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?

Views: 10412

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Concur, and with the point made by Laura, below, that some people use religion in creating sense of meaning and purpose.  Events in the warring Middle East testify to how virulent some of those religiously oriented beliefs can become

No creature other than humans have to ponder over the meaning and purpose of its life or being alive. the concept of meaning and purpose of life is created by men in its effort to find logical solutions to questions about mysteries of existence, which is essentially evolution of philosophy. One grows up owning a meaning and purpose of ones life according to the surrounding belief systems. At some point of time in past when humans were hunter gatherers people adopted parental professions ( way of life) and whole clan/town / village ( in given geographical space) used to have common meaning and common purpose. They did not know then that there is something called meaning and purpose of life and they lived just like the other animals who come to being and live out today. Now in this highly intellectually developed world one evolves into adult learning many things including so called meaning and purpose of life which essentially may be preferred ways of life that one has assigned oneself through unconscious processes of learning/ mimicry.     Now as atheist we come to this dilemma which makes us feel worthless. The very strange thing is that we consider ourselves special and we think there has to be meaning and purpose of our life or our being born. Leaving aside GOD and having been born without our consent we can find meaning and purpose of life through our likings and disliking and what is generally good for people around us and what gives inner peace and happiness. Choices are unlimited.

Yes! As one example, a friend sees purpose in continually learning from each other; as he puts it, "we are each other's lesson plans."

As for morality and compassion, I'll repeat what Joan Denoo said concisely in another discussion:

Morals and Ethics come from being born a social animal.

Grinning Cat created this poster and I borrowed the idea from:

Becoming Moral Where does morality come from? Does it come from rel...

"According to Divine Command Principle is that the "god" commands it.

" rape can be good
* child molesting can be good
* lies can be good
* theft can be good
* slaughter of thousands of innocent people can be good"

"Most people think that there are just some acts that are morally wrong and that no deity would command that they be done because they are not morally correct. Thus, they deny the fundamental premise of a morality based on a belief in a deity as the source for morality."

Chapter 9: Religion, Morality and Ethics

"Does a society need to have religion as the basis for morality?

* morality is not of necessity linked to religion
* religion is not of the essence of morality
* why morality is separable from religion

Do Our Values Come from God? The Evidence Says No! Victor J. Stenger

"We have taught it to ourselves. Just as God has been found superfluous in the physical and biological sciences, modern research is driving the supernatural out of our understanding of morals and values."

 

We are born with the purpose to explore.

We are born with the purpose to learn.

We are born with the purpose to understand.

We are born with the purpose to work with others.

We are born with the purpose to help others.

Why would anyone require a selfish God to find purpose

Love your reply Mark - thanks.

Mark, I like this purpose list better than mine. I organize mine into a wheel with four spokes and center arranged by the compass. 

East is Self 

South is Action

West is Other

North is Thought

Center is transcendence 

When I transcend East and West, the center is We 

When I transcend North and South, the center is Thought plus Action

Essentially Theists are still extremely Infantile.

They haven't really ventured beyond pre-school.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqBz2aRa0qE

Here is an interesting look at "The Psychology Of Religion".

Dyslexic's Dog, thanks for this site. It also leads to other studies that apply to child doctrination. 

thanks for the video - very good

Though, one thing I found fascinating is that the "Mormon Stories" site also contains genuine psychological knowledge from Dr. James Nagel.

Yes, there is a lot of interesting videos, including the following.

On Carl Jung and Arthur Shopenhauer in the ABC documentary: "Sea Of Faith".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWB8Gx2j0R0&list=PLDC7AC28FD8228DF

And Dr. Andy Thomson on "Psychology Of Religion"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L619pa1gcHY

According to fMRI experiments, evidence shows that God is a projection of ourselves.

In "Theory of Mind" experiments, when subjects are thinking of or considering what another person is thinking a different part of the brain lights up to that which is lit up by considering their own ideas/thoughts.  Thus we build mind maps of others in different parts of the prefrontal cortex to that which we use for our ourselves.

Yet, when subjects attempt to consider what God would be thinking, the same parts of the brain light up that is used for their own thoughts.  Demonstrating that God is a projection of themselves.

Thus in ways, Carl Jung is correct in stating that God is inseparable from the Self.

It appears that integration of the spiritual (implicit memories/sensibilities) and the Explicit (Reason/Active Memories) is necessary for us to truly find ourselves.

Fundamentalists are incapable of achieving such integration, as they lock out those influences that may bring them back to normality (integration), most of this is subconscious as when their irrational worldview is threatened, they implement the same epinephrine defensive mechanisms which physical threats produce.  Thus they are impervious to any belief system change.

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

Integration opens up the mind to both influences, spiritual (seemingly irrational) and rationality, thus the individual is both skeptical and flexible at the same time.

Many of us are guilty of going too much towards inflexibility and thus losing integration of the self.

Guess I've been doing to much reading on Mindfulness concepts and the use of Buddhist, body meditation (scanning) to help integrate body  and mind.

Time to Meditate!

Adieu! 

>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.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service