For an atheist, what is the meaning/purpose of man's existence?
This question is intended for me to know what really makes an atheist. Maybe, by this question, I can understand more an atheist and see where they are coming.
I think an atheist's meaning and purpose of man's existence is to nurture his ego. An atheist believes that what he can't grasp with his (limited) intellectual capacity cannot exist. And he fails to recognize his limitations of grasping capacity!
Hmmm. I see. Simply because an atheist cannot grasp something they will dismiss them altogether. Yes, I think being an atheist is the height of human pride.
Not true. The universe is filled with wonder and mystery. Atheists know that there are many things that are unknown and that humans cannot grasp yet. They just don't fill those gaps with fairy tales and made-up gods.
Let me turn the tables on that brilliant argument: A believer in divinity is a person who cannot grasp basic science or is too afraid to comes to grips with the fact that nothing happens to us after we die.
I think there are plenty of believers who can grasp basic science... science and faith are not mutually exclusive... and having faith or believing in divinity does not AUTOMATICALLY make you illogical...
The meaning of life can be many things to many people. If you are looking for a direct alternative to God, you will be disappointed. Atheists and agnostics do not think that way. We have a totally different take on life and the universe. But it is a perspective that, at its best, is extraordinarily empowering and uplifting to humanity.
I wrote a hub on this topic: http://secularist10.hubpages.com/hub/Wh … ithout-God
An atheist is a human being, therefore, meaning and purpose are "built into" the "substance of what makes a human being, to be, human. My working definition of "substance" is, "substance is that which makes a thing, to be, what it is." In other words, there is substance (that is something in the make-up of humans that make them human) that causes a man or woman to have meaning and purpose in Life. I am a doctoral level, educated scholar, but you do not have to have my kind of education to know and understand the things that I deal with, and study, daily.
Trust me, some of the most remarkable people in the world, that have great meaning and purpose for their existence, are atheist. Many of them have been friends of mine. Many of them are dead and gone, and some are still alive.
Anything more that I may write will take us beyond the scope of your question, and I do not wish to go there.
Regards, and Happy New Year
There isn't one. In I Corinthians 13:1-3, Paul writes: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing (NKJV)."
My response is for those atheist's who seek to answer your question.
Quoting an ancient book does not enable you to read someone's mind, or their heart. How do you know what someone's purpose in life is?
I think if you believe in God, in order to be consistent in believing what His nature is, you have to believe that everyone HAS a purpose. Perhaps a better distinction would be about whether or not they know their "true" purpose...
secularist, the book is not really that ancient--not even 2,000 yrs old. The works of Livy pre-date it. If I see more random quotes to make a point, I'll just write an essay picking apart the entire I Corinthians, placing it in historical context.
Going back to that ancient book...We are told that God created man for fellowship. God desires to have a relationship with His creation. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does God.
Preacher--you completely avoided my question. That is unfortunate.
Secularist--I believe I purpose here on earth is to fellowship with God and yes others. When God created Adam, even God recognized that Adam needed a companion.
Apparently, I have only so many letters to type...I would love to continue this discuss
I believe that atheism does not exist, in other words, I believe that those who profess atheism is looking for God, otherwise not bother professing atheist.
The great Spanish movie director Luis Bunuel loved often say, "Thank God I'm an atheist", and this says a lot about how true it is that those who call themselves atheists do not believe in God.
In my life I often meet people who professed atheist, and with them I always liked to entertain a nice conversation. And as we went into more depth in the discussion or arguments or considerations, the more I realized that in these people the Holy Spirit's presence was stronger than in those who claimed to be believers.
Simple; there isn't one. Man was not "put" onto the earth in this vast universe for any purpose anymore than a slug was. Our brains have reached an evolutionary peak where we have become aware of our mortality and we try to make sense of the fairness of it all.
I tend to think the purpose of life is to be in the world and do good things. For some, God and the Bible can be useful, like a storeroom with tools, but in that sense they are merely a means to get back in to the world and do good things.
Being Christian, by itself, doesn't give someone a purpose. it just gives them a label. personally, I think many miss the point. Rather than getting the tools they need to go out in the world and do good things, they stand at the storeroom door praying and worshiping, which to me seems akin to wishing a house to appear rather than building it with their own hands. Some miss the point even further. They drag pitchforks from the toolroom and go out into the world and skewer people based upon some sort of warped belief about what is right and good.
But if you are already in the world and have the tools you need to do good things than the storeroom of God is unnecessary. Just keep working. The great mistake some Christians make is believing that the storeroom of God is the only source of tools and the only source of good desire (actually that is the great mistake of many ideologies). They then look at atheists as if they can't possibly have either of those things. They are very incorrect. There are many sources. No one owns goodness.
Even a person who does not believe in God has beliefs. They do not believe in a higher power, that is a belief. So therefore I think that each individual has a specific reason for being here, whether it be to follow God or for another reason all together. God needs unbelievers to make believers.
If by "man's existence" you mean homo sapiens sapiens, we don't have a purpose in the traditional sense of the word. We evolved in East Africa into a hunter-gatherer ecological niche, then became a globally-dominant species with the inventions of fire, agriculture, and written language. In the process, I believe we underwent a form of self-domestication, artificially selecting for traits that favored urbanization and tribal cohesion rather than raw aggression and isolation, enabling us to more easily expand our primate small groups into tribes, city-states, and nations. We are here because we are here.
In an individual sense, our purpose is what we and others make it to be. We are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, engineers, construction workers, teachers, voters, leaders, followers, producers, consumers, readers, writers, and everything else there is to be. Our purpose is determined by the goals we set for ourselves, the choices we make, and sometimes the choices others make as we navigate the chaotic brownian motion of life.
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