Enter Alonzo Fyfe:
Ultimately, when we think about “meaning” and “permanence”, I invite you to think of a woman devoting huge amounts of time each day to the care of sick and abused children, providing them comfort and love, seeing that they are well fed and protected.
Then, I want you to imagine pulling back a bit from this image and seeing that woman merely going through the motion of caring for children in a large and empty room. While she insists that the children she comforts, protects, feeds, and teaches are real, they are figments of her imagination.
This illustrates the “meaning” that we find in a life devoted to the service of a God. There are those who look at this and see that it provides no meaning at all. Yet, when one comforts, protects, feeds, and teaches a real child and improves the quality of a real human life, this has real meaning and real purpose.
You cannot get real value from an imaginary God.
Compared to this, the rabbit has a more meaningful and fulfilling life. The bunnies that it raises and protects are real. [-Alonzo Fyfe]
Aside from the obvious bigotry against believers, Alonzo’s “argument” uses the same fallacious reasoning as William Lane Craig’s we addressed yesterday. The only difference is that they’re on opposite sides of the same coin: Craig argues that atheists can’t have real meaning or purpose in life without God. Fyfe argues that theists can’t have real meaning or purpose with God.
Where does the “preacher” thing come into play?
There is no God, so there is no way to fulfill a desire to serve God. There is no God, so no God has given us a list of commandments to obey or a list of requirements that give our lives “meaning” and “purpose”. [-Alonzo Fyfe]
Does Alonzo know that? Of course not. He believes that, and here he is – like any good fundamentalist preacher – pushing his beliefs on the rest of us; using his beliefs to sustain truth claims about the real world we all live in; and – in the case of desirism – using his beliefs as justification to shower condemnation on those who do not share them. Did Luke object to Craig’s argument? Of course! Did Luke object to Alonzo’s argument? Of course not!
Argh! Can there be any greater sins against rationalism?
It troubles me that these guys take themselves seriously, and even more so that other atheists take them seriously! I would find this whole thing wildly hilarious were it not for the huge disparity between approval of Craig’s arguments and approval of Fyfe’s. However, I think that because Fyfe is an atheist, many atheists let their firewalls down. As a result, when Alonzo slaps a Scarlet A sticker on Craig’s bottle of premium grade snake oil, the virus of illogic slips in undetected.
I thought atheists were supposed to be, you know, rational?
What do you think?
What, exactly, is the difference between the preacher who says life lacks real meaning without God, and the preacher who says life lacks real meaning with God?