14 November, 2012
When Truth Dies, Meaning Dies
A friend of mine in Germany sent me an email that had the following article in it, written by Frank Peretti. I thought it was really good and needed to be shared.
WHEN TRUTH DIES, MEANING DIES
I have yet to hear an atheist who doesn’t find something morally wrong with God - God is evil, selfish, sexist, cruel, tyrannical, you name it - or who doesn’t blame religion - usually Christianity - for the evil in the world, not realizing they are making moral judgments. If they were logically consistent with their own atheism, they would have no basis for moral judgment about anything. With no truth, no absolutes, no right or wrong, how can they find God guilty of anything or blame religion for evil? Even more perplexing, doesn’t God first have to exist before He can be guilty? But guilty of what?
Why, evil against human beings, of course: wars, famine, disease, injustice.
Oh-oh. Now I think more than Truth is seeping through; Meaning is showing itself as well. From somewhere they’ve gotten the idea that people should not be harmed, oppressed, starved, or disenfranchised, which is only true if people’s lives have meaning. Come to think of it, even if a man were to argue that human life has no meaning, he would first have to assume that his own life has meaning in order for his argument to have meaning.
Truth and Meaning. They just keep cropping up.
A while back I watched one of those split screen television interviews - you know, the format that pits two people with opposing views against each other for five or ten minutes of talking over each other. This one was between an atheist who’d just written a book arguing that belief in God is silly and creationism is a myth, and a well-known creationist who’d just finished building a creation museum in Kentucky. It was a setup, of course, the producers obviously wanting an entertaining spat, which is basically what they got.
The atheist took her pot shots at the Bible and the creation account and also at the museum, expressing moral outrage that such a colossal lie should be foisted on innocent, ignorant people. The creationist tried to argue for creationism and the reliability of the Bible, something he is one of the finest at doing, but it’s just too big a subject to cover in one half of a ten minute television interview.
So. Okay, I’m being the Monday morning quarterback with all the advantage of hindsight, but with that admitted, I think the creationist should have flanked the atheist, just skip all the evolution/creation debate points and cut to the chase:
“I thought you said you were an atheist. According to your worldview, all that exists is purely accidental, without purpose, destined for annihilation, and yet you’ve written a book and now you’re arguing on television as if anything you say, think, or write actually matters.”
“I thought you said you were a atheist. Well, if all existence came about randomly, then you evolved in such a way as to become an atheist and I evolved in such a way as to become a creationist. What can an evolutionist find wrong with that?”
“I thought you said you were an atheist. Then how do you morally distinguish between your right to present your views in a book and my right to present my views in a museum?”
“Tell you what: You’ve written a book that tells people their lives are purely random and accidental, that there is no purpose to their existence, that there is no meaningful way for them to know how to live or raise their kids, that they have no eternal destiny other than annihilation, and no way to know their lives have intrinsic value. I’ve built a museum that tells people they have a loving Creator Who made them for a purpose, that they do have a reason for being here, that they can know the right way to live and raise their kids, that they can have eternal hope during as well as after this life, and a deep assurance that their lives have value. Why don’t we let them read your book and visit my museum and decide which view of themselves they prefer?”
Truth leads to Meaning. When Truth Dies, Meaning Dies.
And when Meaning Dies, People Die.