Can Man Survive Without God?

Heavens Gate

Heavens Gate

“If God does not exist, then both man and the universe are inevitably doomed to death.” Dr. William Lane Craig, The Absurdity of Life Without God

The greatest question of our time, according to historian Will Durant, “is not communism versus individualism not Europe versus America, not even East versus the West; it is whether men can live without God.”

For centuries the Christian faith has been the center of Western civilization. Our government, laws, and societies are based on explicit Christian principles – all of which are now under serious attack from the left. The very notion of right and wrong has been discarded. Society has embraced the murder of unborn children, sexual promiscuity, and the destruction of traditional family values all leading to what Quaker Theologian D. Elton Trueblood calls the “cut flower civilization.” Modernity, the Enlightenment, and Secularization represents the cutting of the flower from its roots. Placed in a vase, the flower will live and maintain its beauty for a time but, cut off from its roots, it will eventually wither and die.

The permissiveness of modern America can scarcely be exaggerated but it can be traced directly to the fact that modern men acts as if God no longer exists, that Christianity no longer represents the central core of Western culture. While out-posts of Christian influence still exists, it is the exception rather than the rule. For the most part, the Church has been displaced by the reign of secularism, by the complete abandonment of all moral conviction.

Christian churches have become more of a reality show than a religious institution. Pastors are more worried about increasing their membership, rather than condemning sins or preaching redemption. They teach that material wealth is part of God’s plan, that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, that the murder of unborn children is permissible. Everything has become acceptable and excusable. Instead of the flock changing to please God, the Church has changed God to please society. While it may be entertaining, it is not Christianity.

If it is as Nietzsche wrote in The Gay Science that [the notion of] God is dead, then we must ask ourselves: is it possible for man to thrive without meaning or value or purpose? If God does not exist, then both man and the universe are inevitably doomed to death. Man, like all biological organism must die. With no hope of immortality, man’s life leads only to the grave. Life is but a spark in the infinite blackness, a spark that appears, flickers and dies forever. Therefore everyone must come face to face with what theologian Paul Tillich has called “the threat of non-being.” For though I know now that I exist, that I am alive, I also know that someday I will no longer exist, that I will no longer be, that I will die. This thought is staggering and threatening to think that the person I call “myself” will cease to exist, that I will be no more.

Secularist thought that when they had rid the world of God, they had freed mankind from all that repressed and stifled them. Instead, they discovered that in killing God, they also killed themselves. For if there is no God then life becomes absurd. Whether it comes sooner or later, the prospect of death and the threat of non-being is a terrible horror.
Without God, man and the universe would be simple accidents of chance, thrust into existence for no reason.

Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exists. As for man, he is a freak of nature— a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved rationality. As one philosopher put it, “Human life is mounted upon a subhuman pedestal and must shift for itself alone in the heart of a silent and mindless universe.”   What is true of the universe and of the human race is also true of us as individuals. If God does not exist, then you are just a miscarriage of nature, thrust into a purposeless universe to live a purposeless life.

The greatest question of our time, according to historian Will Durant, “is not communism versus individualism not Europe versus America, not even East versus the West; it is whether men can live without God.”

Life without God, no matter how seemingly valuable, leads to emptiness. “What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.  The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down…The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north…All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again…There is no new thing under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes, Chapter 1.

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