As An Atheist Can Your Life Have Purpose and Meaning?

I was wondering what other people thought about this.

I realize we weren't born with a purpose. No creator or "higher calling".

But as a non believer can your life have meaning and purpose without god?

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 We are born without purpose, and we are free to make our own. My purpose is to make sure my nieces have someone who's there for them. Their love of me gives me meaning.

 Similar with my friends and other members of my family. The respect I've earned, the worth I hold to them, gives me meaning.

 

Why can't Life be the meaning ... to live our lives?

Pandora, on occasional visits to a hospital over many months, I saw a man lying on a gurney with his eyes closed and his mouth sagging open.

Surely you define life as more than that. Give it a try. What does a life require?

Good point, Pandora ... To "live" lives free from religious tyranny allows for their fullest expression and (potentially) garners greatest meaning. So my response is yes, life can be the meaning, and living our lives, truly living them, contributes to them enormously. Tho I speak from my own experience, I'm fairly sure many others experience similar.

Thanx Chuck. I kinda think it's the simplest way to look at it.

Life is the point!

;-}

My purpose in life is to get my two kids through college. To read as many good books as possible. To oppose war. To warn people about our catastrophic environmental deterioration. to enjoy as many excellent beers as possible..in moderation of course. I dont need religion for any of this.

Bobh, Excellent.  Your raison d'etre and my own overlap greatly.  My only addition would be the contributions to happiness of the fairer sex. 

Alan, based on what I have read the earliest christians were into drugs big time. And religions predating christianity likewise.

Glen, it goes back a lot further than the early Christians.  I’ve done much research on this subject in preparation for Mirror Reversal.  Just as I recently wrote that fundamentalists have a hard time accepting that we evolved from apes, the human genome makes it evident we evolved from viruses.  As far as drugs go, our early hominid stages were mushroom eaters—hence enthusiasts of psilocybin. 

Since around 1990, I’ve been a big fan of Terence McKenna, a great man who, like Carl Sagan and Chris Hitchens, was taken from us way too early.  My “atheist novel” is dedicated to him and he is even a character in the story.  Anyone who is interested in this tread on teleology and evolutionary biology, should consider watching one of Terence’s videos for an enlightening experience.

"...we evolved from apes...."

I regularly tell fundamentalists that we humans and today's apes evolved from a common ancestor.

We and today's viruses also have common ancestors, but these ancestors are billions of years older.

Richard, anything to promote escape from our routine. Diana Agorio, an author and contributor to this site, writes about drug use of early christians and prechristian faiths. Some wild shit.

Also about sacrifice and homosexual practices that were considered "out there" by the romans. The hypocrisy of it all is comical.

I've have read widely and deeply in history, mythology, and philosophy. I keep coming back to the extistentialists. Life has the meaning we give it. I think this is true regardless of whether you try to think things through on your own or you buy into an elaborate social construct like religion and let others do your thinking for you. In either case, humans are attempting to give their life meaning.

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