Monopoly & Atheism’s Absurdity

Here is an analogy I heard from Philosopher JP Moreland. Suppose I invited you over to my house to play Monopoly. I explained that the game would be somewhat different this monopolyevening. Here is the Monopoly board, there is the TV, here are some coins on the table and there is the refrigerator. When it is your turn, make any move that you want and let me know when you are done. So, you chuckle and rub your hands together in glee as you set hotels all over the board and then tell me it is my turn. I walk in and flip the Monopoly board upside-down, go into the kitchen and make myself a sandwich. Somewhat bewildered, you upright the board, set even more hotels on the board and yell, “Your turn!” I, in turn, casually approach the game and again flip the board upside-down, grab the remote and flip on the TV. Now, it would not take you long to realize that no matter what move you made in the game, it was useless and here is why. If the game as a whole does not have a purpose then the individual moves you make in the game are also without meaning. Your individual moves only make sense in the context of an overall purpose of the game.

If God does NOT exist then the individual moves that we make in our lives are also without meaning.We can pretend to give our lives ultimate meaning but in the end it only amounts to an exercise in self-delusion. The decisions we make on a daily basis only make sense if the universe as a whole has a purpose, and this requires God.

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9 thoughts on “Monopoly & Atheism’s Absurdity

  1. I respectfully have to disagree with you. It depends what you mean by ‘purpose’ of the universe. It also begs the question as to why the universe owes you a purpose? Your view is very anthropo-centric, meaning that you think humans are actually important enough that every action of theirs has to have a meaning and purpose that reverberates throughout the universe. I welcome you to find an individual purpose in life, but I think it’s quite lazy to expect the universe to create this purpose for you.

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  2. This seems to be a fairly common charge against atheism, but it’s a rather false dichotomy. “Purpose” exists whether or not a deity exists, and is defined by the actor in any action. Impermanence has absolutely no bearing on the subject of “purpose.”

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  3. “But any attempt to give life “purpose” from an atheist standpoint will only be subjective purpose ”

    So will any attempt by a theist.

    The difference is that the atheists don’t care, and don’t delude themselves into thinking otherwise.

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  4. In the end, every game of monopoly is like that. Only in other cases, if you play b y the rules, you just implicitly agree on them. Does that make the rules absolute? Of course not. Just some rules you agreed upon. And this is fine, agreeing on things let’s us go on with things.
    But then there are people who take on specific version of the rules and suddenly claim that these rules are absolute and without these absolute rules, the game doesn’t make any sense, because how do you know if you are playing it right? Well, the answer is easy: Because there is not one “right way”. There are many ways and if you agree on one, you can have a good time. Some ways might lead to more enjoyment of the game than others, admittedly. End of story.
    As long as you cannot prove that there actually is ONE way of playing it “absolutely right” and even more, that your way of playing it IS this way, you are just one guy who exaggerates the importance of his version of the rules.

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