What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
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03-05-2017, 11:19 AM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
(03-05-2017 05:36 AM)Jeanne Wrote:  There is only one meaning for life and that is to procreate, thus continuing the survival of the species.
That is the "objective" of natural selection, but not necessarily the objective of particular individuals -- and it certainly doesn't help to determine one's goals after one is past the age of conceiving and nurturing children, particularly when they have a nettlesome tendency to ignore their parents and siblings and do their own thing.
(03-05-2017 05:36 AM)Jeanne Wrote:  How you live your particular life gives it meaning to you.
On that we agree.
(03-05-2017 05:36 AM)Jeanne Wrote:  When xians speak of "meaning" they speak of some grand plan that their deity had an eon ago that somehow involves only this one planet in the whole of the Universe. Why that gives meaning to anything is beyond me.
That is the question of the hour.
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03-05-2017, 11:58 AM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
I keep writing a response and then deleting it.
Oh well.
If no one has mentioned it, I would recommend the book, God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. If you really want a treat, go to http://www.audible.com and pick up the audio version read by Hitch. It's pleasant to listen to and packed with information. Thumbsup

***
When Hitch died, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss said of his friend: Christopher was a beacon of knowledge and light in a world that constantly threatens to extinguish both. He had the courage to accept the world for just what it is and not what he wanted it to be. That's the highest praise, I believe, one can give to any intellect. He understood that the universe doesn't care about our existence or welfare and he epitomized the realization that our lives have meaning only to the extent that we give them meaning.

That's what Krauss had to say about "life's meaning", which sounds bit dry, I suppose. It's probably not dry to him, though.

I think life's meaning is individual and quite an intimate thing.
**
It must be discouraging, having given one's life meaning, only to ultimately discover the foundation of that meaning was someone else's out of date conceptual framework.

Not certain why you would want to look to people like Michael Polanyi to "challenge" your beliefs, Zombocalypse. He doesn't seem challenging at all. He had very little understanding of quantum theory, as we currently do.


I hope you get your shit together about it, Zombocalypse. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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03-05-2017, 12:17 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.

To enjoy life. To help others enjoy life. To leave this Earth a little better than when you came into it.

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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03-05-2017, 12:55 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. Should science try to fill the role of giving meaning to mortal existence, it will lead to disaster.

You should be particularly worried about any belief that whispers, "You're nothing without me!" That's a red flag that the personal relationship that Jesus wants with you is an abusive one.

In and of itself life has no meaning. It's an emergent property of self-catalyzing chemical reactions with delusions of grandeur. It's uppity seawater. It makes as much sense to ask what the purpose of the wind is.

As thinking creatures, we give things meaning. The very first thing that we give meaning to is ourself.

As a theist, the meaning of your life will involve your religion. That's fine so long as your religion is The Right One. You can bet that Ravi never intended that you should get the meaning of your life from those phonies that worship Ganesh. But what if your god isn't The Right One either? Oh noes!

Unsurprisingly, all but the most rabidly devout find something else to do with their life as well. Typically several something elses and they change as you live. Atheists do exactly the same thing but we skip straight to the something else. That's the dirty little secret that religion doesn't want you to think about. Atheists are just like you in all but a few trivial details. The differences are largely fantasy designed to keep you from identifying with us too easily. A manufactured divide to keep you on Their Side.

As a professional scientist I can tell you that science is not what I use to give my life meaning. Science is a very useful tool for asking questions and I truly enjoy some of the answers that it provides but it simply isn't meant to be lived. Ravi's statement is an unsophisticated strawman on par with "Smoking ice cubes is bad for your health!" It is, but only by way of drowning.

Some people make the search for the meaning of life the meaning of their life, which the rest of us find hilariously circular.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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03-05-2017, 12:56 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
The meaning of life is to live.

Ignorance is not to be ignored.

Check out my DA gallery! http://oo-kiri-oo.deviantart.com/gallery/
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03-05-2017, 02:55 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
(03-05-2017 12:56 PM)Loom Wrote:  The meaning of life is to live.

* and fuck

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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03-05-2017, 05:31 PM
What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
(03-05-2017 02:55 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(03-05-2017 12:56 PM)Loom Wrote:  The meaning of life is to live.

* and fuck


Actually, this post brings up a great point. All poetry , semantics and philosophical discussions aside, the actual true meaning of life is to pass on your genetic material to future generations. That's it. That is IT. Literally. Everything else is just...extra.


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03-05-2017, 05:31 PM
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.


Quick question: you say you went to B&N for Dawkins and allegedly bought "The God Delusion" and a Christian apologetic book. But the only one you want to talk about is the unnamed Christian apologetic book. It doesn't seem to me that you are sincerely questioning the existence of god. It looks as if you are swayed more by half-baked Christian apologetics than the use of reason to cast off ancient superstitions. Why is that?
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03-05-2017, 06:19 PM
What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
(03-05-2017 05:31 PM)Rachel Wrote:  
(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.


Quick question: you say you went to B&N for Dawkins and allegedly bought "The God Delusion" and a Christian apologetic book. But the only one you want to talk about is the unnamed Christian apologetic book. It doesn't seem to me that you are sincerely questioning the existence of god. It looks as if you are swayed more by half-baked Christian apologetics than the use of reason to cast off ancient superstitions. Why is that?


Ya totally sounds suspicious to me too. Who DOESN'T use Amazon to buy books? I mean, the only people I have ever seen at Barnes and Noble were hipster coffee snobs and certainly not flaming religious people. Seems fishy.


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03-05-2017, 06:30 PM
RE: What is the meaning of life for an atheist?
(03-05-2017 06:19 PM)treefireguy Wrote:  
(03-05-2017 05:31 PM)Rachel Wrote:  Quick question: you say you went to B&N for Dawkins and allegedly bought "The God Delusion" and a Christian apologetic book. But the only one you want to talk about is the unnamed Christian apologetic book. It doesn't seem to me that you are sincerely questioning the existence of god. It looks as if you are swayed more by half-baked Christian apologetics than the use of reason to cast off ancient superstitions. Why is that?


Ya totally sounds suspicious to me too. Who DOESN'T use Amazon to buy books? I mean, the only people I have ever seen at Barnes and Noble were hipster coffee snobs and certainly not flaming religious people. Seems fishy.


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Its not that unusual mate, I never use the internet to buy anything so you'd definitely find me haunting a book shop.
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