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?
well, first of all, even if there was no purpose without god that wouldn't be justification for believing that there is a god in fact. that's just belief in a god because you can't stomach the thought of there not being one because if there was you believe there would be no purpose to life.
second, i would ask him what sort of purpose he derives from god, or that he thinks we as humans can derive from god. he almost certainly means "ultimate purpose" as opposed to a simple purpose because it's very easy to find purpose in life- you find it in the love of your family, in the companionship of your spouse, in the camaraderie of close friends. you find it in a love of learning new things and in being of help to others. some find it in art and/or music, either appreciating it or creating it or both. there are any number of things that give life purpose.
finally, even allowing that his god gives him a feeling of purpose why has he chosen his particular god? what can he say about whether or not his god, and not another, can give humans the highest purpose? and, if people find purpose with another god or without any god at all, why would he have a problem with that? does god know or care that what he or anyone else gets from god is purpose? and if someone gets their purpose without god would god really condemn them to hell for eternity for it?
reminds me of something Mikhail Bakunin said- "Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it."
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
You smile I smile (oh)
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)
I like the feel of a nice fall breeze on a clear, starry night. Does that have any grand purpose? Maybe, maybe not. Do I give a fuck? No. It is enjoyable regardless, and that's more than good enough for me.
'There is no purpose without God' has always seemed a sad statement to me. It generally implies that our own personal drive and sense of purpose is unimportant without some external validation. That may be true for marionettes, but it isn't true for me.
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.