Life's meaning in a godless world
LE3 .A278 2010
Bachelor of Arts
Whether life is meaningful is one of the most important issues in philosophy. This is because if life really is meaningless, one of our most basic and fundamental beliefs— that life is worthwhile—is in direct opposition to the reality of our human condition. The famous Christian apologist, William Lane Craig, argues that for our lives to have any meaning, they must have ultimate meaning, and only God can provide this. Craig’s argument threatens our ordinary conception of meaning that our lives can be meaningful despite whether God exists. In this essay, I attempt to argue that Craig’s support for his apologetic is deeply mistaken. I provide an in-depth analysis of Craig’s key concept, ultimacy, to reveal the three criteria on which his apologetic depends. I then use the work of Thomas Nagel, Erik Wielenberg, Robert Nozick, and others to show that ultimate meaning does not and cannot require God. Finally I turn primarily to Stephen Toulmin’s work to show that life’s meaning is not threatened even without ultimate meaning. I therefore conclude that Craig’s apologetic fails to establish the necessity of God for ultimate meaning, that ultimate meaning is not necessary for our lives to have any meaning, and that therefore Craig’s apologetic in no way threatens our ordinary conception of life’s meaning.
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