morality

Deconversion: A Response – Part 3 (Morality)

Ha, bet y’all thought I forgot about this series!

The third video in Evid3nc3’s series on deconversion concerns morality:

Again, can’t say enough how much I appreciate the author’s honesty and transparency about his experiences.  I glanced over the video’s comments and saw one by an atheist who said this series helped him understand more why Christians can believe as they do.  The ability to lead others to empathy like that requires a level of artistry and tact to which I aspire in my own writing.  His decisions about his faith notwithstanding, I want to be like this guy someday 🙂

Nevertheless, I am beginning to sense a pattern in this fellow’s story, and it seems to manifest itself in the following sequence: (more…)

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Does naturalism encourage questions, or discourage them?

In this third part of my Meaning of Life series, I would like to discuss another objection I have to the naturalistic worldview.

I have seen religion denounced for stifling skepticism and scientific curiosity, and sadly this criticism can be somewhat well-deserved — at least, when it comes to certain religious circles.  As for myself and my local church, however, the opposite is true; I think asking questions — always asking questions — is the keystone of a circumspect life, whether religious or not.  The presence of faith in one’s worldview does not, in my opinion, change this one iota.  The kind of faith that discourages questioning is called blind faith, and that’s a brand of faith in which I have no interest.

Implicit in the criticism above (which is often given by naturalists) is the unspoken assertion that naturalism, in contrast to theism, does encourage individuals to ask questions.  To many a naturalist, the theist appears as a broken record whose every question about the universe is met with the definitive “Goddidit,” with absolutely no curiosity or drive to go beyond the why and attempt to understand the how or the what.  One day I would like to dissect this caricature and debunk some myths to these ends; but for the moment I would instead like to turn the objection around on the naturalist and point out one of perhaps several questions that rarely seem to be asked by naturalists — and yet, are preeminently important.

The question is:

What happens when we die? (more…)

What is the meaning of life? – Part 2

In Part 1, I outlined my impression of the naturalist’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?”  In short, assuming the premise of naturalism, the best answer seems to be, “Whatever makes brings me pleasure.”  Since anything that could be considered authoritative over or transcendent to our own sensations (morality, God, even civil law) is just an illusion, the only ultimate authority on what gives life meaning is the individual; thus, hedonism (in the philosophic sense) is really all that is left to us under the premise of naturalism, and therefore if life has any meaning whatsoever, we create it ourselves.  (Bravo to John who turned me on to this post, where you can watch Neil deGrasse Tyson’s naturalistic answer to the meaning of life question.)

Now, I shall move on to my commentary of this answer, and share one of my objections to it: (more…)

What is the meaning of life? – Part 1

Twisted Inspiration made a profound (to say the least) comment on an entry of mine:

I am really interested to hear how you define “meaning”, what makes it important, etc. (Not what’s YOUR life’s meaning, but what IS “the meaning of a life”?).

The meaning of life?  Piece of cake!  This shouldn’t take long 😉 (more…)