The "there has to be more to life" argument
The "there has to be more to life" argument is an informal sort of arguing which sees religion not as a competing worldview about reality but as a supplemental set of beliefs about reality. I think this way of seeing religion is probably very widespread as an implicit assumption in everyone's minds, believers and atheists alike.
I think that, to a certain extent, this is a dangerous perspective on religion, because it minimizes the bankrupcy of religious epistemology and ontology. It puts the inherent relativism and inter-subjectivity of religion on the same footstool as the rigors of science and rational independent thinking.
It is, in this regard, similar to the expression "alternative medicine", as it tries to smuggle irrationality as a complement to reality. The efficacy of "alternative medicine" depends compeletely on "evidence-based medicine", as in and of itself it brings absolutely nothing to the table. It is a castle in the sky.
So it is easy to squirm to a question such as "why do you attack people who just want more from life ?". Confronted with such a question, most atheists would probably fold faster than an origami Frenchman. But in fact there is no reason to fold against such a question. The obvious answer is that religion does not bring "more to life" - but in fact blinds people to great swaths of life.
Apart from the implicit model of religion contained in the argument, "there has to be more to life" is a double-edged way of thinking about the issue. What if I decide I want more than the blinkered, paranoid worldview of Christianity ? If God exists, then everything is arbitrary and contingent. What if I don't want everything to be arbitrary ? What if I want some actual meaning in my life ?
And what if I want some real morality, not just insane orders from an unproveable inspiration ? If I was a Christian, I would no doubt believe that the whole of the Bible, that book of lies and murder, was inspired by none other than Satan in an attempt to deceive people into worshipping evil. That seems far more reasonable than any claim of truth put upon that most insane of books.
The argument, therefore, can be easily turned against the believer. If everything that the secular world has to offer is not enough, then where do we stop ? Why stop at Christianity ? Rather arbitrary, isn't it ?
What people really want is pre-packaged answers that add a thick layer of veneer to their everyday lives. They want to be privvy to profound mysteries of the universe which require little study and intelligence. In short, they want the advantages of a scientific worldview without having to actually understand anything.
What is it that spiritual seekers seek ? What is the hole they try to fill ? It has to be the need to be part of something far greater than themselves, but at the same time something they can intimately relate to. Yet this is incongruous and dysfunctional. That is the nature of religion.
What is the meaning of life ? This is a question to which Christians have no answer. They claim that God gives meaning to their lives, but they have no way of knowing what that meaning is, except insofar as they simply make it up. Confronted with the difficulty of knowing what a transcendent being wants, they just transpose their petty desires and concerns on that being, and call this inspired.
The meaning of life is a silly concept. Life is not the product of human choice, or any choice at all for that matter. It can only be analyzed as a premise, in the same way that we may examine logic or materialism - as fundamental facts which support the whole fabric of our understanding. To treat life as a mere symbol is, therefore, a category error.
Christianity, of course, must treat life as a mere symbol, because its moral system is supposed to exist independently of humanity. Human life, in this view, is a testimony of the power of God, as well as its sovereignity. It belongs to God and can be disposed of at God's whim. This is a very arrogant and callous way of seeing the issue. We must reject any belief in the contingency of life as anti-scientific and anti-moral.