Atheists in my experience are pretty diverse in their world views and ideologies. If you don't believe in god, what do you believe in? I find a great deal of meaning in science and humanism. I'm also a firm believer in democratic socialism (within a modern market context).

Please post what ever it is that has replaced god as the source of meaning and direction in your life and why it is that whatever it is "does it for you".

Nihlists are free to post as well, but I don't know why they would.

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To state what has replaced the source of meaning and direction in my life would require that I once believed in a god that gave meaning and direction in my life. If there were a god that was giving me meaning and direction I would probably still be faithful.
I'll rephrase the question.

From an existential point of view, what have you done to create meaning in your life?
well i give blood to help doctors help save lives and i donate to pro humanist/science groups to help the world and humanity better.

i also read books and blogs and try to learn lots of things to understand myself,peopleand the world better and hopefully to be able to help improve myself as a person in taking such actions.

mostly like all people its the little things in life that get me through the day an and gives me meaning really.
do you really think that all religious people think about GOD all the time to give them meaning- oh this food tastes good/bad thank you GOD lol i dont think so honestly GOD and FAITH arnt what people use to get them through everyday life.

and i too like science and humanism.

as for the total Nihlists what gets them through the day? i think it just to keep seeing people being stupid so they can have a go at them and bloody hell what stupidity lol
On my part I first, do not think life should have a meaning. I think it is sort of arrogant for humans to believe that we are entitled to rule over other creatures or that our lives should have a "meaning". I just don't think we are special, that we are just another creature that happens to have reason just like other animals have a more developed sense of smell or hearing. It might sound weird but truly that is the way I feel.

I am back in school to become a better person and to try to understand the world better. During my transition from believer to unbeliever, the more I knew or read, the saddest I'll get. Now it is different. I feel liberated. I got to the realization that life is what you make of it and you are your own ruler.
Why does giving our own lives meaning making it possible for us to believe we can rule other creatures? I think trees, plants and animals have meanings with their existence too, we are just so blind we cannot see what that could be. Sometimes maybe we just need to stop being so objective about things and just take things for what they are. What I mean is that if a tree grows at a certain place, it's gnarled by age, respect the tree, try to understand the tree and why it's there, spend it some time and figure out what will happen to the tree within the next year? Ten years? Hundred years? There is no superiority in this kind of thinking. Yes, there is superiority in the belief that the world is an object that we can learn to control, but that doesn't mean we cannot give our own lives meaning. I find a lot of meaning in musing over the faith of trees, you should try it, it's very thought-relieving actually.
It may sound silly or perhaps trite, but for me being a human being enough is exciting. I mean we have a unity of emotions, communication, and unique knowledge, like no other known current living being.
Ah, but what's the point? Unless your saying there isn't one.
Oh ok.

Hedonism then?
I love the big questions in life - How should I live? Why am I here? etc. As a life-long student of philosophy, I've become convinced that there aren't any "right" answers to such questions, there are only personal ones. The more interesting thing about it is that it took me too long to finally figure this out, that this is sufficient, and that attempting to answer these questions was itself the meaning I was after.
And neither do I think we should ample an opinion that there is indeed an answer to these questions that is general for every human being. I think such conclusions rather are very dangerous since it is proven over and over that humans are very complex beings, we cannot generalize or rationalize because we are all different in different ways.
I believe that other living things suffer.

I do what I can to lessen that suffering.

Strange how easy it is to get to this conclusion once you remove God from the equation...
I'm really enjoying everyones answers to this question. I'm in the same boat as Alberto in regards to The Big Questions. These answers are meant to be personal and tentative, the journey is what matters and that's the important thing. As for religious people thanking God for every little thing, is divine I don't think most of them do that. However in my experience, without something big to value, the little things just aren't as sweet.




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