Argument from the meaning of life
The argument from the meaning of life is a type of appeal to emotion. In this case, the arguer typically feels as though life hasn't come about by chance and is therefore special and designed with a purpose in mind. The arguer might say "if there was no god, then life would be pointless." They might even propose that the only way life can have meaning is if God exists.
No one wants to admit that their life is void of meaning and purpose. The arguer uses this by suggesting that to believe life has meaning, you must also believe that God exists.
Problems With This Argument
- Those that use this argument assume that life without a god has no meaning. In fact, a person can still have a fulfilling and memorable life even if that life is finite.
- It is important to determine what the theist believes the meaning of life actually is. In some cases, they say the meaning of life is to worship God. Subservient worship is not going to be most people's idea of a meaningful life.
- It is also important to determine if there even is a meaning to life.
- Even still, there is the question of "so what?" Just because we might feel uncomfortable admitting that our life does not serve an eternal purpose, it does not mean that a god necessarily exists. At most, this argument becomes a variation on Pascal's Wager. The arguer is suggesting that we should believe in a god, even if it does not exist, so that we can feel the self esteem boost of our lives having a higher meaning.
- This argument fails when we bring predestination and free will into the picture. Firstly, if meaning is predestined, then either God is unjust and does not give atheists the same facility to meaning, or is impotent, and can't. Secondly, free will and "designed" meaning cannot exist together, as they are mutually exclusive.
- It seems as if the majority of this argument is based on an objective definition of the word meaning, while in reality a meaning of life is not objective but subjective.