Does it matter if God exists or not? What changes in our lives if there is no God? If we say that everything that exists came about by chance, by random mutation, and that we simply evolved from other life forms, then what would this do to our lives?
Granting that it is possible for an entire creation to exist without a Creator (which we know is impossible), we can think through this and try and imagine what life would be like without God. With this being said, I can think of three consequences of such a conclusion.
1. Life has no ultimate meaning.
Imagine that there is no life after death: This means that this life is the only one there is to live. When you die, you pass out of existence. You're on this earth and circle around the sun about 80 times (average life expectancy), and then you die. You never existed before. You never exist again. So, does it even matter whether you ever existed at all? What does it matter if you created, destroyed, influenced, or inspired anything or anyone? What does it matter if you're human or not? Existing as a human is no different than existing as a rock, ant, blade of grass, or a planet. Life as a human is no more meaningful than life as a rock, ant, blade of grass, or an entire planet.
You may try and find meaning in your life and you can come up with some subjective meaning. You may try and find meaning in sports, work, career, success, health, family, happiness or whatever else you can imagine. You may give life one meaning, and I can give life another meaning. Who is right? Neither of us! We're both wrong because ultimately there is no objective meaning to life. All human knowledge, all technological advancements, all medicines and surgeries and attempts to better the human race comes to nothing because it ends in nothing. These are simply illusions of meaning—There is no real, true, objective, and ultimate meaning to life. Essentially, it makes no difference whether you exist or not. Without God, existing is just as meaningless as never having existed.
2. Life has no ultimate value.
Along with having no ultimate meaning to life, there would also be no ultimate value, that is, there would be no such thing as good or evil. Good and bad are meaningless terms because there is no standard. And this means there is no difference between the two. Since everyone will die, does it really matter how you live? There is no real difference between sacrificing your life for another and living selfishly and hurting others. Morals are expressions of individual ideas or tastes—Ultimately, morals are just opinions. And these opinions don't really mean anything. They're the result of evolution and social conditioning.
Some may say, "Well, it's in our best self-interest as a community to help one another out." But why? Also, what is "better"? Who gets to determine what is better or best? Why is helping better than not? Being selfish brings more pleasure, doesn't it? What's the purpose of helping other people? What do they gain? And what does any of it mean anyway? If you say the reason to help others is because it feels good to help, or because they can later help you when you need it, then, ultimately, this is simply another form of selfishness! Our interest in others is fueled by our interest in ourself!
There is no good or evil without God. So, what would be the difference between crime and charity? What would be the difference love and hate? To murder and give life are equivalent since they are meaningless and without value. If you disagree, then that is nothing but your opinion. Who is to say what is right or wrong? Who ultimately gets to determine what is good or evil for humanity? One man's opinion is no better than another.
3. Life has no ultimate purpose.
Without God, what is the purpose of this life? What is the goal? It's pointless. There is no goal. All of human history is culminating to nothing. If the only place we end up is in the grave, then, yes, everything in life is pointless. There's nothing to work toward. Improvement is a useless waste of time. Sometimes our technology delays the inevitable, sometimes it doesn't. But it doesn't matter either way if it does or doesn't.
What is true of the world is then true of us individually—You and I have no purpose in life. Ecclesiastes puts it well: "For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return" (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 ESV). In other words, if we're all headed to the grave, then there really is no purpose to anything we do or don't do.
Ultimately, there is no meaning for us existing in the first place (past), there is no meaning in what we do or don't do right now (present), and there is no meaning for our life's end (future). Anything anyone says about meaning, values, or purpose is simply an opinion, an illusion. One word is not elevated above another. They're all equal words because they're all meaningless. They are simply sounds that we make, that we have ascribed definitions to, and, when put altogether, mean nothing. In fact, this entire article and the entire discussion about meaning has no meaning! There is no purpose to talking about purpose!
So, does it matter if God exists or not? Of course it does! And it's not a difference between life with a different meaning, value, or purpose. The difference is between a life filled with meaning, value, and purpose, and a life devoid of it all. The purpose of this article is to simply and briefly point out this truth. It matters very much if God exists or if He doesn't. It changes our life completely. In another article, I will address what the Christian meaning, value, and purpose of life truly is, and how this life is more joyful than life without God!