Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Is God a Nihilist?

Plenty of apologists, such as William Lane Craig, believe that atheism leads towards nihilism, which can be defined as a philosophy that asserts existence and life are without any meaning whatsoever. This is presumably due to the belief that since God created humans for a purpose, that gives our life meaning. From this view, however, I fail to see how the argument doesn't apply to God, as well.

God was not created for any purpose because, well, he wasn't created. He has existed always; He's the last link in the causal chain. This means, that by this argument, God's existence must have no purpose, and assuming that God is a reasonable fellow, he should accept the philosophy of nihilism. If this be the case, we can also see that the purpose that God created us for is arbitrary and absurd, thus we must also accept nihilism even in a theistic world.

Any argument against this, seems to me, to also be favorable to the argument in favor of non-theistic arguments against nihilism as well, which negates any arguments against atheism that apply the false assumption that meaning can only exist with God. Suppose God creates his own purpose. Well, suppose that man creates his own, much like Sartre and other existentialists suggest. Suppose God is just innately endowed with meaning. Well, again, suppose that man, either through inheritance of certain traits or the influence of the environment, is endowed with certain innate drives that give his life meaning. Nothing, as far as I can see, can save only God from nihilism.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. This is what your post made me think about. God is a metaphysically necessary being. He exists out of the necessity of his own being. Much like numbers. Secondly, nihilism is logically incoherent. The statement "there is nothing" is self-refuting, therefore it is necessarily false, and could never be possible. So, I would say that nihilism is logically incoherent, and by the very nature of the belief, there is no reason to refute it any more than I have. Why? Because there is nothing to be refuted, and nothing to be asserted. There is literally nothing if nihilism is true. Nothing to be measured, or thought of, absolutely nothing is not anything! So, in order to be a nihilist one must accept the logically absurd. I personally am not able to do that, however, many do and therefore the belief has credit. I cannot say with 100% certainty that something exists, I can say, however, that I have reason to believe that I exist.