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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Bill, I wrote a blog about this that was well received here on TA. I get tired of the same question. If any of it is useful, steal away. Even the useless life collage.
Thanks Gaytor. I actually did a search on purpose, but didn't find what I was looking for. I figured it was already there and I just didn't pose the question well. Obviously, TA members still have more to contribute to this subject. Thanks all!
Absolutely. We are ever growing in numbers and diversity.
Yes, there is no fixed inehent purpose, get over it! :D
Make your own in an existentialist way. (shamelessly)
Yes, the existence of God precludes freedom. I don't think I could explain this to my friend though.
And how exactly the existance of a God help him finding a purpose..was he born to pray andd go to church?? is that it??

I remember a quote by Einestein that says the only meaning and purpose of our life is to make those around us happy.

He said exactly " Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men - above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends"
Wow, that's no debate card to pull at all. The mere statement is a surrender.
If he has arrived at that sad excuse for his belief, then he admits plainly that God is a creation, a solution --only to appease a question mankind has always had, and nothing more. His next step is to understand that life is full of unanswerable questions -- we're a dot on the map, he probably hasn't got a mind big enough to imagine how small we are, and how small our silly sentiments and ideas of gods are... I'd ask how he can possibly think belief is justifiable by the idea than mankind needs to, or possibly could know everything. We can't, and it's a total embarrassment, but common human "thing," to just make shit up as we go to calm and reassure everyone. We make our own purposes, we arrived by chance, by pure, unbiased, evidential evolution, no matter what legends we've written since our debut, and now that we are here, there are tons of purposes to undertake. Maybe he could start with the business of saving Earth, since our ancestors left us not only an irreversible situation of religion and all its burdens and fights, but a situation of having unknowingly started killing our own one true nonhuman parent, the planet.
Having some huge personal purpose... seems pretty damn petty to me, petty like a lot of their "God's" wishes and demands of us.
I throw up a little bit every time I hear someone say that.

Ask him this: "if suddenly somehow you were shown beyond the shadow of a doubt that there was no god, would you abandon your wife and children?"
I am sad that man has no purpose in his life without god. Have you suggested he get a pet or try one of those nice online dating services? Perhaps he should strive for an altruistic pursuit, like volunteering somewhere?
Ask him just what that purpose is? What is the purpose of life that he claims to believe in?

For the majority of the living..according to the majority of evangelicals...the purpose is to suffer in permanant separation from their creator.

Ask him.. Why did God create so many people knowing the majority of them would be separated from him for all eternity?

Or.. ask it to him this way. Why did God create an eternal torture chamber and condemn the majority of his creation to it, and only allow a fractional elite to find eternal salvation?

How does God give meaning and purpose to life in such a universe? What great wisdom or truths are gleaned from this?
This isn't exactly a thoughtful way of responding but it sure is funny...



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