Thursday, March 27, 2014

If Meaning Must Come From Without, Does God Have Meaning?

Q. In your earlier post (HERE and HERE), you argued that the universe is meaningless without God because it has to receive its meaning from outside itself. Is God's existence, which is said to have nothing outside of it, then as meaningless as "a monkey writing a book with his feces"?

You are misrepresenting my argument, I never said everything must have meaning from outside itself, I said nothing that was caused with meaning could have meaning, nothing that occurred randomly could have meaning. A randomly generated universe, one that just began to exist without a creator, is like the book written by the monkey because both are random and thus meaningless.

For something to have meaning it must have intentionality. For it to have intentionality it must have intellect and will. The creation of the universe was either the result of an intentional act of mind and will (and thus is created by God) or it was a mindless chance occurrence (in which case it lacks intentionality and thereby meaning).

God, unlike the universe, has both intellect and will - indeed is intellect and will. Therefore, He doesn't need to receive meaning from without, as He has meaning from within. An example might help. This message has meaning because there is an intellect and will choosing which letters to write to make certain words that convey certain meanings to a reader. If our friend the monkey was randomly banging away on my keyboard in reply to you, his message would lack intentionality and thus meaning.

Therefore we are left with the following:

A universe with meaning was created with intentionality.
Our universe has meaning.
Therefore, our universe was created intentionally.
But an intentionally created universe must have been created by a will and intellect.
Therefore, our universe was created by a will and intellect.
This creator will and intellect is what men call God.

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