Author Topic: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...  (Read 16630 times)

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Offline median

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Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« on: September 17, 2013, 11:57:54 AM »
I hear this statement from Christians all the time. In fact, I hear it quite often from my dad (who is still a fundamentalist Christian) and sometimes from old friends on Facebook.

Quote
"Without God, life has no meaning, no purpose, no destiny. Without God our lives are worthless. We are just cosmic dust floating around with no more value than a rock or a piece of dung!"

Now, whenever Christians claim this I can't help but wonder what exactly they are trying to argue (although I do have some hunches). But before I drop in my two cents I wanted to get your thoughts. Is a deity/God thing required for life to have meaning or purpose? Feel free to elaborate on this topic as much as you like - as I'm sure many of you have heard this diatribe as well.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 12:01:16 PM by median »
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Offline Dante

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 12:06:22 PM »

Quote
" We are just cosmic dust floating around with no more value than a rock or a piece of dung!"

In the grand scheme of the universe, I agree. We weren't always here, and we wont always continue to be here. I'm speaking of both individually, and as a species.

But that doesn't make our lives worthless, or without purpose. Our worth and purpose is how we interact with, and what impact we have, on the individuals and the world around us for the time we're here.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline hickdive

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 12:08:04 PM »
Just because their lives are shit doesn't mean ours have to be shit too.
Stupidity, unlike intelligence, has no limits.

Offline epidemic

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2013, 12:19:23 PM »
I am not sure our lives have a meaning even with god in the picture.  If so please describe our meaning.

In the grand scheme of things individually and as a species we have no meaning.  The biomass we make up in this universe is less than a spec and our longevity even less spectacular.

My life on the other hand has meaning to my children, my wife,  a couple of hundred thousand cell phone customers and me.  Do I make a difference in the cosmic makeup of the universe?  Not that I know of but I enjoy the little accident of nature/physics that resulted in me. 

My dog enjoys it's life eating, chasing a ball, barking at squirrels and sleeping on my chest.  I doubt she thinks about her meaning or what impact she will have on the universe. 

Let me ask this,  Why does my life need to have a meaning of any significants?  How will that make me happier?  Would I be happier if a guy in the sky made me?  No! 

I am on the fence as to whether I would like to continue on past death and my physical remains.  So it would be nice to continue to exist as long as I wanted to.  But it is not a pre-requisite to my happiness or to the lives of my family.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2013, 12:25:00 PM »
Now, whenever Christians claim this I can't help but wonder what exactly they are trying to argue (although I do have some hunches).

They are essentially proclaiming a bias, saying why they want god to exist, not showing that god does exist.  It is an argument from consequences and is lame.


Is a deity/God thing required for life to have meaning or purpose?

No.  A deity would only be chosing a purpose for you, instead of you chosing your own.  That is the only difference.  You lack choice.  That does not make it any more or less arbitrary.

If anyone is lacking a purpose in life, please feel free to come to me and ask for one.  I will give you one. 

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2013, 12:27:22 PM »
If life has no meaning without God, then we give it meaning ourselves (and more importantly, we always have).  Doesn't matter if that meaning is trivial or not.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2013, 12:40:12 PM »
Hang on a sec - didn't early people create god to allow them to have a purpose given to them by the god that they created?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline neopagan

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2013, 02:02:05 PM »
It sounds more like godfolks trying to shove their SPAG god down my throat by once again telling me I'm worthless.  I have no problem with being cosmic dust and trying to convince me I'm "all that" if I fall on my knees to junior is pretty silly. 
Prove to me we are all crap/worthless unless you bow to junior and I'll think about it - what makes them so special after they say magic words?
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2013, 02:13:34 PM »
Is a deity/God thing required for life to have meaning or purpose?

Well, unless the current human experience has an eternal future, whatever “meaning” or “purpose” the non-theist is motivated by seems to become rather limited in terms of value. I've never been a non-theist, though, so I can only speak from the Christian viewpoint.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2013, 02:20:16 PM »
"Without Vishnu, life has no meaning."

Same statement, same problem: it's a non-sequitur.
Why is life meaningless without a higher being to give it meaning? Why is the higher being the only one that can give life meaning? Why can't lower beings give their own lives meaning?
On another note, does the higher being's life have a meaning? If there's not an even higher being to give that lower higher being's life meaning, then, by the theist's own logic, the lower higher being's life has no meaning. And, on that note, why should I trust someone whose life has no meaning to give my life meaning?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline epidemic

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2013, 02:25:19 PM »
Is a deity/God thing required for life to have meaning or purpose?

Well, unless the current human experience has an eternal future, whatever “meaning” or “purpose” the non-theist is motivated by seems to become rather limited in terms of value. I've never been a non-theist, though, so I can only speak from the Christian viewpoint.

OK, speaking as a theist, what meaning does your life have in the grand scheme of things? 

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2013, 02:33:37 PM »
Is a deity/God thing required for life to have meaning or purpose?

Well, unless the current human experience has an eternal future, whatever “meaning” or “purpose” the non-theist is motivated by seems to become rather limited in terms of value. I've never been a non-theist, though, so I can only speak from the Christian viewpoint.
I'm going to be making some assumptions based upon my understanding of what 'Christian viewpoint' means, so please correct as necessary.

Whatever 'meaning' or 'purpose' the Christian is motivated by seems to become rather limited in terms of value.  And by limited, I mean devoid of any value.  What 'meaning' or 'value' can one derive from catering to the whims of an entity that can make manifest any and all outcomes and realities that it sees fit to manifest?  How much value is there to your donation of $1 to a charitable fund that has infinite resources?  Is there any difference, value wise or meaning wise, between you giving $1, $10,000, $Eighty-bajillion, $10^(avagadro's number) to such a fund?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
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Offline Nick

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2013, 02:47:44 PM »
Yes, there must be an all powerfull God overseeing everything in order to have meaning.  If being a slave to the God monster thing gives you meaning, it must be shitty meaning.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2013, 03:00:33 PM »
Well, unless the current human experience has an eternal future, whatever “meaning” or “purpose” the non-theist is motivated by seems to become rather limited in terms of value.

please explain this.  I know all these words, but the way you have arranged them has left me confused.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2013, 03:12:11 PM »
OK, speaking as a theist, what meaning does your life have in the grand scheme of things?

Most non-theists have a good understanding of the Bible and Christianity....even though they dismiss it as being representative of a real god. Assuming you possess even some basic knowledge about the God of the Bible, I doubt you need me to answer this for you. If I'm wrong, though, and you are unfamiliar with God then some simple research will reveal what God's purpose for us is.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2013, 03:19:10 PM »
Well, unless the current human experience has an eternal future, whatever “meaning” or “purpose” the non-theist is motivated by seems to become rather limited in terms of value.

please explain this.  I know all these words, but the way you have arranged them has left me confused.

If there is no God and our world ceases to exist at some point, then the value of whatever you contributed to the world is limited to only that existence and subsequently becomes meaningless.

Offline Traveler

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2013, 03:24:35 PM »
OK, speaking as a theist, what meaning does your life have in the grand scheme of things?

Most non-theists have a good understanding of the Bible and Christianity....even though they dismiss it as being representative of a real god. Assuming you possess even some basic knowledge about the God of the Bible, I doubt you need me to answer this for you. If I'm wrong, though, and you are unfamiliar with God then some simple research will reveal what God's purpose for us is.

Other than not worshiping your god, my life is much like any other. I try to help people, I try to be the best I can at what I do, I try to leave the world a better place. If the only significant difference between myself and a christian is that I don't worship god, then the purpose of life seems to boil down to worshiping god. Seriously? God is so petty and insecure that he needs me to worship him? If there is a god, and its got any sense of reason and love at all, then it will see that other than the falling on my knees in worship thing, I'm just like anyone else. So my being saved is contingent on my believing in one specific description of this being, and on guessing right as to which one he is, and then stroking his ego? That's absurd on the face of it.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2013, 03:39:24 PM »
^^^  Here's the first question from the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
 
Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

So yeah, according to theists (at least the Presbyterian and others who like the WSC), there is no other purpose than to stroke a petty god's ego...

If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2013, 04:05:24 PM »
If we need to have a god to have a purpose and having a purpose for ourselves set by someone else is important, who sets god's purpose to exists?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2013, 07:26:56 PM »
What meaning does any god bring to theists.....other than eternal life or reward/punishments of any religious belief. The meaning theists see is eternal life as a reward for the meaningless existence they have now. They basically rot in the same menial job their parents had,and see the "light " at the end of the tunnel in exchange for 40 years of meaningless labor (employment).

 if we could all be smart and rich,we would worry less about meaning of life wouldn't we? We are not all smart enough or lucky enough to gain wealth and as a reward the powers that be preach to us about our reward that comes at our death.

 If the rich and powerful had to fight wars would there be any,if they could not profit,would war exist?
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Online wright

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2013, 07:50:41 PM »
No, faith in a god isn't needed to give life meaning. Instinctive and learned altruism, affection, curiosity and humor are quite capable of generating positive human experience and goals. Conversely, it's possible to find meaning in activities and goals that have a net negative effect on others. God-belief certainly isn't required for that, either.

Yet the overall progress by the human species in improving its general well-being, especially recently (see the first thirteen timelines in this series: http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/08/putting-time-in-perspective.html?m=1) makes me optimistic about our future. We have managed to learn and change so much in the last few centuries and decades; I think we have a good chance of outgrowing our own self-destructiveness.

Well, unless the current human experience has an eternal future, whatever “meaning” or “purpose” the non-theist is motivated by seems to become rather limited in terms of value. I've never been a non-theist, though, so I can only speak from the Christian viewpoint.

All the evidence we currently have points to the very universe (as we know it now) being a transitory state. There is certainly no evidence of anything eternal, despite theist claims. So why should the knowledge that purely human-derived meaning is limited devalue it? It's all we'll ever know or have, this one life. To me, and a great many other non-believers, that makes it all the more precious.
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2013, 09:41:08 PM »
If I'm wrong, though, and you are unfamiliar with God then some simple research will reveal what God's purpose for us is.

Something pretty dull, I imagine.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Vomact

Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2013, 10:01:07 PM »
If there is no God and our world ceases to exist at some point, then the value of whatever you contributed to the world is limited to only that existence and subsequently becomes meaningless.


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Online Azdgari

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2013, 10:37:21 PM »
If there is no God and our world ceases to exist at some point, then the value of whatever you contributed to the world is limited to only that existence and subsequently becomes meaningless.

"Eternal" and "meaningful" are not synonyms.  Why have you treated them as synonyms?
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Offline median

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2013, 01:43:48 AM »

If there is no God and our world ceases to exist at some point, then the value of whatever you contributed to the world is limited to only that existence and subsequently becomes meaningless.


But this precisely misses the point being made. Why do we need meaning or value on a cosmic scale in order to have meaning or value at all? Your position seems to have assumed that your specific interpretation, of your specific theology, is required in order to have meaning or purpose. Why should we buy your definition of what meaning is?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2013, 02:47:55 AM »
Quote
"Without God, life has no meaning, no purpose"

As has already been remarked, in this argument, the god GIVES the purpose to the individual concerned, so therefore whatever purpose that person has is the god's purpose, not theirs.  What they are saying is that they are quite happy to accept the purpose given by another being as the meaning for their lives.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2013, 06:46:39 AM »
Or, maybe, people decide what they want to do with their lives, maybe take up being a minister in a church, and then claim that this choice they made was actually what their god wanted them to do. Minsters of religion always do this but others in other jobs do too. Is this somewhere near the mark - a person uses the concept of god to give more authority to the choices he makes?
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2013, 07:28:34 AM »

Other than not worshiping your god, my life is much like any other. I try to help people, I try to be the best I can at what I do, I try to leave the world a better place. If the only significant difference between myself and a christian is that I don't worship god, then the purpose of life seems to boil down to worshiping god. Seriously? God is so petty and insecure that he needs me to worship him? If there is a god, and its got any sense of reason and love at all, then it will see that other than the falling on my knees in worship thing, I'm just like anyone else. So my being saved is contingent on my believing in one specific description of this being, and on guessing right as to which one he is, and then stroking his ego? That's absurd on the face of it.

Where do you get the idea that God wants you to worship him? 

I never feel that way.  I thank God for the blessings in my life but that's as far as it goes.  IF WE COULD ALL ONLY SEE THAT OUR PURPOSE IS TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER SO THAT THIS PRECIOUS GIFT WE CALL LIFE CAN CONTINUE INFINITELY.  WE ARE HERE FOR A REASON.  Everything out there in here it's all one big part of everything!!!



It wouldn't hurt you guys and ladies to step outside the phony religions and see that it takes a MUCH Greater Force to be so patience.  To let this planet evolve over time into the perfect habitat for several different life forms to exist.  It was no coincident that the dinosaurs were wiped out, mankind could not have survived as well with such large predators hunting them down.  We would be more like rats hiding underground to keep from being somebodies supper.  Then there is that added bonus $$$ fossil fuels.  I see no coincidences here at all these are things that could only be accomplished by a brilliant, compassionate and loving Creator/ the force that holds it all together. IMO


love, jb
























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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2013, 07:34:13 AM »
Most non-theists have a good understanding of the Bible and Christianity....even though they dismiss it as being representative of a real god. Assuming you possess even some basic knowledge about the God of the Bible, I doubt you need me to answer this for you. If I'm wrong, though, and you are unfamiliar with God then some simple research will reveal what God's purpose for us is.

The trouble is, BS, that seemingly every single Christian - despite reading from the same book - has a slightly different understanding of what their god intends.  Its why we ask specific Christians, to ensure there is no misunderstanding.

So far as my understanding goes, the purpose for you is to obey in every respect a being whose motivations and desires you cannot fully understand, else he will send you to a place of torment for all eternity.  If I've got that wrong, perhaps you could let me know?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?