Questions for non-Christians #11
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had anyone close to me take their own life. I hope you’ve not had that experience neither. An acquaintance, yes…but never a family member nor friend. Who knows, however, that one or more may have considered it. Life can be so joyless and filled with disappointment, seemingly without any good reason to continue it, sometimes I wonder why more people don’t attempt suicide than do. Still, I can only imagine the deep pain and hopelessness that must feel so all-encompassing and immovable that the only way to escape it is by death.
Suicide in the United States has increased by 33% since the year 2000. That’s a staggering rate. The reasons why people kill themselves vary, of course, but such a sharp incline is evidence of something going on culturally. And I think I know what it is.
Because there’s something else that’s been steadily increasing which bears a logical correlation with hopelessness. It’s the rise of secularism. The move away from God and towards a worldview framed by Darwinian evolution which removes God from the reason for our existence, also removes the reason itself. Why do we exist if there is no God? I don’t mean, what explains the emergence of the human species, which Darwinism purports to do. I mean, what’s the significance of our existence?
If we were intentionally created by an intelligent being, it follows that our lives are aimed towards a goal. That goal or purpose may simply be the satisfaction of the creator, but it may be much more. Whatever it is, having a purpose for our existence gives our lives ultimate meaning. If, however, we are merely the inevitable consequence of natural selection acting on unguided, unintentional, natural processes, no goal nor purpose can be construed.
Understandably then, when life gets really hard and we see no way to alleviate the pain, and the inculcation of Darwinism has us believing that there is no purpose to our existence, many see no reason then not to go ahead and end their purposeless existence. But if instead they had at some time been persuaded that God exists and their life has value because they were created with intention, that knowledge alone may give them a reason to persevere through the pain.
So here’s question #11 for the non-Christian:
Do you believe your life has ultimate meaning and purpose, and if so, on what grounds?
Many will answer with a hearty Yes! and cite relationships, accomplishments, and personal goals as things that give meaning and purpose to their lives. And we all have these. But that doesn’t answer the question of ultimate meaning. If the universe and all of us who inhabit it are ultimately destined for destruction, what’s really the point of any of it?
To better understand what I’m talking about, take the next five minutes of your very purposeful existence and watch this excellent video.