What is the Purpose and Meaning of Life For an Atheist

About a year ago a evangelical Christian wrote to me and wanted to know how my life could have purpose or meaning without God

He writes:
“Hey, I have a question for you. What is the purpose and meaning of life?”

A big part of my purpose is to love and support my family and friends.

I think my purpose in life is kind of Darwinian…to pass on the knowledge of the past and present and to further the dispersion of the species, and to work to insure the survival of not only my offspring, but all of humanity. Further I think it is incumbent on all of us to work to alleviate pain and suffering in our world, to help those in need, to continually be learning and working to make our world safe for all of us.

We have only this life and we need to make the best possible use of it. We as a people need to learn that life is a fragile and beautiful thing and needs constant reinforcement and support from all of us from the greatest to the most vulnerable. We must learn to treat our world and environment with greater respect and do our part to stop the degradation of our only home in the cosmos.

I can tell you what it is NOT…”Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” Just how egotistical is your God anyway?

If it were all up to Christian and Muslim religion we would be setting around on our butts waiting for Armageddon or some such crud. Research and learning would be a thing of the past…why research anything…God did it. We would enter another dark-age and the spirit of mans intellect, that glow in the dark vastness of the universe, would be extinguished forever…all for nothing…as there is no God.

I truly fear for this world as there are forces afoot conspiring to end civilization as we know it, and there is serious effort behind this plot. If religion is allowed to stand we are doomed as a people.
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About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

4 Responses to What is the Purpose and Meaning of Life For an Atheist

  1. irlgirllol says:

    I adore your reasoning. Religion should have died a long time ago and it is holding back intellectual and moral evolution of the human species.

  2. thewordofme says:

    Hello irlgirllol, thanks for writing

    Thanks for the nice thought.
    I couldn’t agree more about religion holding humanities evolution back. Just think of how the church nearly killed off any progress in the sciences from about 400 AD to the 1800’s. The church ruled over practically everything that man/women-kind did. They killed as many as 3 million “witches” in the dark ages. Anyone who disagreed with their dogma was suspect and one could get themselves killed by strong disagreement.

    They finally got around to forgiving Galileo for saying the sun revolved the earth instead of vice-versa just a few years back.

    If the churches hadn’t held science back so strongly we probably would have gone to the moon in the 1700’s. 🙂

  3. findanoutlet says:

    As if. As if belief in god holds the key to the meaning of life! How much will people take? A lot it seems. It’s unbelievable how smart humans are about inventing stuff and how stupid they are about religion, an invention of human degradation.

    I have a hard time wrapping my mind around people talking about their “faith” in a make-believe concept, yet one that seems to give some people some comfort. Not because it’s real, but because they think it’s real. Is it like a disease, believers can’t help they have it?

    I think the meaning of life should be, for everybody, to try to leave the world a better place than you found it, which is basically what you’re saying. If each of us strives to be more, do more, and give more, just think of the progress we could make as a small planet.

    We definitely seem to be going backwards at the present time though…

    Did you see this today, the Washington Post pulling a cartoon because it mentions the word “Muhammed”…wow this wasn’t as easy to find as you would think. See how they do that? The only people carrying this story are the “jihadwatch” type blogs, and Fox News!

    http://gawker.com/5661042/cowardly-washington-post-censors-cartoonist-out-of-blind-fear
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/10/11/cartoonist-seeing-red-muhammad-cartoon-yanked/

    D.

  4. thewordofme says:

    Hello findanoutlet, good to talk to you.

    People of religion always tell everyone that if there were no God life would not be worth living, or we would all go out and kill and rape and pillage. I have even had someone tell me on this blog that if not for their religion they would be out killing. I find this the height of stupidity and I really don’t think they are telling the truth. Peer pressure, the force of law and innate human intelligence, however small, should tell most people that they have to conform to certain rules of behavior or suffer the consequences. The people out killing and pillaging are the sociopaths that have no feelings for anyone…

    When people sound off and profess their faith to me I too have a hard time keeping a straight face. ;-} I have a friend who believes very strongly in the myths of Genesis and the whole Pentateuch…you know: Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, Tower of Babel, the Exodus, and so forth. I had an opportunity to talk with him about religion and these myths and was able to very briefly describe some of the evidence against these things. He just flatly refused to take any of the proofs as factual and I was flabbergasted. I treasure this man as a friend so I went no further, but I was unsettled about his complete refusal to learn anything more about his faith. He just went so far and anything else was untruth.

    Amen (smiling) to people leaving a place better than they found it. I have tried to instill this in all my children (it worked…mostly) and let my friends know that that’s how I feel about things. I am not pedantic about it, just positive in actions and outlook. Yes, think of the progress we could achieve if we didn’t always think everything had to revolve around us.

    I saw the cartoon in my paper I think. This is just one little clue about Islam and its insinuation into our culture. Taking the Islam view of propriety instead of using our free speech credo to decide print/no-print.

    twom

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