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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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>Though this applies to Fundamentalists in all beliefs, even empiricism.

An excellent point, DD, and one we should all constantly bear in mind.

Jung was a unique human of true wisdom. I would guess if he were somehow magically resurrected, a ten-minute glimpse of the 21st century would instantly drive him insane with horror.

If we’re to grow up as a species, we need to address the systems that infantilize us.
-- TheraminTrees

I think my life can have many legitimate purposes; especially if I take responsibility for naming and aiming for my goals instead of playing sortiledge with a sock puppet deity. Having a god to look to for answers is about as destructive as having a corporation to dictate your life's work.

I had lost interest in this thread.  It seemed our answers to this stupid question were becoming redundant.  That is, Clarence, until you so kindly gave me the word 'sortiledge'!  Thank you!  Enjoying the beauty of the English language is a great pleasure for me.  In return, Kind Sir, I give you the mellifluous phrase 'splenetic polemic'.  May it slide gracefully from your tongue and pen!

I also love running into a new word. I give you cacoethes, especially appropriate for this column. It denotes "an irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or action."

A hearty THANKS to you, too, Mr. Brautigan!

As an atheist can my life have purpose and meaning without god? Well, let's see. I'm retired and haven't worked in 2014 at all until yesterday, but all of us need extra money. There's never enough money to fully retire. Yesterday I started part time deliveries with a local company  and now have 3 days off. I'll go back a day and have more time off. Easy work, nice people. My work mentor says it will turn into the best job of my life and leave me lots of free time to enjoy myself. He's training me now and he really loves it. I see no discrimination with age or otherwise. I have a feeling of pride in knowing that I can do this without anxiety or worries about a sky daddy. God has nothing to do with it. My goals are being met.

Hey Michael - I am glad you got a part time job you enjoy. And yes god has nothing to do with your goals in life. You make your own goals.

Absolutely  Steph.......If our life  didn't  have purpose or meaning  then Atheism  would be a sham.....It is because  we do  that  we can show  that a good  fulfilling life  is possible  without a god in it.......Knowledge gives  us purpose...The more we learn, especially through science, the more  questions  we have and the more  we want to learn.....I am a retired  pharmacist  of 40 years, and my life  was very fulfilling ...Just knowing I was helping  people and making  their  lives  better gave me much pride.....I never expected some   deity  in the sky  to help me out.....I  worked  hard  and saved  my money and eventually everything  came  together.....Praying  to something or someone is a waste of time.....Doing and taking   control  of your life is the way to go......If you need help then  go to a professional with  knowledge and experience  to guide you along.......

sor·ti·lege noun \ˈsȯr-tə-lij, -ˌlej\
Definition of SORTILEGE

1: divination by lots
2: sorcery
Origin of SORTILEGE
Middle English, from Medieval Latin sortilegium, from Latinsortilegus foretelling, from sort-, sors lot + -i- + legere to gather — more at legend
First Known Use: 14th century

"Sortilege." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sortilege>" target="_blank">http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sortilege>;.

I could find no other dictionary that defined sortilege.
Thanks for the new word Clarence!

Le  sortilège is a French noun meaning magic spell. In English it is a loan word, which may be why few dictionaries define it. Spanish has sortilegio with the exact same meaning, but the Italian word sortilegio means sorcery.

The Merriam-Webster etymology seems slightly wrong. The verb lego in Latin is the correct root and it does have the meaning to gather, but it also means to read out, and that is more likely the meaning here. Sortilegium is reading the lots, not collecting them.

Maurice Ravel wrote a one act opera, L'Enfant et Les Sortilèges—The child and the magic spells, to a libretto by the novelist Colette. It's often given for children. Animals and furniture have parts and the role of the child is sung by a mezzo. The Metropolitan Opera has done it on a double bill with a one act opera by Poulenc.

I love Maurice Ravel! I will listen to the piece today.  Hasn't this been fun! How delightful it can be to be completely free to set our own goals, pursue our own interests, and live according to the sensible, ethical principles that make rational sense to us!  Now, back to my godless, meaningless life, happily bereft of any Holy or unholy ghosts!

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