Author Topic: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...  (Read 18269 times)

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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #203 on: October 03, 2013, 03:53:57 AM »
So has anyone here made any plausible arguments as to how life is meaningless without god?
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #204 on: October 03, 2013, 04:55:00 AM »
So has anyone here made any plausible arguments as to how life is meaningless without god?

Theists making plausible arguments... That joke never gets old.
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?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #205 on: October 03, 2013, 05:23:19 AM »
So has anyone here made any plausible arguments as to how life is meaningless without god?

Theists making plausible arguments... That joke never gets old.

Ooh, ooh, i know what to do.

*theist says he makes good argument"
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #206 on: October 03, 2013, 07:17:05 AM »
So has anyone here made any plausible arguments as to how life is meaningless without god?

Theists making plausible arguments... That joke never gets old.

They can. Just not one for, say, the existence of Bible god.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #207 on: October 03, 2013, 07:23:24 AM »
They can. Just not one for, say, the existence of Bible god.

Hyperbole.
And they say I'm the one who takes things too literally...
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?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #208 on: October 03, 2013, 08:39:38 AM »
Well, given that the universe, at least as science thinks about it, is a bleak place where things seem to have happened without any planning - by accident really - and where nothing is any more significant than anything else. Life, at least on Earth, is a relatively new occurrence which has just arisen because it did and humans are the latest in a long line of things happening for no reason other that they did. People live a very short life, relative to the universe, and never see anything or do anything after death. In a short time, relative to the universe, our star, the Sun, will engulf the earth and destroy everything on it - for ever.

It seems to me no wonder that people like the idea of a 'father' figure in the sky who has willed things to happen as they did, has personal plans for all the humans and has created an afterlife them too, though one choice is a bit warm for most of us! To us short-lived humans it says we will live forever and there is meaning in our existence because a 'father' figure in sky has determined how things shall be. Religion is a  great opiate!

The sad thing is, for theists, that all this is made-up nonsense, there is no 'father' figure, no plan and no future. We are stuck to make the best of our short lives by making sure we and all we know enjoy this life we have as there isn't going to be another chance. 
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 Jonny-UK

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #209 on: October 03, 2013, 12:49:20 PM »
I don't know if this is the right thread for this, but anyway-
My wife has just told me that some family friends of ours are awaiting the results of tests on their daughter.
She is about 2 years old and has suspected leukemia.
Now can any one please tell me how this can be part of any type of plan or is "for a reason" etc.
If there is a god then when I die I'll happily kick him/her all the way to hell, the sick f**k.
That little girls life certainly has meaning to everyone who know and love her.


"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

Offline Boots

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #210 on: October 03, 2013, 02:36:38 PM »
I don't know if this is the right thread for this, but anyway-
My wife has just told me that some family friends of ours are awaiting the results of tests on their daughter.
She is about 2 years old and has suspected leukemia.
Now can any one please tell me how this can be part of any type of plan or is "for a reason" etc.
If there is a god then when I die I'll happily kick him/her all the way to hell, the sick f**k.
That little girls life certainly has meaning to everyone who know and love her.

Jonny,
that is incredibly sad.  If any theist yahoo gives the "mysterious ways" crap, I'd immediately respond with "then you don't know whether gawd is good?  Because if he were good, it wouldn't be mysterious, would it?"

If they give the "teaching us all a lesson" crap, I'd immediately answer with "really?  Then it's 'good' to put a toddler through a physical hell in order to each other people a lesson?  Because gawd is 'good,' right?"

In both cases, I'd then need to be restrained in order to not kick the dipweed in the nards.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #211 on: October 03, 2013, 02:51:50 PM »
Jonny - I hope for the best for your friends' child - how tragic. 

I'd happily get in line behind you to help kick such a deity to hell when your leg tired...

As for the parents, I can understand if they say some of the nonsensical theistic stuff - they are probably a wreck.  Others on the outer loop, facebook, prayer chains, etc - well, they deserve to be challenged.

Let us know how it turns out for her. 

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Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #212 on: October 04, 2013, 12:54:03 AM »
Thank you for the excellent comments Boots and Neopagan.
I will post a little update when I hear anything.
To have cancer banished from this planet must be one of, or maybe the top prayer for every religous person from every faith on this planet, and yet it is still here.If ever there was a prayer to be answered !
I actually went to a funeral last week for my Aunty.She was only 64 years old.
The saddest thing was when I realised the old lady sat next to my uncle was my Aunties mum.
Maybe this thread should be "To God, human life has no meaning"
"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #213 on: October 04, 2013, 01:48:41 AM »
Thank you for the excellent comments Boots and Neopagan.
I will post a little update when I hear anything.
To have cancer banished from this planet must be one of, or maybe the top prayer for every religous person from every faith on this planet, and yet it is still here.If ever there was a prayer to be answered !
I actually went to a funeral last week for my Aunty.She was only 64 years old.
The saddest thing was when I realised the old lady sat next to my uncle was my Aunties mum.
Maybe this thread should be "To God, human life has no meaning"

Wow, sorry man, i feel for you...(i have lost three relatives from cancer myself...)
And still theists have the nerve to say it isn't his will.
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Offline penfold

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #214 on: October 04, 2013, 03:40:49 AM »
So has anyone here made any plausible arguments as to how life is meaningless without god?

Depends what you mean by plausible argument. Certainly there are many people who think that their lives would be meaningless without God; and there are people who feel that their lives were meaningless until they started believing in God.

I think the first thing that needs to be understood is that not everyone feels the full force of the question of meaning. There are many people who just get on with the business of living. If asked such people would say that they find meaning in their jobs and relationships; that is fine (in fact it is an enviable attitude). However there are some (and I include myself in this category) for whom the question of meaning is real and as serious impact on their well-being and it cannot be answered by reference to things like jobs and relationships. (For example; I have a wife I love and job I enjoy, but the meaning that provides is not sufficient to answer the question of meaning.)

For atheists like me this question of meaning can be a profoundly difficult one. The central problem is often summed up as absurdity. How can small finite creatures, accidents of chemistry and thermodynamics possibly generate or preserve meaning? The fact of our existence is far closer to cosmic joke than cosmic plan.

This mind-set can be genuinely dangerous. For those who do not feel the bite of the question of existence the idea it might be dangerous usually seems outrageously melodramatic. Those who suffer are often told to ‘just get on with things’, even to ‘stop being so stupid’. Various philosophers have, however, spotted this dangerous trend; Sartre refers to those with “angst”, Kierkegaard to the “knights of infinite resignation”, and William James to the “sick-souled” or those with “divided selves”.

So how should those who suffer from the question of meaning deal with it?

There are some bad approaches. Trying to ignore the problem through a regimen of narcotics. Trying to reassert control through self-harm. Self-rejecting strategies such as joining cults (Scientology is particularly good at exploiting these people). Ultimately there is Dostoyevsky’s proposed solution of suicide, meaning gained through the ultimate act of self-destruction.

There are many positive secular approaches. Sartre advocates thinking of creative freedom as the basic unit of existence. Nietzsche proposes a radical individualism and rejection of values. Watson proposed taking deliberate control of our behaviours to re-cast ourselves in more positive terms. My own personal salvation has been found in the intra-worldly mysticism of the ancient Chinese Philosopher Chuang-tzu.

However some of the “sick souled” turn to religion to provide meaning and thus healing. From the meditation of Buddhism, to the silence of Quakerism, the prayer of Islam or the Church of Catholicism, these structures do provide meaning to many people. Moreover the positive feedback of a large community religion provides, and the simplistic nature of their world- view; religions offer an easy solution to the sickness some people feel they suffer. (I do not mean that in a negative way – when looking for a cure the simpler the better).

I would not say that meaning is impossible without religious faith; but for those who require meaning it is an effective, and relatively benign, way to find it.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 03:48:52 AM by penfold »
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #215 on: October 04, 2013, 04:52:28 AM »
I see what you are saying, Penfold, but the problem is we really are here as
Quote
small finite creatures, accidents of chemistry and thermodynamics possibly generate or preserve meaning? The fact of our existence is far closer to cosmic joke than cosmic plan.

Thus there really is no meaning for us as individuals except as part of a society of other individuals to which we contribute to the common good and do our best to ensure another generation of individuals.Thus whatever meaning can be derived from religion or philosophy is bound to be a human-generated one.

Most people would agree that all the gods that have been worshipped have been false god - invented by people- except, of course, for the god they worship and that god is real. if one considers that religious people all over the world consider other gods to be inventions, then it follows that the vast majority of the world thinks all gods are human inventions - something atheists heartily agree with. So any 'meaning' though up by religion is entirely human and dependant on the religion for its nature. Maybe it depends on the payment of money to all too eager ministers of religion to have its full effect.

Whatever one thinks, the only meaning one can have for life is going to have to come from humans so why not cut out the middle man (the minsters of religion) and derive one's own meaning - one's own significance - and then get on with life? Life is far to spent too much time on meaning - there's lots to enjoy and to do - settle for that first and meaning later!
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 penfold

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #216 on: October 04, 2013, 08:50:06 AM »

Thus there really is no meaning for us as individuals except as part of a society of other individuals to which we contribute to the common good and do our best to ensure another generation of individuals.Thus whatever meaning can be derived from religion or philosophy is bound to be a human-generated one.


While I agree that meaning is "human-generated" I don't see that as the end of the question of meaning merely the atheist's starting point (of course the theist's starting point is that there is "divinely-generated" meaning).

Even if the task is hopeless (and I have never been convinced it is) I, nonetheless, think that engaging in the question of meaning is productive - it is no coincidence that most great cultures are those with great philosophers.

Quote
... derive one's own meaning - one's own significance - and then get on with life? Life is far to spent too much time on meaning - there's lots to enjoy and to do - settle for that first and meaning later!

You are fortunate if you can do this. Speaking for myself I can no more choose to set aside the question of meaning "for later" than I can choose my genetic code!
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Online Azdgari

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #217 on: October 04, 2013, 10:05:05 AM »
Penfold, I am curious as to how you've retained the idea that objective meaning is at all important to you.  That premise seems to me to be one that should only exist within the worldview of someone who believes objective meaning to exist in the first place.  Once that premise is discarded, then shouldn't the importance placed on it also be discarded?
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Offline median

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #218 on: October 04, 2013, 04:40:34 PM »
For atheists like me this question of meaning can be a profoundly difficult one. The central problem is often summed up as absurdity. How can small finite creatures, accidents of chemistry and thermodynamics possibly generate or preserve meaning? The fact of our existence is far closer to cosmic joke than cosmic plan.


As Yale philosopher Shelley Kagan has noted, "meaning" on a cosmic scale does not imply a lack of meaning (or even deep meaning). "Meaning" has to do with language, and henceforth minds. There is no meaning without minds. Thus, we do generate meaning (regardless of whether we can preserve it or not). Like the value of life, I value the meaning for which I have chosen for myself (music, philosophy, science, history, intellectual pursuits, love, etc) and just because those things are temporal for me doesn't make them any less meaningful.

This mind-set can be genuinely dangerous. For those who do not feel the bite of the question of existence the idea it might be dangerous usually seems outrageously melodramatic. Those who suffer are often told to ‘just get on with things’, even to ‘stop being so stupid’. Various philosophers have, however, spotted this dangerous trend; Sartre refers to those with “angst”, Kierkegaard to the “knights of infinite resignation”, and William James to the “sick-souled” or those with “divided selves”.

So how should those who suffer from the question of meaning deal with it?

Question the meaning of "the question of meaning".

The religious fallacy (based in fear) which so often coerces people toward the "question of meaning" of which you speak, stems from an attitude of disregard for temporal life. "If it's not eternal, then it's not meaningful" is an attitude which I genuinely reject. The temporality of our existence here (in this state) makes meaning all the more valuable, poignantly. Life is marvelous and there are so many great and wondrous things to experience (whether simple or complex) - be it amazing personal relationships, intellectual endeavor, the pursuit of an art, laughter, exploration, or helping others. Absolutely none of these things are diminished for me because they are temporary. It is precisely because they are temporary that they are so valuable - and therefore meaningful. Cosmic meaning is a red-herring.



« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 04:47:00 PM by median »
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #219 on: October 05, 2013, 09:03:01 AM »
The existence of God gives my life meaning because my life has been one with a lot of suffering involved.  Even now I'm facing cancer and I have thought haven't I suffered enough?   Man I would be so pissed if all this suffering was for absolutely nothing.  I really hope heaven is a place of eternal rest and peace.   Free from the boundaries of our fleshly vessels.   
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #220 on: October 05, 2013, 09:07:42 AM »
The existence of God gives my life meaning because my life has been one with a lot of suffering involved.  Even now I'm facing cancer and I have thought haven't I suffered enough?   Man I would be so pissed if all this suffering was for absolutely nothing.  I really hope heaven is a place of eternal rest and peace.   Free from the boundaries of our fleshly vessels.

(Going to be an ass-hat here...)

I hope you enjoy knowing that millions, if not billions of good people are burning in hell while you are in peace...
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #221 on: October 05, 2013, 09:40:38 AM »
The existence of God gives my life meaning because my life has been one with a lot of suffering involved.  Even now I'm facing cancer and I have thought haven't I suffered enough?   Man I would be so pissed if all this suffering was for absolutely nothing.  I really hope heaven is a place of eternal rest and peace.   Free from the boundaries of our fleshly vessels.

Well, it sounds a great idea - aside from the vast numbers who will be burning 'downstairs'. Yet it has a problem.. We know only physical people - people with brains. We know that when the brain is seriously damaged, say by Alzheimer's disease, we can still see the same people walking about but they have lost their memory of things, they don't recognise us. Broadly, such people stop being the people they were once and and juts mindless bodies.  So we know that the 'person', that's the personality, is based firmly in the brain.

We are also completely unaware of any non-physical mind such as you describe, June. Non one has ever demonstrated that this is even possible. There is no mechanism for the transfer of the brain's contents to some non-physical brain. Just imagine the huge amount of data to be shifted mainly held in a vast number of interconnections between brain cells.  So we are speculating only, if we claim that somehow the person survives the death of the body as the only knowledge we have indicates the opposite - that the death of the brain is the death of the person, even if the body lives on.

So, sorry, but I don't see where the hope is that life will somehow continue in some marvellous place when it seems plain that this could not happen and in the face of zero evidence that it does.
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 Angus and Alexis

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #222 on: October 05, 2013, 09:45:58 AM »
Just imagine the huge amount of data to be shifted mainly held in a vast number of interconnections between brain cells.

Interesting fact, the level of data on the average human brain is smaller than some super computers, and could actually be stored on a large enough hard drive ;D.

(Maybe god uses a "Holy USB stick"? 9_9)
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Offline median

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #223 on: October 05, 2013, 10:09:10 AM »
The existence of God gives my life meaning because my life has been one with a lot of suffering involved.  Even now I'm facing cancer and I have thought haven't I suffered enough?   Man I would be so pissed if all this suffering was for absolutely nothing.  I really hope heaven is a place of eternal rest and peace.   Free from the boundaries of our fleshly vessels.
So then, in essence, you are willing to believe things for bad reasons because of utility - b/c they make you feel good and comfortable? Let's take your above statement and swap it out with a few other mythical beings and see how it works:

-The existence of Unicorns gives my life meaning...
-The existence of Krishna gives my life meaning...
-The existence of Santa Claus gives my life meaning...
-The existence of Zeus gives my life meaning...
-The existence of Ja Rastafari gives my life meaning...

Believing things for bad reasons (aka - irrational reasons) is never a good idea. Rational/critical thinking should guide your belief process - not credulity and feelings.

There is just no sound evidence (whatsoever) that 'you' continue on after death. It's wishful thinking.




« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 10:16:59 AM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #224 on: October 05, 2013, 10:54:59 AM »
Thanks for a great video!
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 median

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #225 on: October 05, 2013, 12:28:44 PM »



When people 'find meaning' in mythical ideas it demonstrates that it is THEY who is giving THEMSELVES meaning (since the mythical thing does not exist) and not the other way around.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 12:34:45 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline screwtape

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #226 on: October 05, 2013, 03:43:09 PM »
Hi junebug

I'm not arguing with you or saying you are wrong.  I just don't understand how you get from point A to point B in this statement:

The existence of God gives my life meaning because my life has been one with a lot of suffering involved. 

"I have suffered, I think god exists, thus my life has meaning."   I don't get it. Can you explain further?
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Offline Chronos

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #227 on: October 05, 2013, 04:57:12 PM »
Without life, god has no meaning.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #228 on: October 06, 2013, 04:43:12 AM »
Without life, god has no meaning.

We must test this.

Anyone here have a rather deluded computer?
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Offline Dante

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #229 on: October 06, 2013, 09:55:53 AM »
The existence of God gives my life meaning because my life has been one with a lot of suffering involved.  Even now I'm facing cancer and I have thought haven't I suffered enough? 

Yeah, I bet. But how do you reconcile the fact that you're a good person and with your belief in a good god? Why should you, especially, need to suffer? What did you do to deserve such a fate?

Quote
Man I would be so pissed if all this suffering was for absolutely nothing.  I really hope heaven is a place of eternal rest and peace.   Free from the boundaries of our fleshly vessels.

I fear you're going to be disappointed, but I don't think you'll even know it. You'll be free, no doubt, but also oblivious. I, for one, look forward to that day too.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #230 on: October 06, 2013, 12:37:04 PM »
The existence of God gives my life meaning because my life has been one with a lot of suffering involved.  Even now I'm facing cancer and I have thought haven't I suffered enough?   Man I would be so pissed if all this suffering was for absolutely nothing.  I really hope heaven is a place of eternal rest and peace.   Free from the boundaries of our fleshly vessels.

(Going to be an ass-hat here...)

I hope you enjoy knowing that millions, if not billions of good people are burning in hell while you are in peace...

I don't believe in hell AA.  open mouth insert foot ya did. 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: Without God, Life Has No Meaning...
« Reply #231 on: October 06, 2013, 12:48:03 PM »

So then, in essence, you are willing to believe things for bad reasons because of utility - b/c they make you feel good and comfortable? Let's take your above statement and swap it out with a few other mythical beings and see how it works:

-The existence of Unicorns gives my life meaning...
-The existence of Krishna gives my life meaning...
-The existence of Santa Claus gives my life meaning...
-The existence of Zeus gives my life meaning...
-The existence of Ja Rastafari gives my life meaning...

Believing things for bad reasons (aka - irrational reasons) is never a good idea. Rational/critical thinking should guide your belief process - not credulity and feelings.

There is just no sound evidence (whatsoever) that 'you' continue on after death. It's wishful thinking.

That is so ridiculous.  Grow up median.  How about instead of this nonsense you actually point out some bad reasons.  I won't agree with you but at least it's not this worn out old game.

What is wrong with having hope in an afterlife?  Remember to focus on my idea of afterlife not religious stories.   If you truly want to strip away my hope please be gentle for I am using it to get through a very difficult time right now. :'(
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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