In this series of posts we've suggested that there are at least fifteen facts about the world and human beings that are more compatible with a theistic worldview than with an atheistic view. In other words, we've been arguing that theism is a better explanation for the way the world and human beings are than is atheism.
The fifteen reasons we've based this conclusion on are these:
- Our conviction that the universe must have had a cause and that it didn't cause itself.
- The exquisite fine-tuning of the cosmic parameters, forces and constants.
- The existence of coded biological information.
- The fact of human consciousness.
- Our sense that reason is trustworthy.
- Our conviction that we are free to make genuine choices and that the future is open.
- Our deep sense that we are obligated to act morally.
- Our experience of feelings of guilt.
- Our yearning for answwers to life's most profound questions.
- Our desire for justice.
- Our need for a meaning to our existence.
- Our sense that we have a self which perdures through time.
- Our belief in human dignity.
- Our belief in human worth.
- Our belief in the existence of objective human rights.
In this post we add one more: Our longing for life beyond death.
16. Human beings want desperately to live and yet we know we're going to die. In a Godless universe, the fate of each of us is annihilation. There's no basis for hope that loved ones we've lost still somehow exist or that we'll ever "see" them again. There's no consolation for the bereaved, no salve for grief. Many face this bravely, of course, but, if they're reflective, their bravery must serve to mask an inner despair. If death is the end then life truly is "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." If death is the end then human existence is completely absurd. But, of course, death is the end if the materialist is right. Only if God exists is there a realistic basis for hope of something beyond this life. Only if God exists can our longing for life be fulfilled.
So, we are confronted with a choice: Either we believe that there is no God and that consequently our existential yearnings are inexplicable and unfulfillable, a view which leads logically to nihilism, or we believe that there is a God and that we possess those yearnings because they lead us to the source of their satisfaction. They point us toward God. In other words, the existence of God is the best explanation for the data of human existence. Atheism has no good explanation for these data and in fact the person who denies this explanation has to take a leap of faith to avoid the nihilism and despair that her worldview pushes her toward. She has to live as if God exists while denying that He does.
We'll have some concluding thoughts in the next post in the series.RLC