My god is music. I cherish it just like any Theist would cherish a crusifix. I fully believe your life is what you make it. Just because there isn't a god above looking down on you doesn't mean you life is worthless. Every one of us is stacked, completely chalk full of reasons to live. Don't let people tell you that you have no purpose. Those people are blinded by their so called god. I swear sometimes the most judgemental people are the ones sitting front row at their churches Sunday Mass. They pray to a god for guidance and peace, but yet they lash out on others because your ideals colide.
It doesn't dawn on everybody that if there was a god he would be watching as you took a crap every morning. That would be pretty freaky!
Yesterday I came out as a non-believer to my theist friend of 54 years. He couldn't beleive that I had "turned against god" and even asked me how my life had "meaning and purpose" without god.
Does that mean this guy has no hobbies or interests on his own? He has nothing that he likes to do. Believers are robots to their own apologetics.
That belief in a god adds purpose and meaning to peoples lives is a fallacy. They may well believe these things, but what purpose does it serve to be led by the nose by your imagination? As for giving life a meaning, lives are meant to be lived in the flesh, warts and all, what meaning can we attach to living in a religious trance? Looking for meaning and purpose was what led humanity up the garden path of religion in the first place.
People do find life purposeful as Frank explained regarding medical research, but equally many people go through life without purpose or meaning, and live happy go lucky lives, free of the haughty morality of religion.
Your purpose and meaning in life has the value that you give it. Nobody can assign you a purpose or meaning. YOU are the only person who can do that for yourself.
Mike, I agree 100%
Jonathan Haidt has studied the "righteous mind" and came up with six themes that people rely on in making moral decisions: care, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority and sanctity. As a rough breakdown, liberals and skeptics place more value on care, fairness, and liberty, while those on the conservative, believing side give higher value to loyalty, authority, and sanctity.
On that basis your friend may see you now as disloyal to your community, rejecting established and legitimate authority, and violating the sanctity of life.
Yes, Haidt defines these themes clearly and explains why conflict arises for me when dealing with conservatives. My brush makes a wide sweep, and I respond from observing these trends.
Haidt undervalues reason because he thinks people don't use it in making moral decisions, but the counter argument there is that they should use it more often and in a better way.
So many adults do not know how to think critically. That is the first and beginning thing I taught in life skills training, whether it was boys at the boys' ranches, inmates in prison, parents in parent training classes, or my freshman college students. It is not difficult to teach. Sadly parents who do not know how to think critically cannot teach their children how to reason. Some teachers don't know either.
The worst students were those who had learned that obedience was a high value. Following instructions, seeking authorities, looking outside themselves presented barriers to independent thought.
The best students seeking critical thinking were the science-oriented ones. They developed habits of paying attention to what occurred, they looked for patterns, and they made connections in their observations.
Frank, I agree.
"I'm not a fan of the idea of purpose, because it implies a mission bequeathed by some external thing."
Being a christian, looking for god' purpose for my life created all kinds of stresses in me. Once I realized there was no god, there was no assigned purpose, I create my purpose. The adventure of reaching inside me when making decisions or solving problems resulted in a happier and more fulfilling life. I am the author of me. You are your author.