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MY LETTER TO RAVI ZACHARIAS
Wayne Everett Orgar
About a month ago, I sent this letter to Ravi Zacharias. Many fundamental Christians regard him as the premier Christian apologist. The letter was as follows:
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries
4725 Peachtree Corners Circle - Suite 250
Norcross, GA 30092
Dear Mr. Zacharias,
From time to time I like to use regular postal mail. It's a quaint custom. I enjoy folding the letter, stuffing the envelope, and putting the stamp on the envelope. Writing the address out by hand and then walking to the mailbox is one of life's simple pleasures if you have the time. Sometimes I think we all miss the tactile stimulation from doing things the old fashioned and perhaps harder way. Simple things can often be found meaningful.
Meaning is something that each of us finds for ourself. No one can tell another what he or she finds meaningful. It is not possible. I am not logically bound by what you find meaningful. As a former Christian and now an atheist, the meaning that I can fill my life with often overwhelms me. I find no lack of meaning from my not believing in deities or any form of the supernatural. I found no meaning or truth in Christianity or god belief.
After reviewing some of your material, I thought I would share this with you. You are not in a position to tell me what I find meaningful. If you can not find meaning in life without a god belief, that is your struggle, not mine. There is no basis to assign lack of meaning to others who do not believe in deities or an afterlife.
Sometime, if you ever visit Portland, OR, let me know. I'll buy lunch and introduce you to many atheist friends. These men and women will shake your hand, look you in the eye, and clearly say to you that they do not find any reason to believe in a god and that they still find life meaningful.
Your position that a true atheist would kill him or herself is not based on reason. It is merely your opinion. It does not logically follow that someone who does not believe in an afterlife or god will have to kill him or herself. My friends and I do not sit around thinking of ways to kill ourselves. The streets of Portland are not littered with our bodies.
We find life meaningful as we get up every morning and go about our business as any believer does. For example, I find daily meaning in helping others, particularly people with disabilities. I do this with no belief in an afterlife. I am not commanded by any deity to help others. I have also done this without pay. I do this on pure meaning alone without god belief.
Your charge of atheists pretending to deny belief in a god is unsupported. By what magical method do you claim to measure pretense in unbelief? I might propose the exact opposite of believers. Perhaps they are pretending to believe in a god. Examine the way that your believing friends spend their time. Do they spend all their time preparing for an eternal existence or do they spend most of their waking hours finding meaning in earthly pursuits such as family, careers, relationships, or athletics? Behavior is a more truthful measure of what people find meaningful.
Better yet, examine only yourself. How do you really compare to your leaders' examples? Are you even trying to live according to the supposed teachings and stories of Jesus, Peter, or Paul? If their life is the example of how to live a meaningful life, can you honestly say that you do also? Are you or other Christian leaders really in a position to tell others what a meaningful life is all about?
I can not answer these questions for you. I can only honestly say to you that I find no meaning in god belief or the afterlife. The concept of god has no inherent meaning. Why would a god exist? The concept is inherently absurd. It has no meaning unless you give it meaning. Of course, the most important point to this is that regardless of the meaning that you find in god belief, this speaks nothing of the truth of god belief. Many people find their god belief meaningful. Are you really advocating that all gods are true gods because humans find meaning in them? I doubt it. Are you trying to say that your god must exist because you find your god meaningful? Are you trying to say that a god must exist because you could not find life meaningful otherwise? Would a god's existence depend on what humans find meaningful?
Come and visit sometime.
Wayne Everett Orgar
Note: If you would like a copy of the letter in response from Mr. Zacharias, click Home and email me an address or mail box number. I would be happy to snail mail it to you. :-)