult my intelligence by suggesting "Big Daddy" only wants my love but "Big Daddy" wants to toss me into a lake of fire for all eternity just for being born if I don't love him.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize how stupid that crap is.
You mightn't care but a lot of people do. Just because you don't care doesn't mean that other people shouldn't. As for the whole stuff about personal drive and sense of purpose, isn't it possible that faith can fuel both a persons personal drive, and sense of purpose.
It only becomes a crutch if it is not an intrinsic part of reality and is a mere delusion to help us along . Personally, believing in God as I see it currently, is an acceptance of reality rather than anything else.

If God indeed, is reality rather than a delusion, then I would say that accepting His existence would be much better than denying it.

If we work on the assumption that God doesn't exist. Sure it's worse. Since I don't work on this assumption, the consequences of my beliefs differ. Atheism becomes the delusion.

So we need to work on the assumptions rather than just spouting them in a pejorative manner if we are going to progress in any discussion.
You need to re-validate to yourself the concept of "reality". How is a theoretically powerful but inherently powerless, personal but uninterfering personified deity of magical origins ANY part of what we call reality? It is NOT an assumption that God doesn't exist any more than it is not an assumption that unicorns don't exist. I don't assume these things. I have reasonable certainty that these things don't exist. It's an assumption to claim something DOES exist and then offer no concrete proof of that thing's existence other than the fictional writings of the people who created those imaginary beings in the first place. Religion IS a delusion.
It has nothing to do with assumption, and everything to do with rational thinking. We don't need to work on assumptions, we need to work on teaching people how to make rational decisions and avoid the pitfalls of low certitudinal IQ.

It's not rational to believe something exists such as god. Ask most trained thinkers and they will agree. Ask most untrained thinkers and they will disagree.
It's great, but I don't think this guy could follow it :)
Finally things are moving forward


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