What if there was no God? I am not arguing that there is not a God, and am not arguing that there is one. I am only going to look at the implications of both scenarios. Please note, that when I say God, I mean the one true God of Christianity and Israel(Jews). By that sentence, you know my belief about this rhetorical scenario – but I am going to approach this as objectively as I can. I feel the need to write on this because there seems to be an emerging movement, as it were, toward people believing there is no God, or creator of the universe – some going so far as to call believers crazy, or persecute them in other ways.
What does it mean that God exists? I believe it means that we have purpose to this life. We have the ultimate goal of pleasing God, and living for Him, and loving Him. We have purpose. We also have meaning to life. There is a reason man is here. There is meaning for the actions that we have. Our life has meaning – being loving and kind and generous to all. Our life means something with God in it. Our life also has value to it. Our value is that we are loved by God, the creator of all. Our actions mean something, our life has purpose to it, and because of this we have value to our lives. Our life goes past the grave with God existing. In short, there is hope for man, if God exists.
Now, to the opposing worldview – God does not exist.
What does this mean, what are the implications of such a statement? Without God, our lives have no meaning, no purpose, no value. Without God, our lives inevitably will end. That abyss, that end, is complete. There is no more me when I die. I am no more. My actions in this life then mean absolutely nothing. Who cares, for I am dead? What does the way I live matter if all it leads to is the grave? Complete and utter nothingness when I die. The way I treat you means nothing. There are no morals without God. Without God, there is nothing that can be called evil or good, for who is the judge of such things? My evil could be your definition of good. I become the rule maker, and therefore you mean nothing to me. Self-interest is the only driving force to my life, if God does not exist. God gives us purpose…meaning…a life worth livinig. A life worthsomething. Without God – only self-interest. I live, and I die. I gain pleasure from my life, even if it is at the expense of your life. There should be no talk of good and evil, if one is an atheist, as the two are relative to a person, place, and time. Good and evil do not exist – there is no moral standard without the timeless standards of God. I mean, who is to say murdering someone is evil? There is no basis for it.
If you say in response to this that there is a moral consciouness, where does it come from? What does this matter? Why would my hurting someone or being kind to someone matter in the end? I go to the grave, and so does everyone else. Think of it this way – A man travels to the future (assuming time travel existed), and finds nothing but utter silence. No sounds of life. What does his life in the past truly mean, for all it led to is this? This is what we are destined for, in the end. Even if humans last, the light and survivng force of the universe is fading even as I write this. Our sun will turn into a black hole – the end of life as we know it. There is no getting around this without God.
If one says that there is purpose to life, our procreation or treating others well, again, I ask – what does it matter? Even if I make an influence in my lifetime, there is no true meaning to it. If I am destined for the grave, then so is everything else. The book of Ecclessiastes is likely the first book of apologetics in my eyes. Let’s see what it says concerning our lives without God –
2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless.”
3 What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them. (Ecc. 1:3-11)
Here is something Richard Dawkins, a famous atheist has to say about evil and good values in the world in his book River out of eden: a Darwinian view of life –
“In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect, if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference…DNA neither knows, nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. (p. 133, emphasis mine, retrieved 4/5/12 from http://books.google.com/books?id=DxmKvnPyBSoC&lpg=PA96&vq=purpose&pg=PA133#v=onepage&q=purpose&f=true )
Don’t take my word for what life without God is – look to this leader of atheism. We have no justice, for there is no good and evil, only indifference. No purpose, for DNA is our guide. We do what our DNA says. Our lives lead to the grave, and that is all. Our life has no meaning, no purpose, no value. What I find odd is that the two, Richard Dawkins and the author of Ecclesiastes have similar views on this matter – we have no meaning without God, we have no purpose, our lives are meaningless.
The unfortunate thing is that not many atheists adhere to the inherent beliefs in the statement “God does not exist”. They may not even understand the implications of it. If you do, I ask, are you truly happy with your meaningless life? I would venture, not knowing as I have meaning to my life, that you are not happy. The reason I say this is that without purpose to your life, without meaning, without value – there can be only transient happiness. To be truly happy, one must create a purpose. A meaningless purpose, for what does that made up purpose mean to anything outside yourself? How can you be kind, or care about anyone, when self-interest is your only means for life?
I opened this discourse by saying I wouldn’t argue one side or the other. I feel I failed miserably in this endeavor, and I apologize. I simply cannot comprehend how someone could believe they have no inherent meaning to their life. I simply cannot comprehend life without God.