The story so far
I'd just like to thank Alex for allowing me to post on his blog. I promise not to make too much of a mess, do my share of the washing up and keep the music down.
As my first post on 'In Search of High Places' I thought I'd go with something I've just published on my own site, as it seems quite relevant.
Here it is:
Since this post on the Dilbert blog, a debate has been raging across the blogosphere concerning issues such as morality, meaning, the nature of life and the existence of God. Millions* of words have been written in the ongoing argument for and defence of both atheistic and theistic views on the matter.
(*This may be an exaggeration)
Below is a summary of the two main positions reached on morality and meaning, which I’ve lumped together for what will hopefully become obvious reasons.
Morality = instinct; later codified to become social norms, to aid the smooth function of society
Meaning = means something / is significant to me.
Morality = accordance with God’s will; either ignored or imperfectly realised by human beings
Meaning = means something / is significant to God (and therefore each of us).
The crux of the whole thing is the existence of a certain kind of God. If God doesn’t exist, or is simply unconcerned with the business of humanity, then the human-centred approach is the obvious answer. If God does exist, and is concerned with us, then the God-centred approach becomes the answer.
So: ultimately questions of morality and meaning come down to the issue of
a) God’s existence
And (assuming that the answer to this is positive)
b) God’s nature.
It’s sometimes suggested that only one side of this debate has any work to do. However, neither of these positions can claim special status. To many atheists the primarily non-supernatural nature of life is fairly self-evident. Anyone wishing to challenge this position must argue for the existence of God. Equally, to many theists the existence of the divine is also fairly self-evident. Anyone wishing to challenge this view must argue for the non-existence* of God. The onus is on both sides to put forward arguments supporting their position.
(*In order to argue that something doesn’t exist it’s only necessary to demonstrate the weakness of the arguments for it – as positive proof of non-existence is almost impossible.)
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