What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
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02-05-2017, 10:39 PM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2017 10:49 PM by Robvalue.)
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
Meaning is subjective. So asking for an objective meaning is a malformed question.

From our point of view, it means whatever we want it to mean. Every atheist will have their own values. For me it's to enjoy myself, look after others and to try to make the world a better place for all.

Science is a tool, so no, it doesn't directly give meaning. It will help you pursue your chosen meaning efficiently, however.

(You might enjoy and value science so much that you choose it as part of your meaning however.)

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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02-05-2017, 10:53 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
(02-05-2017 10:39 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Science is a tool, so no, it doesn't give meaning. It will help you pursue your chosen meaning efficiently, however.

More.

People don't believe it though. The only magical being one should believe in is oneself. People that do not grow their own story prefer store-bought as if age alone makes it real. Number of adherents measures veracity.

What's your name?

If you give me an answer, you are adhering. Identity is a belief system with a number of adherents, bunch of primates making it law doesn't make it real, does it? Where does one draw the line between faith and reason?

Tell your story and the scientific method will tell you.

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02-05-2017, 10:55 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.

This is an improper use of the concept "meaning". Meaning is a property of concepts and symbols. I think you mean what is the purpose of life for an atheist. Generally speaking, the purpose of life is to live it. Beyond that the purpose of my life is what I choose it to be. The purpose of my life is the achievement of my values, both physical and spiritual.

I think the purpose of art is to create in concrete form, the embodiment of abstract principles. For instance in literature, a character can demonstrate an abstract principle such as honor or integrity. We can actually use that depiction by saying to ourselves, what would this character do in my situation.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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02-05-2017, 11:05 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
Art is pretty difficult to define, and I don't think anyone has the authority to say what is and isn't art.

My rough definition would be expressing yourself indirectly through some medium.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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02-05-2017, 11:16 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
Zacharias is a fraud - like most of these xristard shitheads.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyath...edentials/

Quote:Why Did Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias Lie About His Academic Credentials?

He's as phony as his god.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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02-05-2017, 11:58 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
(02-05-2017 11:05 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Art is pretty difficult to define, and I don't think anyone has the authority to say what is and isn't art.

"Art is that which is created by the artist." ~the artist.

There ain't no dead people around here to have the authority by my reckoning. The whole argument is buttkiss. People forget that ultimate also means last. There is no last man speaking.

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03-05-2017, 01:27 AM
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.

This seems to me like a falsely framed dilemma. Science deals with the facts about reality, what we can observe and test and demonstrate to be factually true. One thing science really doesn't need to do is give meaning or value to your life.

Now I'm an existential nihilist. This means I recognize that its all arbitrary and meaningless (Because it is. Deal with it). There is no purpose, and there doesn't fucking need to be one (seriously grow the fuck up mr christian apologist aka ravi). If the entire world recognized what I see, the world wouldn't descent into chaos or total anarchy. That's just stupid, and a reflection of how little your christian apologist has bothered to actually put in the fucking effort to think about the subject. Specifically its a variant of a straw man fallacy. Places where people don't believe in any god or gods aren't more evil, or more destructive than places that people believe in a god or gods.

You know what gives my life meaning? ME. You know what gives your life meaning? YOU. That's it. And whether you realize it or not this is true even if you're a christian. This is a fact that can be demonstrated. This is why your god seems to have the exact same values as you, and why every individual religious person technically kinda worships a different god. No two believers worship the same god, and we can show this to be true. If you really wanna have some fun, really dig into what the people you go to church with REALLY believe on EVERY point of dogma and doctrine. You might be surprised how little your church congregation really has in common on key core points of your religion. But.... those topics are generally kinda avoided or ignored. Differences swept under the rug, or used in internal church politics (and holy shit do churches have some crazy hard core politics goin on).

The reality is each one of you determines your own morality, just like the rest of us. The only difference is you try to make an post hoc rationalization to mash what you want to think/believe together with what the bible says. And the bible is generally vague enough (and literacy levels in churches low enough) to allow people to twist it to fit whatever the fuck they want.

The only real question is, are you intellectually honest enough with yourself to really look at this. Without lies or cognitive dissonance, or "presupposition."

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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03-05-2017, 01:58 AM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
The meaning of my life is the meaning that i give to it. It is after all me who has to live it, right?

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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03-05-2017, 02:24 AM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
What is the meaning of life for a cat? Or a squirrel, or slug, or trout etc....

Why do you prescribe some universal 'meaning' of life to human existence at all? What evidence is there to indicate that there is some inherent reason?

And which branch of science is it that you think even attempts to assign 'meaning' to life?

Why is religion so afraid of science?


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03-05-2017, 03:55 AM
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. 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 agree with Truescotsman that the basic purpose of life is to live, and if you study various lifeforms through science you will find they are quite opportunistic about pursuing it.

You also should consider the difference between absolute and relative purposes. Religions seek to impose some absolute purpose on humans, something supposedly true for all humans at all times, but can't prove it really exists. On the other hand, we are immersed in any number of relative purposes on a daily basis, which keep us fully occupied and are really all we need.

Since one of the important purposes of my own individual life is the search to understand various truths, science is an important part of that purpose. I also enjoy the arts, but consider them less meaningful in any real sense. Mainly they are illuminating about human psychology rather than the external world.
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