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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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.

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".

And Dr. Andy Thomson on "Psychology Of Religion"

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!


>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.

If we’re to grow up as a species, we need to address the systems that infantilize us.
-- TheraminTrees

I think my life can have many legitimate purposes; especially if I take responsibility for naming and aiming for my goals instead of playing sortiledge with a sock puppet deity. Having a god to look to for answers is about as destructive as having a corporation to dictate your life's work.




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