Thursday, November 21, 2013

What's the Meaning?

"Your life has no meaning without God."

Apologists often appeal to meaning when arguing for their deity. Let’s quickly look at what they mean by this claim.

Possible meaning #1

To have meaning you must have been created. Okay, then God has no meaning according to their own doctrine--which begs the question, how much meaning can we really have as the product of a meaningless being?

Possible meaning #2

To have meaning you must either have been created or create. This option gives meaning to God as well as us--but it also allows for our meaning without God. We create under our own power everything from art to life.

Possible meaning #3

To have meaning you must have a purpose ascribed by an authority higher than yourself. Again, this makes God meaningless which makes him a pretty weak authority and therefore us essentially meaningless by proxy. It also gives anyone meaning once they enter the workforce or are born into a family with defined expectations.

Possible meaning #4

To have meaning you must have a purpose ascribed by God. Ah, now we’re getting to the fallacious crux of the argument. By defining the word “meaning” as that which is prescribed by God, apologists guarantee a circular win via a linguistic trick only they accept. Atheists are confused because they get their definitions from dictionaries and /or common vernacular. Knowing what they mean by “meaning” in this case, we see what they are really appealing to is their own indoctrination.

13 comments:

  1. It's interesting what happens to these statements when you break them down isn't it?

    Btw, I will often say I give my own life meaning. But If they mean to say my life has no meaning which has been imposed by someone else, I would tend to agree

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  2. The problem is, we give our own life meaning and they do too, they're just too blind to recognize it. We're all the same, some of us just see things the way they really are and some of us wear blinders and claim they see the truth when it's only the things that make them feel good.

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  3. What was the purpose of Neanderthals?

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  4. (Not serious)Satans henchmen, trying to make a race in his own image, but they failed due to the superior image of GOD. BwahHaHaha. (2nd stupid argument) People were just shorter and had bigger heads to deal with the cold, there was no 'Neanderthals', what is this the Flintstones. = Lame apologist logic and bad jokes.

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    1. Apologists might need bigger heads. ;-)

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  5. I stumbled on this website courtesy of Vox Popoli. Looking over this article I find much of the same I find elsewhere. Atheists, in general, have a propensity to find religious flaws taken directly out of the Bible and have fun discrediting religion as magical thinking land etc.... My atheist bloggers do this all the time.
    What I almost never find is atheism rising on the basis of atheisms own merits. As Ive tried to explain to my atheists bloggers, in my circle, it is simply not enough to rip others to shreds and then hold out an empty bag of poof!
    As an example I will put Glenn Becks "Man in the Moon" spectacular, this past July/4th. In my opinion, a fine example of the arts and religions contribution to our culture as a whole.
    So I ask, where or what is the atheists contribution to society, arts, and culture, as of lately?
    Please no insults needed, Ive heard it all before.

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    1. "So I ask, where or what is the atheists contribution to society, arts, and culture, as of lately?"

      Well, most scientists are atheists, and they are contributing vastly to the modern world and our understanding of it. Most actors/directors and many contemporary artists are atheists. And politically atheist secular activists are fighting for a world where citizens can live free of religious bullying and intimidation. It will take time, but it is a worthy fight.

      Religion today is mostly trying to keep up with progressive secular morality having been lagging behind at an embarrassing rate....and that's at best. At worst, it is enforcing draconian laws onto people and keeping ignorance and superstition alive that leads to lower qualities of life.

      And I hardly see Glenn Beck or his idiot brethren contributing positively considering his scientific ignorance on many things.

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    2. While I get the point your making you waffled around and did not provided any specific examples to support your position(s).
      Your close was insulting. This is hardly the conversation I was hoping to have and you ought to rename yourself "the stinker"! ;)
      If this is the best non-believers can do the advances atheism has made will be severely limited and short lived indeed.

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    3. Atheism is as open ended a term as theism and I could easily say theism's contribution to culture includes everything from protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers to planes flying into buildings. Atheism is largely a reaction to these negative consequences of theism. Napari, I'm sure your specific faith isn't as bad as all that, not by a long shot. It probably has a net positive on your life and, if so, I don't want you to convert...unless your faith also has a net negative on other people's lives. Specific examples of benefits to the culture that atheism has helped bring about is trends for equality for women, races, gays, and, ironically, other religions.

      Further, the curiosity to understand things beyond the old answers provided by religious texts is a very secular notion. If we didn't "play God" as many theists call it, we wouldn't have much of the medicine and technology that lengthens life and raises the quality of it. What better contribution is there than that?

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    4. @Grundy,
      Your response is well written. Would I be accurate in saying that there is room in your lens for a "live and let live" outlook?
      Live and let live is probably my biggest kick. As much as I wouldn't want to push my beliefs on anyone who didn't want them, I also get rather stand offish to those who wish to push their beliefs or non beliefs on me.

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  6. Do you really think Glenn Beck is contributing positively to society? I mean, what has he done? What beliefs of his are really helping society? The man doesn't even believe in public education for crying out loud.

    And if you're going to debase yourself by name-calling as if we are in elementary school or on Fox & Friends, let's just end this now because I don't want to waste any more time. My statement about Beck is a fact. If you disagree, try and prove me wrong.

    Sorry if I sound patronizing, but if you really want a few examples of atheists who are contributing to science, humanity and the arts, there's this thing called Google where you can literally ask it anything and you'll be given examples. I used it and it took me 20 seconds to find this link:

    http://www.michaelnugent.com/best/famous-atheists/

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    1. I asked for art and culture and you show a politician. Cheap!
      As I quote the thinker:
      "And I hardly see Glenn Beck or his idiot brethren contributing positively considering his scientific ignorance on many things."
      Yeppers, no sense in arguing with an intelligent idiot who comes out insulting. This blog is finished, only yes people need apply.

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    2. A politician? Do you know how to read? There's several dozen people on that link. That was a cheap shot by you and you know it.

      I'm glad to see you made no attempt to show me how Glenn Beck isn't poisoning minds with his nonsense. His pseudo university "Beck University" teaches a course called "Faith 101" by David Barton, who is a right wing revisionist whose scholarly work is so bad, that his Christian publishers have pulled it from the shelves.

      Yeah, you're all talk, no substance. No surprise.

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