Before moving on to the next topic I want us to be clear on what the discussion about texts and meaning has demonstrated. When I was an English undergraduate I encountered skepticism about authorial meaning in texts. But no argument against authorial meaning could be of sufficient strength to outweigh the authorial meaning I had encountered in texts time and again from my first reading of Mr. Pine’s Purple House onward.
Similarly, throughout my life I have always lived as if human beings had inherent worth. And I have lived as if human lives could be lived in accord with virtues of goodness that utterly transcend the human species. Or they could eschew those virtues not unlike the man who eschews gravity when he takes a step off the building. For a time it may seem like he is flying but sooner or later gravity would win out. Similarly, those who eschew the higher virtues may seem to be sailing in the breeze like the archetypal debauched rock star with a string of gold records. But sooner or later the star crashes to the earth (or even worse, merely fades away like a black dwarf) leaving a legacy fit only for gossip page fodder.
This places the one who denies the existence of the author (the author being the one who imbues objective meaning into the texts of our lives) at a disadvantage. It is not the one affirming the author who has to establish his existence, but rather the one who denies the author. This requires one of two things: either establish how objective meaning can exist in the texts of our lives without an author to write it in (a tall order indeed!) or bite the bullet by conceding the non-existence of that objective meaning.
Either way, it is not the theist who enters the discussion at a disadvantage any more than the believer in oxygen enters the discussion at a disadvantage. After all, what is this gas we’ve been breathing all along?