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Atheists: What Gives Your Life Meaning

Discussion in 'Atheism DIR' started by Quaxotic, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Quaxotic

    Quaxotic Treks' Furry Monster

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    I was reading the Atheist Experience blog and they had some short videos of the hosts about what gives their lives meaning.

    Bat Cruise weekend, A Better Life, and episode #780 open thread | The Atheist Experience

    Since this is one thing that a lot of theists don't think we can have without some form of god i thought it would be nice to get everyone to talk about it.

    As for myself i find meaning in two places.

    The first is my studies and my future career. I am doing a bachelor of applied social sciences. So basically it's counselling and psychology. This is a massive source of meaning for me. What higher purpose is their in life than striving to help those that need it. My most fervent hope is that when i die i will have left the world a better place than what it was when i was born.

    The second source of meaning in my life is intellectual curiosity. The world around me is fascinating. I am always looking stuff up on wikipedia, sometimes i spend hours just going from one wiki page to another. I downloaded an app for my phone so i can quickly and easily access wikipedia no matter where i am. And it gets used almost every day.

    I agree with Martin Wagner (from the Atheist Experience) that it would be horrible to wake up one day and think "i know everything i need to know". I think life would not be worth living if there wasn't something to pique my curiosity.

    So please share with us what gives your life meaning or what you think you could do to give it more meaning.

    Thanks,

    -Quaxotic
     
  2. jarofthoughts

    jarofthoughts Empirical Curmudgeon

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    I would have to agree with you on both points.
    I love to learn new things, and a lot of my time is spent reading and studying.
    Combine this with my love for teaching, and it seems I have found the perfect profession for me,
    seeing as I am an elementary school teacher. :)
    Of course, I also find meaning in all the things everyone else finds meaning in, family, friends,
    and so on, but mostly I just feel lucky to be here and being able to experience all of this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  3. Quaxotic

    Quaxotic Treks' Furry Monster

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    Teaching is a noble profession.
     
  4. lunakilo

    lunakilo Well-Known Member

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    2,050
    Religion:
    Between religions
    I just looked out the window at my children playing as the sun is setting.
    My daughter came in about half an hour ago saying she was cold and needed a pair of gloves, so I gave her a pair. I just noticed that she is now wearing gloves but no jacket, it made me smile (sigh! she will get a cold tomorrow or maybe even get sick. But right now she is happy)
    I think that and situations like this is the meaning of life.

    I also find meaning in trying to learn about the world around me and understand how it works. I usually fail, but sometimes I kind of feel I understand something, and that is a good feeling.

    I love it when my children ask me something and I can actually give them a sensible answer.
    I love it when I make something and people seem to like using it.
    It means my work was not in vain.

    I sometimes feel like a little ant running around doing stuff that nobody will probably ever notice if they look at the big picture, but I convience myself that the anthill is a little better off because of what I have done, and once I leave this world to my children and all those other little ants who are running around in, it will hopefully be in better shape because of my work.
    That makes sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
    Quaxotic likes this.
  5. Iti oj

    Iti oj guru of the new rf Staff Member Premium Member

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    10,597
    Religion:
    RF cult leader & taosit black magician
    people, nature, music, books, learning. etc
     
    Me Myself likes this.
  6. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora Staff Member Premium Member

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    Religion:
    Erotic Dance
    Friends, family, and work, followed closely by burning holy texts and watching orphans cry.
     
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  7. Penumbra

    Penumbra Well-Known Member Staff Member Premium Member

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    Actually I mostly just poke around and do things without meaning.

    Seems more interesting that way.

    I make goals and stuff, but they're based on my family upbringing and prior experience about what's "good".
     
    Sunstone likes this.
  8. Badran

    Badran Well-Known Member Staff Member Premium Member

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    I think the meaning of life is simply the very fact that we're here, doing and experiencing a very wide set of things.

    At least, that's the only way i can think of the question to make sense of it, and to be distinct from the question of the purpose of life.
     
    Iti oj likes this.
  9. Odi Brassicum

    Odi Brassicum Unicorn trainer.

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    41
    Does life have to have a meaning? Who says? What if I don't want my life to have a meaning? Could I live a happy, fulfilling life, being kind to everyone I meet without a having a meaning?
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian

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    63,802
    I provide my own meaning.
    (Scary, eh?)
     
  11. Odi Brassicum

    Odi Brassicum Unicorn trainer.

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    Interesting

    The purpose of life vs. a life of purpose
    The meaning of life vs. a life of meaning
     
  12. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    9,781
    What gives my life meaning? Me, just like everyone else.

    What could I do to make it "more meaningful"? Interpret everything to be meant as a message for me (believe me, it's just creepy to do for long intervals).
     
  13. Simurgh

    Simurgh Atheist Triple Goddess

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    1,834
    I derive meaning from the fact that Iam a moral and ethical individual who helps make this world a more even playing field for everyone.

    In other words, I live and so I will make the best of my time. No gods needed to make me feel that I have purpose or value.

    Why would some nebulous outside force that needs to be believed in in order to exist be needed to imbue me with purpose?

    Anyhow, if you need purpose bestowed upon you by some outside agency, then it is not YOUR purpose, but theirs that drives you.
     
    Quaxotic likes this.
  14. Quaxotic

    Quaxotic Treks' Furry Monster

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    I honestly don't understand how believing in a god gives one purpose or meaning.

    Unless your purpose or meaning is to praise that god endlessly.
     
  15. Badran

    Badran Well-Known Member Staff Member Premium Member

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    Personally i don't struggle to see how that works at all. In part because of personal experience. As i see it, the concept of god(s) and whether or not it's embraced is directly related with how one interprets reality around him/her. Interpretation of reality has directly to do with meaning and purpose. This relation goes back and forth, i believe. As in, the person affects their beliefs and the beliefs are affected by the person.

    If you take an example of a creator god and a simplistic explanation of what it entails, the idea of being here based on being created by an almighty god for example and to meet the expectations of that god can add worth in a person's eyes because of their perceived role in reality and the involvement of such entity as well as the care it has for you and others. If you really believe and like the idea you also formulate your goals revolving around that. You could see your purpose in more than one way, but the point is you're part of a bigger thing in which you still have a vital role, there are expectations from you and someone very impressive is watching to see you (and in some beliefs eagerly) meet or achieve certain things.

    The tendency to embrace or want to embrace this interpretation particularly rather than another is in my view affected by the person's personality and perception which are also affected by other things including the beliefs and environment they were raised in. Their experiences in life.
     
  16. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    17,429
    Religion:
    Beyond the Light
    I AM... and require no further meaning. Others are welcome to add whatever they think is important.
     
  17. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    16,003
    Religion:
    Post-Anarchism

    Language. It is indeed a necessary precondition for meaning.
     
  18. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man.

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    Theres too much stuff to do and things going on atm.
     
  19. Heim

    Heim Active Member

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    257
    Family, friends, love, sex, happiness, insecurity.
     
  20. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist Staff Member Premium Member

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    14,986
    My life gets meaning from plenty of directions. Even the routine of my job, or working on my MA. Spending time with my wife when I'm off work, spending time with friends, good food, good wine, travel, trekking the outdoors, a good read, studying and exploring the things that I'm interested in. For example, I may be a naturalist but I get great satisfaction from studying ancient religions, travelling to ancient temples, or writing an archaeological paper which involves ancient religion.
    I think life is interesting, and we can find meaning everywhere.
     
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