Seeing Through The Bullshit
ChristianAnswers.net has a list of stupid questions it is posing to atheists, humanists, naturalists and agnostics. Although the utter silliness of the questions makes them unworthy of our attention, I nevertheless have answered them in the way the writer so obviously felt nobody would. You see, this Christian question writer clearly thought atheists would run screaming from nihilism. Unfortunately for him, with respect to at least one individual, nihilism is perfectly consonant with living a happy earthly life. I wholeheartedly embrace life’s meaninglessness, our species’ intrinsic equality with fireflies and the fact that, after death, we all entirely will cease to exist.
"If all of life is meaningless, and ultimately absurd, why bother to march straight forward, why stand in the queue as though life as a whole makes sense?" ---Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There
While life, indeed, is meaningless, people still have goals they wish to achieve. "Playing by the rules," as it were, often helps to achieve these various--ultimately meaningless--goals.
If everyone completely passes out of existence when they die, what ultimate meaning has life? Even if a man's life is important because of his influence on others or by his effect on the course of history, of what ultimate significance is that if there is no immortality and all other lives, events, and even history itself is ultimately meaningless?
Life has no meaning. It, really, is as simple as that. I don't know why people bother looking for this non-existent meaning in the first place. After all, we don't endlessly wonder how anteaters possibly can live when, ultimately, they have meaningless lives.
Suppose the universe had never existed. Apart from God, what ultimate difference would that make?
None. Only that all of our meaningless existences never would have happened.
In a universe without God or immortality, how is mankind ultimately different from a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs?
We are not different. That, right there, is the key.
What viable basis exists for justice or law if man is nothing but a sophisticated, programmed machine?
Societies live under governments. Those governments may enact any laws they wish. The laws do not need a viable basis for justice, since "justice" is an invented concept similar to the invented concept of morality.
Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway?
They don't "mean" anything at all. They are ways to pass our time, and maybe wring some joy out of life. Why this strange, frantic search for deep meaning? Why can't music simply be a way of getting earthly pleasure? The search for deep meaning is, well, meaningless.
Without absolute morals, what ultimate difference is there between Saddam Hussein and Billy Graham?
One is a secular nut, and one is a religious nut. Otherwise, pretty much the same.
If there is no immortality, why shouldn't all things be permitted? (Dostoyevsky)
Because that's not government's style. Government exists, largely, to prohibit things. Is that the way it "should" be? That, actually, is a false question, because "should" is nothing more than opinion. Nobody should do anything, nor should society act in any particular way.
If morality is only a relative social construct, on what basis could or should anyone ever move to interfere with cultures that practice apartheid, female circumcision, cannibalism, or ethnic cleansing?
There is no good basis for interference. Why can't we leave people alone, already? Every culture and society ought to be granted the right to self-determination, free from outside meddling.
If there is no God, on what basis is there any meaning or hope for fairness, comfort, or better times?
Because this universe has been godless from the start, and we all are familiar with fairness, comfort and better times. Thus, those things can arise even in a godless, meaningless universe.
Without a personal Creator-God, how are you anything other than the coincidental, purposeless miscarriage of nature, spinning round and round on a lonely planet in the blackness of space for just a little while before you and all memory of your futile, pointless, meaningless life finally blinks out forever in the endless darkness?
I am not anything other than that. None of us is. Humans are just another species of animal, roaming this planet like the rest of our animal brethren. We eat, sleep, reproduce and then die. That's it.
Here's the best summation of me (all people, actually): I am, in short, an overgrown clump of cells endowed with emergent consciousness, effective mobility and a pair of sunglasses.
Why isn’t that enough?