An atheist post on Facebook got me thinking about the meaning of life. The post was about how beef production is ten times more damaging to the environment than automobiles. Putting aside the factual basis of the study and who funded it, I raised a couple of questions:
“I thought you were an atheist. Woody Allen says life is meaningless. The Sun will one day burn out it will all end. So why should anybody care? Torture? They’re just sacks of meat with electricity keeping them animated. Same with us. The sooner it’s all over the better. Enjoy the beef before it all ends. I like mine medium rare.”
Here’s what Woody Allen said in a recent interview:
- “I firmly believe — and I don’t say this as a criticism — that life is meaningless.”
- “There have been many great minds far, far superior to mine that have come to that conclusion. Both early in life and after years of living and, unless somebody can come up with some proof or some example where it’s not [meaningless,] I think it is. I think it is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. That’s just the way I feel about it.”
- “I’m not saying one should opt to kill oneself, but the truth of the matter is when you think of it, every 100 years … there is a big flush and everybody in the world is gone, then there is a new group of people, then that gets flushed, then there is a new group of people and this goes on interminably for no particular end — I don’t want to upset you — there’s no end and no rhyme or reason.”
- “And the universe — as you know from the best physicists — is coming apart and eventually there will be nothing. Absolutely nothing. All the great works of Shakespeare and Beethoven and Da Vinci. All that will be gone. Now, not for a long time, but gone. But much shorter than you think, really, because the sun is going to burn out much earlier than the universe vanishes. So, you won’t have to wait for the universe to vanish, it’ll happen earlier than that and there will be nothing.
- “So, all of this achievement — all of these Shakespearean plays and these symphonies and the height of human achievement — will be gone completely. There will be nothing. Absolutely nothing. No time. No space. Nothing at all. Just zero. So, what does it really mean?”
So for the atheist who is concerned about cruelty to cows and the supposed effect on the environment because of the beef industry, why such a big deal? In the end, cows and humans meet the same end: “All we are is dust in the wind.”
The eternal fate of and Adolf Hitler is no different from the fate of people who want to save cows from a culinary fate.
The claim can be made that there is meaning in life without God, but as I always ask, How do a conglomeration of atoms animated by electricity in a bath of chemicals account for it?
At least Woody Allen is philosophically consistent if not practically inconsistent. Atheists can’t be consistent with pure atheism. But given the operating assumptions of atheism there is no ultimate moral or meaningful reason not to kill oneself. Suicide would be as meaningful or meaningless as life.
A new study is claiming that “‘atheism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think,’ says Graham Lawton, an avowed atheist himself, writing in the New Scientist. ‘They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.’”
In a word, atheists don’t really exist. They’ve got to hate that! The majority of atheists, however, live as if God does exist, and for that we are thankful.