Does life have meaning without God in the picture? Is there a purpose for the earth and those who dwell on it? If so, what is the purpose and what are the ramifications of this? Or if there is no purpose, where does that leave us?
As was noted at the outset of this publication, when Stephen Hawking wrote his book A Brief History of Time, after explaining his view of the nature of the universe he concluded regarding the question of why we and the universe exist, "If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would know the mind of God" (p. 175).
Yet the answer to that question will not come from human intelligence or reason, but only from the One who transcends our material universe. If we remove God from the equation, we lose all sense of purpose for man and the universe.
The meaning of life has been a question mark from the beginning of mankind. It is in our nature to ask such questions as "Why am I here?" and "What is the purpose of life?"
God indeed has a purpose for man, but few grasp what it is. Knowing that transcendent purpose, and really believing it, will infuse meaning into our lives. But we can understand our purpose only if we seek answers from the One who created life.
Purpose without God
Let us first consider the meaning of life if evolution were true and if there were no Creator God who has had any involvement with mankind.
If there were no God, there would be no possibility of life beyond the grave and certainly no possibility of immortality. Life would end in the finality of death. There would be no transcendent purpose to give meaning to our lives. Our lives would have no more significance than any animal or insect straining for survival until the moment it dies. All the achievements, the sacrifices, the good and wonderful things men and women do would ultimately be futile efforts in a universe awaiting its own dark and dismal end.
The late astronomer and author Carl Sagan didn't believe in God. After the death of his wife of 20 years, he believed he would never see her again. As his own death approached, he expressed a common human longing mixed with the futility inherent in atheism: "I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But, much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking" ("In the Valley of the Shadow," Parade, March 10,1996).
When you remove the prospect and hope of an afterlife, your life is without value and without purpose. What difference would it ultimately make whether we lived like a Mother Teresa or an Adolf Hitler? Everyone's fate would be the same. The good contributions of people would make no difference to their fate or the fate of the universe.
This is the bleak outlook of those who base their beliefs on atheistic evolution, assuming that this life is all there is.
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