I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist

“If God exists, then there’s ultimate meaning and purpose to your life. If there’s a real purpose to your life, there there’s a real right and wrong way to live it. Choices you make now not only affect you here but will affect you in eternity. On the other hand, if there is no God, then your life ultimately means nothing. Since there is no enduring purpose to life, there’s no right or wrong way to live it. And it doesn’t matter how you live or what you believe — your destiny is dust.” -Frank Turek, from the foreword to “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

1. If God exists, then there’s ultimate meaning and purpose to your life.

This is statement seems to say that there is *must* be purpose to your life if God exists, but Frank Turek does not address the possibility that if God exists, he might not be personally involved in your life, or anyone’s for that matter. Maybe his only involvement was as creator and you have no more purpose than any other rock or tree or animal. I don’t know what the truth is. The Bible tells of men who allegedly spoke to God but I find such stories difficult to believe.

2. On the other hand, if there is no God, then your life ultimately means nothing.

This statement makes the assumption that meaning can only come from God. How does he come to that conclusion? Meaning equals value. My life is valuable to me and it has some value to my family and friends. I take great pleasure in learning about the world and enjoying its sights, sounds, flavors and other sensations. There was a time when I believed what I was taught about God. I couldn’t imagine what life would be like without God. I believe that Frank Turek and other believers are suffering from the same lack of imagination. I don’t mean to put the blame on them. I think it is perfectly natural to believe in God. The concept of God is a natural way to explain:

1. Where did we come from?
2. Who are we?
3. Why are we here?
4. How should we live?
5. Where are we going?

Turek says that the answers to these questions depend on the existence of God, but I would argue that we can find some answers (not all) even if God does not exist. We can learn who we are and where we came from through historical research. There are limits to what we can know but history books can tell us a lot (including the Bible and other ancient texts). How we should live is something that we are working out all the time. Even institutions that teach objective morality have changed their positions on what they consider to be prudent. “Why are we here?” and “Where are we going?” are more difficult questions. Some people can’t bear the thought that we might never know the answers. People will always gravitate toward those who have compelling explanations to these questions. I tend to take such explanations with a grain of salt.


Argument from ignorance

This is a misrepresentation of atheism but it is funny. Whoever created this image seems to be saying, “If there is no God then how do you explain the existence of everything?” That’s a good question. Saying there is no God has another problem. To say that God does not exist requires you to have looked everywhere. And as you probably know, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” This the argument from ignorance fallacy. The Wikipedia article on this subject makes an interesting point: “The challenge thus becomes to try to identify when a researcher has received a null result (found nothing) because the thing does not exist (evidence of absence), and when one simply lacks proper means of detection (absence of evidence).”