Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

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derrick09
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Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#1

Post by derrick09 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:54 pm

Hello, another general question I have about atheists and this can be for atheists to respond to or for Christians who have a lot of experience in dealing with atheists. How do atheists expect themselves or others to find meaning and purpose in life when meaning and purpose are eliminated when you take God out of the equation? From what I've researched thus far, atheists either flat out say there is no meaning in life, or they tell you to just make up your own meaning and purpose. But since the former is miserable and the latter is foolish, how do atheists expect human beings to fill that purpose and meaning void that God used to fill (or in my personal view, should fill)? My only guess is for neuroscientists to find out what specific area or chemical in the brain produces these desire and either find a way to eliminate them or to find a chemical or mechanism to fulfill that desire. Let me know what you all think. Thanks and God bless. :wave:
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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#2

Post by Gabrielman » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:45 pm

From what I have gathered from them, the only reason for life is to reproduce. So basically there is no point. The idea here is you want to pass on your genes so that your kind can live on. However I fail to see why anyone would care, as when you are dead (in the atheist ideology) nothing happens, you are just dead. And I highly doubt genes are conscious beings that know they want to live on. So all in all, the reasoning seems meaningless, life pointless. One would have to ask why anything is alive to begin with. According to them, it is all just one big accident, and there fore there is no reason to live other than to die. Very depressing if you ask me... And reproducing doesn't fully answer why we are alive, because as I stated above you have nothing to gain or lose if you reproduce, it really will not effect you at all. However, I think it would be nice if one of them answered as well, there is always the chance I am wrong!
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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#3

Post by derrick09 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:40 pm

Gabrielman wrote: However, I think it would be nice if one of them answered as well, there is always the chance I am wrong!

Personally, I think it's a very slim chance that you are wrong, I've been asking them these kinds of things for quite some time and so far I've only got the same answers you have given. What's interesting though, many of today's atheists want people to STOP spreading their genes. Since many of them are far left environmental extremeists who believe in population reduction (ie that the earth can only comfortably support about two billion people) they urge everyone to cut back on having children in order to either help save the planet or to ensure that there is plenty of "stuff" to go around for themselves. It's also interesting to note that yesterday's hostage situation at the Discovery Channel headquarters involved a person who held to that very philosophy. Scary stuff!
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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#4

Post by Gabrielman » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:50 pm

derrick09 wrote:What's interesting though, many of today's atheists want people to STOP spreading their genes. Since many of them are far left environmental extremeists who believe in population reduction
:pound: Maybe they should stop reproducing and then we will not have a problem with having to deal with their ideas!!!! They will all be gone!!!!!!

But I am glad I could be of some help to you!!!

God Bless!!!!
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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#5

Post by smiley » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:37 pm

Well, to begin with, not all atheists are pure naturalists. There are atheists who believe in an after-life.

But since you're probably wondering about the former, I would say, the fact that they have no meaning in some universal, eternal sense, doesn't mean that they have no meaning at all. And so, while the believer's purpose in life is to prepare for an after-life where he will live happily everafter with God, theirs is to live happy, fulfilling lives here.

Watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDp3m7sc ... re=related

I don't agree with everything he says, but he does manage to get his "no eternal significance =/= no significance at all" point across.
"Imagine if we picked the wrong god. Every time we go to church, we're just make him madder and madder." - Homer Simpson

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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#6

Post by derrick09 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:56 pm

How can you be an atheist and believe in life after death? What kind of life after death are they referring to? A person's future as worm food? Does this have anything to do with the late atheist philosopher AJ Ayers? Just curious. Thanks. :wave:
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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

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Post by smiley » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:29 am

derrick09 wrote:How can you be an atheist and believe in life after death? What kind of life after death are they referring to? A person's future as worm food? Does this have anything to do with the late atheist philosopher AJ Ayers? Just curious. Thanks. :wave:
All I know is that the statistical fact of the matter is that nearly 50% of individuals who describe themselves as atheists or agnostics believe in some kind of life after death, and even Heaven and Hell.

How? I don't know, there are many bizarre, non-theistic cults out there.
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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#8

Post by jlay » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:39 am

This is why we have to be careful of our terms. What atheisism means to you may not be the same to me. In fact the term, new atheism, better describes some of the folks like Dawkins and Hitchens and their bunch. There are people who may reject the notion of a creator God, but believe in spiritualism. A big difference, but both could be categorized as atheist. One is interested in disproving God, the other not so much. Will cross paths with the former on this forum more than the latter.

Regarding purpose and meaning. Of course to the new atheist, that would all be relative purpose and meaning. There is no purpose outside of consciousness. The universe was born out of nothing and will eventually return. Kind of funny why many of these people are environmentalists as well. Not consistent. And all of their inconsistencies tear down their position. They will, in their own ignorance, cling to objective morality, truth meaning, and purpose, and thus undermine their own thinking. That is why a brilliant man like Hawking can make a statement that is nothing short of absurd.
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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#9

Post by humblesmurph » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:34 am

This is only my third post, so there may be a delay. Sorry if this pops up at a stupid time, but being an atheist, I thought it appropriate to post here.

The atheists I know aren't concerned with disproving God. They just don't see a connection between the consequences of a Godless Universe and the actual existence of God. Simply put, even if the atheist believed that their's is a bleak and hopeless existence without God, that belief says nothing about whether there actually is one. That's a separate question.

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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#10

Post by B. W. » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:44 pm

humblesmurph wrote:This is only my third post, so there may be a delay. Sorry if this pops up at a stupid time, but being an atheist, I thought it appropriate to post here.

The atheists I know aren't concerned with disproving God. They just don't see a connection between the consequences of a Godless Universe and the actual existence of God. Simply put, even if the atheist believed that their's is a bleak and hopeless existence without God, that belief says nothing about whether there actually is one. That's a separate question.
That's a good point you bring up. I would say that the majority of atheists are not concerned about disproving God. The mititant atheists are the ones that do and grab all the headlines. Most - like to be left alone to live life as best they can midst the backdrop of a bleak and hopeless existence without any purpose y:-?
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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#11

Post by humblesmurph » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:12 pm

B. W. wrote:
humblesmurph wrote:This is only my third post, so there may be a delay. Sorry if this pops up at a stupid time, but being an atheist, I thought it appropriate to post here.

The atheists I know aren't concerned with disproving God. They just don't see a connection between the consequences of a Godless Universe and the actual existence of God. Simply put, even if the atheist believed that their's is a bleak and hopeless existence without God, that belief says nothing about whether there actually is one. That's a separate question.
That's a good point you bring up. I would say that the majority of atheists are not concerned about disproving God. The mititant atheists are the ones that do and grab all the headlines. Most - like to be left alone to live life as best they can midst the backdrop of a bleak and hopeless existence without any purpose y:-?
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As for the militant atheists, they disagree about the burden of proof. Dawkins, Hitchens, and Dennett offer no proof that there is no God. They hold the position that the burden of proof lies with the theist. They do seem to have a problem with religion though. I don't think it prudent to discuss their problems on a forum such as this.

I don't believe that I live a life of hopeless existence without any purpose. I define my own purpose.

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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

#12

Post by warhoop » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:18 pm

humblesmurph wrote: I don't believe that I live a life of hopeless existence without any purpose. I define my own purpose.
How do you do that? How do you define your own purpose?

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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

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Post by humblesmurph » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:28 pm

warhoop wrote:
humblesmurph wrote: I don't believe that I live a life of hopeless existence without any purpose. I define my own purpose.
How do you do that? How do you define your own purpose?

I'm not sure what you mean. I'll try to answer. I decide what is important to me and I pursue it. Happiness, harmony, and fairness are all pretty high on the list.

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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

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Post by zoegirl » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:16 pm

But what happens when someone else who views their own needs above others comes along? What would justify you condemning their sense, or lack of, "fairness".

If there is no significance to "fairness", if all is fair in love and war...as evolutionary philosophy would essentially declare, then how would you justify you forcing your idea of fairness onto others?
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Re: Meaning and purpose to Atheists...

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Post by humblesmurph » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:42 pm

zoegirl wrote:But what happens when someone else who views their own needs above others comes along? What would justify you condemning their sense, or lack of, "fairness".

If there is no significance to "fairness", if all is fair in love and war...as evolutionary philosophy would essentially declare, then how would you justify you forcing your idea of fairness onto others?
Fairness I guess does need to be in quotes. We can really only define fairness in reference to what we agree upon beforehand. I live in a society that has a system of laws that for the most part, is fair. I try to make my actions consistent with these laws. If somebody came along and decided his needs were above mine, I guess we'd have to appeal to the law to decide. By living in a particular society, you implicitly agree to live by the laws of the land.

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