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.
Reply to Glen...I don't doubt it. There's a very powerful hallucinogen that grows in the Middle East - probably the source of many a prophetic vision. But what happened? They wanted their rituals to be the only path to a psychedelic experience?
Write4u, we can see your statement, “Native americans used peyote and mescaline for centuries in their rituals”, is true in the speech of Chief Seattle’s before congress in 1854. If anyone is unfamiliar, it’s worth your time. Brings out our connection with the planet.
What a sad irony that his people had it right all the time and had to suffer at the hands of the opportunistic invaders.
He states a thesis of mine that I’ve written about for decades. “If all the beasts were gone mankind would suffer from a great loneliness of spirit.” I’ve recently written elsewhere on these pages, there are only 264 species of monkey left. If the gorilla goes extinct, people will hate one another even more than now.
It’s been my Lament of Tieresias. I predicted it but can’t do anything about it.