Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apathy, Atheism, and the Absurdity of Life Without God

Here is a truth I wish everyone would take the time to earnestly and honestly contemplate:

If God does not exist and there is no life after death, then there is no ultimate meaning, value, or purpose in life.

The question of God’s existence is the most important question we can seek to answer. If God does not exist and we do not survive the death of our bodies, life is ultimately absurd. J.P. Moreland provides an illustration which helps bring this truth home:

Suppose I invited you over to my house to play a game of Monopoly. When you arrive I announce that the game is going to be a bit different. Before us is the Monopoly board, a set of jacks, a coin, the television remote, and a refrigerator in the corner of the room. I grant you the first turn, and puzzlingly, inform you that you may do anything you want: fill the board with hotels, throw the coin in the air, toss a few jacks, fix a sandwich, or turn on the television. You respond by putting hotels all over the board and smugly sit back as I take my turn. I respond by dumping the board upside down and tossing the coin in the air. Somewhat annoyed, you right the board and replenish it with hotels. I turn on the television and dump the board over again.

Now it wouldn’t take too many cycles of this nonsense to recognize that it didn’t really matter what you did with your turn, and here’s why. There is no goal, no purpose to the game we are playing. Our successive turns form a series of one meaningless event after another. Why? Because if the game as a whole has no purpose, the individual moves within the game are pointless. Conversely, only a game’s actual purpose according to its inventor can give the individual moves significance.[1]

As Moreland articulates, if the game of Monopoly as a whole has no purpose, the individual moves within the game have no meaning or value. The only way your moves within the game of Monopoly have significance is if you discover the purpose of the game and you align yourself with that purpose.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage: Equal Rights, Religion, and Bigotry

When it comes to controversial moral debates like same-sex marriage, trite sayings such as this one on the left are echoed quite often in a culture where the make-up man has become more important than the speech writer. It’s short, it’s rhetorically powerful, and it can be repeated, tweeted, and regurgitated faster than you can say “Anti-disestablishmentarianism.” Using only eighteen words, it gets the intended job done.

But often the truth of the matter takes a bit longer to unpack than can be offered in a thirty-second sound bite. A false assertion can be uttered in seconds, while offering a well thought out response which exposes the problem or mistaken assumption requires clear thinking, patience, energy, and time, virtues and luxuries many people either can’t afford or don’t want to.

The issue of same-sex marriage is a hot topic that is not going away anytime soon. Christian apologists need to be persistent in clarifying the issues, especially in the face of saucy slogans such as this.

So what’s wrong with this oft-repeated cliché?