God Bestows Meaning

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Jason Thibodeau writes a long article, "Can Humans Create Meaning? Can God?" [1] I will concern myself  with only a  small part of the article, the argument that God cannot create meaning. Jason argues: "The conception of meaning is not altered by whether God, or any other supernatural entity, exists. Whether life is meaningful depends on whether there are, in our lives, things that matter." [2]
He sets up a dichotomy in arguing that God bestowing meaning is an ambiguous claim:
The claim that God makes life meaningful is ambiguous. There are two different things that it might mean:
(A) God creates the things in life that are valuable and worthwhile (and that, in virtue of being valuable and worthwhile, give our lives meaning).
(B) God makes it the case that the things in life that are valuable and worthwhile are valuable and worthwhile. Thus, by making these things valuable and worthwhile, God makes it the case that our lives are meaningful.
This is a false dichotomy and it is created to impose a sense of ambiguity where none exists. Notice that the only real difference in A and B is that A avoids naming the authority by which God says a thing is meaningful, B explicitly asserts that God makes it so. If we understand B as a further elaboration of A it makes perfect since given the nature of God. In other words both can be the case. Of course Jason is not attributing the value to God that a believer would do. That's the real issue left hidden,
Those who, like Carroll, think that our conception of meaning and purpose must change when we abandon theism are assuming (B). Any atheist who thinks either that humans can create their own meaning even in the absence of God or that, in the absence of God, life is objectively empty of meaning, are implicitly assuming (B) as well. And I think that many theists also believe that (B) is the case.

He's almost arguing what Sartre argued but no  reference is made to Sartre or any from of  existentialism. But I must also find fault with his
If you believe that God is the creator of Heaven and Earth, then you believe that (A) is true. In creating things like human beings, and the planets and stars, and natural landscapes, and plants and animals, and happiness and love, God creates things that have value. God, if he exists, creates the things that are worthy of pursuit, preservation, and appreciation; and, in doing so, he makes it possible for human lives to be meaningful. If God exists, then, because of God and his activity, there exists things such that we have object-given reasons to care about them. However, if (A) is true, God does not make any of these things valuable; he does not make it the case that these things are worthy of pursuit, preservation, and appreciation....
The reason for that is not hard to seek. It is because as I say above God is the basis of reality, he created all that is and serves as the source of the Good. We love,we find fault with and value things because we are made in God's image and God gave us the ability. Yet I think Jason equivocates on this point:
If life is meaningful, if there are object-given reasons to care about things, then, even on theism, the things that are valuable and worthwhile (the things that make life meaningful and worth living) must be valuable and worthwhile even if God does not exist. Now, it is always open for a theist to claim that, on her worldview, nothing can exist in the absence of God. Well, in that case, if God did not exist, life would not be meaningful but for the trivial reason that life would not be. I am not here trying to rule out or defeat the claim that all concrete things (including the things, like people, and nature, and happiness, and joy, that make life meaningful) depend for their existence on God. What I am trying to rule out is the claim that the value of these things depends on God.
Borrowing meaning from supposed Godless nature of our world. The world I live in is meaningful to me,I don't believe in God,  therefor, I don't need God to have meaning. The fallacy here is that one minds this meaning in a world where  one has ceased to recognized God because one is coasting upon God born memories of meaning. We don't have a control universe that we know was not inhabited by God that we can live and see if we  still find it meaningful. 

One problem with Jason's article is he doesn't seem  to distinguish between levels of meaning, He is clearly aware that there are different levels of meaning. There's private personal meaning,there's universal moral meaning. There are different modes of meaning. When he makes statements such that "God cannot create value and meaning" he does not say what type of meaning is being nixed.

.....
(B) is false. And everyone, theist and atheist alike, should be able to agree that it is false. We know that God cannot create value and meaning because we know that there are some things that God cannot make valuable, worthwhile, or meaningful. And if there are some things such that God cannot make them valuable (etc.)
This is not because we lack the power to do so. It is not because humans are small and weak; even God cannot make things matter. God can make things that matter (but so can humans) but God cannot make the things that he makes matter. In the same way, humans can produce some of the things that matter in life (though not all of them and maybe not even the most important of them), but we cannot make these things matter.[5]

What he seems to be saying in all of this is that God can create things that we will find meaningful but he cannot infuse with intrinsic metaphysical meaning things that are not in them selves meaningful."God can provide humans with the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with a perfect being. If God does not exist, then such a relationship may not be possible. So, God can add meaning to our lives by creating or making possible things that matter a great deal, but God cannot create meaning."  He gives an  example of two planets one with God one with no God, The no God universe still finds things meaningful  but would they? How does he know? He doesn't have such a planet to do his test in, he's basing it on a planet in  which most everyone was raised with God ordained values,


I think he';s accepting that God can arrange for all kinds  of meaning except what one might call "Magic mushroom menacing." intrinsic cosmic meaning. That is conjecture. Jason is aware that God can do all other kinds:



He can also provide states of affairs and experience that are of significant value and such that, in the absence of God, would not be possible. For example, God can provide humans with the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with a perfect being. If God does not exist, then such a relationship may not be possible. So, God can add meaning to our lives by creating or making possible things that matter a great deal, but God cannot create meaning
First why is that not enough? Why do we need magic mushroom meaning? Secondly why can 't God supply it? He calls creation Good,who is to say it  is not good? The creature?  What does he know? Can God create a context in  which X is meaningful? What else is meaningful? There is no  private language, one cannot say "'boo boo boo' and have it mean 'I will go for a walk after dinner if it doesn't rain,'" Two guys go the pub after class. One says to the other "I say old chap what are you doing after dinner?" The other one says "boo boo boo." In creating all things God creates a context in which all things have meaning in relation to God and fulfilling his purpose,


In the comment section I made a similar point in that meaning is bestowed by function. Here I equate meaning with "point"  or purpose. The meaning of an ash try is to hold ashes.It can be used for other things but the nature of the implement is to hold ashes. Paul uses the metaphor of a pot. I said to Jason:
So Jason In his essay "Existentialism is a Humanism" Sartre talks about the difference in existentialism and essentially he uses the analogy of a created object, I think he uses a paper cutter,but an ash try or whatever... Some object is made for a given reason the meaning of the object is the function for which it was meant. Now Sartre asserts there' s no God we exist first then we decide the meaning of our lives. But if there is a God why would meaning not be bestowed by the purpose for which we were created?[3][4]
Jason answers:
Suppose, contrary to what you and I take to be fact, that the creator of the universe is an evil supernatural being (let's call him 'Asura'). Suppose that Asura created human beings for the purpose of suffering; he created us so that we we would suffer because he is amused by our suffering. I maintain that it would not follow that the meaning of our loves would be bestowed by the fact that we were created to suffer.The point generalizes. Since, in this possibility, the meaning of life is not provided by the purpose for which we were created, in general the meaning of life is not provided by the purpose for which we were created.
Sorry but to me this just looks like shear truth by stipulation. I don't see how his point is proven by his example. I guess we are suppose to think I don't want my life defined by suffering so it must not be, but how so? In the context of creaturehood it would be meaningful either way. It would just be horrible in one case and great in the other but how does that change the meaning?

recommended Reading:


This is a job for Kierkegaard. This is exactly what he was talking  about. The best source I found was Copeleston, his take on SK. We seek God to become truly ourselves,We find the path for which God created us we have meaning, [5]This source is truly outdated speaking of complementary  philosophy  and it has logical positivism. it's well worth reading, or the understanding of Kierkegaard.





[1] Jason Thibodeau "Can Humans create Meaning? Can God?" Secular Outpost blog. (June 11, 2018)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2018/06/11/can-humans-create-meaning-can-god/
(accessed 6/13/18)

[2] Ibid. All quotes from this source unless otherwise noted
[3]  Jason Thibodeau, comment section, op cit http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2018/06/11/can-humans-create-meaning-can-god/#disqus_thread
[4] Joan Paul Sartre, "Existentialism is a Humanism"First Published: World Publishing Company in 1956;Translator: Philip Mairet; published under Fair use Poloicy ass intermnet aritcle. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/sartre/works/exist/sartre.htm


From a lecture  given in 1946.

[5] Frederick Coplesdton, Contemporary Philosophy:  Studies of Logical Positivism and Existentialism.London and New York City:Continuum  2003.


Comments

im-skeptical said…
Interesting. The elephant in the room here is that there is no clear definition of "meaning" for the purposes of discussion. Meaning could be (as you point out) the purpose of something, which is akin to final cause. Or meaning could be the value of something. In the former case, we should distinguish between purpose as seen by the creator of the thing, or as seen by the user of the thing. In the latter case, we should distinguish between value as perceived by user, or as perceived by the maker, or perhaps we could recognize some "universal" value that needs not be perceived by anyone at all.

I agree completely that A and B are a false dichotomy, but I disagree with your assertion that no ambiguity exists. The ambiguity is in what is meant by "meaning", as I pointed out. Clearly, an atheist would not accept either of those choices. I would say that meaning equates to value, and furthermore, that there is no universal meaning. Meaning must be perceived. If my life is meaningful, it either has some kind of value TO ME, or TO OTHERS. If value is not perceived BY SOMEONE, then there is no value and no meaning at all.
Joe Hinman said…
Interesting. The elephant in the room here is that there is no clear definition of "meaning" for the purposes of discussion. Meaning could be (as you point out) the purpose of something, which is akin to final cause.

I don't see how that works. How is purpose akin to final cause?




Or meaning could be the value of something. In the former case, we should distinguish between purpose as seen by the creator of the thing, or as seen by the user of the thing. In the latter case, we should distinguish between value as perceived by user, or as perceived by the maker, or perhaps we could recognize some "universal" value that needs not be perceived by anyone at all.

Yes but user meaning can never have the ultimate purpose the creator gives something

I agree completely that A and B are a false dichotomy, but I disagree with your assertion that no ambiguity exists. The ambiguity is in what is meant by "meaning", as I pointed out. Clearly, an atheist would not accept either of those choices. I would say that meaning equates to value, and furthermore, that there is no universal meaning.

If we assume God exists universal meaning and ultimate meaning is a a priori


Meaning must be perceived.

It is perceived. by God, our perception does not betwow ultimate meaning


If my life is meaningful, it either has some kind of value TO ME, or TO OTHERS. If value is not perceived BY SOMEONE, then there is no value and no meaning at all.

all human life is meaningful to God. But we can;t bestow meantime in the sense God does. the meaning we bestow is always private and limited,

Joe Hinman said…
It's just a a matter of logic, I can tell myself I am as good as a PhD I can give myself a PhD but it;s not going to be the same as the sate of Texas giving me one,
im-skeptical said…
I don't see how that works. How is purpose akin to final cause?
- Final cause IS purpose.

Yes but user meaning can never have the ultimate purpose the creator gives something
- Since the only meaning I know is the meaning that I perceive, that is what matters to me. Let me make an illustration. What is a dollar bill? For me, it might be something that allows me to purchase things I need. For a squirrel, it might be something that he can use in making his nest. For a rich man, it might be a symbol of wealth when he uses it to light his cigar. For an economist, it might be an instrument that facilitates a working economy. For each of these, it means something different, and what it means to the others doesn't matter. Meaning is not absolute. It is something we perceive. That's what matters to us.

If we assume God exists universal meaning and ultimate meaning is a a priori
- Perhaps, but we don't need to assume that. The question of "Can Humans Create Meaning?" is pertinent.

It is perceived. by God, our perception does not betwow ultimate meaning
- The meaning that God perceived is what matters to him. I care about my own meaning.

all human life is meaningful to God. But we can;t bestow meantime in the sense God does. the meaning we bestow is always private and limited
- Which is better - limited but accessible, or ultimate but unknown to us? You can claim that you know and understand God's ultimate meaning, but I have my doubts about that.

It's just a a matter of logic, I can tell myself I am as good as a PhD I can give myself a PhD but it;s not going to be the same as the sate of Texas giving me one
- I don't think so. It's still a matter of what those things mean TO YOU, or to someone else (perhaps an employer). The state of Texas (as an entity) has no conscious experience of meaning.

Joe Hinman said…
I don't see how that works. How is purpose akin to final cause?

- Final cause IS purpose.

only if it is the act of a mind, purpose cannot be had by impersonal or inanimate object,

JoeYes but user meaning can never have the ultimate purpose the creator gives something


- Since the only meaning I know is the meaning that I perceive, that is what matters to me. Let me make an illustration. What is a dollar bill? For me, it might be something that allows me to purchase things I need. For a squirrel, it might be something that he can use in making his nest. For a rich man, it might be a symbol of wealth when he uses it to light his cigar. For an economist, it might be an instrument that facilitates a working economy. For each of these, it means something different, and what it means to the others doesn't matter. Meaning is not absolute. It is something we perceive. That's what matters to us.

If the creator of the dollar,the US treasury does not give it a meaning and purpose originality none of those other meanings matter. you can give your meaning to monopoly money but it wont work.,

JoeIf we assume God exists universal meaning and ultimate meaning is a a priori



- Perhaps, but we don't need to assume that. The question of "Can Humans Create Meaning?" is pertinent.

of course we can make up our own lit little private meaning it only maters to us like palsying like monopoly money is real, it has limited value.


JoeIt is perceived. by God, our perception does not betwow ultimate meaning


- The meaning that God perceived is what matters to him. I care about my own meaning.


preyed all you want that goes nowhere. that obviously not meaning, it;s just private game that goes nowhere, you die no one embers it turns to dust; if God remembers then millions of angels will know,


Joeall human life is meaningful to God. But we can;t bestow meantime in the sense God does. the meaning we bestow is always private and limited



- Which is better - limited but accessible, or ultimate but unknown to us? You can claim that you know and understand God's ultimate meaning, but I have my doubts about that.

If God is true to his word it wont be unknown to us forever, it will be known to us,God and to billions of others for eternity,

Trying to pretend that our little realities meaning is better than God's meaning is the most telepathic thing I've ever heard.





JoeIt's just a a matter of logic, I can tell myself I am as good as a PhD I can give myself a PhD but it;s not going to be the same as the sate of Texas giving me one


- I don't think so. It's still a matter of what those things mean TO YOU, or to someone else (perhaps an employer). The state of Texas (as an entity) has no conscious experience of meaning.

holy rationalization Batman!


1/21/2019 03:45:00 PM Delete
Joe Hinman said…
you have to own the meaninglessness and absurdity of life if you are to be a real atheist. That is what Sartre and the existentialists teach us. If you are not wiling to tough it out maybe your heart is telling you atheism is false.
im-skeptical said…
only if it is the act of a mind, purpose cannot be had by impersonal or inanimate object
- That depends on whether you accept Aristotle's version of final cause, or Aquinas'. To Aristotle, purpose was simply built into natural objects. To Aquinas, it was the product of God's mind. I don't accept either of those.

If the creator of the dollar,the US treasury does not give it a meaning and purpose originality none of those other meanings matter. you can give your meaning to monopoly money but it wont work.
- You don't understand what I'm saying. Consider the squirrel. The ONLY thing that matters to her is that she can use the paper to build her nest. And yes, it DOES work. What the treasury says is of no consequence whatsoever. You need to examine the issue from the perspective of the original question that was asked.

of course we can make up our own lit little private meaning it only maters to us like palsying like monopoly money is real, it has limited value.
- If god doesn't exist, "our own little private meaning" is the only meaning there is, and it is all that matters.

preyed all you want that goes nowhere. that obviously not meaning, it;s just private game that goes nowhere, you die no one embers it turns to dust; if God remembers then millions of angels will know
- And if you're wrong ... ???

Trying to pretend that our little realities meaning is better than God's meaning is the most telepathic thing I've ever heard.
- I never said it was better. But it IS reality. God is a figment of your imagination.

holy rationalization Batman!
- I should have known better than to think you might actually understand.

you have to own the meaninglessness and absurdity of life if you are to be a real atheist. That is what Sartre and the existentialists teach us. If you are not wiling to tough it out maybe your heart is telling you atheism is false.
- Again you misunderstand. And you are evidently ignorant of what Sartre says. The "meaninglessness and absurdity of life" is only the starting point in a world without God to provide meaning for us. But that doesn't imply there IS no meaning. He says that we make our own meaning in life, and our define our own way.
Joe Hinman said…
only if it is the act of a mind, purpose cannot be had by impersonal or inanimate object


- That depends on whether you accept Aristotle's version of final cause, or Aquinas'. To Aristotle, purpose was simply built into natural objects. To Aquinas, it was the product of God's mind. I don't accept either of those.

if God exists then final cause exists so no problem there

JoeIf the creator of the dollar,the US treasury does not give it a meaning and purpose originality none of those other meanings matter. you can give your meaning to monopoly money but it wont work.


- You don't understand what I'm saying. Consider the squirrel. The ONLY thing that matters to her is that she can use the paper to build her nest. And yes, it DOES work. What the treasury says is of no consequence whatsoever. You need to examine the issue from the perspective of the original question that was asked.

I understand what you are saying I know you thinks it's deadly brilliant but it;s not, no different than what has already been said, you are still just saying you can pretend shit is gold who cares? that still doesn't play in eternity


of course we can make up our own lit little private meaning it only maters to us like palsying like monopoly money is real, it has limited value.

- If god doesn't exist, "our own little private meaning" is the only meaning there is, and it is all that matters.


sure that;s all there is in that case but doens;t make it good. it just means atheist are stupid not not to want God to exist you really should be horrified if he doesn;t exist.But not to worry because he does.

preyed all you want that goes nowhere. that obviously not meaning, it;s just private game that goes nowhere, you die no one embers it turns to dust; if God remembers then millions of angels will know

- And if you're wrong ... ???

you get what you get but why should that undo my reason for thinking God is real?

Trying to pretend that our little realities meaning is better than God's meaning is the most pathetic thing I've ever heard.

- I never said it was better. But it IS reality. God is a figment of your imagination.

;-)


holy rationalization Batman!
- I should have known better than to think you might actually understand.

you have to own the meaninglessness and absurdity of life if you are to be a real atheist. That is what Sartre and the existentialists teach us. If you are not wiling to tough it out maybe your heart is telling you atheism is false.
- Again you misunderstand. And you are evidently ignorant of what Sartre says. The "meaninglessness and absurdity of life" is only the starting point in a world without God to provide meaning for us. But that doesn't imply there IS no meaning. He says that we make our own meaning in life, and our define our own way.

you are ignorant of Sartre knownothing, because he relisted in didn;t work and he found God in the last year of his life,stupid.

1/22/2019 08:12:00 AM Delete
JBsptfn said…
When Skep says we define our own way, he is saying that he is another moral relativist moron.
Bodhi said…
Awesome post.Thanks for sharing
im-skeptical said…
if God exists then final cause exists so no problem there
- To Aristotle, final cause was just part of nature.

I understand what you are saying I know you thinks it's deadly brilliant but it;s not, no different than what has already been said, you are still just saying you can pretend shit is gold who cares? that still doesn't play in eternity
- And I understand that you see everything through God-colored goggles. But you are ignoring the subject of Thibodeau's article. He asks: "Can Humans Create Meaning?" I've been trying to address that issue, and what meaning is, and all you can see is "G O D". And you call atheists one-dimensional. What a laugh.

sure that;s all there is in that case but doens;t make it good. it just means atheist are stupid not not to want God to exist you really should be horrified if he doesn;t exist.But not to worry because he does.
- If God existed, I'm sure we would have some kind of evidence to believe it.

you get what you get but why should that undo my reason for thinking God is real?
- I'm simply posing a hypothetical to you. Why can't you even imagine the possibility? It's just an exercise in thinking.

you are ignorant of Sartre knownothing, because he relisted in didn;t work and he found God in the last year of his life,stupid.
- Please go on with your ranting. The idea that we make our own meaning was a central theme of Sartre's philosophy. And his so-called conversion is a story created by a dishonest Christian who claimed to speak for him when he was senile. Read this article.
im-skeptical said…
thanks guys
- Bodhi says that to any idiot who will listen. He's a spam-bot, you fool.
im-skeptical said…
When Skep says we define our own way, he is saying that he is another moral relativist moron.
- A moron who thinks for himself. You, on the other hand, are a genius who can't find meaning in your own life, think for yourself, or make your own way. You are led around by your nose-ring.
Joe Hinman said…

Blogger im-skeptical said...
if God exists then final cause exists so no problem there


- To Aristotle, final cause was just part of nature.

I said if God than final Cause not the other way around

I understand what you are saying I know you thinks it's deadly brilliant but it;s not, no different than what has already been said, you are still just saying you can pretend shit is gold who cares? that still doesn't play in eternity


- And I understand that you see everything through God-colored goggles. But you are ignoring the subject of Thibodeau's article. He asks: "Can Humans Create Meaning?" I've been trying to address that issue, and what meaning is, and all you can see is "G O D". And you call atheists one-dimensional. What a laugh.


my article said no we can;t that address it directly. you don't even understand my argument,

sure that;s all there is in that case but doens;t make it good. it just means atheist are stupid not not to want God to exist you really should be horrified if he doesn;t exist.But not to worry because he does.


- If God existed, I'm sure we would have some kind of evidence to believe it.

like the 63 arguments i have on my two sites

you get what you get but why should that undo my reason for thinking God is real?


- I'm simply posing a hypothetical to you. Why can't you even imagine the possibility? It's just an exercise in thinking.

Obviously I have imaged it since I was an atheist

Joeyou are ignorant of Sartre knownothing, because he relisted in didn;t work and he found God in the last year of his life,stupid.


- Please go on with your ranting. The idea that we make our own meaning was a central theme of Sartre's philosophy. And his so-called conversion is a story created by a dishonest Christian who claimed to speak for him when he was senile. Read this article.

I know more about Sartre you will ever know, I bet you havne;t read anything by him. Sartre's conversions true. you are unable to face truth,


1/23/2019 07:26:00 AM Delete
Blogger im-skeptical said...
thanks guys
- Bodhi says that to any idiot who will listen. He's a spam-bot, you fool.

that's no worse than you over on your blog talking to your sock puppet all the time.


When Skep says we define our own way, he is saying that he is another moral relativist moron.
- A moron who thinks for himself. You, on the other hand, are a genius who can't find meaning in your own life, think for yourself, or make your own way. You are led around by your nose-ring.

you don;t know the first thigh about existentialism. If finding meaning was some easy little thing that falls into place Satrtre's philosophy would not deal with terms like nausea and "compelled to be free." shrinking under the gaze of the other
im-skeptical said…
I said if God than final Cause not the other way around
- You also said final cause has nothing to do with purpose.

my article said no we can;t that address it directly. you don't even understand my argument
- It wasn't an argument. You ASSERT that we can't make meaning for ourselves, which is refuted by the simple fact that we DO. And I gave you examples of HOW we do, which you reject just because they aren't GOD. Furthermore, you spoke of "levels of meaning", but you didn't define what it is. I addressed that issue in my first comment, which you simply ignored, because you don't understand it.

like the 63 arguments i have on my two sites
- You keep making the same mistake. An argument is NOT evidence. It is only your interpretation of the evidence (or lack thereof).

Obviously I have imaged it since I was an atheist
- You have already admitted that you always believed in God, even though you called yourself an atheist. You were not an atheist. You can't imagine a world without God.

I know more about Sartre you will ever know, I bet you havne;t read anything by him. Sartre's conversions true. you are unable to face truth
- You don't understand his philosophy. You don't understand ANY philosophy that is not theistic. And never knowingly converted. HE WAS SENILE.

that's no worse than you over on your blog talking to your sock puppet all the time.
- Joe, you are talking to a BOT.

you don;t know the first thigh about existentialism. If finding meaning was some easy little thing that falls into place Satrtre's philosophy would not deal with terms like nausea and "compelled to be free." shrinking under the gaze of the other
- You have a concept of existentialism, but you don't understand it. See the SEP article:
all the themes popularly associated with existentialism—dread, boredom, alienation, the absurd, freedom, commitment, nothingness, and so on—find their philosophical significance in the context of the search for a new categorial framework, together with its governing norm.

“Existentialism”, therefore, may be defined as the philosophical theory which holds that a further set of categories, governed by the norm of authenticity, is necessary to grasp human existence.


Joe, Your understanding of it is so childish, it's ridiculous. If you ever read Sartre, you didn't know what he was saying.
JBsptfn said…
Meta that's no worse than you over on your blog talking to your sock puppet all the time.

Yeah, the person named Papa Smurf or something like that. He is the one that is good at plagiarizing.
Joe Hinman said…
JHI said if God than final Cause not the other way around


Skepestotle- You also said final cause has nothing to do with purpose.

Not directly but it depends upon that final cause is.

my article said no we can;t that address it directly. you don't even understand my argument


- It wasn't an argument. You ASSERT that we can't make meaning for ourselves,



which is refuted by the simple fact that we DO.

so because you can pretend your life is meaningful that makes it meaningful sure what ever, then you die. O THAT IS SUCH HARSH REFUTATION BOY YOU REALLY PUT ME IN MY PLACE!


And I gave you examples of HOW we do, which you reject just because they aren't GOD.

you have not said jack shirt to refute the charge of relativism. how are you going to make temporal meaning that is limited to your mind only universal?

Furthermore, you spoke of "levels of meaning", but you didn't define what it is. I addressed that issue in my first comment, which you simply ignored, because you don't understand it.

How did you adders it if I didn't define it? I did define and I;ve been discussing it I just got through. The levels are relative and universal like I just sad,you have no answer, you have no come back. see how much you miss by not reading the post?


You really have problems evaluating what the other guy says. You are so convnned you must be right you don't even bother to think about what Im saying not at all not one bit/



like the 63 arguments i have on my two sites


- You keep making the same mistake. An argument is NOT evidence. It is only your interpretation of the evidence (or lack thereof).


Yes bozo God arguments are evidence of God because the confusion warrant belief.

mystical experience argent evidence = the studies

CA evidence = contingent universe

OA = ontological principle



Obviously I have imaged it since I was an atheist


- You have already admitted that you always believed in God, even though you called yourself an atheist. You were not an atheist. You can't imagine a world without God.

This is what I've always suspected about little ideologue atheists like you, you just can't hear what is being said your little brained brain automatically translates all speech into propaganda. I said something to the effect that I had a nagging feeling that i was missing the point about God; your brainwashed brain can;t think subtle has to just distort

I know more about Sartre you will ever know, I bet you havne;t read anything by him. Sartre's conversions true. you are unable to face truth


- You don't understand his philosophy. You don't understand ANY philosophy that is not theistic. And never knowingly converted. HE WAS SENILE.

that's no worse than you over on your blog talking to your sock puppet all the time.
- Joe, you are talking to a BOT.

Joe Hinman said…
you don;t know the first thigh about existentialism. If finding meaning was some easy little thing that falls into place Satrtre's philosophy would not deal with terms like nausea and "compelled to be free." shrinking under the gaze of the other



- You have a concept of existentialism, but you don't understand it. See the SEP article:
all the themes popularly associated with existentialism—dread, boredom, alienation, the absurd, freedom, commitment, nothingness, and so on—find their philosophical significance in the context of the search for a new categorial framework, together with its governing norm.

you uneducated jackass, philosophy out of the machine this chart read my chart it;s on the intern, while you were reading your stupid chart I was reading Sartre. what the mother fuck makes you think Idon;t know the stuff on the chart?

“Existentialism”, therefore, may be defined as the philosophical theory which holds that a further set of categories, governed by the norm of authenticity, is necessary to grasp human existence.

ahahahahhhahahahk you don;t know the first thing abouit existentialism,that pertinacious prattlek you don;teve nunder standu] your self has nothing to do with it,,

Joe, Your understanding of it is so childish, it's ridiculous. If you ever read Sartre, you didn't know what he was saying.

ahhahaahhahahahahaahahahahahlk I'm through wasting my time on you you are not capable of understanding conversation on the graduate level.

if you were trying to impress me with your big big knowledge of the chart which is all you know, it did not impress me but proved to me how really ignorant you are
Kristen said…
The conversation has dissolved into name-calling, but I wanted to add my two cents to the original topic. Why should there be a dichtomy (for a theist) that says God can make meaning but humans can't? Both are true; they're just different in level. I can decide things are meaningful to me, and therefore, they have meaning. I don't think there's any reason to argue about that level of meaning. But no, it really isn't enough-- for me-- to just think "this means something to me, but that's all." Sartre wanted it to be enough, but wanting doesn't make it so. If there is no Creator whose ultimate purpose in the creation gives it intrinsic meaning, then when I die, all the meaning that these things (that I thought meant something) ever had is gone. The universe doesn't care if humans love each other. The universe doesn't care if humans look at a sunset and are inspired, and write some words or paint a picture that inspires other humans in turn. But if humans are lovable because God created them to be loved, and sunsets are inspiring because God said, "I want humans to be inspired by beauty, and I will cause beautiful things to come about for them to be inspired by," surely it's obvious how much more satisfying, on a deep level, that kind of meaning is.

So here's the thing. I have a deep-seated need, as a human being, for transcendent (not just personal) meaning. If I need a thing that does not and never can exist, then human life is a sad comedy of futility and error. But if my need is there because to be human is to be spiritual, and the spiritual is real, and transcendent meaning is real, then human life is a glorious song-- sometimes tragic, sometimes comic, but always a thing of dignity and value.

So what it comes down to is that I can't live consistently as if atheism were true. I can't stop acting as if things really matter-- not just to myself, not just to humanity until it dies out in an uncaring universe, but that things really matter. I guess IM can, and that's his business, but I can't. If I can't live consistently as if a thing were true, I don't think it can be true. That's all.
Kristen said…
PS. I think part of the reasons humans can create meaning is that God created us to be meaning-makers. This ties into the article Tim wrote-- that the nature of the universe is creative, and the things in it are also creative. But if we are meaning-makers in a universe where meaning itself has no meaning, what good is that?
Joe Hinman said…
I appreciate your comments.I lost it but no one tells I don't know what existentialism is about,
Joe Hinman said…
I agree that our meaning bestowing functions are an out growth of the imago dei. The thing about Sartre's idea of meaning is he was really willing to think the universe and life are meaningless and absurd, Those of us who know God just know better.

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