The meaning of life argument

Shemeji_x

Village Elder
#1
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The Argument

Religious believers often claim that life is given meaning and a sense of fulfillment when they surrender themselves to God, and also that this life is more meaningful if there is an afterlife to look forward to. They argue that life is pointless without such beliefs, and ask why an atheist should bother at all if it is all just going to end anyway.

The Refutation
Religious people often worry that life may be meaningless and imagine that it can only be redeemed by the promise of eternal happiness beyond the grave. They worry that atheists do not have this solace to fall back on. Atheists, on the other hand, tend to be quite sure that this life is precious and should be lived to the full.

The fact that some of the most high-achieving individuals in history - from Einstein to Freud to Marx to Orwell - did not need a belief in God to live lives of great direction, purpose and significance should be evidence enough of this.
Belief in a creator-god does not automatically provide life with a meaning. If a person says that religion invests their life with purpose and meaning, then they are either admitting that they are content to have serving God as the meaning of their life (what Nietsche called “slave morality”), or they are assuming and trusting that God has some genuine worthwhile purpose for them but that they may not find that purpose out until some hypothetical after-life. To an atheist it is more important to find what makes this life precious and worth living, rather than hoping that the “next one” will be better.

There is no reason to believe that life needs to be eternal in order to be meaningful. Indeed, there is evidence that quite the opposite in the case: for example, a film, a perfomance, a novel or a sporting event without end would completely lose any meaning. In the same way, we can question what would be the point of doing anything at all if we had an eternity to live, with nothing to bring it into focus and give it some urgency and poignancy.

From a purely biological perspective, the purpose of life appears to be survival and reproduction. However, most people, atheist or otherwise, would probably agree that the purpose and meaning of life needs to be more than just this, and also more than the short-term achievement of goals or the pursuit of transitory pleasure. However, what does constitute satisfaction or contentment can vary considerably from person to person. For some, a hedonistic life does provide ongoing (and not just transitory) pleasure. For others, a quiet, slow labour of love can provide deep and long-lasting satisfaction.

Having said all that, many atheists think that the question “what is the meaning of life?” is just as silly as asking “what is the meaning of a cup of coffee”, and do not believe that life has any meaning or purpose, nor that it requires one: it simply is. The Scopes Monkey Trial lawyer Clarence Darrow once said: “The purpose of life is living. Men and women should get the most they can out of their lives."
COUNTER ARGUMENTS ARE WELCOMED.. just be rational when making your point.
 
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Afro

Village Elder
#2
my understanding of the meaning of life is.

being given a chance to be in this world to make the best out of this one life you have and do what ever makes you happy or gives you a sense of satisfaction. But dont forget that kuna terms and conditions,being the laws we live by
 

Solo_Mon

Village Elder
#4
In our humanistic culture, people pursue many things, thinking that in them they will find meaning. Some of these pursuits include business success, wealth, good relationships, sex, entertainment, and doing good to others. People have testified that while they achieved their goals of wealth, relationships, and pleasure, there was still a deep void inside, a feeling of emptiness that nothing seemed to fill. There is only one thing which can fill this void. only one !
 
#5
One is not really alive if they don't have eternal life. It's not worthwhile investing in something you will lose and thoughts that will be forgotten once you die
 

memyself

Village Elder
#9
Is there a supernatural being? Yes there is. It explains how we are engineered. A car doesnt just pop up, its engineered so does man. Does this supernatural control us? Yes he does. Refer to above case with car. Does the supernatural want the best for us? I dont know, i doubt it. Look at the world, the suffering etc. Is religion feasible? HELL NO. Bible, koran etc are stories told by humans to help explain our being, factual yes but not truth. A fact is not necessarily true. We could come up with a religion complete with bible based on our African beleive, kenyan beleive. Why did we adopt Jews philosophy? WHY NOT THEM ADOPT OURS. I do beleive in the supernatural but the confusion that is man made to explain our being, religiin, i dont beleive in it.
 

Lipo

Senior Villager
#10
One is not really alive if they don't have eternal life. It's not worthwhile investing in something you will lose and thoughts that will be forgotten once you die
No such thing as eternal life. Eternal life is make--believe for those who cannot handle the sheer sadness of their own mortality.
 

Lipo

Senior Villager
#11
Dogs are lesser life forms meant to support the purpose of man, just like plants.
Dogs (and all animals) can exist without man. If we suddenly disappeared life on Earth would still continue. In fact, it was the case for millions of years when there was no man on the planet. Stop disrespecting animals! You are calling them lesser animals because you have a better evolved brain, not because they are lesser
 
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Solo_Mon

Village Elder
#12
No such thing as eternal life. Eternal life is make--believe for those who cannot handle the sheer sadness of their own mortality.
you're not familiar with the spiritual life are you? your physical body only lasts a few decades here but what about your soul/spirit? ama hujui you're made of mind,body, soul and spirit ?
 

Lipo

Senior Villager
#14
you're not familiar with the spiritual life are you? your physical body only lasts a few decades here but what about your soul/spirit? ama hujui you're made of mind,body, soul and spirit ?
The spirit/ soul is a necessary construct to make the notion of after life sensible. It is completely made up. I could begin by asking you if you believe humans evolved? If you do believe, then at what point was the soul inserted by "God'?
 

Solo_Mon

Village Elder
#16
There is something that makes humanity distinct from all the other creations as we were created with both material and immaterial parts. The material is obviously that which is tangible: the physical body, bones, organs, etc., and exists as long as the person is alive. The immaterial aspects are those which are intangible: soul, spirit, intellect, will, conscience, etc. These exist beyond the physical lifespan of the individual. Human beings have a spirit but we're not spirits. The spirit is the element in humanity which gives us the ability to have an intimate relationship with a greater deity. The word "soul" can refer to both the immaterial and material aspects of humanity. Unlike human beings having a spirit, human beings are souls. In its most basic sense, the word "soul" means "life."
 

Shemeji_x

Village Elder
#19
Narcism is one of only thing that might end humanity. When you start thinking of yourself as special ie the "son of God/Allah" that's when trouble starts ie treating people badly or animals . you can go and look at historical examples like Hitler or locally how people killed each other just because they speak a different vernacular nothing else. If all ate the humble pie and accepted that we are not special and life is precious we all could treat others better there would be no wars and we would celebrate our accomplishments ie in medicine, physics and other ways to make our limited time on earth more comfortable . dwelling on ancient stories won't just cut it.
 

NMK

Senior Villager
#20
Maybe it's the other way round. Plants feed us, give us oxygen, shelter, rain. Then we expire and die. We became manure to give their new offspring nutrients. After all they live longer than us
 

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