What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
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02-05-2017, 09:26 PM
What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
Hi everyone.

I went to Barnes and Noble today to get a book about atheism, The God Delusion (by Richard Dawkins).

To balance it out, I also bought a book written by a Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias.

In the Christian book, Ravi mentioned of a chemistry professor, Michael Polanyi, who stated that religion and art are the ones that give meaning to life, NOT science. Should science try to fill the role of giving meaning to mortal existence, it will lead to disaster.

What do you all think of this? What is the meaning of life for an atheist?



I also want to tell everyone that as of right now, I'm still a devoted Christian. But I am investigating more on atheism both to gain knowledge and to challenge my own beliefs.
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02-05-2017, 09:35 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
To me the meaning of life is to just live. All the people you meet and the experiences you face are what make it so great.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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02-05-2017, 09:40 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
There is no meaning to life. That's OK because I don't need my life to have a meaning. Just having a life, however long it is, is enough.

Sapere aude
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02-05-2017, 09:50 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2017 08:02 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
Everyone finds their own meanings. Everyone.
Scientists like doing science. Artists like doing art.
No one gets to impose what gives them meaning on others.
Coaches like coaching, musicians like making music.
Some people like having big families. Some people hate kids.
Ravi apparently likes writing stupid books, telling other people what they think, and gets meaning from that. Facepalm
It's an idiotic, ignorant assertion with no insight into human nature.
Religious people find their own meanings. It's one of the reasons why there are so many variations in religion. Religious people don't find meaning in one thing. Not all religious people believe in an afterlife, as taught by Fundamentalists.

Most of all, the underlying assumption is ridiculous. You can't make Reality into what you want, because it gives a result you happen to find more useful, (ie theists are happier).
Believe it or not, the former President of King's College in NY (Dinesh D'Souza) actually used to use this stupid argument in his debates.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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02-05-2017, 09:54 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
(02-05-2017 09:26 PM)Zombocalypse Wrote:  Hi everyone.

I went to Barnes and Noble today to get a book about atheism, The God Delusion (by Richard Dawkins).

To balance it out, I also bought a book written by a Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias.

In the Christian book, Ravi mentioned of a chemistry professor, Michael Polanyi, who stated that religion and art are the ones that give meaning to life, NOT science. Should science try to fill the role of giving meaning to mortal existence, it will lead to disaster.

What do you all think of this? What is the meaning of life for an atheist?



I also want to tell everyone that as of right now, I'm still a devoted Christian. But I am investigating more on atheism both to gain knowledge and to challenge my own beliefs.

Should science be the source of life-meaning for an atheist? Or for anyone else for that matter?

No.

Science deals with things that are testable and verifiable. The sort of meaning that you are asking about is neither. Just as science is a poor guide to beauty and art, it is also a poor guide to meaning. Science can BE the meaning of your life, in the sense that you can make it your purpose to advance knowledge and understanding, but that isn't the same thing as science being a SOURCE of meaning.

That said... religion doesn't give us meaning either. Not really.

Meaning is ultimately subjective. Suppose that there is a God, who deems that the meaning of, say, a rainbow is to promise never to destroy the world by flood again.

That's what a rainbow means.... to that god. But what does it mean to you? Do you adopt that same meaning for yourself? Are you required to? Could the rainbow for you instead symbolize diversity, or an unachievable goal to always strive for, or a hint at the properties of light, or simply an example of nature's beauty? Must the meaning provided by religion for the rainbow really be THE meaning of the rainbow? No. You can choose to adopt their meaning... but that's your choice. Not the religion's choice. Not the god's choice.

Similarly, religion cannot provide meaning for our life. Only we can do that.
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02-05-2017, 10:06 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
The best thing about being an atheist is that life is spent living in the moment with friends and family. We don't live for some mythical afterlife or in fear of an equally mythical "lake of fire". This is the only life we will have. This is it. This gives life far more meaning that waiting for an afterlife.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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02-05-2017, 10:20 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
(02-05-2017 09:26 PM)Zombocalypse Wrote:  In the Christian book, Ravi mentioned of a chemistry professor, Michael Polanyi, who stated that religion and art are the ones that give meaning to life, NOT science.

I for one call the dance of religion and art emergent theology. Science as I live it. The world call it science fiction but I know the facts. You can too for nineteen-ninety-five-ninety-five. Today only.

A story. For each of us our purpose is a story we tell ourselves as we live it. Somebody telling you different is trying to sell you something... you know the meaning of occult? Religion likes to hide things up its sleeve. Science likes all the cards on the table.

Thus the meaning of life for an atheist is your meaning and telling yourself otherwise leads you down strange alleyways, such as coming here.

living word
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02-05-2017, 10:29 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
To eat chocolate cupcakes, of course Wink j/k...I think the meaning of life is different for each person. Each person has their own wants, desires, needs, loves that make up their own personal worldview. The nice thing is, that as an atheist, you get to define your own meaning of life- instead of having a magic sky daddy do it for you.
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02-05-2017, 10:37 PM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2017 10:40 PM by treefireguy.)
What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
To drink fine ale, to
love a fine women, to breathe clean air and to eat a thick juicy steak. To walk on the beach with your toes in the sand. To hear an eagle cry out into the wind. To fall asleep with your newborn on your chest, to see your children score a goal or accept an award or laugh at the monkeys at the zoo. To laugh and sing and dance and drive and crawl and jump and yell and whisper and scream out loud. To write poetry and to make a bird house. To barbecue an amazing burger. To plan a road trip. To get punched in the face. To watch a movie and eat popcorn. See a magical waterfall. To lay in a hammock and listen to a stream. To fall off a bike and to lay down a full house. To climb that mountain. To fall in and out and back into love. To love some more. To live. To know. To appreciate this lonely planet we live on. To dream and to explore. To exist while you can. To know that you only have one shot at it all. To each his own I guess.


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02-05-2017, 10:39 PM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2017 11:05 PM by Full Circle.)
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
We all have one life to live, make every moment count and stop wasting time on your knees praying to the gods. But if you do pray make sure you have the right one.

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“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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