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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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.

Steph S.

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.

I agree and thank you

we create our own meaning and purpose.

Religion being one way we do that ;)

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.




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