- Slides: 20
God and the Meaning of Life n Most Urgent of Questions – Why does the universe exist? Why is there something instead of nothing? – Why do human beings in general exist? – Why do I exist?
God and the Meaning of Life n Are there any objective values which provide significance and a goal or purpose for the universe as a whole, human life in general, or my life in particular? -What is the meaning of moral statements? -Why should I be moral?
Metaethics and the Meaning of Moral Statements n Definition: That branch of philosophy which analyzes the meaning of certain moral terms – (right, wrong, good, bad, ought, worth, and so forth)
Metaethics and the Meaning of Moral Statements n Noncognitivist Theories - Statements are not indicative, or true or false Emotivism: the meaning of moral statements is in the expression of emotion Imperativalism: moral statements are merely moral commands
Metaethics and the Meaning of Moral Statements n Cognitivist Theories - statements are indicative and give factual information - Subjectivist Theories: moral statements convey information about the speaker - private subjectivism: moral statements describe the psychological state of the speaker - cultural relativism: moral statements express sociological opinions
Metaethics and the Meaning of Moral Statements n Cognitivist Theories (cont. ) - Objectivist Theories: moral statements convey information by properties of people or acts - ethical naturalism: ethical terms can be reduced to scientific properties - ethical non-naturalism: moral properties exist which persons and acts have and which moral statements ascribe to people and acts
Reasons for Being Moral Why should I adopt the moral point of view as a guiding force over my life? n Justifications for morality n – “moral should” -Am I obligated to be moral? n it is the morally right thing to be moral – “reasonable should” -What rational justification can be given to me as to why it would be reasonable for me to adopt the moral point of view?
Four Views of the Meaning of Life
Nihilism and Naturalism n Beliefs – Human existence is totally meaningless – There are no values, thus no reason to be moral – God is dead – Science has shown life to be meaningless
Nihilism and Naturalism n Objections – The belief that God is dead is diminishing – Values may exist even though they cannot be proven Proof of everything is not necessary. Proving proof would continue ad infinitum. n Nazi genocide and the torture of babies is obviously wrong. n – Questions of meaning and value are outside the limits of science – Nihilism is unlivable and cannot be rationally recommended
Temporal Purpose and Optimistic Humanism n Beliefs – There is no reason for existence, but humans create values and give life their own meaning – Life can be subjectively satisfying
Temporal Purpose and Optimistic Humanism n Objections – Suggests living a life of delusion – No rational justification over nihilism – No rational objection to obvious moral atrocities (ex. Nazis, torturing babies, etc. )
Immanent Purpose and Transcendentalism n Beliefs – There is no reason for existence, but life has objective meaning because objective values can be found within life – Values are there as brute givens ethical non-naturalism n meaning comes from objective values which are immanently realized in life itself n
Immanent Purpose and Transcendentalism n Objections – Cannot account for moral guilt (Guilt requires a Person to feel guilty towards) – Cannot account for retributive punishment (Necessitates Being to whom, we repay for moral wrong) – Moral values without moral law-giver does not make sense
Immanent Purpose and Transcendentalism n Objections (continued) – If moral values are cosmic entities, why would they have do with us? – It would seem inconsistent to allow moral values and not God – Cannot explain how detailed aspects of morality can be known – Has no adequate answer for why to obey morality over one’s selfish interests
Cosmic Purpose and Christian Theism n Beliefs – The universe, man, and individuals have reason for existence and for living – Cosmos exists to glorify God and promote the good of His creatures – Human history has purpose, showing the struggle between good and evil – Values come from God, through nature and the Bible
Cosmic Purpose and Christian Theism n Beliefs (continued) – Motives for morality the love of God n the sake of doing right n the rewards of obeying God n
Cosmic Purpose and Christian Theism n Popular Objections – God complicates values – Presence of God undercuts meaning of life – Existence of God an afterlife does not give a meaning to life – Christian motive for morality collapses into personal egoism n Rebuttal – Morality is based on God’s nature – Man has free will, was designed to find meaning in God – They are necessary components to meaning; value and purpose are based in God’s nature – Rewards not sole motive, but a part
Conclusion Nihilism and Optimistic Humanism are empty and lacking purpose n Immanent Purpose and Christian Theism affirm the existence of values and purpose n – Christian Theism has a better explanation – Christian Theism has only weak objections
THE END Aaron Homoya and Josh Hedges