Atheist Stephen Knight, host of the Godless Spellchecker podcast, acknowledges that “Oblivion looms”:
- “When we reject the imagined supernatural meaning from our existence, what we’re left with is far from a consolation prize. Sure, it’ll be messy at times, sometimes joyous, sometimes miserable, but it’s all we’ll ever know. And it’s ours. We invent comforting lies to distract us from one simple truth: Oblivion looms. So, what are you going to do about it?
What is the “comforting lie” to which Knight alludes? Heaven, an afterlife! But perhaps the atheist also has his comforting lie – an oblivion where he will not be judged, which allows him to live in any way he wants, at least for now.
The atheist and author of the Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, explained his rejection of the Christian faith:
· I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning [and moral absolutes]; consequently assumed that it had none…We don’t know because we don’t want to know. It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence. Those who detect no meaning in the world generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their books that the world should be meaningless. (Ends and Mean)
However Knight claims that oblivion is more than a “consolation prize” but an opportunity to take action:
- “I choose to live, laugh, love, travel, create, help others, and learn. And I’m going to do as much of this as I can manage, because the clock is ticking. We create our own meaning, and there’s more than enough to be had. Seize it where you can.”
According to Knight, it’s all up to you to create your “own meaning.” However, we cannot create our own meaning any more than we can create our own truth. A created meaning is a shallow meaning that will eventually become meaningless.
I had a friend who had created his own meaning. He would visit every country in the world and check it off his check-list. However, his wasn’t a meaning founded in reality, and he soon tired of it.
Life can soon become tiring unless we are convinced that our lives have a higher meaning and purpose. One friend got a promotion. This bestowed a sense of meaning, but it didn’t last for more than a couple of weeks.
In contrast, Jesus derived His meaning through service:
· "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. John 4:34)
I too have no greater food than to serve my God, the One who loves me and has saved me eternally.