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?

Tags: meaning, purpose, value

Views: 91

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Some people just want to be pawns, I guess.

Some would answer that our purpose is to be with God, but that's a self-fulfilling prophecy. So we create this idea, call it God, to justify the intangible parts of life and give us "purpose", but our purpose is merely just to BE with that very thing that we created just for the sole reason of having a purpose? Am I the only one that finds this a little creepy? Okay. Flip side. God creates us for the sole purpose of having a fan club and some company. But we're separated by something called real life and apparently invisibility. Why the purposeful separation? And what is our purpose while we're here? Isn't it the exact same reasons that people of other beliefs and no religions give themselves? HELLO!
I'm not sure that we can respond to the general statement, "there is no purpose without God" unless we define what that purpose might be.

First I'd ask him to identify what he considers his life purpose to be. (Carrying on the species, being kind to others, spreading the word of God, contributing in some meaningful way to the benefit of the planet...?)

Then you can tackle whether God needs to exist for his purpose to exist. If the purpose is something like being kind to others, then clearly no God is required (and you can explain how kindness and co-operation are moral qualities that are not dependent upon a higher power.)

If his purpose is to spread the word of God, you can still break down the argument. That purpose doesn't require God's existence either; it merely requires his belief in a set of principles that he attributes to God.

People have been promoting a variety of gods throughout history ranging from Thor to Zeus. Presumably he'll agree that Thor doesn't exist, but that presumably there were Scandinavians, way back when, who found purpose in promoting Thor's ideas. Will he claim that their lives lacked purpose because Thor wasn't real? Would they not have felt driven by purpose through their own belief? (I expect that he'll argue over this, but at least if you can agree on a definition of his purpose, you'll have something to work with.)

Good luck!
That's good advice. Break it down into manageable pieces.
Then by that logic everyone who lived throughout history who had never heard of god had no purpose? Don't be weak willed. Determine your own purpose.

RSS

Support T|A

Think Atheist is 100% member supported

All proceeds go to keeping Think Atheist online.

Donate with Dogecoin

Members

Forum

Science Isn't About Truth

Started by Ari E. S. in Philosophy. Last reply by Simon Paynton 1 hour ago. 19 Replies

Blog Posts

Dead man's Switch

Posted by Philip Jarrett on April 18, 2014 at 11:29pm 0 Comments

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Into life hacks? Check out LabMinions.com

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service