Life Without God: The Implications of Atheism (Part 3 of 5)
No ultimate purpose
"I do not know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves."
These are the words of influential philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Like many philosophers, he did not have an answer to the question: What is the purpose of life? But he did indicate that life is not just a game. Other people, however, have argued that the question is false. There may be nothing we should be bothered about. We should carry on living and not worry about why we are here. The Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus explained this attitude in the following way: "You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life"
The problem with this view is it relegates our existence to a random accident via a lengthy biological process. This renders the human nothing more than a by-product, an incidental being that emerged via the random collision of particles and the random rearrangement of molecules.
Islam’s view on the purpose of our lives is intuitive and empowering. It elevates our existence from products of matter and time to conscious beings who choose to have a relationship with the One who created us. Atheism and naturalism provide no ultimate purpose for our existence.
- Cited in BBC (no date) Radio 4 – in our time – greatest philosopher – Ludwig Wittgenstein. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hi... [Accessed 1st October 2016]
- Cited in Pollan, S. M. and Levine, M, (2006) It’s All in Your Head: Thinking Your Way to Happiness. New York: HarperCollins, p. 4.
- Williams, M. (2015) The Life Cycle of the Sun. Available at: http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/ [Accessed 2nd October 2016].
- Dawkins, R. (2006) The Selfish Gene. 30th Anniversary edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.