What is your purpose for living if not to please a god or as a test to get to never-never-land? If you take away religion, which is really a series of claims of knowledge by other people, what do you put in it's place (and I'm not talking about the abstract like logic and evidence nor am I asking if you can be good w/o god - to which the answer is obvious). What actual rules to live by do you use as a guide? Do you think life has a purpose? Do you owe anything to other humans or humanity? Do you think we should have any goals, or just pursue hedonistic pleasure? How do you write your own holy book, or scripture or words to live by? Without weekly meetings to make you feel like an unholy POS, how do you stay on track with your life's plan especially as it relates to how you treat others?
This is a topic which has doubtless been beaten to death on atheist message boards, including here on Atheist Nexus. My own take from that discussion is, in brief:
For myself, if I have a purpose, I see it as serving myself and others as I can, as growing and learning in the directions which my interests lead me, and in enjoying this life so long as I have it.
That holds me pretty well.
Loren's take on this is well said, and I go with that too.
Obviously we should treat others the way we want to be treated. Do I have to have weekly meetings to be a productive member of society or to "give back" to the community? No. In fact, I don't see anything that says we have to do so. Theists and politicians both see this differently. You have to "give back" they say. What's wrong with me just living my life the way I want to? What is the real purpose if I'm following a sky daddy?
They say this life is preparation for the next one, and that everything has purpose and is sacred. The dead have "died in christ" and are so sacred to us. We must put them in a special place. Strange to me that you hear of cemetery excavations all the time, and they either want to move the dead or pave over everything and make a parking lot. They hope enough time has went by so that nobody will bitch or complain.
From my example it doesn't appear to me that this life has anything to do with preparing for another one after death. When you look for real examples you find that life is all about the here and now.
I use it as just another proof that the religious world doesn't really believe their own lies.
Hear, hear. It is not necessary to have a purpose. We can just enjoy the ride. However, we may find something of value, which we deem worthy of calling a purpose - an atheist doctor, for example, might find purpose in understanding human beings, and helping them to live happier, healthier lives.
I agree Gila. It is not necessary to have a purpose.
I agree Future. Why do I need to have a purpose?
A superhero might have a purpose but we are not Superman or Spiderman. If life was like a movie, you view it only from your own mind, so you must be the lead character. In time you come to see that all the others here are needed also and everything is not just about you.
What is your purpose? To live your life.