Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Share Your Thoughts: Alex McLellan and Atheism

In the book I am currently reading, A Jigsaw Guide to Making Sense of the World by apologist Alex McLellan, he states the following in regard to atheism:

"Atheism results in a world where there is no basis for rationality, human beings have no intrinsic value, life has no absolute meaning, and there is no hope for the future-all beliefs that strike us as deeply problematic.  It is not just that these conclusions are uncomfortable; they completely contradict our experience and fall short of our expectations." [1]

Do you agree with McLellan's conclusions?  Why or why not?



Further, for our atheist readers, how do you account for our rationality [ontologically], the intrinsic value of human beings, and objective meaning on your atheism?  Or do you deny these things?

Sound off in the comments below!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with his conclusions. The last sentence of this is amazing.

Joe's World said...

These are fairly common apologetic misunderstandings. One has to wonder if the author has asked any atheists, or if he's simply believing what is "comfortable".

The basis for rationality is reality, which is logical (and could not be otherwise). The point the author makes here smells of that awfully stupid modern apologetic; presupposationalism.

Value is relational so to speak of intrinsic value doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Value to whom? To what? Our value seems to range from worthless to priceless depending on the framework.

I suspect the same can be said of meaning. A personal (rather than ultimate) meaning is still a meaning. This is the same trap apologeticists
fall into when talking about morality.

These are all positions derived from reality, a reality the author apparently finds uncomfortable.

In short; not a great quote but useful for atheist baiting. As a bunch of people who prefer reality over comfort this should raise some hackles!

Andrew Ryan said...

Erik Wielenberg's Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe addressed this idea. Here's truncated quote, but it's worth reading as much of the original as you can:

"Some theists who accept the conclusion of the God as the source of ethics argument fail to appreciate its consequences fully. [William Lane] Craig is an example. One of his central themes is how awful it would be if God did not exist...

Craig refers to the “horror of modern man” – facing life in (what “modern man” takes to be) a Godless universe. But if there can be no good or evil if God does not exist, then there can be no evil if God does not exist. So if God doesn’t exist, nothing bad can ever happen to anyone.

The conclusion of the God as the source of ethics argument implies that there is nothing good about a Godless universe – but it equally implies that there is nothing bad about it either. If this argument is sound there can be nothing awful or horrible about a Godless universe.

The short version of Craig’s self-contradictory message is “Without God there would be no value in the universe – and think how horrible that would be!”

Ex N1hil0 said...

Atheist doesn't result in any kind of world because it is incoherent. Joe's post illustrates this.

Chad said...

Erik Wielenberg's seems to be confused because whether he realizes it or not, it appears that he agrees with Craig!

He writes:

"The conclusion of the God as the source of ethics argument implies that there is nothing good about a Godless universe – but it equally implies that there is nothing bad about it either. If this argument is sound there can be nothing awful or horrible about a Godless universe."

This is preciously Craig's point. If, for example, in a Godless universe, a woman is raped, it would not be good or bad, it would simply be meaningless.

Is that the reality we find ourselves in? I think not.

Respectfully