Skip to comments.The Absurdity Of Life Without God - William Lane Craig
Posted on 12/16/2008 10:31:38 AM PST by Michael Eden
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Perhaps with God, the all-powerful, what we believe to be contradictions in beliefs/faiths are not contradictions at all. Perhaps God makes it possible for these beliefs/faiths, to be valid for each individual.
That's not really an argument for the existence of God. It's an argument that the existence of God would make some people happier, but it does not provide any support for the actual existence of God.
My life would be better if I won the lottery, but that does not making me winning the lottery more likely.
I wouldn't say that it does either, but I've known some protestants who be happy to get all righteously indignant about it. Since I don't believe in any of it, I don't have a stake either way.
But my original point was that there are thousands and thousands of religions each with many value systems within them. Therefore, I reject someone who claims to have used deductive reasoning to arrive at their own religious value system, since it's completely impossible to have known or studied every one; your geography, not your intricate look into the world's available faiths, usually (although not always) accounts for your beliefs.
In that sense, simply saying that there are three choices (polytheism, atheism, and monotheism) and its easy to eliminate two and arrive at one, doesn't cut it. Monotheism is not a value system.
Isn't there at least a third option: That God exists, but that at least some of us will turn to dust, and that perhaps even some sincere believers' souls will be consigned to oblivion? (Perhaps because of, e.g., some flaws in their character, doctrinal heresies, hubris, insufficient diligence in obeying the Law, personal failures, unforgivable sins, insufficient love towards their fellow man, inactivity, sheer ignorance of Holy Scripture through circumstances beyond their control, etc.?)
A true believer knows that he will be saved.
So you are an adherent of "salvation through faith, alone?" Are you sure that that is a scripturally air-tight stance?
I DO see your point, and I think Craig saw it too. Eternity is an essential element of the Christian tradition, and Craig very much makes it part of his argument.
Some things would have force even if we ceased to exist but there was a Creator God. Moral laws, for example, which have no force if we merely evolved, and have no more value than worms - but DO have value given the Imago Dei - would still hold power.
That was why I wanted to make it available in an HTML format. Easier to print, copy, etc.
It is very much worth printing, and keeping on your computer. I hope it blesses you as much as it has me!
Pascal's wager misses one alternative completely- what if you pick the wrong divine being to worship? Pascal's wager only gives you the option of believing in the Judeo-Christian God or believing in nothing. But what if the true god is Ahura Mazda, or Mithras?
This lecture goes FAR beyond that. It not only asserts, but uses the very words of atheists to PROVE that without God there is no meaning, value, or purpose. And the force of Craigs argument is that one is literally reduced to pretending that life really has meaning, value, and purpose, or accepting God.
Which is not an argument for the existence of God. The fact that you need something to exist does not make the existence of such a thing more likely.
What would happen if every single member of the human race faced the reality that such a thing as justice was itself utterly nonexistent, and killing a human being actually had no more moral consequence than stepping on a bug?
This argument seems to boil down to the belief that religious people are only kept in check by fear of punishment from a divine being.
Leading atheist H.L. Mencken said, Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. And if life has no ultimate purpose, value, or meaning, why shouldnt we?
Because few people have the desire, or the martial ability, to live in a socety where the only rules are "do as thou shalt." Anyone with any understanding of history understands what happens when humans revert to the law of the jungle.
I feel sorry for you.
C.S. Lewis said that hell was closed from the inside by people who prefer bitterness and defiance to what they could have merely by bowing the knee to their Creator.
“Halfhearted”? The brilliance of this presentation is that William Lane Craig cites the views of the most brilliant atheists of the century to back up every single thing he says. As an atheist, how do you say, “These people don’t know what they’re talking about”? They’re YOUR guys, dude!
For you, anyone who thinks like you, and anyone who is considering thinking like you, watch this music video:
It’s such a common thing among atheists to take what is so wonderful and incredible and good - a caring, loving, generous, gracious, intimately involved God of Creation - and warp and pervert it into an obscenity.
So I were to say you’re wrong and you said I was wrong, we’d both be right?
“Therefore, I reject someone who claims to have used deductive reasoning to arrive at their own religious value system, since it’s completely impossible to have known or studied every one; your geography, not your intricate look into the world’s available faiths, usually (although not always) accounts for your beliefs.”
What ‘value system’ did you use to come to that conclusion? Have you tried all the other ones...
If we were all absolutely, completely honest, I don’t see how we could say anyone really knows anything about God, whether He exists or not. We certainly have strong beliefs, but I don’t see how it can really be said that we have knowledge of God.
And on top of what you say, I have one other offering.
There was a time when I seriously doubted whether there was a God. I had to find “proof.”
But even when I doubted whether there really was a God, it never once occurred to me to think that the idea of God was some kind of terrible thing. It never occurred to me to say, “Christianity is awful.” Rather, I always thought, “Christianity is beautiful - if it’s true.”
Think of it: God created us in His image with free will. When we sinned and He could not - being morally holy - have a relationship with us, He assumed a human nature, and lived a perfect life so that He could take our sin upon Himself and save us. God loved us so much He personally identified with our plight, and came to save us from our worst instincts so that He could offer us a beautiful eternal fellowship in heaven.
And we have people say, “What an ugly God that would be!”
And, yes, I came to find what I needed to believe. And I never doubt now. I have everything I need to see and hear my God.
I just can’t understand the mindset of someone who so twists the idea of a Creator God that he concludes, “What a terrible thing it would be if there really were a God who created us in His image and loved us and has an eternal destiny for our lives.”
It’s almost like seeing rotting meat as beautiful and fresh flowers as ugly. It’s incomprehensible to me.
I would agree that antitheism, which holds that its better that we do not live under the watchful eye of a "creator", is more of a belief or opinion. Yes, not wanting to live under a god doesn't have any bearing on whether or not he exists. I wasn't asserting it as fact, but it is a reasonable retort to his view that everyone for some reason should want to live under a paedagogical supreme being.
You opinion again. I imagine you will continue to repeat it. Is that a chant on your part?
Let me put it this way.
Let's say I look at the universe and find that I don't see any evidence of a supreme being or any supernatural entities or occurances, and choose to live based on that observation.
You on the other hand look at the universe and not only see a supreme being, but you make other assumptions:
-you know who he is
-you know what he wrote
-you know who his son is
-you know what he wants from you....
In fact, you might say that you know him personally and speak to him on a regular basis.
I believe the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence of these things rather than asking me to prove a negative. After all, why should I be required to prove your god non-existent, when I don't spend an equal amount of time on proving Zeus, Vishnu, the aforementioned Ahura Mazda, and the flying spaghetti monster non-existent as well.
I hate to quote Sagan because I know he gets a reaction around here, but "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
I don't know that the 'argument' can make any such assumption:
Heard Sprout [Sproat], on 3 Tit. 5. Not by Works of Righteousness, which We have done, but according to his Mercy he saved us, through the Washing of Regeneration and the Renewing of the holy Ghost.
. . . . . John Adams Diary 23, Sunday, September 17, 1775, pg 5
No, he argues that without God there is no meaning, value, or purpose and arrives at an opinion.
He may be right in his opinion, but he admits in the article that he has proven nothing. There were millions of people on earth before anyone ever heard of Jesus Christ. The literature suggests that many had very satisfying lives anyway.
No, I've used inductive reasoning to come to that conclusion, rather than say that I've seen and tried everything else that exists and deductively concluded that mine is the best.
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