A Discussion On Meaning, Value, And Purpose

This took place on William Lane Craig's Facebook wall.

John Loftus: There is meaning and value and purpose in life. There just isn't any ultimate meaning and value and purpose for all sentient beings who have existed, or currently exist, or will exist into the distant future.

Jojo Ruba: So why the need to correct religious folk with your worldview since materialism itself carries no permanence or objective meaning and since religious belief provides an advantage for survival?

John Loftus: Jojo Ruba because of the harm that religious faith does. See my published work, Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails if you're interested.

Jojo Ruba: I’m aware of the argument. But that assumes my tribe of religiously inclined people (because of our DNA) should care about those who donn’t share about those who don’t have religious DNA. What else do you have?

John Loftus: People who don't care abound in every corner of the globe, irrespective of any tribalism or DNA. Information backed up by evidence has the power to change minds. It can help others feel empathy toward the "other".

Calvinists are determinists. Do you try to reason with them? If so, you can reason with me despite such a fundamental dispute.

If I can show that Christianity has harmed the world over-all, what difference does that "red herring" do here? You are also using the informal fallacy of "you too" or "Whataboutism." I taught philosophy classes in colleges. You are not being authentic by doing so.

Deal with the information put forth in my book, or else you're ignoring the splinter in your eye by trying to remove the one you perceive in mine.

Floyd Fp: Why would anyone think what happens on Earth makes any difference to a planet on the other side of the universe? Likewise, why should we think that what doesn't make a difference a billion years from now doesn't matter right now?

Bob Smith: John W. Loftus if all we are is ultimately meaningless pieces of meat then any meaning we supposedly give to ourselves is an illusion cause in the end we go back to the same cosmos trash heap that we came out from . When I was an atheist I followed my atheism to its ultimate logical endpoint which was nihilism.

Even though I’m a believer now I still have a healthy respect for nihilists simply because they have the intellectual courage to follow their view to its most rational conclusion.

John Loftus: Bob Smith we are our own meaning makers, just as Chimps and Dolphins, Elephants and Pigs do in their respective tribes.

Meaning, purpose, and value are cultural for us. Just think of the separation of church and state. If truly applied one needs no religion to determine what is considered civilly moral behavior.

Bob Smith: But John why is feeling empathy morally good or bad under your worldview . In that kind of worldview why would it matter either way?

It seems to me that your trying to borrow from the theistic. Worldview when it’s convenient to back your view up . It is this kind of reasoning that first got me to doubt my own atheistic beliefs. It was the opening of the o Dora’s box so to speak.

When I started to find evidence from science , reason and logic it eventually took me back to Christianity . It wasn’t instant as it took 5 years of questioning everything.

John Loftus: Bob Smith, empathy was not accorded to witches, heretics, slaves, and women in your Scriptures and churches. If it were, society since the rise of Christianity would have been better. That which stifles empathy is the perception that one has direct access to a barbaric command of a god.


John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 12 critically acclaimed books, including The Case against Miracles, God and Horrendous Suffering, and Varieties of Jesus Mythicism. Please support DC by sharing our posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying our books at Amazon. As an Amazon Associate John earns a small amount of money from purchases made from Amazon. Buying anything through them helps fund my work here, and is greatly appreciated!