I am not an ex-Mormon but I have heard the author’s favorite argument countless times. It is a fallacious argument in my opinion because the premise that without God there can be no objective moral values or duties is a false dichotomy. The concept of a moral value rests on the answer to the the question: Of value to whom and for what? A code of values for man’s life must be based on what man requires which is a function of his nature and the nature of existence. So Man’s nature it seems to me is the objective basis for choosing a code of moral values and it makes no difference whether existence was created by a God or just is.
The second premise that there are objective moral values and duties is a stolen concept. As a Christian the author must hold consciousness to be primary to existence which means that reality is subjective and there could be no such thing as an objective value.
The author asks the question: “do you feel sorrow over the
absurdity of life?”. Again I reject the premise that life is absurd if there is no God. I think that life is an end in itself. It needs no external sanction or purpose. My life has meaning to me and I need look no further than my self for a purpose. I am the meaning and the purpose of my life.
“So Mans nature it seems to me is the objective basis for choosing a code of moral values and it makes no difference whether existence was created by a God or just is.”
Man’s nature is utterly corrupt, and it seems to me that most heresies are of the opinion that man is somehow good or is capable of “fixing itself” in place of God. Even an atheist must acknowledge the limitless potential in man for depravity, despite whatever self-righteousness he embraces in himself.
#1...from man's perspective there is no across-the-board agreement on what is man's nature!
To Mormons, for example, men have always existed -- as eternal as God is (D&C 93:29,33);
THEN they were spirit-born on a planet near "Kolob" (where'er that is);
THEN they came to earth as "spirits" to inhabit a body (you didn't know Mitt Romney was an alien from another planet, did you?)
THEN if Mormons 100% tithe, marry, qualify for a temple recommend, and legalistically obey ALL of the rituals & requirements expected of them, they will (eventually) become full-grown gods.
You can readily see, then, that a perspective of "who man is" is going to be radically distinct...from Mormon cosmology (worldview above)...to Hindu sacred-cowism (don't kill-that-cow-is-my-ancestor...which thereby places man on the level of a cow!)...to Heaven's Gate believers whose "absolute" of suicide as a simple "gateway" to another planetary dimension...[only those demonic agents failed to tell them that "other dimension" was hell!]
Let's focus on the "meat" of this "sandwich":
"Life...needs NO external sanction or purpose."
When we unpack that statement, while the rest of your comments says there can be a private, a personal, a processional self-purpose for life, what this "meat" of your comment says is:
"Life...needs NO social OR social ethical sanction or purpose."
So do YOU REALLY believe there is no social or no social ethical sanction or purpose within life?
There is no morality without God.
You might be able to be ethical or legal but you cannot be moral.
I detect a common thought here.
I will assume that you are an atheist.