Can Life Really Have Meaning and Purpose Without God?

meaning and purpose

As a worldview Secular Humanism lacks internal consistency as already demonstrated in the last post.  Furthermore, it lacks philosophical existential viability.  Existential has to do with existing.   Philosophical existential viability has to do the innermost workings of human desires and how they enter act with the world around us.  For existence to be viable within a society; existing must also provide meaning and purpose.  Therein lies the problem.  Why does mankind even exist?  What could possibly be the purpose of life itself?

The secular humanist believes that there is only the here and now and we must reach for our highest joy and fulfillment, now.  However, for many that thought is considered unlivable. Erich Fromm, a humanist himself was “sympathetic to religion. If every society, he thought, needs what he called a ‘framework of orientation’ or ‘object of devotion’ the consequences, when traditional objects of devotion are withdrawn or disappear, can be disastrous – leading to such aberrations in the twentieth century as Nazism and Stalinism. He described this condition in a figurative way as a form of ‘necrophilia’”[1]

Although, secular humanists believe that we can all reach a state of joy, self-actualization, and fulfillment in this life; they have yet to find a means to that end for more than only a few.  Many of their own leaders found that to be the case.  Maslow died, having never found his own self-actualization.  Nietzsche lived his final years in an insane asylum.  Jean Paul Sartre “denounced atheism on his deathbed as philosophically unlivable.” [2]

Philosophical Existential Viability

For a worldview to have philosophical existential viability, it must be able to address reality and not just cling to some panacea of what might be.  For the secular humanist, humans are innately good, and evil exists because of society not allowing that good to flourish.  However, who makes up society?  If society is made up of human beings; then, is it not logical that human beings are the source of evil itself?  If my propensity to lie or feel anger is all due to my parents or society; then, I cannot be held culpable for any evil I perform.  Even the existentialists recognized this truth.  Unless we confront the evil within our own hearts; how can we change?

Jean Paul Sartre stated, “when an existentialist describes a coward, he says that the coward is responsible for his own cowardice.  He is not the way he is because he has a cowardly heart, lung or brain.  He is not like that as a result of his physiological makeup; he is like that because he has made himself a coward through his actions”[3]  The same is true of evil actions.  Therefore, the one performing the evil or cowardice actions must be personally responsible for those actions.  As Douglas Groothius points out, “If a worldview leads habitually to philosophical hypocrisy, it is rationally disqualified, since this indicates that it does not correspond to reality.”[4]

Intellectual and Cultural Fecundity

Another criterion by which any worldview must be measured is its intellectual and cultural fecundity.  In other words, does it lead to a better society.  Do the beliefs held actually make a difference in the nation or world surrounding them for the good.

Secular humanism rose rapidly in the USA during the 1990s and won many battles in the Supreme court including removing prayer from the schools on June 25, 1962(Engel v Vitale), legalizing abortion in 1973 (Roe vs Wade), and the sexual revolution beginning in the 1960s. Furthermore, despite proclaiming themselves as a nontheistic religion for purposes of taxes and winning that case in the Supreme Court, (Torcaso vs Watkins,1961); the secular humanist won in lower courts cases demanding that the Evolution theory be taught exclusively with the banning of the Creation theory as an alternative view. Therein, gaining the rights as a religion under the free exercise clause and not one under the establishment clause.

The battle won in the supreme court regarding removing prayers from the schools; actually, only dealt with “organized prayer”.  It only said that a school could not have a “written prayer that all children must participate in” To a great extent, I would agree.  However, instead of reading what the supreme court ruling actually said, Christians have cowered from the extreme leftist, fueled by the secular humanists into believing no prayers can be allowed. Despite that not being the supreme court ruling, we have allowed them to say that “no prayer can be on school campuses, voluntary or involuntary.”  Furthermore, they push to have the Bible banned on all campuses. That had nothing to do with the case they won in court.


After the Bible and prayer were banned from the schools, we watched  violence rise in our schools, such as Columbine.  Additionally, there resulted a rise in rape, teenage suicide, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse. Our college campuses are laden with violent protests against any conservative speaker.

Legalization of abortions made abortion a viable birth control method for many, killing millions of lives.  Furthermore, there is now a push for partial birth abortions.  Partial birth abortions entail either stabbing a sharp instrument into the baby’s head to kill it or  injecting hyper-tonic saline into the womb. The later results in a slow, painful death over a period of days.

Furthermore, the sexual revolution has led to increasing numbers of single parent homes.  Because of that, the numbers of children growing up in poverty, despair, and hopelessness grew.  HIV  began in Africa.  Then, it spread rapidly due to prostitution throughout the trade routes in Congo. Later, it spread throughout the world easily with our sexually enlightened society.


As shown, secular humanism has failed to provide meaning and purpose for our existence as individuals.  It has certainly failed with each step of its experimentation toward a better society.  Yet, the gospel message does provide meaning  and purpose to life. The Bible provides us with the hope we so desperately need.  Only there do we discover our true meaning and purpose to live.

And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, (verses 4&5 NKJV)

2 Corinthians 3:6-12 (TLB)

He is the one who has helped us tell others about his new agreement to save them. We do not tell them that they must obey every law of God or die; but we tell them there is life for them from the Holy Spirit. The old way, trying to be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, ends in death; in the new way, the Holy Spirit gives them life.

Yet that old system of law that led to death began with such glory that people could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For as he gave them God’s law to obey, his face shone out with the very glory of God—though the brightness was already fading away. Shall we not expect far greater glory in these days when the Holy Spirit is giving life?

If the plan that leads to doom was glorious, much more glorious is the plan that makes men right with God. 10 In fact, that first glory as it shone from Moses’ face is worth nothing at all in comparison with the overwhelming glory of the new agreement. 11 So if the old system that faded into nothing was full of heavenly glory, the glory of God’s new plan for our salvation is certainly far greater, for it is eternal.

12 Since we know that this new glory will never go away, we can preach with great boldness


Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).


If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior: I urge you to go to my page titled How to Be Saved by clicking on this link. Because there is nothing more important than this, I urge you to seek Him today.


If you have a prayer request email me by clicking here or comment here

Two Newest Books Available

Abiding, Steadfast JoyABIDING, STEADFAST JOY

A labor of love, this book provides you with 3 foundations of truth from the scripture which once known will provide you with abiding, steadfast joy. Undaunted by the storms of life; your joy will overflow.




Through a study of Nahum, Habukkuk, and Zephaniah; I brought their message into our modern times. Answering the questions of “Why, God?”

Providing a foundation of faith and hope; even, as we see so much evil in the world and in our nation. With so much sorrow and despair, this book I wrote to guide you into discovering God’s Perfect Plan of love; amid this chaotic world filled with life’s storms.

You may click on the picture for more information on either of these books.


If you want to know more about other books I have written: You can read more about each one at: Book Resources.

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Credits and Footnotes

Photo by Carlo Navarro on Unsplash

[1]  Jonathan Benthall, Returning to Religion: Why a Secular Age is Haunted by Faith, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2008), 10.

[2] Ravi Zacharias, The End of Reason, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008),43.


[3] Jean Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism, Carol Macomber trans., (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 38

[4] Douglas Groothius, Christian Apologetics, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011), 56