• Counter-apologetics on the meaning of life by … Counter Apologist

    The new kid on the counter-apologetic blogging block, the aptly named Counter Apologist, is continuing to produce some great videos. They are really good because they are clean, clear and concise; easy to digest and a good introduction to interesting topics. Here, I/ will embed this particular offering on the meaning of life. Check out his website, which embeds the YT videos alongside a useful transcript of the videos.

    The pertinent points are this:

    1) We produce our own meaning or purpose for life

    2) This is different to having one thrust upon us by a designer

    3) The ‘ultimate’ meaning thrust upon us by a designer is merely subjective to the designer

    4) That we live (on an atheistic worldview), love, aspire, set and achieve goals does not qualify as proper meaning, apparently (according to the theist).

    5) If things that are designed by a designer are the only things which qualify as having a purpose, then surely God has no purpose, short of his own subjectively assigned purpose.

    6) That meaning wrapped up in worship and relation with God is ultimate because it last eternally

    7) “So all the “meaning and purpose” we think about as the most important things in our lives now, our loves, our family, our friends, our continual growth in knowledge and understanding, they mean NOTHING on the Christian view”

    8) “But even on this view, eternal life has its own problems.  Even if we were “free to do what we wanted” in heaven, rather than be praise bots, eventually on the eternal time scale, you run out of things to do.  There’s nothing new to learn, god can tell us anything we’d ever question.  There’s nothing new to experience after a while, you could exhaust every possibility and still have time left to go!”

    9) “Now the Christian response is to say that this experience of god will be so great that it won’t matter, we’ll just be super-amazing-crazy happy forever, because god will make it so or because god is that awesome.

    If that’s the case, then what the hell is the point of talking about meaning and purpose?  It’s no longer about what makes me happy and why, it’s about the state of being happy.”

    10) “So on the Christian view, happiness has nothing to do with meaning and purpose.  “Ultimate meaning and purpose” is knowing and worshipping god for ever. On this view meaning and purpose can only come from god, so what’s important in this life is being a saved Christian so you can achieve this purpose.  This is considered the “ultimate good” since in Christian theology “goodness” is literally defined as “the nature of god”.  The two phrases are actually synonyms on this view.  This is supposed to make us happy, if we “love what is good”, or rather “love god”.

    Compare this with the atheist view, and the fact that our lives are short, that the existence of our species looks to be finite on the grandest scales – makes the only life that we know we’ll have that much more precious.  It drives us to live the most meaningful and purposeful life for ourselves and for each other that we can possibly achieve.”



    I’d be interested to see what y’all think. I have pretty much analysed this argument pretty much exactly as CA has here, in my essay on the meaning of life.

    Category: PhilosophyPhilosophy of Religion


    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce