Here are my notes on, The End of Reason, By: Ravi Zacharias.
Academic degree after academic degree has not removed the haunting specter of the pointlessness of existence in a random universe.
Albert Camus begins his essay “The Myth of Sisyphus” with these words: “There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.”
…according to those laws of science by which atheists want to measure all things, matter cannot simply “pop into existence” on its own.
Nothing does not produce something – and never has.
In Miracles, C. S. Lewis takes this kind of thinking to task: “Reason might conceivably be found to depend on [another reason] and so on; it would not matter how far this process was carried provided you found Reason coming from Reason at each stage. It is only when you are asked to believe in Reason coming from non-reason that you must cry Halt.”
After years in the academy I have learned a trade secret: If you know enough about a subject, you can confuse anybody by a selective use of the facts.
If life is random, then the inescapable consequence, first and foremost, is that there can be no ultimate meaning and purpose to existence.
The famed twentieth-century British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge once said that all news is old things happening to new people.
The greatest disappointment (and resulting pain) you can feel is when you have just experienced that which you thought would bring you the ultimate in pleasure—and it has let you down. Pleasure without boundaries produces a life without purpose. That is real pain. No death, no tragedy, no atrocity—nothing really matters. Life is sheer hollowness, with no purpose.
Atheists can’t have it both ways. If the murder of innocents is wrong, it is wrong not because science tells us it is wrong but because every life has intrinsic worth—a postulate that atheism simply cannot deduce.
…moral reasoning is not rational apart from God.
In an earlier debate with Jesuit priest Frederick Copleston, Russell had tried another route to get around objective morality and ended up looking bad. When Copleston asked him how he differentiated between good and bad, Russell answered, “I don’t have any justification any more than I have when I distinguish between blue and yellow…. I can see they are different.” “Well, that is an excellent justification, I agree,” said Copleston. “You distinguish blue and yellow by seeing them, so you distinguish good and bad by what faculty?” “By my feelings,” was Russell’s reply.25 Father Copleston was kind. The next question was staring Russell in the face but wasn’t asked because he already looked so weak in that part of the discussion. The question that should have been asked was, “Mr. Russell, in some cultures they love their neighbors; in other cultures they eat them. Do you have a personal preference, and if so, what is it?”
Popularly stated, I would put it in this way: • When you assert that there is such a thing as evil, you must assume there is such a thing as good. • When you say there is such a thing as good, you must assume there is a moral law by which to distinguish between good and evil. There must be some standard by which to determine what is good and what is evil. • When you assume a moral law, you must posit a moral lawgiver—the source of the moral law. But this moral lawgiver is precisely who atheists are trying to disprove.
-Objective moral values exist only if God exists.
-Objective moral values do exist [a point Harris concedes in his letter].
-Therefore God exists.
But listen, then, to the words of Canadian philosopher Kai Nielsen, who is prolific in his writings in defense of atheism: “Reason doesn’t decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on it depresses me. Pure practical reason, even with good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.”
Finally, when she paused for a breath, I said, “All right ma’am, since you brought it up, I’d like to ask you a question. Can you explain something to me? When a plane crashes and some die while others live, a skeptic calls into question God’s moral character, saying that he has chosen some to live and others to die on a whim; yet you say it is your moral right to choose whether the child within you should live or die. Does that not sound odd to you? When God decides who should live or die, he is immoral. When you decide who should live or die, it’s your moral right.”
To the answer “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” The questioners should have responded: “What belongs to God?” Jesus might have said: “Whose portrait and inscription are on you.?”
The only way truth is more powerful than the bomb is if the destruction of one’s life is not the end of that life.