Meaning of Life

I’m an atheist (or an agnostic, since I lack belief in god, but don’t postulate he doesn’t exist).

As such, I have wondered about the meaning of life. I think religion gives it to many people. And I feel that many people don’t find atheism very comforting, because it supposedly makes life meaningless. But I disagree that it does.

First, I don’t think there is such a thing as objective meaning of life. Meaning is given to things by living individuals, or any beings with minds. What is the meaning of word “lame”? It’s what people say it is. What is the meaning of love? What’s the point of music? Whatever you use it for. Even if god exists and has his own meaning for your life, it doesn’t make it the objective meaning of your life. It’s still his personal meaning. You can still have your own meaning for your life, except it would be some kind of rebellion (if you assume god is of the Christian type, or something similar).

So, I don’t think you are missing out on anything if there is no god giving your life meaning. If it has no meaning, you could make your own, or let others make it for you. Perhaps the latter is what people are more comfortable with?

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2 Responses to Meaning of Life

  1. Ashley says:

    I guess you could say I’m agnostic as well. I believe in a higher being, which I call God, but I don’t think this god is everything what religion has made him/her/it out to be. I have given my life meaning and I wake up every day ready to take on the world and taking steps to accomplish goals. I try not to search too hard to find a meaning to life in general. I just enjoy it while it lasts.

  2. Jason says:

    I think people have overstated what it means for a God to have a purpose for someone’s life, generally because they read the Bible, a document from a collective culture, with individualistic eyes. A nation might be purposed for something, but the individual not so much.

    Israel might have been purposed to build a temple, or put up a city, and sometimes craftsmen of exceptional skill were dedicated for carving decorations, or crafting in gold and silver, but most people’s “purpose” was just hauling rocks. Of course it is important that the rocks got hauled, but there was no specific need for a particular person. If they hadn’t been there someone else would have hauled that rock.

    However the Christian “meaning” of life is transcendent. It is focused not just on this world but on eternity. Human beings are something more than just constructs of meat and bone. C.S Lewis wrote;

    “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which,if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilites, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – These are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously — no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner — no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.”

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