No Apologizing

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

The Nihilist, The Atheist, and The Christian


I am sure that everyone has been paying attention to the shooting in Arizona.  Jarod Loughner, went to an event hosted by Representative Giffords.  9 people died, including a 9 year old child.  There is news out now that Loughner is a nihilist.  Now I have heard of nihilism before from movies, or jokes but was never sure as to what it actually was.  Today being a snow day here in Kansas City…I figured I would take a look.

I did a Google search on the word nihilism and landed on an Encyclopedia article which talks about nihilism.  Here are a couple of excerpts:

“While nihilism is often discussed in terms of extreme skepticism and relativism, for most of the 20th century it has been associated with the belief that life is meaningless. Existential nihilism begins with the notion that the world is without meaning or purpose. Given this circumstance, existence itself–all action, suffering, and feeling–is ultimately senseless and empty.”

“In his study of meaninglessness, Donald Crosby writes that the source of modern nihilism paradoxically stems from a commitment to honest intellectual openness. “Once set in motion, the process of questioning could come to but one end, the erosion of conviction and certitude and collapse into despair” (The Specter of the Absurd, 1988).”

It would appear that nihilism is the conclusion to atheism.  Everywhere I go atheists are always talking about one thing…skepticism.  Atheists are always talking about a lack of evidence for God.  At some point they must come to a conclusion.  If they conclude that there is in fact no God, there is only one logical conclusion…life is meaningless, there is no purpose, and that it all is senseless and empty. 

If in fact this is the conclusion that one draws;  life, your actions, your family, everything has no meaning.  There are no moral rules.  Nothing to govern you or society.  Nothing that would prevent you from gunning down 9 people because there are no consequences.  If that seems a little harsh then I would advise that you think this all the way to conclusion.  The thought process for a nihilist would be as follows: “I question the existence of God.  There is not enough evidence to demonstrate that he exists (atheism).  Well if God doesn’t exist, and there is no afterlife, then what is the point.  Life is meaningless, my actions are meaningless.  Why bother with anything (nihilism).”  Here I would agree with Donald Crosby in the quote above when he says that this belief, or this thought process can only lead to depression and despair.

With all of that said…

God exists.  The primary evidence for Gods existence is his creation (Romans 1:20).  God loves you.  If you are sitting in despair or are thinking that life has no meaning…think about this, God sacrificed his son for YOU! (John 3:16).  He sacrificed his son for those who continue to deny his existence.  Who continue to deny the existence of his son.  How powerful is this love?  So powerful that God will forgive ALL of the things that you have done, and will do.  That is so important that it should be said again…  God loves you so much, that despite denying his existence, that he will forgive you for everything that you have done.  Call on God, ask for his forgiveness, accept Christ as your savior in your heart and you can inherit the Kingdom!  You should know that you are not meaningless in God’s eyes (Matthew 6:25-33).   Each one of us is precious to God.  He knows you.  I am not meaning the proverbial you as in everyone…HE KNOWS YOU! (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:16).  This is the good news that Christian’s talk about!

Do not despair!  The God of the universe knows your name, and loves you unconditionally!

If you need prayer or are ready to give yourself to God PLEASE CONTACT US!

kcbob

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17 responses to “The Nihilist, The Atheist, and The Christian

  1. NotAScientist January 10, 2011 at 9:05 am

    “If they conclude that there is in fact no God, there is only one logical conclusion…life is meaningless, there is no purpose, and that it all is senseless and empty. ”

    Incorrect.

    The logical conclusion is that there is no meaning coming from an outside force like a deity or God. There’s plenty of meaning that comes from humans.

    • kcbob January 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

      I disagree. What kind of meaning can humans provide for other humans? Humanistic love is fleeting. You are loved as long as you belong or are accepted. Humanistic acceptance is conditional. If you break with the norm, then you are no longer accepted and cast away. There is no meaning behind that. I’m sorry, the harder one tries to be accepted, loved or to find meaning in a society that is constantly changing the more likely they will find themselves on the outside looking in.

      God’s love is constant. God’s love is meaningful. God’s love will never leave you regardless of what you have done. That has meaning that everyone is looking for. I would argue that everyone is seeking that kind of acceptance. Only God can provide that. No one or nothing else.

      BTW… thanks for being rational in your post and thanks for stopping by.

      • NotAScientist January 10, 2011 at 10:23 am

        “What kind of meaning can humans provide for other humans? Humanistic love is fleeting.”

        I don’t limit what I think of as ‘meaning’ to meaning that lasts forever. I don’t believe that people are in any sense immortal, and thus all meaning is, by necessity, fleeting because it ends in death. Therefore, any meaning is eventually going to end. Which makes it more precious to me while it exists.

        “I’m sorry, the harder one tries to be accepted, loved or to find meaning in a society that is constantly changing the more likely they will find themselves on the outside looking in. ”

        I’m sorry you feel that way. I respectfully disagree.

        “God’s love is constant. God’s love is meaningful. God’s love will never leave you regardless of what you have done.”

        I have no good reason to believe a god exists, let along your specific god. So while what you say may be true, it doesn’t particularly matter to me unless the god in question actually exists.

        Perhaps the only people who become Nihilists were first religious believers who were absolutely convinced that without their god, life would be meaningless. Because I never thought that when I was a believer, and I don’t think it now that I’m an atheist either.

      • kcbob January 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

        Interesting insight.

        Out of curiosity…what gives your life meaning?

  2. Salinger1976 January 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    That is completely nonsensical. I did a little more than a Google search about it. I researched extensively to write a paper about it. Existential Nihilists believe that life is meaningless. That is not necessary the viewpoint of the atheist. Secular Humanists, like myself, do good not for the reward I will receive or the punishment of hell. I do good because it is right to do good. I don’t blow my life away waiting for the rapture or eternal life, I live life now. Therefore your comment, ” If they conclude that there is in fact no God, there is only one logical conclusion…life is meaningless, there is no purpose, and that it all is senseless and empty.” I’m sorry to say that one does not need god to have purpose. My personal philosophy is Absurdism, you should Google it. The basis of the philosophy is that life is basically absurd, chaotic, and meaningless. However, each person creates their own meaning. Mine is to love my children and help them grow up to be kind, generous and tolerant adults, and be a teacher who will instill in my students the critical thinking skills that seems to be lacking in the educational system. The ability to use skepticism (not cynicism) instead of blind faith, may not be the easy road, but makes for a richer life.

    • kcbob January 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      Salinger1976, I am very happy that you came by. Just a few quick points…

      Existential Nihilists believe that life is meaningless. That is not necessary the viewpoint of the atheist.

      I agree with this point. The point I was making with the post is that Nihilism is a logical conclusion to atheism. If you are a skeptic, a conclusion must be drawn at some point. Either God exists or he doesn’t. I argue that once this conclusion is made that the atheist no longer exists, they become nihilistic.

      I don’t blow my life away waiting for the rapture or eternal life, I live life now.

      Christians shouldn’t be blowing their life away waiting for the rapture. They should be out influencing individuals like Jared to prevent him from committing this act. My wife asked a pretty interesting question that I think warrants some attention…where were the Christian’s in this boys life?

      In regards to Absurdism…

      I am fascinated with the dichotomy of your remarks. You imply that life has meaning, and that your life can have a purpose without God. Yet you subscribe to a philosophy that says that your life is absurd, chaotic and meaningless. This would appear to contradict itself at first blush. Can you please elaborate on this?

      I am also intrigued with the notion that each person can create their own meaning. This is a very dangerous road to start down, as different people can have different ways of defining their meaning. An extreme example would be the Oklahoma City bombing. Timothy McVeigh gave felt meaning when he blew up the federal building. Now…you and I obviously think that, that notion is absurd. However that is a consequence. It runs parallel with moral relativism. “Who am I to say what is right or wrong…”

      Skepticism is a healthy tool. Belief in God, and his son Jesus Christ is anything but blind faith. God calls on us to love him with all of our heart (emotion), soul (spirit), and mind (knowledge). (Luke 10:27). The evidence of God and more specifically the divinity of Jesus is overwhelming. This is anything but blind faith.

      Again I am very happy that you came by. One last question though…Why have you chosen to not believe in God? What lack of evidence do you see or not see?

      Salinger1976, I hope you have a great week. Stay safe driving on these cruddy streets. I look forward to your response.

  3. NotAScientist January 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    “Interesting insight.

    Out of curiosity…what gives your life meaning?”

    Love.
    Beauty.
    The search for knowledge.
    My family.
    My friends.
    Art.

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

  4. Salinger1976 January 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    “The point I was making with the post is that Nihilism is a logical conclusion to atheism. If you are a skeptic, a conclusion must be drawn at some point. Either God exists or he doesn’t. I argue that once this conclusion is made that the atheist no longer exists, they become nihilistic.”

    As a former Christian, I can understand why you would assume that. I remember when the chains started to unlink one by one in my mind, how scary it was. I went from being a lifelong Christian, and was suffering from extreme anxiety and nightmares. This was in 1999, and the trend at the moment was that all babies would be microchipped at birth, therefore receiving the mark of the beast. I was in a rush to get pregnant, but it wasn’t happening. I digress, but I went to counseling and the counselor was amazed at my absurdity. I was astounded that she didn’t believe these things. Something clicked. I decided that if I was going to believe the Bible than I would learn everything I could about it. I read numerous books about inconsistencies, the numerous translations, the atrocities committed in the Old Testament in the name of god. (Link can be provided if challenged on this). Point being, the end of my faith did not result in nihilism, but it did cause severe depression and anxiety, now about death and the meaningless of life. You must remember that Christianity is 2,000 years old. Religion has existed for 30,000 years.

    With our amazing brains we have a desire to understand the unknown. We are the only animal that understands that it will die. Life is meaningless, that is why we humans invent things to make it make sense.

    “where were the Christian’s in this boys life?”

    As 80% of the population in Arizona are Christian, I imagine that they were everywhere.

    “I am fascinated with the dichotomy of your remarks. You imply that life has meaning, and that your life can have a purpose without God. Yet you subscribe to a philosophy that says that your life is absurd, chaotic and meaningless. This would appear to contradict itself at first blush. Can you please elaborate on this?”

    I am now exhausted from typing this out for the second time, it got deleted right before posting. It is isn’t a contradiction. Life is meaningless, therefore to stay sane and have a pleasant existence; one must make one’s own meaning. It is personalized. I don’t think an adherent of this philosophy would think to himself “I will make my meaning by raping.” By the way, check out the ratio of Christians in prison compared to atheists. May be a surprise. The name for one who lives life only to one’s one personal pleasure without regard to others is a hedonist.

    “It runs parallel with moral relativism. “Who am I to say what is right or wrong…”

    The Ten Commandments are not that complicated. We all know what is right and wrong if we are healthy, normally functioned people.

    Here are the 5 Precepts in Buddhism:
    1. Do not kill
    2. Do not steal
    3. Do not indulge in sexual misconduct
    4. Do not make false speech
    5. Do not take intoxicants
    Look a little familiar?

    “The evidence of God and more specifically the divinity of Jesus is overwhelming.”

    What evidence? And please don’t say “the tides go in, the tides go out, there is no miscommunication”.

    Thank you for having a pleasant conversation and you be safe out there as well.

    • kcbob January 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      Salinger1976 thanks for the response. In response to the overwhelming evidence for Jesus and God… There is quite a bit of information rolled up into this question. So much that I have decided to write a post about it. I hope to have it done within the next few days. I hope that you will come back to look at it. The post will focus on some good points as one can prove God’s existence through the events that transpired from Jesus and the New Testament. I will stay away from the tide goes in and out… however, this is no simple point as Romans 1:20 tells us that the best way to know that God exists is through his creation. I do understand your point…you need more than that simplistic explanation.

      Why were you suffering anxiety and nightmares at the time? I realize that this is a really personal question but I feel as though I should ask (if you don’t want to answer you don’t have to). Probably a better question, were you connecting these emotions to your belief in God and Christ? What were you being told? Were you being told this by your religious leaders? I am sorry for the multitude of questions posed. I want to be able to respond in a way that is specific to you, and not in some generic way. If you are comfortable with sharing these things I can friend you on FB, and we can continue the dialog there. I would like to offer this, God, or no God (obviously I believe) I think we can both agree that there is little point to have anxiety or fear over things you have no control over. This is a battle that I constantly fight. I have panic attacks on occasion, I am stricken with anxiety to the point where it can alter my behavior. I can empathize with those feelings. This is something I am working very hard on this. Using scripture one can rely on Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:6-7, and Proverbs 3:5-8 (among others).

      I will not disagree on the acts committed in the Bible. I would assume that the link you provided was probably dealing with God’s command to Joshua to destroy the Canaanites. There is a Biblical and societal explanation for this act which I can provide at your request. As far as the inconsistencies…I know the inconsistencies can be explained at one level or another. Many of the inconsistencies from Atheist web sites focus on passages where there was a count provided as record, or by years of being a King/Judge or what not. There is a historical/biblical explanation for these as well that can be provided.
      True that Christianity is only 2000 years old. However, prophecy about Christ can be dated back to 800 BC! I recently did a post that showed where all of the Old Testament prophecies about Christ were…absolutely incredible. In your search did you happen to read any books in support of the Bible? I only ask because the book theme’s that you mention are anti-biblical. I see where you get the 30,000 from (Richard Leaky and the Origins book). If you believe that the Bible was written by men and reject the accuracy of what they say, why do you accept a book written by another man and accept the accuracy of what he says? I look at the “science” behind a book like that and wonder….how does/can he really know that art drawings and burials on a cave was a sign of religion? Could it possibly be that they were buried because of the stench? Maybe they didn’t want a dead body laying around…anyway…just something to think about.

      Salinger1976, it absolutely breaks my heart that you are depressed about death and the meaningless of life. While you may not believe in God, you have to know that He loves you unconditionally. Your life does have meaning to Him! You were created by Him! In the same way that you look at your child with adoration, love, and hope, your heavily Father looks at you. I understand this emotion…I was there not 10 years ago. Even though I married to most wonderful girl in the world, I was wondering emotionally and spiritually. What turned it all around for me was his love. A love that is not fleeting or runs away when you need it the most.
      I feel like I have rambled on enough. If there are items that you really wanted me to respond to I will just let me know. Please know that things that lack of response doesn’t mean I have no response… : )

      I sincerely hope you will take me up on my offer to continue this discussion offline.

  5. Salinger1976 January 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I am too busy to respond as much as I would like. However, the other side that I read was the Bible, front to back. Also I wasn’t reading only atheist material. I am a student and have taken many classes in which I have learned about other religions and similar myths. I have been a non-believer for 11 years, I am quite past being angry and needing to disprove the Bible. Just as it would be exhausting for you to argue with someone about Zeus.

    I am sorry to hear that you also suffer from anxiety, I know how difficult it is. I should have mentioned that I have been stable (with some bouts with panic from time to time) for the last 3 years since I have been on medication. I requested your friendship on Facebook. I enjoy having a civil conversation about this, but if you are trying to “save” me, please don’t waste your time.

    KB

    • kcbob January 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      I promise that I will not push salvation on you. I take a a position that I cannot save anyone (biblical supported). I, however, focus on The Word and presentation of The Word. Nothing more, nothing less. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

  6. Limey May 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I don’t think the author of the article has done a very good job of explaining their position, however it is still a valid position to take, and here is why:

    While it is true that people do not need a belief in God to have whatever they consider to be meaning in their lives. It is also true that any meaning they have in their lives is ultimately a result of something they have made up. Something that is in essence arbitrary.

    This is because if we are to believe there is no higher power at all in the universe. That is to say if we are to believe that the universe is a random brute fact with no real reason behind it no deeper meaning. That it is something that merely exists. We must also conclude that by the fact that if the universe itself is blind, random and ultimately chaotic. Then everything in the universe exhibits those properties as well meaning that any kind of order any kind of meaning that supposedly exists is actually a result of mere chaos that happens to look as though it were not chaotic (I’m hoping that this makes sense).

    What I am saying in short is. Is that if we take the opinion that the universe is meaningless to it’s ultimate conclusion it must mean that everything in it is meaningless, and just because meaning morality etc. appear to be real appear to be substantial it does not make them real or substantial. They are just happy accidents that create the illusion of meaning.

  7. nobody nothing nihilist September 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    In my view, kcbob’s position on nihilism is one level more profound than that of NotAScientist or Salinger. Kcbob almost strikes me as a closet nihilist to be able to understand the contradiction at its basest logical level.

    Limey hits the nail on the head. Salanger and NotAScientist appear to have taken absurdity/nihilism/logic/rationale only as far as they are personally comfortable going with it. They have decided to stop searching where they’ve found what kcbob and Limey argue are wishful thinking and illusions.

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