What If There Were No God?

Although I suspect that most people believe that there is “something” out there, I recognize that many are convinced that there is nothing beyond this world.  Generally speaking, these arenaturalists, who believe that the universe has anatural explanation, and that there is nothing outside of the material world.

For the sake of argument, let me agree with the naturalist for a moment. Let’s say that there is no God; no being, no mind out there. There is only our universe as it is.  There is no supernatural, just the natural. Assuming this worldview of our universe, I believe we will inevitably reach some important conclusions.  Three of those conclusions are listed below.

There can be no objective right or wrong.   If there is no God, then there can be no basis for a belief in objective moral values.  There can only be subjective values.  For example, we cannot say that Hitler was wrong for killing 2 million Jews, we can only say that we prefer that he had not done so.  We also cannot insist that a child predator’s actions are objectively wrong.  We can say that society does not permit his actions, or that we personally find them detestable.  However, we would have no basis for insisting that his actions are objectively wrong.

As well, we would have no basis for insisting that there was any objective good or moral duties in our world. For example, a mother would have no duty to care for her children, and we cannot say that it is good for her to do so if there was no God.  We could only state our personal preferences in such matters, but we would have no standard of good to appeal to.

Let me point out that this does not imply that atheists lack moral values.  Not at all.  It does suggest, however, that naturalistic atheism provides no objective standard for moral values.

There would be no purpose to life.  Without the presence of a God, life would be purposeless.  The only purpose that we might reach would be any purpose that we would invent for ourselves.  However, this would be a subjective purpose, not an objective one.  Furthermore, there would be no reason to even invent a purpose for ourselves.   There would be nothing to gain in developing a purpose for living, since that purpose would merely be a concept with no objective value.

Suffering would also be void of any objective meaning.  We could not believe in a greater good since there is no “greater good.”  All suffering, great or small, would have no meaning, no intent, and no purpose.  Suffering must invariably be avoided at all costs since it would have no meaning.  No one would take chances to invest their time, money, or resources into anything since even a temporary loss of comfort would have no promise of purpose for us.  There would be no reason to suffer even the slightest discomfort since its gain would have no objective meaning.

There is nothing after death.  After a meaningless, valueless existence without a God, we would all close our eyes and cease to exist forever in death.  In a naturalistic worldview, there would be no existence, no consciousness after life.  As our hearts stop beating and the blood flow ceases, our brains would soon die.  Whatever knowledge that we would have of our own existence would fade as quickly as our diminishing brainwaves.  We would not be aware of our loved ones or even of ourselves.  Rather, we would enter a state of non-existence into which we could no longer even ponder.

Now, one might argue that we cannot decide upon the existence of God based on whether or not we like the implications.  I would agree.  However, I believe that the implications I’ve pointed out above are counter intuitive.  In other words, I believe that the human experience testifies that we do not intuitively believe any of these observations to be true.

I believe that we intuitively understand there to be objective moral values in our world. If a child is molested by someone, it is not just preferably wrong; but objectively wrong.  As well, healthy people live as if there is a reason and purpose for living, which exists whether or not we live up to that purpose. We do this because we believe that a purpose actually exists in reality.  We do not believe it is conceptual.

Finally, I believe that we intuitively believe that our life – our consciousness – goes beyond these physical bodies and the life we’re living.  Who we are is not tied to our physical body.  For example, if a man named “Joe” loses his arms and legs in an accident, we believe that he is still Joe. If he then loses his hair, his eyes, his teeth, we would not stop calling him “Joe.”  Even if he were dismembered in a horrible accident (sorry) we would continue to know him as “Joe.”  This is because we believe that Joe is more than the sum total of his body parts!  We understand that the essence of “Joe” transcends the physical.  Intuitively, we believe in a life that transcends this life. We believe there is more.

As I see it, we do not believe that moral values are subjective.  We do not believe that life is objectively purposeless.  We do not believe that death is the end of life.  I believe that intuitively we recognize that there is Someone out there.

I’d love to introduce you to that Someone.





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