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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We do, and we also invent meaning.

Yes Jonathan Chang we do invent meaning as well. Thanks for your reply.

I believe as a athiest that I have more meaning and purpose in my life now.I value my short time on this beautiful plant knowing that this is it ,no pearly gate or cloud in the sky after death.

@ James

Your short reply dovetails perfectly with my experience. Thank you.

I agree James. To me life is just a one time event. There is no eternity. So I have to live life to its fullest now. Its now or never.

Thank you T.A.D for your reply.

"...make it something that you really care about."

So very true, T.A.D., but can you imagine a male reasoning himself to something he really cares about?

He might trip over it, and if he's sober he might recognize what he tripped over. But reason his way to it?

Yeah, T.A.D., I dropped a bit of what a man with thinner skin than I might call misandry, and you, both sober and clever, tripped over it.

A bit of male humor partly explains it: "Why do men talk about war? It's the only time women take us seriously."

However, I didn't say men are incapable of recognizing what we care about; I said we might not reason our ways to it.

What in your comment inspired my response?

Your words, "Pick [a thing in life....] according to your interest"

After nine years in college following my interests (math, science, and a bit of law), I stumbled into a computer machinery class intended for school employees. It inspired me to enter graduate school. After writing a couple of computer programs to solve math problems I asked my professor, "People will pay me to do this?" A company in my home town made me an offer, I left school and lived a most happy life.

The woman I married had a somewhat similar experience; she told people she taught for free and took the money for getting up in the morning.

Recognition is easy; reason leads many men astray.

T.A.D., your assumptions differ markedly from my reality.

"You enter college at 18...."

While in HS the law required me to register for the draft. Rather than risk being drafted as a foot soldier, I joined the Naval Reserve. A cousin was the only one in my extended family to go to college; it was not my reality. After HS I worked for a year before a war started in Korea and the government sent me to fight in it. I survived it; the GI Bill made college possible, and at 23 I started.

"...enter college...with certain expectations.... You find purpose in work, I find purpose in hobbies and activities,...."

I expected to have to support a family...that was life then.

In grad school I met a woman whose childhood, like mine, had been unhappy and neither of us wanted children. Happily, we succeeded.

Our realities differ. So do our conclusions.



Fidd I just love the imagery in your reply. Like water erodes a mountain and runs down many paths. Beautiful! Thanks!

What does "it takes one to know one" mean?

The person who expressed criticism has similar faults to the person being criticized. This classic retort to an insult dates from the early 1900s. For example, You say she's a terrible cook? It takes one to know one! For a synonym, see pot calling the kettle black. A near equivalent is the proverbial it takes a thief to catch a thief, meaning “no one is better at finding a wrongdoer than another wrongdoer.” First recorded in 1665, it remains current.




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