P1. If there is no God to give life
ultimate meaning/value/purpose, then there is no ultimate
P2. If there is no ultimate meaning/value/purpose,
then human life is absurd.
life is not absurd.
Therefore, there is a God who gives life ultimate
meaning/value/purpose. (From P1-P3,
modus tollens 2x)
II. Variations on the Theme
P1. If there is no way to answer the question,
‘Why?’(i.e., if my life has no meaning), then my life is a “stupid, mean
trick played on me by somebody” (12).
P2. If my life is a stupid, mean trick
played on me, then I will be unable to live.
P3. I must do what I can to live.
4. There must be a way to answer the
(From P1-P3, modus tollens 2x)
P5. If the question ‘Why?’ has an answer,
it must account for the possibility of knowing the finite through the
infinite, and vice versa (17).
6. The answer to the question must
account for this possibility. (From P5 and 4, modus ponens.)
P7. If there is a way to answer the
question, then it must be supplied by reason or faith.
P8. If it is to be supplied by reason,
then it must be supplied by science or speculation.
P9. Neither science nor speculation can
supply the right answer.
10. Therefore, it cannot be reason and
so must be faith.
P11. If faith is the source of the answer,
then God must exist and our lives must be as the Christians say, infused
with meaning by God.
C. God must exist and supply our lives
P1. Life is not dignified life unless it
is happy. (I.e., there can be no
view of life without happiness.)
P2. Happiness is not happiness unless it
is justified. (23)
3. Thus, life is not life unless one
can justify the happiness that is essential to it. (From P1 & P2.)
P4. Happiness must be justified as a
“genuine and lasting good”, “interpenetrated with a sense of meaning,
reason, and worth.”
P5. Only Christianity can justify
happiness in this way, through its view of the absolute values that
underlie our lives.
6. Thus, only Christianity can justify
C. Therefore, only Christianity can
justify our lives as dignified.
P1. If there is no God, then there is no
meaning to our lives (i.e., they make no “ultimate difference”), there are
no absolute values (i.e., anything goes!), and there is no ultimate purpose
(i.e., the world ends with a whimper).
P2. But our lives are meaningful, Hitler
was wrong, and we are not freaks of nature.
C. Therefore, God exists.
P1. If one lives without God, then one
will either be forced to live as if there is a God, or one will be forced
to live unhappily.
P2. If one lives happily, one must make
up a “Noble Lie” that will stand in God’s stead.
3. If one lives in the sway of a
“Noble Lie,” then one lives an inconsistent life.
P4. If one lives an inconsistent life,
one lives an absurd life.
5. If one is a happy atheist, one
lives a logically absurd life.
P6. If one is logically consistent, one
must face up to the ultimate meaninglessness of it all.
P7. If one faces up to this, one is
8. If one is a consistent atheist, one
lives a practically absurd life.
P9. If one lives without God, one will
live an absurd life.
C. One must live a life with God.