Gee, I hope I don't turn you off.
No way! If everyone were identical, imagine how boring life would be. I just need humor more than most.
One of my biggest thrills in the past year was finally meeting Elayne Boosler at a fundraiser for her animal rescue organization. Her intelligent comedy has been making me laugh for years. http://www.tailsofjoy.net/
Phuck no it can't, as an Atheist or any other part of the universe.
But as a non believer can your life have meaning and purpose without god?
Hmm, not in the absolute divine command sense, but yes. As a matter of fact, I would say I did not find any REAL meaning or value in life UNTIL I accepted that there was NO god. It frees one, and allows them to find actual purpose. Theists have no valuable meaning, because it is a cookie cutter kind of thing. While we are free to shape our lives however we see fit.
I agree Travis that once you get rid of religion you are allowed to find real meaning and purpose free of any superstition and myths.
But for Sartre the human freedom encapsulated in the formula existence precedes essence was problematical for individuals. The individual is dizzied by this enormous indeterminacy in his essential nature and often works to reduce it by adopting a ready made belief system such as religion or a political philosophy or by taking on a role in which he can invest his entire life. He is nauseated by the essence of objects that exist in themselves.
There are many now who are saying that we have no choice, that what we think and feel is determined whether we realize it or not. I don't quite accept this view myself, but it has become more prominent in the last few years. Instead I agree with you—it's always our choice.
I have not felt dizzy by indeterminancy. Perhaps some are. But as we are the products of our evolution in the particular reality we live in, we must be somewhat well-adapted.
Neither have I and I am inclined to think that Sartre was wrong in this aspect of his psychology. It may have been his personal experience of life, but it is not the universal experience he thought it was.
That is an easy error to make—to suppose your experience is shared by everyone else.
We needn't a reason to exist. Of all the combinations of genes, conscious and subconscious experiences we exist. That is a reason to make the most of life.
I am not a philosophy major, but I think we create our own meaning and purpose.