Author Topic: "Then what's the point of all this?"  (Read 406 times)

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Offline Defiance

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"Then what's the point of all this?"
« on: May 07, 2014, 10:05:54 PM »
My Christian friend said this when I started telling him all the absurdities of the existence of a god.

Suddenly he says
"Then what's the point of all this? Is this all there is then? What is the purpose of life then?"

My jaw dropped at that statement because I can't believe how unappreciative he acted.

You think life a random stinking piece of shit that Just came your way? You think it's worthless to experience the few decades you actually can really exist?

But however, I need some more wisdom.

What can I say to people who say this kind of stuff?

Really though, it makes me sick internally hearing people say this kind of stuff.
"God is just and fair"
*God kills 2.5 million of people he KNEW would turn out like this in the flood*
*Humanity turns bad again, when God knew it would*
We should feel guilty for this.

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 10:30:57 PM »
Well, for starters I would ask him if the belief in his God is the only way to give meaning to one's life.

Then, go on to explain how we Homo sapiens have been around between 100,000 and 200,000 years; the vast majority of that time without them ever hearing of this "God" (the Abrahamic religions were not founded until approximately 2000 BCE) and that humanity as a whole still somehow managed to find enough meaning in life to continue to carry on civilization.

And if he tries to BS you about Judeo-Christianity being around since the dawn of man, point out the fact that Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism have all been proven by anthropologists to predate his faith.

(I'm almost half-asleep while writing this, so if I have made any factual errors please someone correct me.)
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

The only thing bigger than the universe is humanity's collective sense of self-importance.

Offline Astreja

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 11:23:50 PM »
I like to respond "What's the point of Heaven?  You spend the rest of eternity there, and you never do get to the point of it all because time just keeps on going.  If you can't find  a satisfying meaning in the present moment, you aren't going to find it in eternal life either."
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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2014, 11:39:52 PM »
Other than whatever is going on genetically or biologically, survival of our species-wise, there isn't actually a point. Anyone who thinks there is a point is putting a lot of trust in one made up thingy or another.

So if a person thinks there is a point, and that there has to be a point, and that said point requires higher powers and such, you are not likely to be able to make up a better answer than he has already invented.

We all have personal preferences in this regard. Or at least I assume we do. I, for instance, prefer being alive over already being dead. So as long as I can maintain a life that is worth living, I'm going to like the part where I'm still breathing. There is no point involved, other than my personal preferences, but that's enough for me.

Others prefer to muck up the works with their clueless guesses about reality, and they then run around assuming that their erroneous conclusions are accurate and worth killing for, etc. Good luck changing the mind of a person who hasn't ever thought in the first place.
Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 04:05:05 AM »

Suddenly he says
"Then what's the point of all this? Is this all there is then? What is the purpose of life then?"


That's what you get for saying something that you have no evidence for. You just say that his God doesn't exist.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 05:14:47 AM »
My Christian friend said this when I started telling him all the absurdities of the existence of a god.

Suddenly he says
"Then what's the point of all this? Is this all there is then? What is the purpose of life then?"
What does your friend think that the point of life is?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline penfold

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014, 05:16:54 AM »
My Christian friend said this when I started telling him all the absurdities of the existence of a god.

Suddenly he says
"Then what's the point of all this? Is this all there is then? What is the purpose of life then?"

My jaw dropped at that statement because I can't believe how unappreciative he acted.

You think life a random stinking piece of s**t that Just came your way? You think it's worthless to experience the few decades you actually can really exist?
 

I think you are being too hard on your friend. There are many people who are blessed with a pragmatic optimism (sounds like you may be one of them). For such people questions about the meaning of life seem an absurd question – after all life just is, asking for its meaning is as absurd as asking what colour Tuesday is. However for many others (myself included) life can be a puzzling and difficult affair; it is hard to explain how life can seem devoid of meaning to those who have not felt it; but it really can, and such feelings are poisonous.

For many people faith can be an adequate answer to this; in fact in his research Dr Edwin Starbuck found that around 65% of conversions were preceded by feelings of depression[1]. Similarly the philosopher and psychologist William James sees conversion and faith as a route from being ‘sick souled’ to ‘healthy minded’[2].

Regardless of the truth of religion or faith, it is undeniable that for some people it does provide solace and stability in the face of the apparent meaninglessness of life. So I don’t think your friend's question is stupid or unappreciative – it is a legitimate and tough question.

Unfortunately there are no easy answers to it; meaning is something we have to find for ourselves. My advice, for what it is worth, is to try and shift the focus of the hunt for meaning from being inward-looking to being outward-looking. For me real meaning has always come from outside: the love of my wife, the pleasure of my job, the company of my friends. However, just because this provides sufficient meaning for me, that does not mean it will work for everyone.

Peace
 1. https://archive.org/details/psychologyofreli00star pp.67 Table X
 2. http://web.archive.org/web/20080727010425/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/JamVari.html - see esp Lectures 4, 8, 9
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 05:19:30 AM by penfold »
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2014, 06:35:55 AM »
As someone on here, forgive me I can't remember who, pointed out;"If our lives require a god to give our lives meaning, then what is the God's point?"
For if the god ultimately has no point, then neither do we. I have yet to hear a Christian give a reasonable explanation for this.

We give our own lives meaning; by learning, enjoying, sharing and helping.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline junebug72

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2014, 08:04:55 AM »
As someone on here, forgive me I can't remember who, pointed out;"If our lives require a god to give our lives meaning, then what is the God's point?"
For if the god ultimately has no point, then neither do we. I have yet to hear a Christian give a reasonable explanation for this.

We give our own lives meaning; by learning, enjoying, sharing and helping.

Don't our lives shape the future for humanity?  Doesn't that go on and on and on...?

It goes on if the religious are wrong, it goes on if scientist are wrong. :-\   The only way I find hope for humanity's infinite existence is that they are both wrong.  5 billion years isn't long enough away for me not to be frightened by the idea of the Earth being engulfed by a dying sun.  I feel safe and protected by God.  Just as I feel safe from asteroids because we have Jupiter's protection.  Safe from radiation storms from our sun because our atmosphere protects us. 

God's point could be to create/nurture our spirits/conscience?

I truly believe our purpose here is to prove that humans are not a mistake.  This is true to me regardless of "how" we got here. 

I definitely believe that religion has been a strike against us for way too long.  Religions, mostly Abrahamic, have sown the seeds of death.

So has science. :o

They have both sown seeds of life as well.  I think it is when science and God come together that we, as humans, are the most powerful.

Any way enough rambling.  Figured it might be helpful to practice on me. 8)
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Mrjason

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2014, 08:19:20 AM »
<snip>Just as I feel safe from asteroids because we have Jupiter's protection.

Jupiter isn't the friend it's made out to be...

http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/4620/villain-in-disguise-jupiter%E2%80%99s-role-in-impacts-on-earth

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2014, 08:31:18 AM »
As someone on here, forgive me I can't remember who, pointed out;"If our lives require a god to give our lives meaning, then what is the God's point?"
For if the god ultimately has no point, then neither do we. I have yet to hear a Christian give a reasonable explanation for this.

We give our own lives meaning; by learning, enjoying, sharing and helping.

God's point could be to create/nurture our spirits/conscience?


I don't see how we require a god to give our lives meaning though. Human beings can create/nurture our spirits/conscience. If Christians require a god to give their lives meaning, and if the god ultimately has no meaning, then Christians ultimately have no meaning to their lives.

Personally this isn't a problem for me. The furthering of humanity and life on Earth is enough meaning for my life; I give my children every help I can to understand the wonders of the universe, or what little we know so far, I encourage them to become leaders in whatever field they choose, I try to engender an interest in learning with anybody whenever the opportunity arises.

If ultimately our universe is headed for destruction then humanity's point will be to find a way around this, to survive. And if we manage that; then we'll look for the next challenge. And every time we surmount a challenge; we'll climb the next one. That, to me, is meaning in our lives.
Serving a more powerful being is not a meaningful life.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2014, 08:37:26 AM »
Christians seem to want to arrive at a destination. I don't. I prefer the journey. I always want to know what's over the next hill.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2014, 08:45:45 AM »
Christians seem to want to arrive at a destination. I don't. I prefer the journey. I always want to know what's over the next hill.

'The Road goes ever on and on. Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can...."
- The Old Walking Song, sung by Bilbo Baggins.
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

The only thing bigger than the universe is humanity's collective sense of self-importance.

Offline Jag

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2014, 09:19:45 AM »
Richard Dawkins, not known for kindness, actually addressed this issue really well by coming at it from the side, so to speak:

The REAL amazing fact of our existence
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline junebug72

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2014, 09:58:36 AM »
<snip>Just as I feel safe from asteroids because we have Jupiter's protection.

Jupiter isn't the friend it's made out to be...

http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/4620/villain-in-disguise-jupiter%E2%80%99s-role-in-impacts-on-earth

Interesting read MrJ.  Thanks.  I still think Jupiter can be considered a protector of Earth simply because it is hit so often and we are not.

Computer simulation is virtual reality not reality.  I don't dismiss the idea altogether I just question it that's all.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2014, 10:19:45 AM »
Richard Dawkins, not known for kindness, actually addressed this issue really well by coming at it from the side, so to speak:

The REAL amazing fact of our existence

Are we?  Some of us would consider life a curse.  Are those starving children lucky?  Cancer children?  Down syndrome?  Murdered?   

Some would say the unmade humans are the lucky ones.  I have felt that way many, many, many times and my suffering has been minuscule compared to others.  I have felt guilty for making my son.  I realize now it was a selfish decision of an unloved child.  I have done my best to make his world easier/safer but I can not control the world.  It is chewing him up and spitting him out and I feel helpless; almost. :)

Yea he'd rather play in virtual reality than actual reality.  He will be 25 in October. 

My conscience wrestles with the idea that I should have installed the "killer instinct" in him.  Instead I have caused him to be super sweet.

Well hindsight is 20/20. ;)
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Jontom10

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2014, 12:33:53 PM »
There is no point, simple.

You are born and exist until you die. What you do in between those points is up to you and circumstance.

Why are some so vain, selfish and self obsessed that there has to be a point to them?

Purpose of life ?

To procreate.
Hasa Diga Eebowai

Offline GoatMan

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2014, 01:09:10 AM »
There is a Bible verse that says "delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." So if the Christian friend mentioned has found great fulfillment from knowing God, then maybe he can't imagine anything else that could compare.

So Dawkins isn't far off. Love is the meaning of life. But not all find romantic love worth living for.  Even meaningful romantic love (or any form of love between mortals) comes to an eventual end.

 But the verse mentioned does suggest anyone can find fulfilling love with God. The Bible also promises eternal life. So this is a never ending love affair. For us, we can spend eternity marveling at God (the earth/universe is just the beginning of all He will do).

For God, marveling in Himself is enough. What's the purpose of God? He is His own purpose.

God is the purpose for (and cause of) every good thing.

I don't mean to be insensitive to those who don't believe in God. In fact, it's hard for me to live as though I believe this from day to day. But on some days I receive the grace to live as though I do believe this and those are undoubtedly my best days.

 I think I share the same sentiment of many Christians/theists and perhaps the sentiment of the Christian friend who inspired this thread. He probably didn't mean any offense but his experience of God gives him a different perspective.










Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2014, 08:16:52 AM »
I think there have been some very good answers on here that sum up the main point - why does there have to be a point to all of this?  If all of this occurred by random chance, then there wouldn't be a greater point or lesson to be learned.  And, the evidence, at least on the surface, appears to point to that conclusion.  Why are there billions upon billions upon billions of planets that can't support life, but ours does?  Why do those planets even exist?  Why do roughly 20-30 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage?  Why do 10 million children under the age of 5 die every year?  As Sam Harris put it, that is the equivalent of a tsunami the power of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed 250,000 people, occurring every 10 days, killing only children under the age of 5.  Is there a point to that?  What is the point of tics and fleas?  Why are there 500,000 types of beetles?  All of these things, on the surface, point heavily to randomness.  The theist may explain these things another way - but can the atheist be faulted for taking this type of evidence and saying there can't be a point, it's all random? 

Offline Mrjason

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2014, 08:39:17 AM »
what is the point in having sex if you're using prophylactics?

Offline Astreja

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2014, 12:45:51 PM »
Love is the meaning of life.

Meh.  Love's okay, but I vastly prefer music or working with My hands.
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Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2014, 01:12:00 PM »
what is the point in having sex if you're using prophylactics?

The same reason one wears a parachute on a skydive; to enjoy the journey without the life changing ending.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2014, 01:37:36 PM »
Well put Ron, and your user name indicates that you were the right person to answer that question. :)  If STDs are given to people because of their sin, how come they are prevented through condoms?  Is it any less of a sin if you're doing the same thing but protected?  In fact, wouldn't the Catholic church say it's MORE of a sin to use protection?  God has a funny way of doling out punishment.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: "Then what's the point of all this?"
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2014, 04:04:28 AM »
what is the point in having sex if you're using prophylactics?

The same reason one wears a parachute on a skydive; to enjoy the journey without the life changing ending.

yeah that was kind of the point I was making. From a purely genetic stand point sex without the possibility of reproduction is pointless. People do it none the less...