Purpose in or for Life

Here is another letter to the editor I submitted to our local paper ten days ago; it was printed in today’s edition. Let me encourages you, brethren, that as often as you can write a “letter to the editor” is as often as you can evangelize with the printed word.

Letter to editor,

Some ask questions like, what a “transcendent truth?” is or “what is truth?” with a perspective that there is not one or it is not possible to determine if there is one. These are questions (and thus arguments) of the atheist and agnostic. Generally speaking, liberals recognize such a concept as truth that is objective and transcendent. However, according a recent study, “…liberal churchgoers” are becoming less and less ‘churchgoers’ because they have become offended and leave as the devout churchgoers become more conservative. In fact, one researcher said, ‘When you take away that external form or motivation, people either drop away or they find their own kind of motivation’” (“Duke prof says in book: Americans religious faith waning”, Journal-Gazette, C-3, 8/30/2011).

This is exactly the predicament atheist Kai Nielsen was in when he said, in his debate with J.P. Moreland on God’s existence (1991), “there can be purpose in life even if there is no purpose to life” (italics his). This is a rational atheist recognizing that his life is a meaningless existence, yet there is need for proper motivation to do certain things. If meaning is only in this life, then there is no rational reason for being good in comparison with not being good – except for utilitarian reasons. Thus, the idea of “universal principles” are strictly man-made and, correspondingly, meaningless concerning purpose for life’s existence! This is the nature of the evolutionary hypothesis for life.

One writer said, in a completely different context, “I’ve heard it said half-jokingly that the difference between philosophy and religion is that philosophy is questions without answers and religion is answers without questions. I’d like to think that a secular studies program could combine the best of these two stereotypes” (Herb Silverman, President, Secular Coalition for America,  Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Charleston, Washington Post, On Faith, 9/1/2011).

Indeed! Perhaps something like this ought to be pursued, and we can begin with the question: “Can one know there exists a transcendent being (God) to whom each will give an account?” This is a question that is worthy of debate, as one is taking place in northern Alabama on a university campus in late September.

#editor, #meaning, #purpose