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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Moses and His Writings

I’ve written of this subject before, but no one seems to know the answer to it. If some Christian scholar out there in the ‘ether’ reads this and has a response. I would appreciate hearing from you.

Genesis 11:31. This verse describes Abraham as living in the city of Ur, and associates that location with the Chaldean’s. However archaeological evidence indicates that the Chaldean’s did not exist as a tribe at the time of Abraham, or Moses, for that matter; they rose to power as much as 1000 years later.

“And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.”

Genesis 14:14: This verse refers to Abram pursuing some surviving kings of Sodom and Gomorrah to the city of Dan. However the archaeology says that place name did not exist until at least 300 years later

“And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants,
born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.”

So is there any evangelical fundamentalist theist out there that can explain how Moses can be writing about these things long before they existed. Sure seems to be proof that Moses was redacted, revised or otherwise rewritten. So, that would mean that the Pentateuch was not clearly written by Moses, and is likely not the ‘Inspired Word of God.’ It was tampered with probably sometime after the Jews return from exile, as by then ‘Ur of the Chaldee’s’ was properly used and the original city of Laish…was renamed Dan.

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Science…True…God…Not?

I have fielded lots of questions about beliefs in God and science. One person in particular had some questions that were similar to ones I hear all the time and that intrigued me. I thought I would make a column.

He writes:
” What do you do with the flaws in your faith-system? Is it adequate to you when the dogma of the last decade is replaced by the new and improved dogma of this decade? Not being negative, just asking. I am curious about how the new knowledge supercedes the old knowledge. And what about those who choose to cling to the old knowledge and call the new stuff heresy? ”

Like all inquiry of a scientific nature, if you put a theory out there, expect an immediate attack by your fellows…in your field. Those that have heavy intellectual baggage in one theory or another will probably give you grief. Those that don’t have hard opinions on your methodology yet OR are investigating something not quite on your target will wait till more evidence comes in. But, ultimately your stuff has to stand up to very close examination, and be repeatable by others, or many leaders in the field need to agree (not an easy thing to achieve). As a scientist you cannot just throw something out there and expect it will immediately be believed as true.

The reasons you are seeing sooo much change nowadays, is that investigational tools, new methods, computer technology, and the shear number of new investigational people is exploding. Like all scientific exploration, new work will have to stand-up to many people critiquing it before it is widely accepted in the community of science. Dating methodology for example has been put through the wringer, and is proven many times over…even though evangelical fundamentalists don’t believe it, and stand on their head trying to prove it wrong, and have been known to lie about the science.

He writes:
“I know the modernization of knowledge is inherent in the scientific inquiry process. If this is the foundation of your belief system, does it sometimes feel like you are standing on shifting sand? (Serious question).”

To the contrary, I feel pretty safe in believing what I do. I have been following science for about 50 years and I have seen the progression of science in the archaeological, and other earth sciences, from immediately disturbing and collecting of everything in sight; to today’s careful, methodical work that returns infinitely more information.

I have seen and followed the combining of different disciplines to attack old problems, people from widely divergent cultures unite and share information and life’s work. In short, I have been witness to an unbelievable explosion of knowledge and unity.

Even when governments and religions are at odds with each other…the scientists of each country and religion continue to work with each other. If anything the scientists are the ones setting the good examples of how to behave towards each other. Differing religions are continually at odds with each other unless science mediates

I feel that the believers in that old Hebrew God myth are the ones standing on quicksand. The basis (old myths and stories that are proven untrue) for their faith is being eroded day by day.

He writes:
“And I am curious about the flaws you have found in the Bible. Is there something I should know about? (Another serious question).”

Well over a hundred inconsistent stories or verses contradicting each other. Some stories being proven totally untrue, known manipulation of the contents of Scripture and the Bible, many anachronisms, wrong interpretations, Paul probably ‘inventing’ the religious theology behind Christianity. I found some independently, but most were found by Biblical scholars.

Jesus was probably a true historical person, but was he magical?

If we’re talking about a real God…the logic that should be evident…is missing. And yes, I can define the logic behind a God. Anyone can…as long as it is real logic.

There are no supernatural or magical forces in the world or universe today. Everything you see follows physical laws, even if we don’t quite know what they are yet.

Probably the most serious flaw is the religion itself. It lacks logic. The belief that a God–that created the whole universe–chooses to only reveal himself only to a wandering tribe of Hebrews, many tens or hundreds of thousands of years after humans evolved, and not tell the rest of the world, and stays mostly hidden to millions of people for such a long time is just silly and illogical. And yes I can define the logic of it.

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Religion Wants to Destroy Science

If the Church wants to be successful in changing society’s attitudes toward abortion, pornography, and homosexuality, it is going to have to fight the issue at a foundational level. The foundational basis of evolution needs to be destroyed and the foundational basis of creation restored to its rightful place of importance. Ken Ham, founder, Answers in Genesis (AiG) (science is the foundational basis of evolution)

Ken Ham is arguably one of the most dangerous men in America. He resorts to lies to achieve his ends. His objective is nothing less than the dumbing down and destruction of the American people and society through smothering the minds of our children and the creativity and inquisitiveness we as a society display. As can be gathered from the quote above he wants the sciences to be destroyed and from his other writings he advocates a kind of primal religious teaching of our children and a religiously controlled government.

Ken Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis and a firm believer and marketer of “creation science”, or Young Earth Creationism (YEC), both of which are early illegitimate cousins of “Intelligent Design”. His real…ultimate goal is to convert the world to his brand of Christianity…whether they want to or not. He is also the ‘owner/operator’ of the ‘Creation Museum’ in Petersburg, Kentucky, a venue he uses to indoctrinate children and their parent and teacher visitors into his version of the “Truth.”

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Since America has the highest percentage of dupe’s religious believers, he is correct in targeting the US first. It is a sad fact that we have a very high number of really dumb citizens…witness Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” skit on the Tonight Show.

Ham believes that the first book of the Bible…Genesis, is the very foundation of Christianity and it is the literal truth of all human reality. The universe, earth, and humanity are only 6000 or so years old. This is societal and scientific heresy of the highest order.

This man believes that acceptance of evolution, homosexuality, abortion, pornography, racism, use of drugs, and more are directly related…go hand in hand, so his stated solution to solving these problems is the destruction of science.

This, to my mind, is a problem of the first order. Fundamentalist, Evangelical religions are subtly advocating the destruction of the very foundations of our modern society. They advocate the fulfillment of their apocalyptic visions of life. They are trying to make their vision of life self-fulfilling.

We know from history that Christianity (Islam also) has been associated with, or responsible for, or supported; sexual abuse, torture, murder, fraud, deceit, infanticide, slavery, racism, genocide, and probably more I can’t think of right now. We also know from history that secular controlled governments can be responsible for the above-mentioned shameful behavior, but most secular governments can and eventually do change, unlike religions, which are cast in stone.

Do you really think a God, or Jesus, would approve the kind of deception and dishonesty that Ken Ham…and those like him…are using to delude us? Do you think a true religion and a true God would need the manipulations these people are using?

I don’t.

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth. Henry Louis Mencken, American journalist, (1880-1956)

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Sunday Sermon for Non-Believers

Sunday sermon

Man was essentially spread over the whole earth by 10,000BC. The evidence is totally overwhelming and incontrovertible. The only way fundamentalists, evangelicals, creationists, and intelligent design proponents get around this fact is by denial. The “proofs” they forward to support their beliefs are not real, and they fall apart when people who are schooled in the subject review the “proofs” If they were to accept real science the made-up world view they have collapses and they know it.

All the mumbo-jumbo that the world theologists try to smother us in, is just that, mumbo-jumbo. It’s witchcraft, or Voodoo of the highest order; it’s looking at entrails to divine the future…and the past.

The world history that is real is laid out by science…and involves time spans that are hard to grasp, and a beginning of life that involves no gods. We and our world are the stuff of stars. Look out at the universe sometime, use a telescope; you’ll see nothing but stars and gas. The chemistry of life is the stuff all around us, and we keep trying to find the recipe.

There is no serious scientist on earth who believes the earth and humanity, and by extension the whole Universe, has only been around only some 6,000 years. Our world is Ooold. In the real world this is known with a certainty that gets stronger every year. The evidence does not go up and down, it goes up only. It is known with a certainty that transcends any religious thought or exegesis.

The well-known religious thinkers and writers down through time were furthering the cause for their own careers. They were writing and espousing feelings and superstitions that were simply nonexistent. There never was any tangible “gods” All they had was writing, not evidence that could be examined. All they were doing was duping the population for their own furtherance…that’s all most ministers, priests, and rabbis are doing now…they are supporting superstition or magic and involving you.

It has been true down through time that religion has to fight harder and harder to get educated people to believe. Not just the Christian God, but all others. Christianity keeps reinvented itself, trying to keep it’s relevance in a world that surpassed it several centuries ago. Religion tries it’s best to keep woman/man in their clutches. Read your history, religion kills to keep you on the straight and narrow path…not now…but not long ago. (actually after some thought I have to say it is still killing today…think Muslim. They worship the same god…they say.)

Religion would have you believe that a theocratic form of government is needed to save our society, our country. It’s been tried before and didn’t work very well. Just think about the consequences of such a thing. Would you want the religious police stalking around looking into your life? How many out there are truly righteous and “sin” free at all points in their life? If you think praying to Jesus after every sin works, then you are truly helpless. Do you want to look over your shoulder to see if anyone is watching before you stare at that beautiful young woman passing by you? Do you want someone else deciding what you can read, or filtering what news you can see? Do you really want Pontiffs or deacons deciding what your child learns in school?

If I try to envision a country world ruled by religion, I think about Muslims, third world deterioration, a world that is gray and truly with out soul. Where men kill women over “honor”. Where children are taught not to use their inventiveness and imagination. Where you are careful about what you say, you cannot express a curiosity about the world because it is already explained in terms that you are not allowed to question. I think I would commit suicide.

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Genocide in Iraq

If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – “It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.” – “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” – James Madison

The American war strike and occupation in Iraq has resulted in the deaths of anywhere from 100,000 to over 1 million Iraqi people and the probable displacement of perhaps 4 million from their homes….depending on who you believe. But, they’re only Iraqi’s, who cares….the oil is there.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

Of course a lot of these deaths were Iraqi to Iraqi violence (maybe 25%) that was brought about by our killing the people in charge of the infrastructure, and the consequent rush to fill this power vacuum. We, of course, knew this would happen and had good plans to counter it…But, the oil is there.

Iraq is now pumping more oil than they did pre-war…We have dibs on it…We have augmented our national strategic reserve…Who directly profits from this fact?

There are some rumors floating around the Internet that the Bush White House is playing loose with the numbers of our soldiers killed in the war. But, we have taken out a threat to our country, who had Weapons of Mass Destruction…Right?

Hey, if your son or daughter comes back in a coffin how do you keep track of the others that came back the same. There is no transparency about this matter, we have to trust our government to tell the truth. But, we have taken out a threat to our country, who had Weapons of Mass Destruction…Right?

We have made the area more stable and now have many friends there….Right?
We have made the world safer for our children, haven’t we?

Now we will be staying there for the foreseeable future, spending untold Billions of dollars on top of the near Trillion dollars we have already spent….But, the oil is there. Who directly profits from this fact?

Could it be the 2 oilmen in charge of our country….Naw…..we know they are honorable men.
They would never mislead us, lie to us, or sell us out to Big Oil. It’s not their fault that gas is over $3.00 a gallon.
They are honest men and will look out for us….Right?
Those rumors about Daddy Bush, the Saudi’s, and The Carlyle Group weren’t true….Right?
Those rumors about Halliburton weren’t true….Right?

We can trust our leaders….Right??