Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Could Christians Be Wasting Their Lives?

Hahah keep wasting your lives you crazy christians... you only get one, no afterlife, just this one pass. This one life you guys are wasting away praying to magical invisible sky daddy. HAhahahaa

--Anonymous commenter on Intellectual Feast

From time to time I run into comments from atheists, like the one quoted from the anonymous commenter, which deal with their belief that Christians are wasting their lives following a supposedly nonexistent God. I have even heard intelligent atheists like Daniel Dennett say that there is no easy way to tell believers that they have been wasting their lives on their faith. These comments show that the atheist commenter obviously hasn’t seriously thought about the implications of life without God in a materialist universe. If God doesn’t exist then our lives are brief, absurd and futile.

For centuries theists and atheists have been locked in a stalemate where neither side can conclusively prove or disprove God’s existence. Since this is the case, the atheist’s assertion that God or the afterlife doesn’t exist is an unfounded belief. However, for the sake of argument, let’s suppose that the big bang was spontaneously uncaused and that matter popped into existence out of non-matter, and that we are here by chance as there is no God. What implications would this have on our lives? As the atheist says there is only one pass through life. In fact, when compared to the 13.7 billion years the universe has existed, our life span of zero to 120 years is incredibly ephemeral. Not only will each one of us die, but the entire human race is doomed to extinction as entropy causes the universe to die a slow heat death. If this is the case then how can one properly put their life to good use? Is it propagating my genes? No, as I said the human race will eventually be wiped out of existence so that is futile. How about accruing happy memories? Even if you don’t lose your memories as you grow senile with age, you will eventually lose all your memories when you die—it will be like they never existed. What about achieving fame through great works? Even if you are fortunate enough to be one of the few people in history to achieve greatness, your work will eventually be lost like the work of Shakespeare, Picasso, Plato and Mozart will be lost as the human race perishes. So, we see that in an entropic, materialist universe life is ultimately meaningless and futile.

With this in mind let us consider probabilities. The various arguments for God such as the cosmological arguments, ontological arguments, fine tuning argument, the moral argument, the Lonerganian Proof, as well as the historicity of the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not to mention divine revelation all work together to raise the probability that the Christian faith is quite plausible. If I as a reasoned Christian believe that there is a high probability that God exists and the Christian faith is true then why wouldn’t I devote my life to God, especially if I derive a great deal of satisfaction from my faith. If materialist naturalism is true then my faith was wrongly placed, but this is essentially inconsequential since life would be meaningless and futile anyway. However, is God exists and Christianity is true then I will lead a happy life and enjoy an eternity of bliss with God. My choice is a no brainer.

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