[This post is a work in progress as part of the CAA Catechism.]
[Add the title only in the title field, not in the body of the post.]
Summary in 400 words or less:
C.S. Lewis popularized the argument that people have desires for real things (desire for money, desire for power over something, etc.). People have, at least unconsciously, a desire for God and heaven. Therefore, God must exist.
Without God, everything is meaningless. Since life has meaning, that meaning must be found in God.
All people search for meaning and purpose in life. The late Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984), described that if you move people through the logical conclusions of their statements (1), people arrive either despair — that there is no ultimate meaning and purpose in life / nihilism (and that purposes and meanings of life are subjective and individual and constructs, and might makes right) — or at the Christian’s view that God gives us meaning and purpose in life is the ultimate meaning and purpose in life.
We so long for meaning and purpose in life that we search for this (Viktor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning”; Robert S. McGee, “Search for Significance”). Even our own word of “justification” and all similar words (e.g., justifying, justifies, justified) even in a secular sense hints that we want a reason (i.e., meaning, purpose) for doing what we are doing. Our own reasons may only be short-sighted or selfish is intention, and sometimes that we justify what we do, the reasons may seem lacking. We thus search for approval — from others, and what greater being to seek approval than God?
Scripture for YouVersion:
Three questions (1 fill-in-the-blank, 1 multiple choice, and one discussion question):
References for further reading:
1. Described in “The God Who is There”
William Lane Craig: “The Absurdity of Life Without God”
Kreeft, Peter. Tacelli, Ronald. Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God.
From Appeared to Blogly (Chad McIntosh): Meaninglessness of Life without God. Making Sense of It All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life (Eerdmans, 1992). An excellent collection of essays is E. D. Klemke (ed.), The Meaning of Life (Oxford, 2nd ed. 2000). William Lane Craig, “The Absurdity of Life Without God,” from Reasonable Faith (Crossway 1994), pp. 51-75. J. P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City (Baker, 2004), pp. 115-132. Jerry Walls, Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy (Oxford, 2002), especially ch. 7, “Heaven, Morality, and the Meaning of Life.” Important articles include: Michael Levine, “What Does Death Have to Do with the Meaning of Life?” Religious Studies 23 (1987), pp. 457-465. Phillip Quinn, “How Christianity Secures Life’s Meanings,” in J. Runzo & N. Martin (eds.), The Meaning of Life in the World Religions (Oxford, 2000), pp. 53-68. Thaddeus Metz, “The Immortality Requirement for Life’s Meaning” Ration 16/2 (2003), pp. 161-177. Jacob Affolter, “Human nature as God’s purpose,” Religious Studies 43 (2007), pp. 443–455.
From Appeared to Blogly (Chad McIntosh): The Argument from Desire. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (ed. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2001), pp. 136-137; The Pilgrim’s Regress, (Eerdmans, 1992), pp. 204-205; The Weight of Glory (Harper Collins, 1949; rev. ed. 1980), p. 32. Robert Holyer, “The Argument from Desire,” Faith and Philosophy 5/1 (1988), pp. 61-71. Peter Kreeft, “C. S. Lewis’s Argument from Desire,” in Macdonald and Tade (eds.), G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis: The Riddle of Joy (Eerdmans, 1989). Short version: “The Argument from Desire.” Other internet sources: Alexander Pruss, “The Ontological Argument from Desire.” Peter Williams and Carl Stecher, “The God Question 5: Desire and Religious Experience.” Christopher Smith, “God’s Existence and the Argument form Desire.” William A. Lauinger, Well-Being and Theism: Linking Ethics to God (Continuum, 2012).
Collaborators: Brian Chilton, Chris Lee
[Add your name here only if you have created this topic or contributed valuable content or editing to this topic.]
[Add a copyright-free, relevant image to the body of the post (click the Add Media button), as well as going back in and selecting it as the featured image.]
Type “YES” and contact Maryann when at least three collaborators agree this is ready to be shared with YouVersion: