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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Was Jesus a Christian?

Was Jesus a Christian in his lifetime?

Very interesting book review in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper yesterday. Link Here

A new book: How Jesus Became Christian, by Canadian author Barry Wilson, 2008, Random House Canada, says: “Jesus was preaching as a Jew, a rabbi, and championed the Torah, prayed in synagogue and urged his followers to adhere strictly to Jewish law.”

Wilson says that Jesus did not want to abolish Jewish religion and life; he wanted to improve it. His followers began to think of him as a Messiah, and after his death his brother James and followers waited for him to return to create the “Kingdom of God”

After the death of James the Jesus Movement was in decline until Paul of Tarsus hijacked the cause. Paul did not know Jesus, but linked his writings, in an oblique way, to the long dead Messiah. Paul says that he received the Gospel not from man, but by “the revelation of Jesus Christ” on the road to Damascus, thru a “beam of light.” I think I saw one of Paul’s relatives on Hollywood Blvd. one day in the 1960’s.

Wilson terms “Paulinity” – “a Hellenized religion about a Gentile Christ, a cosmic redeemer” – rather than the Jewish-inspired religion of Jesus, which was embraced by the Gentiles of the Roman world in the period from the second to the fourth centuries.”

Paul is second most prolific writer in the New Testament. Authorship of 13 or 14 letters, or Pauline Epistles have been credited to him, some of which he actually wrote himself. His influence on Christianity and the New Testament has been highly underrated. Some think he invented Christianity, as we know it today.

Paul himself is very unwilling to talk about the character of his conversion, though in Galatians he uses it as authority for his independence from the apostles: Here

Paul removes his theology from Jesus’ apostles; he writes his own.

In the academic field (other than evangelicals, who insist that the bible was always the same, inerrant in all ways), there is not much doubt that the Christian writings have been changed significantly since the earliest days.

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