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Can science answer the 'meaning of life', apart from Religion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,250 times Debate No: 56068
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
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To answer this question I am basing it off the idea that life, apart from a creator, came from the happenings of the Big Bang.
Openly I will admit I will use this topic as less of a debate, and more as a place of discussion to explore the thoughts, behind this question, in the mind of someone who believes the Big Bang theory as the way the universe and life came to be.

Simply put, if we are made solely out of chance, and we are nothing more then, (forgive me if I don't have this completely correct) a single cell organism that grew to what we now know as humans, lives a life on this planet, and then dies without anything further, what is the meaning to life? We grew to what we are as humans, another pair of humans made us, we live life, and then we die.

My stance on this is against because being a Christian, I believe that God created this universe, everything, and everyone on it. Life as a creationist has a sense of meaning because I was made with a purpose as well as everyone around me, and there is an eternal end in sight.

I will humbly accept defeat, but ultimately, I just want to have a good honest discussion on such an important topic.
Thank You.


I do believe that science can answer this very complex question. We have one very compelling answer which is the big bang theory. But as science has done many times in the past, theories can be replaced with better answers. The big bang theory can be our best answer to our creation or it can be replaced by a better theory. In time we will find more evidence and our thoughts on certain subjects and theories will change.This is why I believe that the question referring to our creation can be answered through science.
Debate Round No. 1



How exactly does science provide this life meaning and purpose?


Science does this the best way it can. No matter how hard we try we will never know the exact origins of our existence as we were never there. But science's job is to provide us with the best answer as I stated before. The big bang theory and evolution is supported by countless amounts of evidence. This is our best answer and as science progresses we will be able to find new evidence. This is a bold statement but it has happened before. As for our purpose that is something that can not be answered by science but by each individual being. We do not all have one purpose that we must follow. Someone's purpose in life can be answered by natural selection. We know that we must thrive and survive if we were to be animals but we are on top of the food chain. If we were to still have animal like needs for survival this would be our purpose but as we have evolved to our level this has changed. Because of this we have to find our purpose through working, becoming educated and finding new things. The meaning of life can be answered by science but our purpose is something very hard to answer with science.
We were also not created by chance as the big bang was an event that put our planet in the habitable zone which is millions of miles long. There have been many planets in these zones making us not that special went it comes to our placement and the chance of it happening.
Another thing is that religion also cannot answer the question of our purpose. Since you do believe in a heaven and hell doesn't that mean that your purpose is to try and have a good life after death. I believe in making the best of your life and always living for something or someone. This is like saying that if you don't live for something you die for nothing.
My question to you is why do you think that believing in god answers the question of 'the meaning if life'?
Debate Round No. 2


Very very well put. To me meaning and purpose play a key role together, but I'll focus on meaning for a second here.

You stated previously that the Big Bang is one of the very compelling answers. It's an answer to the meaning of life, but I don't think that it is. I say that knowing it sounds completely biased and stubborn but really think about it with me. How can I find meaning in life, if life itself happened by chance. I understand that this can easily slide into a philosophical conversation but again, like I said in the comment I posted, I think it's absolutely crucial to understand our beginning and since it would appear it's either Big Bang or religion this is how the two, meaning/purpose and science/philosophy, work close together.

You said: "We were also not created by chance as the Big Bang was an event that put our planet in the habitable zone which is millions of miles long. There are many planets in these zones making us not that special when it comes to our placement and the chance of it happening."
The Big Bang was an event that happened from nothing. It created something from nothing. If nothing created something, since nothing has no value, or anything to it, I would have to disagree and say that since something came from nothing, that has the hint of chance in it.
There are many planets in these zones but the absolutely incredibly mind blowing fact is that this one planet that we inhabit is the only one PERFECTLY suitable for life. Perfectly. If we were a hundred feet closer to the sun we would melt, and further away we would freeze. Same with gravity; a little less we would float away, a little more we would be flattened. But the most amazing fact is that we have found absolutely no life aside from this planet. Nothing at all and we have seen something amazing things in this universe thus far. To say that we are not that special is completely false. Religion or Big Bang we are EXTREMELY unique. But now of course we get back to the fundamental. If we were made by chance, sadly that's the theory the Big Bang offers, if it doesn't you are essentially admitting to an intelligent design, what is the point of me here. You live for something or someone but I have to ask, why? Is there any point to it? If there is nothing to come, I feel like we would be wasting our time? I want this again, to be more of a discussion so I would like your reaction on that.

To me, believing in God answers the question of 'the meaning of life' because as I said up top, if God created this universe, everything and everyone on it, and it wasn't made by chance but designed, there is a purpose behind it. What's the purpose? To be in relationship with the creator. This is where you are I may see things differently, but if I was created and if you were created and you had the opportunity to pursue the creator of you, who knows every piece of you, wouldn't you want to? He gives me a meaning, and a purpose that will always fulfill. The people I'm living with and for will let me down as well as the something I'm living for. It's inevitable. One way or another it will, for you and me both, so I can't find a satisfying purpose in that.
That's the answer to your question but let's keep on point here. Haha


You made some very good points but our meaning of life cannot be answered with a holy book or diety. Our purpose needs to be defined by our goals and caring for others etc. Meeting your creator does not really answer the question ' what is the meaning of life' as it is based on an assumption that he will exist. Don't get me wrong I do know that you need to do many things to pursue that goal but it does not give you an answer to our meaning but only our purpose. Also as our popes have stated you cannot reject scientific evidence. Also I would like to note that saying we created nothing from something is a very odd statement as the big bang theory was an expansion of particles meaning something was there. Also I would like to stay of the big bang theory topic for the next round as it only provides us an explanation for our begginings and creation rather then our meaning.
Back to the topic of our purpose meeting my creator would be nearly impossible. This is not because i think he is non-existant but that there are hundreds of different creation stories and creators. For me to take a blind guess is very risque and I should stick to what seems to have more evidence. But if all the hundreds of gods were to all be disproven or compelling evidence is shown I will go to what seems best. To be honest this is a very philisophical question and cannot be answered easily by either.
But my question to you is that if you found out there was no god what would be your purpose and would your life have no meaning?
Debate Round No. 3


Very well said my friend. In my response I'm going to group the topics together rather then answering from each of your sentence at a time, so I hope I don't lose you. Also this is our last round so this will be a lengthy response and I hope I can expect the same from you!

Here's the point I'm making. When I ask what is the meaning of life, here's what I mean by it; Why am I here? Life was created, but my question is why? Life is too perfect for it be based off of chance. I know you say that we weren't based on chance and that we didn't actually come from nothing but the interesting thing is that there are MANY Theoretical Physicist who would disagree and this is their profession. I'm not saying that based on an assumption and this isn't some idea I have came up with as a creationist, this is a derived from scientific research. We will get off the topic of Big Bang right after this but I'm convinced if we don't have an understanding of beginning we can't understand our present.

"What came before the Big Bang? How can something arise from nothing? The laws of physics allow that to happen. And it means that our whole universe everything we see everything that matters for us could have arisen out of precisely nothing. It's impossible to describe creation in human langue. All we know is that from what may have been nothing we to a state go to infinite density and infinite temperature and infinite violence" Prof. Lawrence Krauss
This is quoted from a well respepected Theoretical Physicist. Go and find the tv series 'How the Universe Works' by Discovery and watch the 'Big Bang' episode and you will find one thing in common, Not one Scientist gives an answer to how the Big Bang happened. Stephen Hawkings himself can't provide an anwser, the best they have is "It just happened."
The Big Bang is not a suitable answer for existence because it leaves the most important question unanswered; Why am I here? It takes more faith to believe in the Big Bang as the ultimate answer because the Bible will at least say there was nothing before God because God is eternity. There's my answer and that is SO much easier to believe. This is a good transition to your next comments.

First, I don't fully agree with the role of a pope. I understand that they come from the line of Peter, and are apparently the closest thing to God but I strongly disagree. The Pope has a dangerous roll, because people will put him in place of God and as we know and have seen, he will ultimately let someone down and then people will now blame God for something man has done. That's the biggest problem that we face. People put the blame on God for something we do. Pope John Paul the second said, and maybe this is who you had in mind, "It's okay to study the workings of the universe but not to ask questions on the origins for that is the work of God." That's the word of a man, however the Bible, the Word of God says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." This fully and completely shows that this is a faith and religion that is completely open to questions and confident in it, because you can't deny truth. You won't find this in any other religions.

You said, "Meeting your creator doesn't really answer the question 'what is the meaning of life' as it is based on the assumption that he will exist'. Then let's assume their IS a creator, wouldn't that then prove that question irrelevant? I'm presenting the case to you that, there is a creator, and I can bring that question to him and I can find an answer. Not a surface answer but a soul satisfying answer, one that will never let me down, one that will always bring me an everlasting satisfaction and joy. I was atheist before I accept this whole idea of creationist. My buddy David, at 24 lost his life to cancer, and during his chemotherapy he found Jesus, and I'm not exaggerating when I say this, on his death bed literally hours before he died, his brother was laying next to him and asked, "Are you afraid man?" And David's response if what made me realize there is something more to this life and there is someone I can seek to find the answer. David simply responded, "Not at all, I know exactly where I am going." A few short hours later he died. Can science provide comfort like that, on your death bed? Can there be peace beyond understanding like that? Now it sounds like I got off topic there but to die at 24 years old, missing out on what could have been in his life, do you think he laid on his death bed and asked, "what's the point? Why am I here?" No sir, he had his answer to his meaning on this earth, why he was here and his purpose, what he was here for. That's something I could only find in Jesus Christ because he is the way, the Turth and the life.

You said "This is not because i think he is non-existant but that there are hundreds of different creation stories and creators. For me to take a blind guess is very risque and I should stick to what seems to have more evidence. But if all the hundreds of gods were to all be disproven or compelling evidence is shown I will go to what seems best."
There can only be one truth right? If there is a god that says it is the only god, then this other god says IT is the only god, they can't both be right. They can both be wrong but they can't be right, right? Like I said in my previous comment, Christianity puts itself on the chopping block, and says, "be ready to answer questions!", allowing questions to be asked, and as I said previously Christianity is the only religion where you can openly ask questions. There is some confidence to that dont you think? If I claimed to be you, wouldn't you have some questions on it? If I told you not to ask questions, it might look like I can't fully defend my case, because you and I both know the case is not true! Christianity has confidence in itself because Christianity is the truth. You cannot refute the irrefutable. I don't say this on blind faith alone, we can discuss the moral law opening the idea of God, and the person of Jesus and the prophecies that He did fulfill and the miracles that He did perform and the death that He did rise from. These are nonnegotiables because one; we can trust the legitimacy of the Bible where all this is stated, based on the thousands upon thousands of unaltered manuscripts with the penmanship of the original writers themselves on the ancients canvases and when translated to English, it being 99.9 percent accurate, the only discrepancies are punctuations. This is valid historical evidence. Two; there are hundreds of nonbiblical accounts that prove Jesus and His miracles, His death on the cross and His rise from the dead. You can quickly find those with just a search online. They are there and they are accurate, you cannot deny the legitimacy of what has been written in this Holy Book. There is no other religion that will stand against it and no other creator that will stand against the one true living God.

To close ill answer your question, "if you found out there was no god what would be your purpose and would your life have no meaning?" I think I have made my point when I say, Yes. It's such a bold statement and I understand that, but life wouldn't make any sense if I'm just here to wake up, find something to do for the day, maybe pursue a career and a family, fall asleep each night and then die. What's the point? It's interesting though that we ALL long to have a purpose though don't you think? Couldn't that be because we were designed like that? Really think about the big picture. Why are you here? Can you find all your satisfaction for LIFE in just a few goals? Once that goals are complete don't you think you will pursue more goals?

My friend I will charish this conversation, and I am grateful for it. I hope that what I said came across clear and direct, and I don't take lightly what you said. Keep thinking and don't settle without an answer.


I would first like to state that I am very sorry if I offended you in any way. It was not my intent nor my priority. Also I try to make the best out of my life with my goals and experiences. I don't treat them like something I have to do or get through but something I have to charish and remember. Its like the saying ' its not the destination but the journey'. I have seen this a lot in my life, going through school, training for a job etc. Things like this are what make life special and worth living. Have you noticed when people are on their own a lot that they seem sad and depressed. This is why being with people and living for someone or something makes life so special.

Since I am already rebudling your points from bottom to top I will talk about your evidence of the existence of god. First of one problem with both of our arguments is we didn't show the citation for our work so if you want me to rebudle your point on the story of Jesus and many other stories being in seperate books and literature please send me a link. To start saying that it is 99.9% accurate is a little odd. There have been many translations and some scriptures are yet to be found and some aren't even included. Also it is not historical as there has been no physical evidence to support these stories. For these stories to be true or even known as history there would need to be some archeological evidence for these stories. Stories like Noah's ark have failed to do this. There has been no show of a struggle of the animals trying to swim or any fossils of species going back to their natural habitats. I would like to state that you cannot trust the legitimacy of the bible as it is based on wroting s and no physical or observable evidence. I do have to say some stories have great messages that should be passed on.

For your next points I would like to say I am extremely sorry for what happened to your friend. I experienced something like that's other my friend when I was about 11. He died from a heart disease that was never diagnosed. He made me realize something myself. Life is so precious that we can't just spend it with the hope of an everlasting life but the belief that we should make the best of the life we have. I know that in those 11 years he lived he died happy and that is my purpose. Not to help others to get my key to heaven but to do it to make them happy. I don't donate my time to get service hours but to know I made a difference. These are things that comfort me. If he died with the intent of helping and being happy that is what comforts me.

To your next argument on the pope I understand why you don't believe in the role of a pope but he is the person who represents the
Catholic faith. He is like the president or prime minister of Christianity. Also saying that you 'can't find this any other religions' is a very biased generalization. There are many religions that can hold these beliefs and stating that is like stating you know no other religion holds these beliefs. What about Muslims and the quran, and many other religions. I have a Muslim friend who answers many of my questions about his religion and there have also been many muslim, christian Muslim atheist etc debates.

I am just wondering how many times I have heard someone say that 'it takes faith to believe in the big bang'. So what your are saying is that a scientific theory that has evidence such as carbon dating and nuclear dating is going to take more faith then someone who was just there created an entire universe in 7 days. Also we do have an explanation on how it happed. It was a large burst of energy that started the expansion of the universe and its particles. Also I am starting to feel like this debate went from the meaning of life to the creation of it.

Now that I am done with responding to your points I will make my own. My first idea is habitability and how our life came to be. If we were to be moved by let's say 500 meters closer or further to the sun odds are we would experience some problems. But the thing is we have shown adaptation. This is why is say the goldy locks zone is so big. If we where created closer or further our species would adapt. This is shown in Darwin's study of the finches on the galopogos islands. As time passed on these introduced species of birds adapted to their environment and changes were shown.
For more info click on this link.
Anyways this shows that slight signs of evolution have been shown in short periods of time. The thing we often have trouble comprehending is how large changes can happen in millions of years. But fossils have shown us this and people still say its false.

One problem shown in the bible is the unexplained stories and illogical claims. In Noah's ark we are predicting that we can feed millions of animals shoved into a boat that was made with archaic tools and still survive. Also why do people only believe in some parts of the bible. I believe this is because Christianity would no longer be a religion of peace. Imagine if we used the laws of Leviticus. It is only a few pages after the creation story many people believe. This I'd because many of these laws would seems unacceptable by our modern society.
This brings me to my next point of morality coming from the bible. How can morality come from a book that disregards woman, encourages slavery, and has a leader that like loves genocide. It is because society cherry picks the bible and gets the parts that would be moralt acceptable. I believe that you can't say you believe in a book even though you only use a few parts.

To conclude I very much enjoyed this debate. I feel you made great points. I would like to once again apologise if you felt hurt in any way. I hope you keep your positive attitude and I hope the people reading and voting make a non-biased decision. Don't vote for me because your agnostic or atheist and don't vote for him because you share the same beliefs. Vote based on your opinion on who made the better points. I want this to be a non-biased vote. Thank you and I hope you keep up your spirit. I hope we have another debate soon. My final question is ' what is the most comforting part of religion'. Thank you
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Bdollhall 7 years ago
Fully true Jonbonbon, however I think for such a topic as this, these two do play hand in hand. It's a huge topic in any field but I think there needs to be some structure as to where the opinions are coming from. If we are created from the Big Bang then our meaning is very different then if we were, as the bible says, "formed".
Posted by Empiren 7 years ago
Look at jonbonbon's comment and take it to heart debaters.
Posted by Mike_10-4 7 years ago
Taking the science side, the Laws of Nature created life. Life is a way for Nature to see and experience itself on the road to utopia. In the framework of the Second Law of Thermodynamics the evolution of all systems that flow, whether inanimate or animate, naturally evolve in ways that facilitate such movement (Constructal Law). Movement for all "Life" includes "Liberty" that facilitates "the pursuit," of positive-feedback (survival, etc., "Happiness" for us humans); hence, humanity"s Unalienable Rights of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
Posted by Jonbonbon 7 years ago
Meaning of life =/= how life began

Meaning of life is a philosophical question about purpose not beginnings.
Posted by killerinstinct 7 years ago
Another theory is that the matrix was actually onto something. Since the big bang cannot be explained, theree is a theory stating the big bang was created in another reality.

Similar to minecraft. Someone set the parameters for our universe; the rules. Gravity, this, that, etc, then pressed the "generate button" and here we are.

Either way these theories don't change much. A new paradigm is needed.
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