Without God, is it possible to have a non-arbitrary purpose to human existence? Here’s some thoughts on the topic:
Sometimes I hear the following sentiment from friends who embrace a naturalistic worldview (the worldview that says we live in a universe void of God and the supernatural and that the universe and human race are the accidents of time and chance): “There is no purpose to our human existence; we, as humans, are the random accidents of unguided evolutionary time and chance: we are here by accident and certainly NOT by Supernatural design or Supernatural personal intent. There is no reason for the human race; we just evolved from space dust and are here. But that does NOT matter. Even if there is ‘No PURPOSE to our existence,’ and even if our species will one day be forgotten along with everything we accomplish or do, we as humans can CREATE our OWN purpose and can get on just fine. Our purpose might be to help others, experience beauty, feed the poor, or save the planet. We get to make our own purposes and we are just fine without something beyond humanity assigns a purpose for us.”
Do you find such an approach persuasive? Do you find such an approach to be consistent with where a naturalistic outlook would logically lead? Or, might such an approach be shielding itself from the reality of nihilism (the logical conclusion of a naturalistic worldview)? If there is no purpose for humans besides the purposes we choose to adopt, then all options are on the table for human purpose and all just as arbitrary or meaningless: we can devote ourselves to selfish hedonism or selfless sacrifice, we can devote ourselves to saving the planet or destroying it, we can devote ourselves to promoting lies or telling the truth, all are just as arbitrary and meaningless, because in the end all will be forgotten and make no difference—one day everything we do or accomplish will be forgotten, along with the planet and the human race.
Does not such an approach which claims to hold to naturalism on the one hand and argue for a real purpose on the other hand seem a bit self-deceived, or even delusional? To me, it seems as though a person has not really allowed themselves to face the nihilistic reality of naturalism—a road which leads one to see that is if there is no God who created us for a purpose, then really there is no purpose to our human existence.