Need some advice
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
29-08-2014, 02:15 PM
RE: Need some advice
Austin, I will first answer you as I would have as a middle schooler. I remember back in middle school this silly question started floating around. "What is the meaning of life?" I thought about it, but not long, because the answer seemed obvious. Since then my answer to that question has been, "To be happy." Because what else matters if you live a life that doesn't make you happy? Happiness is my first and foremost priority in life. This might translate to being selfish, but getting into that would require a longer discussion.

An alternative answer, that would cover more bases would be...The meaning of life is that which you want it to be. Make your own meaning. *Usually by setting goals that contribute to your overall happiness*. For some people they make their meaning into a grand mission of eradicating some negative reality on earth or helping as many others as possible. And that's fine, if that makes them happy and fulfilled, go for it. But what will work for you? I can't say, because I'm not you. Only you can choose your meaning.

And like DLJ said, you are already an atheist, you probably just don't like the stigma attached to the word.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2014, 10:23 PM
RE: Need some advice
Welcome to the forum, Austin.

The "life is meaningless without God" thing is a psychological trick that people get indoctrinated with growing up in religious households. I was raised a Christian, but my family wasn't hardcore, so letting go of religion was much easier for me than it was for a lot of other people. Your feelings of meaninglessness are due to you walking away from something you were brought up to believe in your entire life, and being told that life is meaningless without it. People that I have met that grew up in secular homes have said they are completely confused as to why somebody needs to believe in a deity to give their life meaning.

I hope you stick around and take part in the discussions on here. I think you will find a lot of answers to the same questions that you are asking yourself at the moment.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like WindyCityJazz's post
29-08-2014, 10:28 PM
RE: Need some advice
(28-08-2014 09:01 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Living is the greatest adventure you are lucky enough to have. The promise of a fantastic afterlife only diminishes the astonishing fact that you are alive right now.

I don't necessarily have or need "hope in life". I necessarily have appreciation for the life I have to live. Once you can get to that perspective, holding on to the fantasy of an afterlife is no longer needed.

It's very true. Life is precious because it is so short. But think of all the amazing moments we are allowed to experience through living here, even if it is only over the span of 80-90 years.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Flowergurl's post
30-08-2014, 05:22 AM
RE: Need some advice
Thank you all for your kind words and moral support I really really do appreciate it Smile this i s a great community Smile
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
30-08-2014, 08:34 PM
RE: Need some advice
"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still. Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good -- be good for something."
- Henry David Thoreau

This is how I assign meaning to my life. My work and my family are my meaning.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
31-08-2014, 05:40 AM
RE: Need some advice
In an interview with Oprah, Diane Nyad (the woman who swam from FL to Cuba after many attempts) said that she finds beauty and awe in the world.

Many if us here find the same beauty and awe for the earth and universe, in fact so much so, that we have a whole thread dedicated to it.

Enjoy.

The world through atheist goggles.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...st-Goggles


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-09-2014, 10:56 AM
RE: Need some advice
What gets me through my day? The thirst to see the next day and to try to make the world a little better than I found it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-09-2014, 08:48 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2014 08:55 AM by Logisch.)
RE: Need some advice
(28-08-2014 08:54 PM)aushill Wrote:  Hello my name is Austin and I'm 17 and in high school. I'm currently technically agnostic however my parents are Christian and I was raised Christian. I don't like being agnostic because I want something to believe, and I don't believe in a higher power for many reasons one being that it seems ludicrous but I respect those that do. I would like to call myself an atheist and accept atheism, but there's one thing that I noticed atheism that lacks that I need. That is a reason to live, not saying that I'm suicidal or anything but it just seems to me that if you've accepted that there is no afterlife or great maker then to me it feels like I have nothing to live for ya know? Sorry if it seems like I'm rambling, which I probably am, but I guess my question is what gets you through the day? What makes you see the hope in life?

I am responsible for my happiness. One of the most difficult things for me to deal with when I deconverted from christianity was to cope with purpose. We are taught when we are religious that there is an intrinsic purpose, that we are put here because of a god who created the universe for us. We are told that it's perfect, that we have a plan for us, that everything pans out the way he wants it.

It's a coping mechanism. When one wakes up and realizes that perhaps the only reason we exist is because our existence is possible, there is a period of time where it can feel crushing to drop our previous beliefs.

But when you can accept reality for what it is, there are some interesting and profound things to realize.

- You are a tiny part of the universe itself, albeit an infinitesimal speck of it, comprised of the same matter that exists in the universe, born in stars. You are, in a funny way, a part of the universe capable of understanding itself. As well, you may be the only life/species to ever enjoy this realization. We don't know that for sure, but we're the only life we know of that gets to enjoy this.

- You yourself were born. You could have never been born at all. There is a countless amount of other people who could have born instead of you. But you are here, now. Be it happiness, joy, suffering, anguish, frustration or excitement... these are things you get to enjoy, even if it is for a small period of time on this planet. The people who could have been born in your place are numberless, but it is you who gets to enjoy the experience.

- Reality is not always what we want it to be, but it is amazing. The best time to live is now. Centuries ago, the best time to live was then. Technology is always at its all time high here and now. Billions of people have come and gone during the improvements in technology and you are living in a time when the lifespan is nearly doubled what it was many centuries ago. A time when you can reach out and talk to anyone, nearly anywhere with the libraries of centuries prior at your fingertips, with knowledge that people centuries before would have to travel for which can be accessed with a few button pushes, the world is your library and you can access it.... anytime you want. If one has the desire, one can learn about almost anything, any time.

Perhaps this is a form of existential narcissism, but they are still things that are fun to think about.

Perhaps there is no intrinsic purpose, and we're just a bunch of monkeys without shoes floating on a giant rock made of more rocks in space. But I can think of many things that make me happy, that make others happy and things that interest me.

I do not need a big man in the sky to tell me that life is awesome, that the universe is interesting and that it's amazing being human and understanding the world around me. These are things I can do myself, that you can do yourself.

If one can appreciate the life that you have here, and now, one doesn't need an afterlife. In many cultures it was thought of with human characteristics, with superhero opposites to mortal man.

Man doesn't live forever... in the afterlife? live forever!
Man doesn't know everything... in the afterlife? learn it all!
Not loved in this lifetime? In the afterlife, you can have immortal amazing sex with everyone and everything and it's so overwhelming your pants will explode!
Tired of sadness? Have no fear, only happiness exists in the afterlife, oh and you get to spend FOREVER with your family.. FOR....EV...ER..... and you can never leave.

But seriously, life is great. It's ok to be afraid, ok having a difficult time coping with it and difficult when you are trying to reconcile things and going back and forth between what you know now and what you knew previously.

Sometimes when I need a pick me up, I enjoy these:









This is why I enjoy astronomy... it's incredibly personal for me. The first time I took a photo of a Nebula, specifically the Orion Nebula and had that profound realization that photons had crossed our local galaxy and were captured by the sensor on my camera and what I was actually seeing was real, it was there, and that I was comprised of the same stuff... I had that moment. They traveled light years, longer than I had been alive, longer than my family after generations and centuries. 1,344 years for those photons to reach me in the current state that it is in. An actual photo of the past, but real. It was almost like a self portrait. Curiosity, awe and inspiration of the world around me get me through my day, every day.

Reality is amazing.
[Image: TvcjJ3c.jpg]

Official ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please pm me with prayer requests to his noodly goodness. Remember, he boiled for your sins and loves you. Carbo Diem! RAmen.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Logisch's post
06-09-2014, 09:37 AM
RE: Need some advice
Welcome Austin,

I know during the deconversion process you may feel lost but thanks to Seth and many more Atheist there are places you can go to discuss issues with people that have gone through it and think similarly.

You said you want something to believe in, well believe in yourself and Humanity. Here is my take on the afterlife. We in a sense have an afterlife. It is those that we leave behind and what our affect on the world around us is. How do you want to be remembered by friends, family and your community? Your legacy is your afterlife. This is not something you get to enjoy but those that you leave behind.

you only get one life. there are no Mulligans, do overs, or rewinds. Go out and experience life. make it a life goal to see all that you can and learn everything that interests you. Help others because you are a good person not because you are told to or fear anything. I hope this helps a little.

Jeremy (SkepticGeologist)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-09-2014, 10:30 AM
RE: Need some advice
I agree with many of the people who have already posted. You have to make or find your own meaning in life. Find what makes you happy. Do things that are worthwhile, even if they scare you. Learn what you can about the people and the world around you so that you can make your own contribution to life. These things will be different for everyone because everyone is different. You have to find your own way.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes FritzyBits's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: