Meaning: Why Are We Here?

At some point in our lives we will inevitably find ourselves asking questions about life. When we encounter victory or defeat, loss or gain, and pain or pleasure we might ask, “Why are we experiencing this?”, “What is our purpose?”, or “Is there meaning to all of this?”  The answer to all these questions depends on our worldview.

To answer these questions about meaning in our lives, we need to look at the next piece of the reality puzzle—Meaning. Remember that for a worldview to be an accurate one, it must answer the big questions adequately without causing a contradiction between them. With origin as our starting point, how do we address the question of meaning?

If we are to view our origins from the perspective of a naturalist/atheist, then we have to say that the concept of meaning is essentially meaningless. Think for a second what this view entails: the universe was created by nothing and for no reason, and all life—including human life—is simply the product of natural processes. With this view, we are essentially a giant bag of chemicals. All the things we think are meaningful, like reason, rationality, love, friendship, purpose, are really just an illusion created by chemical reactions in our brain—we don’t really love our spouse or kids, it is just chemicals doing their thing. Even things like reason and rationality can’t exist within this worldview. How can a person say they became an atheist by using reason and rationality, if all that is really happening is a series of chemical events in their brain to make them believe in atheism?

If we take a look at our culture, especially the celebrity culture, we see that many of those who claim to be atheists are desperately seeking love, affection, and affirmation; often driven to mental breakdown, drug abuse, multiple plastic surgeries, and suicide in pursuit of these things. Yet they fail to see that their worldview cannot make sense of their need for love, because in their worldview love is just an illusion. Despite this, they continue in an endless spiral of attempts to establish meaning in their lives, becoming slaves to public opinion and material success. If atheism/naturalism is true, then the meaning that these people are seeking and often times killing themselves to obtain is really just an illusion created by their biology. It’s not real. Their current desire for meaning, love, or anything else is nothing more than a chemical reaction in their brains that follows other chemical reactions, like a big line of dominoes. When the last domino falls there is no meaning or purpose to it. It certainly didn’t choose to fall. It just got knocked over by the ones before it. In atheism, everything we think and do is the exact same thing, and therefore has no real value at all.

It only takes a little self-reflection to see that love is a real thing. We all hunger for love, acceptance, friendship, justice, and purpose—things not made of particles or chemicals or matter. These concepts can’t be the product of chemical reactions and particles clashing. Love does not have a chemical composition. Justice does not weigh anything. A worldview which believes only in the material world, such as atheism, renders such things meaningless.

For example, when a mother holds her child in her arms and is brought to tears by the love she feels for the child, it seems irrational to say her feelings are nothing more than some firing neurons in her brain, or some particles bumping around causing chemical reactions and creating this illusion she calls “love” for her child. Is it rational to say that all that we hold as valuable and good and beautiful seems that way because of how our chemicals reacted? Those who try to promote the idea that we are nothing more than matter still think they love their wives and children. They still thinkpeople should treat them with respect. And my guess is, they think those concepts are real and meaningful. Their worldview; however, does not explain the undeniable reality they face. It is at this point that the atheist is forced to steal from the Christian worldview to make sense of such ideas.

Once again the Christian worldview makes perfect sense of the reality of meaning and the purpose we all seek and experience. Within the Christian worldview we are not the products of random chemical reactions, but purposefully created in the image of God and gifted with intrinsic value—a value that cannot be taken away. We have a God-given purpose in this life. Our built-in intuitions of love, justice, meaning, and morality are a direct reflection of Him, who created us. As we search the Scriptures we see that our life has a purpose, set forth by God, and that our greatest sense of meaning comes from an intimate relationship with Him.

As we saw last time, the rational and scientific evidence tells us that our origins are no accident. Likewise, it seems safe to assume that our sense of meaning and our concepts of things like love are not illusions. They are as real as we think they are.

Molecules crashing into each other cannot explain things like love, justice, morality, and meaning. The atheistic worldview falls short, once again, in its ability to explain reality. Most atheists are unaware of how big this problem is for them. Most will adamantly say they believe in things like love, and yet embrace a worldview in which there is no such thing as love! When a person’s worldview contradicts itself constantly, it is time for them to change their worldview!

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