Are You a Practical Existentialist?

19 08 2010

For many years now I have spent a significant amount of time speaking to college students at campuses around the Chicagoland area. What I love about speaking with college students is they are in an environment of idea exchange and they enjoy engaging in thought provoking conversations. I often ask students where they find meaning for their lives and I often get answers in a similar vein; they usually tell me that meaning is wrapped up in what they will do with their lives or with whom they associate. That is the answer of a practical existentialist (whether they know it or not).

Some of you may be asking, what is existentialism? It is a philosophical system that has been attributed back as far as Søren Kierkegaard, a 19th century Danish philosopher. This system of belief can be boiled down in its core to the statement, existence precedes essence. The opposite view would be called essentialism and would hold that essence precedes existence. So, for the existentialist, what we do gives meaning to who we are. Our existence determines our essence. Friedrich Nietzsche was another famous existentialist as he pursued his “will to power,” his quest for the overman (sometimes referred to as the superman).

I often hear people say that they determine their own meaning; in fact, it has become a rather common mantra in our days. The question is, can we determine our own meaning and purpose? I obviously don’t think so as I believe that ultimate meaning and purpose always comes from the designer and creator. In our case, I believe that we are designed and created by God who gives us our ultimate purpose and meaning. However, what if we were merely the product of some blind process of natural selection. I say blind (which some evolutionists would dispute) as it is not guided by anything other than events which have no foresight as to what the end result will be (it is hoped it is survival). But, is survival a purpose for a person’s life? I think it can be an outcome, but as a purpose, I think it is a rather hollow one, if it is one at all.

One could always ask, is survival an end or a means to a further end? I don’t think that survival is an end, but merely a means to a greater end (child rearing, experiencing the world, etc.) Then we need to ask the same question of those, “are they ends or means to a greater end?” Let’s take child bearing and rearing. Is that an end or a means to an end? It seems that it is a means and not an end in itself Yes, we enjoy our children, but when we consider child bearing and rearing, we would then have to say that our children have that end as well, as will their children, and their children, ad infinitum. It seems to me to be a means and not an end in itself. We need to consider each of these supposed ends and question whether they are truly ends or simply means to a greater end.

A second question to ask is, what would happen if I lost that which gives life meaning and purpose, could I go on with life or would it all be over at that instance? Most people, when I ask them that question, will tell me that they would go on, which indicates to me that it is not a true purpose or source of ultimate meaning. True and ultimate meaning, when taken away, would and should mean that life is over for us – we have no purpose for living any longer. True, some people feel that at the loss of a loved one; however, even if for a little while, they continue to live and survive. I believe that if that source of ultimate meaning ceased to exist, then we would cease to exist. If we continue to exist after that thing ceases, then it means that we had some other hidden purpose that kept us going.

The Apostle Paul said it well, “If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (1 Cor. 15:32) But, as he said earlier in that chapter, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (15:20) Paul concludes this chapter by writing, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (15:57-58) Our labor is not in vain because God has created us for a purpose and with a mission, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) Jesus said that on these depend all of the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 22:40).

Our purpose, as defined by our Creator, is to love him and to love our neighbor. These are ends in themselves rather than means to a greater end. Sure, loving God and our neighbors can produce benefits; however, that is not why we are to love them, we are to love them because that is the purpose for which we were designed and created and we are fulfilling that ultimate purpose. God is relational and he created us to be in that relationship with him and with others whom he has created. That is our purpose and that is what gives us ultimate meaning. So, are you an essentialist, who believes that God defines our meaning, or an existentialist, who believes that we define our own meaning through what we do? Something to think about…


What is True and Can We Tell? Reflections on Inception

12 08 2010

Which is more difficult, to awaken one who sleeps or to awaken one who, awake, dreams that he is awake?Søren Kierkegaard, Works of Love (1847)

These words, though written more than a century and a half ago, could have been written about Christopher Nolan’s latest movie, Inception. This movie, if you have not yet seen it, is a labyrinth of dream sequences of different levels into which the main character, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) enters with his team to implant a thought into the head of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) so that he will break up the oil empire that his father is set to leave him upon his imminent death.

Cobb, an architect by training, left the world of designing buildings to enter the world of designing dreamscapes. He develops his skills to not only extract information from people by entering their dreams, but to also implant ideas, leaving no trace of his having done so. Cobb is approached by Fischer’s competitor and enticed by the offer of being able to return to his home and kids from whom he had been estranged due to legal troubles. To do this, he must go into the consciousness of Fischer through his dreams and continue going deeper and deeper into those levels of his consciousness until he can implant the thought without leaving evidence of his having been there.

The story combines elements of Dante with hints of Freud as the team delves lower and lower into the mind of Fischer, while at the same time, Cobb battles his own memories of his kids and his deceased wife for whom he carries the guilt of her death. The story is a parallel between what Cobb is trying to accomplish in the mind of Fischer and what is going on in his own consciousness. As he goes into the dreams of others and plunges deeper into their consciousness, he can’t help but bring along the memories that haunt his own.

Nolan uses different images to depict this Dante type going down in the life of Cobb as he tries to keep these memories caged up within him, only to have them escape at the most inopportune moments. In the end, Cobb appears to conquer these plaguing visions, but is it too late? That is where the audience is left questioning in the end. Has Cobb returned to reality? Can one distinguish between reality and a dream? Can one awaken a person who dreams that he is awake? Nolan leaves us wondering what is real and true and what is not. Does the spinning top tumble in the end or keep spinning? We may never know…

While this movie is a fun thought experiment, it is not indicative of the world in which we find ourselves. Yes, there are those who would have us believe, as Nolan hints at in this movie, that all expressions of reality that we experience are merely that which our minds produce. The real world, according to these solipsists (for that is what they are called) merely exists in the mind of the thinker and does not exist outside of the mind. To seriously pursue that line of thinking, I believe, would lead a person to madness. To doubt one’s intuitions is to question all of reality as we experience it and that is an endless pursuit downward into the abyss of nihilism.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” He spoke as if what Francis Schaeffer called “true truth” actually exists and the it was embodied in him. The reality toward which it pointed was the Father, for he said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) In other words, our pursuit of truth should result in a restored relationship with our Creator, which makes sense. If we want to understand our meaning and purpose, who better to reveal that reality than the one who created us with a purpose in mind.

In the end, Cobb’s pursuit led him back to the relationship with his children (if you believe that, in the end, he was not still caught in a dream state), and that is a good pointer to the ultimate relationship to which we are called, but only a pointer. One of the benefits of human relationships is to point us to a still greater relationship, the relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul says, “now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12) That is the truth we are called to pursue.

The What and the How

26 07 2010

You are probably looking at the title and asking, “what are you talking about?” Well, this topic came up during a discussion I am involved in on my local college campus. We’ve been discussing the idea of telos for some time now. For those not familiar with the word or the concept, telos means end, purpose or goal. In other words, when the author of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asked the question, “What is the chief end of man?” he was asking, “What is man’s telos or purpose?” The pursuit of meaning has been, I believe, one of the oldest pursuits of man.

So, your asking, what does the title of this blog post have to do with this discussion of telos? Let me explain. The question was asked whether we could tell what a thing was by how it was made. In other words, can we describe a thing, its composition, its features and make up, and determine what it is? Let’s use a hypothetical to try to illustrate. Suppose an alien craft was passing by our planet and something fell off and landed in such a way that it remained completely intact and undamaged. Suppose also that this object was something that we had never seen, made from a material of which we were completely unfamiliar. In other words, it is a completely foreign object to our observers, scientists and philosophers.

Our researchers would take pictures of it, try to determine what it is made from, and try to determine its function. Let’s also suppose that they were able to reduce the material make up to its base elements, all of which were common to the universe, even though the final make up of those elements was unfamiliar (I am supposing that the aliens had some technique to uniquely change the structure of these materials into a unique finished material for the sake of this illustration).

So, we could determine what its make up was, its shape, size and weight, but would that tell us what it was? No, I don’t think so. In essence, we would need to know the intent of the designer to know what it was and what its function was. In other words, we could not determine a “what” from a “how”.

Sometimes, I feel like that is what many are trying to do today. We look at evolutionary theory and theories are constructed as to how some creature developed, or even, some feature of the creature. But, does that description, even if it is valid, determine what that thing is? If we knew nothing else about the feature or the creature, like the foreign object from the alien craft, would merely describing its make up and development determine its telos? I don’t think so. Now, suppose we are the product of purely natural processes, how would we determine our telos, or would we even have a telos? I don’t think that natural processes determine telos. Telos always seems to come from the mind of a designer. Machines obviously don’t think and don’t determine their own purpose.

If we are merely glorified machines, I don’t know why it would be any different for us. In fact, I am not sure what it would mean to determine one’s own purpose and if it could be done, why any purpose, say being an evil dictator, would be any worse or better than determining that you were going to help the poor. After all, given the scenario that one determines his or her own purpose, who could say that the one that he or she chose was wrong.

I don’t see that a how could determine a what. I think that the chief end of man must be determined by the one who designed up and designated our purpose. He has revealed that the chief end of man is to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.

PZ Myers’ Morality

2 01 2010

You may not be familiar with PZ Myers; however, he is one of the vocal new atheists out there ranting against the existence of God, and Christianity in particular. Myers is an associate professor of biology at University of Minnesota, Morris and publishes a blog by the name of Pharyngula.

I recently came across a post by Myers entitled I’m so sorry for you, Indiana in which he comments about an interview given by Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana where Daniels addresses the topic of morality and Christianity that Myers says was “embarrassingly bad.” Daniels makes the point:

To me, the core of the Christian faith is humility, which starts with recognizing that you’re as fallen as anyone else. And we’re all constantly trying to get better, but… so I’m sure I come up short on way too many occasions.

Myers responds that he believes the “core of Christianity has never been humility , but arrogance.” Why does he draw this assessment? Simply because Christianity claims that we can know and have a personal relationship with God. In fact, he believes that all this Christian talk about being fallen sinners is false modesty. What Myers is claiming is to know the minds of every single Christian living such that he knows that any claim of being a fallen sinner is really just the false modesty of an arrogant person! It seems that Myers, who denies the existence of an omniscient being, is somehow claiming to be one. I’ve often heard that those who deny the existence of God will find a replacement, oftentimes in their own mirror.

Yet, the point of this post is to discuss Myers claim that morality doesn’t need to be grounded in God, but can simply be grounded in man. In fact, Myers makes the audacious claim that there “is no eternal standard of right and wrong.” His claim is that standards change with time. Really what he is claiming is that there is no objective standard of right and wrong.

Myers has already, in his post, castigated the Bible for justifying slavery and God for ordering the slaughter of women and children. Even more, he claims that equality was an ideal of the Enlightenment rather than Christianity. He claims that a 1st century B.C. Judean priest would be calling for the wrath of Jehovah on the likes of Pat Robertson and James Dobson “who lead millions into a life antithetical to ancient Jewish custom.”

Myers, however, has a different answer from Daniels and other Christians when it comes to morality. He says,

I’d answer differently. In the absence of a god-given absolute morality, all that matters is how we treat one another in this one life we have. What flows naturally to me is not brutality, which requires an absence of awareness of the suffering of others, but recognition of the fact that my fellow human beings really are my equals: we’re all going to die, we only have these few brief decades of life, and who am I to deny someone else the same opportunities I’ve been given?

My question to Myers is if morality is not grounded in anything objective or eternal, then why is his answer any better than Daniels’ or Hitler’s for that matter (he also refers to Hitler in his post – for what would a discussion of morality be without invoking Hitler?) Who says that it matters how we treat one another? On what basis does he consider suffering to be bad? We would all agree that not all suffering is bad as many of us willingly expose ourselves to suffering when we go to the dentist or college or even to a football game in temperatures that are below zero (I grew up in Green Bay, WI and did this on a number of occasions). So, obviously suffering is not a universal wrong, on what basis does Myers determine some suffering to be wrong?

Now, I am not saying that these behaviors are right, simply saying that when Myers rejects objective standards, he must then defend why I should consider his standards to be binding on me or anyone else. If morality is not grounded objectively, then he is merely expressing his opinion, or maybe the opinions of a group with whom he happens to agree, but he is not expressing objective morality.

Myers is holds to what is known as hard atheism, in other words, he holds a belief that God does not exist. He says, “There are no gods, no objective enforcement of a benign morality on us.” Since there is no God (or as he says, gods), then that means that we need to figure out our own morality. Myers says that we “should build our morality on reason.” But how is this done? How do we figure out what is right or wrong based upon observation and reason alone without an objective basis against which to test our reason. It is like measuring without an objective standard by which to measure or reasoning without an objective truth by which to check our reason. Whose reason reigns supreme?

C.S. Lewis spoke about this in his book Abolition of Man when he speaks of the Innovator in values, the one who tries to arrive at moral values through reason alone. He explains that reason can be broken out into two categories. First is practical reason which “confess that judgements such as society ought to be preserved…are not mere sentiments but are rationality itself; or else we must give up at once, and for ever, the attempt to find a core of ‘rational’ value behind all the sentiments we have debunked.” He says that the Innovator will not take this alternative as it seems too much like objective morality. So, it seems that Myers must explain what he means by reason. Maybe he takes Lewis’ second alternative, which fits better with an evolutionary framework, that of instinct.

This seems to be the only alternative left for the naturalist as reason would require some sort of plumb line against which to assess our reason. There has to be an objective standard or reason will be left to the individual’s own judgment. However, instinct leaves us no better off, for we would ask, whose instinct should we trust? How do we know who is more highly evolved and therefore whose instincts are more trustworthy if we have no objective standard against which to measure?

You see, Lewis had it right 65 years ago when he wrote this Abolition of Man, yet, somehow the new atheists still haven’t figured out that reason alone cannot get one to objective morality. Unless we are all using the same external standard to measure weight, length, height or depth; unless we are using the same mathematics and rules of logic (which themselves are not arrived at by logic, but simply known to be true); unless we trust an objective external ground of logic which itself is eternal and to which we are bound, then morality is simply a matter of one’s tastes and preferences and nothing more.

One can deny the existence of God, as does Myers; yet at the same time, one also is denying the existence of objective morality, along with a host of other ideas and concepts which I don’t believe we can live without. Myers wants to give up God, but still retain all of the benefits of what God brings to us. It is time that he faces the reality that if he gives up God, he also gives up objective morality and has no right to say that anyone is wrong; at best, he can say that he simply doesn’t prefer their behavior and ideas. I will take his displeasure into consideration and go on trusting God and living with the reality of real objective morality.

Men Without Chests

31 08 2009

Men Without Chests is the intriguing title to the first chapter of C.S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man.  It is not only an intriguing title, but it is a compelling topic in today’s culture where we are told to tolerate lifestyles and ideas, but not truth or necessarily, people.

Abolitoin of ManLewis begins the chapter with the discussion of a book, a real book by real authors; however, he masks both the name of the book and the names of the authors as an act of kindness toward them, a kindness, although undeserved, is displayed out of Christian charity (this is my interpretation, not his).  Lewis writes, “I shall refer to these gentlemen as Gaius and Titius and to their book as The Green Book.  But I promise you there is such a book and I have it on my shelves.” (2)

The book was intended to be a book on writing and literary style, yet, as Lewis points out in this chapter, the book turns out to be a insidious book of philosophy.  Lewis discusses a portion of the book in which they discuss Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a poet and philosopher, who wrote of a couple of tourists viewing a waterfall.   One says that the waterfall is sublime while the other says that it is pretty.  Now, since we don’t use the word sublime commonly in our vernacular, let me give you the definition: impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe, veneration, etc.

My wife and I have had the opportunity to go to Niagara Falls years ago and I will tell you that neither of us would have described the falls as simply, pretty.  To do so would have done an injustice to the grandeur of the falls.  The same could be said of the Rocky Mountains, the Alps, the Grand Canyon and many other natural wonders of this world.  Coleridge as well endorsed the observation of the first tourist and rejected that of the second.

This is where Gaius and Titius step in to introduce philosophy to the conversation.  They tell the reader that the tourists were not making an observation about the waterfall itself, but an observation about their own feelings.  Lewis quotes Titius as saying, “When the man said This is sublime, he appeared to be making a remark about the waterfall…Actually…he was not making a remark about the waterfall, but a remark about his own feelings.  What he was saying was really I have feelings associated in my mind with the word “Sublime”, or shortly, I have sublime feelings.” (2)

In other words, we are not making objective observations about a thing, in fact we cannot, we can only express the feelings or emotions brought about when observing a thing.  I called this insidious on the part of Gaius and Titius and here is why.  In the name of teaching the proper use of the English language, they are implanting ideas about the world into the heads of school children in a somewhat subversive manner.  They are not coming out and telling them that they are discussion philosophy and a worldview, they are merely slipping it in the back door, as it were, in the guise of an English lesson.

Gaius and Titius go on to give another example of this in the fourth chapter of their book where they take an advertisement for a cruise line and again slip in philosophy under the cover of English composition.  The ad encourages the reader to buy a ticket to sail the “Western Oceans where Drake and Devon sailed” seeking the adventures and treasures of the Indies.  Lewis criticizes the ad as a poor piece of writing, but criticizes Gaius and Titius for not only overlooking the poor writing, but instead focusing on the idea that the cruise ship won’t sail were these adventurers sailed and that any treasures that they bring home will be metaphorical.  In other words, instead of dealing with the grammar and syntax, these men attack the philosophical and literary underpinnings of the ad.  Lewis points out that they could do the same with Wordsworth and many of the other great writers in literary history as most of them used metaphor in their writing.

CS LewisLewis explains that up until recently our emotions and observations were connected to something real, something objective.  Our observations could be judged to be right or wrong as they were compared to the reality of that which was being observed or judged.  He explains that every culture had an understanding of a good that is beyond the physical world and that is objective in nature.  He illustrates this by using the Chinese concept of the Tao, “the reality beyond all predicates”, or as Plato called it, the forms.  Again, he uses the Tao not necessarily as a reference to Chinese thought, but to a concept that he says spans all major worldviews and that represents an objective reality beyond the physical world.  Readers can get tripped up on this concept and I will say that I am not in full agreement with Lewis’ presentation of this concept; however, it is helpful in understanding that there is a reality beyond this physical world that can be understood and grasped by us.

It is those who not only deny this reality but also convince others that this reality is no reality at all that Lewis calls men without chests. These people claim the title of intellectual and yet set out to destroy.  In destroying a person’s confidence in being able to grasp objective truth and in the very existence of objective truth, these people destroy hope, meaning and purpose in the person’s life as well.  If there is no objective truth, there can be no real meaning to life.  Morality becomes a quaint concept with no grounding in reality.  The Apostle Paul said that if the reality of the resurrection does not exist, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (1 Cor. 15:32)  In other words, if there is no hope beyond this world, we might as well live it up in this world as it is all we have.

Yet, Paul says the same thing of these people that Lewis says of Gaius and Titius, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” (v.33) Paul tells us that there is a reality beyond this physical existence and that Jesus is the demonstration of that through his death, burial and resurrection.  So, let us heed the words of Paul:

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (vv. 57-58)

Is Morality the Product of Evolution

25 08 2009

ArrowsLast week, we considered the question of whether religion could be explained by evolution alone, and this week we will do the same with the question of morality and ethics. I hear quite often in discussions with skeptics that morality is simply the product of evolution, something that has just helped our species to survive. Let’s begin by considering that possibility and find out what would be true of ethics and morality if it were merely a trait or mechanism that evolved to aid our survival as a species.

The first thing that would be true of morality would be that it would not be objective in nature. In other words, what we consider to be moral or immoral would not be a fact independent of our belief in the same. Murder would not be objectively wrong or evil, nor would rape, racism, or a whole host of other actions that we deem to be wrong, or even evil. In the same way, actions like helping the poor and needy, rescuing a drowning child, or being kind would not be objectively good things. It is possible, given evolution, that we could just as easily live in a world where killing the disabled or even people with certain characteristics would be considered to be good, or preventing the torture of animals would be evil.

After all, as the famous evolutionist, Stephen Jay Gould, in his book Wonderful life: the Burgess Shale and the nature of history (the name is a takeoff of the holiday favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life”) said that if we replay the tape of evolution “a million times…I doubt that anything like Homo sapiens would ever evolve again.” (289) He believed that because evolution involves chance mutations and that there is no telos (purpose or end goal), that if evolution were to be rerun, it would produce different results each time, including that Homo sapiens would not be a part of the other permutations.

We could equally extrapolate out for morality that it would turn out different each time, if it evolved at all! So, we could quite likely see a world where acts that we consider evil might be considered to be good and vice versa. Richard Dawkins, in a post debate radio interview, he would be OK with the idea of rape being acceptable if evolution had turned out differently. Dawkins replied that he would not like to live in such a world. In other words, Dawkins believed rape to be objectively evil, wrong despite what evolution would lead us to believe.

The second thing that would be true of morality, given evolution, would be that it would be possible for each person to evolve in a slightly different way such that we would each see morality differently from other people. In other words, morality would be person-subjective. No one would be able to say that their evolutionary view of morality was “better” than another person’s. So, if I evolved such that my morality allowed me to steal from others, the one from whom I have stolen could not say that I have done anything really wrong. It may be wrong to them to steal, but they would be in no position to impose that morality on me.

The third problem is also an epistemological problem (a how we know problem) in that evolution would not necessarily lead us to be able to distinguish truth as evolution (according to evolutionary experts) only puts our bodies in the right place at the right time so that we can survive as an entity and as a species. Now, I have problems with this view that evolution has this “goal” of survival as evolution is a blind process and has no goals or direction, it just is a process. However, even if evolution were capable of creating within us the ability to get our bodies in the right place at the right time, it would not necessitate that we would do so in a manner that would be considered moral or ethical. The fact is that we would not really have need for objective morality, just a need to make sure that we survive.

Morality, according to philosopher J.P. Moreland, implies a design or telos to our existence. Why, you might ask? Moreland uses a couple of illustrations to make the point. First, Moreland uses the example of an automobile carburetor, the part of the car that used to (carburetors are not found in many modern cars with fuel injectors) that would atomize gasoline so that it could be ignited by the spark plugs. Moreland asks whether there there could be a bad carburetor. Those of us who used to drive cars with carburetors would answer that yes, there could be a car with a bad carburetor, in fact, I a lot of time trying to start cars with bad carburetors. How do we know the carburetor is a bad one? Because we know how a carburetor is supposed to work, we know how it was designed to work. When it doesn’t work according to the design, we know it is bad.

So, are people designed to work a certain way, or are we the product of a blind chance process operating by selection? The answer obviously has implications. If it is the former, then there is a design according to which we are to live our lives and when we don’t live according to that plan, we are acting in a bad manner. However, if we are the product of a blind process, then there is no plan or design and no wrong way to live. Even if we are living in such a way that would lead to the extinction of the species, we can’t even say that this behavior is bad since the system is not “designed” for our survival, survival is merely a byproduct of how the system has worked out.

Moreland also uses an example of playing a game of Monopoly. He tells his opponent that the rules of the game are that his opponent can do anything he wants when it is his turn. He can make a sandwich, turn on the TV, ring a bell, or anything else he wants. His opponent begins his turn by loading up properties with hotels. Moreland counters by tipping over the board and ringing the bell. His opponent is confused by that move and proceeds to load up the properties with hotels once again. Moreland counters by wiping the board clear and turning on the TV. On and on it could go and since there is no ultimate purpose to the game with these rules, there is no right or wrong to the moves. The same is true of our lives, if there is no ultimate purpose, then there is no right or wrong behavior. We can either tip the board or put on the hotels and either move is just as “meaningful” or “meaningless” as the other. If life has no ultimate meaning, it has no ultimate morality and if it has no ultimate morality, then it has no ultimate meaning either.

These are the reasons that I believe that morality and meaning cannot be ultimately explained by evolution. Life has too much evidence of design, and design begs for a designer.