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Friends who think there is no God and life is meaningless

Posted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:00 pm
by musicmonkey
I have a number of secular humanist friends and we get along for the most part until we discuss our values/beliefs. Ultimately whatever we believe is just a belief and I don't try to push my beliefs on my friends, but it can get difficult sometimes when it's clear that their worldview is pretty much a 180 of mine. Thoughts? Comments? Your own personal stories?

Brian Schwertley wrote:The secular-humanist intellectuals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been the sharpest critics of Bible-believing Christianity. They teach that the Bible is ancient mythology for a bygone era. They believe that society must rid itself of biblical teaching in favour of "science and rationality."

The creed of secular humanism is: out of the chaos of pure chance comes meaning and order; out of atoms floating randomly in the void comes man, the giver of meaning. Secular humanism is a religion based solely on faith. That it is irrational, self-contradictory, and arbitrary does not seem to bother its adherents. It is a blind faith in man. ... manism.htm

Re: Friends who think there is no God and life is meaningles

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:54 am
by scottfinn
That Schwertley quote is really right on. The secular humanists have faith - only in themselves.

In my limited experience, those that claim to have no religious faith have arrived at this point because the faith that they have seen in action does not jive with what they want to do. So, for the humanists, they just choose not to believe in anything that would tell them that they should not just do anything they want to do. They believe that THEY are the final authority on their own lives. Essentially, that they are the gods of their lives.

It all just seems like a circular argument, with no real conclusion and a lot of confusing contradictions.

This is a complicated topic...

Re: Friends who think there is no God and life is meaningles

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:36 am
by musicmonkey
Yes, it is complicated, and even moreso when you have close friends who share such different views. I was telling one of them that there's a new church I heard about full of young college age kids and many of them have the Bible App on their iPhones and that it's a pretty young/techie church. My friend (raised Roman Catholic) made some comments about how she can't believe an educated person of reason could believe in such myths. It was a difficult conversation for me. For quite a few years now I have stated here that I don't like to debate minutiae but rather focus on the core messages of Jesus. Unfortunately, things like whether to eat shellfish or not all too often seem to sidetrack the conversations I have with my non-believer friends. I just end up telling them let's agree to disagree.

Re: Friends who think there is no God and life is meaningles

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:44 am
by scottfinn
That does seem to be common among those that want to debunk the Christian faith quickly and easily: bring up some Old Testament (and old covenant) rules and point out how silly they are. Like wearing clothing of mixed fabrics or something. It's a lot easier to just throw the whole baby out with the bathwater then critically think about the ways to live our Christ's message. And His message is a lot easier to follow than the O.T. stuff:

1. Love God
2. Love others

That's it, really. Seems pretty simple to me.

Re: Friends who think there is no God and life is meaningles

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:58 pm
by musicmonkey
I don't know if it's always easy and it seems like everybody has a different opinion on what it means to love God and love others. While sending money to Africa to build a well is a way to show love, keeping your neighbours at a distance because they do XYZ which you frown upon, isn't showing them love. I think it's easier to love people who share our values/lifestyles, but much harder to love those who don't, nevermind our enemies.

Plus, on our own, we can try to love others, but if our heart hasn't been changed, is it really love or just patronizing little platitudes? I'm reminded of the song/hymn - "Unless the Lord the house shall build the weary builders toil in vain". Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

The friend that I mentioned basically lives for herself. She's pursuing a creative career, more travel, more fun. Yet when I ask her what does she want out of life, or what the meaning of life is for her, she says there is no meaning other than the meaning you find/want out of life.

When I contrast her seemingly carefree life and somewhat selfish career goals to someone who perhaps has devoted their lives to helping orphaned girls in China or some other humanitarian effort, it causes me to pause and ponder the meaning of my own life which is not that different from hers - single, self employed, going to concerts, etc.

In response to her saying she doesn't understand why educated people still read the Bible, I told her that being a Christian is a discipline and that Christianity is hard. We have to grow in our faith through fellowship with other believers, Bible study and prayer. She, of course, debunked prayer as talking to one's self in order to feel like you're right and doing good.