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Meaninglessness Of Life
#1

Meaninglessness Of Life
Meaninglessness Of Life.  An argument.

Many theists tell us that without there being a God, our lives would
have no meaning.  But if there is a God, who arbitrarily decides who
is elect and who is not, who will receive prevenient grace and who will
not, that makes life for anyone in such a universe meaningless. It makes no
more sense than a Godless Universe where some live long, happy lives and
some short and miserable lives, dying of painful illnesses etc.  Some might
argue that an eternal life in heaven makes a difference.  But if God decides
not to save you, you are not elect, you will spend eternity in eternal torment.
That makes a difference also.  Perhaps a world with no hell and no God is an
improvement over what Christianity offers us.

Just how meaningful is life?
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



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#2

Meaninglessness Of Life
[Image: quote-asking-if-there-is-no-god-what-is-...-35-38.jpg]
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#3

Meaninglessness Of Life
That's up to each individual to determine, and everyone has their own reasons.
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#4

Meaninglessness Of Life
G. Sallustius Crispus figured things out long before the jesus freaks invented their hero.

[Image: AlSg4G05ZsVWkLlPJr8lGmRmn8fDWFiQq9HsYdmU...-ceh7qfZQw]

He had them nailed.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#5

Meaninglessness Of Life
I do not think the Christian God really adds any value to our lives. If God arbitrarily decides to condemn the larger numbers of humans to eternal torment arbitrarily, that kills the theist argument we need God to have meaning of our lives. We can do nothing about God's whims. Our lives in final analysis mean nothing to this pitiless God.
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



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#6

Meaninglessness Of Life
Their god means nothing to me so we're even.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#7

Meaninglessness Of Life
The Wall Street Journal said that I personally have made a lasting contribution, so I'm good.
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#8

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-02-2020, 11:02 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Their god means nothing to me so we're even.

Conscious beings create meanings, at least as I understand the word.  Different things have different meanings for different people and animals.
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#9

Meaninglessness Of Life
Ask a theist to turn to their spouse and say " your life gives me no meaning"

Then tell them to turn to their son, daughter, mother, father etc... and tell them to say "your life gives me no meaning"

I doubt any of them would or could do it.

And if they can... they're monsters.
_____________________________________________________

A friend in the hole

"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Captain Picard

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#10

Meaninglessness Of Life
The meaning God (as I was taught about him) gave me is that I am worthless and will always fall short; doomed to failure in his eyes, required to beg forgiveness.

The meaning I've given my own life: stand up straight, be forthright, find value in love and empathy, and hope I leave the world a better place.

I will still fall short, but at least in the latter scenario I can take action to ameliorate my flaws.
Freedom isn't free.
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#11

Meaninglessness Of Life
My life has tons of meaning. Just ask my dogs, I mean everything to them.
[Image: color%5D%5Bcolor=#333333%5D%5Bsize=small%5D%5Bfont=T...ans-Serif%5D]
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#12

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-02-2020, 10:34 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Meaninglessness Of Life.  An argument.

Many theists tell us that without there being a God, our lives would
have no meaning.  But if there is a God, who arbitrarily decides who
is elect and who is not, who will receive prevenient grace and who will
not, that makes life for anyone in such a universe meaningless. It makes no
more sense than a Godless Universe where some live long, happy lives and
some short and miserable lives, dying of painful illnesses etc.  Some might
argue that an eternal life in heaven makes a difference.  But if God decides
not to save you, you are not elect, you will spend eternity in eternal torment.
That makes a difference also.  Perhaps a world with no hell and no God is an
improvement over what Christianity offers us.

Just how meaningful is life?

No atheist would ever use the term "prevenient grace".  So to an early christian hell for you, and enjoy it, LOL!
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#13

Meaninglessness Of Life
As we're pattern-seeking mammals, I think making meaning and discovering meaning will always have a psychological zing to it.  Not sure we can get away from that entirely, but understanding that it's an evolved response is helpful for me.  

The heavily calvinistic POV in the OP: I have no idea how those people get out of bed in the morning.  They're rats in a cage with no reward, not even intermittent, and that just has to suck.  Rats don't like it, that's for sure.
god, ugh
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#14

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 12:45 AM)julep Wrote: As we're pattern-seeking mammals, I think making meaning and discovering meaning will always have a psychological zing to it.  Not sure we can get away from that entirely, but understanding that it's an evolved response is helpful for me.  

The heavily calvinistic POV in the OP: I have no idea how those people get out of bed in the morning.  They're rats in a cage with no reward, not even intermittent, and that just has to suck.  Rats don't like it, that's for sure.

Calvin is not my style. I like Kant better. Some Hume, too.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#15

Meaninglessness Of Life
Now that I've procreated and gave my offspring the tools to survive, maybe big picture life is meaningless for me now.

But I think I'll continue for a little longer giving/getting meaning in my own small way.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#16

Meaninglessness Of Life
There was a time in human history, when societies were "tribal" and any meaning did not arise for and from individuals. The meaning in tribal societies
was conferred by the preservation and promotion (reproduction) of the tribe and it's collective needs and goals. The rise of individualism in the West, is interesting and long been intensely studied. Meaning changed from tribal to individual. I would submit that even theists now, (except for the fundy nut cases) find meaning in "following my dream". It has morphed even more to the highly individual. l think for most people who identify as a "theist" really don't actually believe much of anything. I've seen it over and over in the hospital. If they did, they wouldn't cling to life as they do, and would be happy to go to heaven. In general, theism is a convenient "meme", a stand-in concept, as a method to halt inconvenient questions such as "Well then how did this all come about" ... etc.
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#17

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 12:58 AM)brewerb Wrote: Now that I've procreated and gave my offspring the tools to survive, maybe big picture life is meaningless for me now.

But I think I'll continue for a little longer giving/getting meaning in my own small way.

Don't sell short the wisdom you have to offer. Paying it forward is good stuff, be it your own kids or someone else's.
Freedom isn't free.
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#18

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 12:58 AM)brewerb Wrote: Now that I've procreated and gave my offspring the tools to survive, maybe big picture life is meaningless for me now.

But I think I'll continue for a little longer giving/getting meaning in my own small way.

Don't deny yourself the possibility of trying to control the lives of your half or quarter descendants. Because I have NO doubt you will.
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#19

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 02:01 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(05-03-2020, 12:58 AM)brewerb Wrote: Now that I've procreated and gave my offspring the tools to survive, maybe big picture life is meaningless for me now.

But I think I'll continue for a little longer giving/getting meaning in my own small way.

Don't deny yourself the possibility of trying to control the lives of your half or quarter descendants.  Because I have NO doubt you will.

Are you referring to the dogs?
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#20

Meaninglessness Of Life
The question that occurs to me most often in response to this sort of thing is, "Why would I care?"

Obviously meaning in this sense is a subjective thing, so trying to assign any sort of absolute meaning to existence is incoherent.  But even if it weren't, why would I care?

If someone told us that the meaning of our existence is to worship God.... why would I care?  Why would that arbitrary designation of my assigned meaning stop me from completely ignoring that meaning in pursuit of a different form of fulfillment?  What value would that meaning provide me?

Would I be happier for focusing on my assigned meaning?  Would I find my greatest success in it?  Would I self-actualize in this manner?  No, and the theists are smart not to claim so, because if they did make the claim and it did fail, it would (further) demonstrate that they were full of shit.  Instead, the whole notion is left as a vague, vapid thing, so amorphous that the idea of meaning itself is deprived of meaning.

I've found that demanding questions like this be put into concrete terms of how they are remotely relevant saves a whole lot of time that would otherwise be spent on philosophical navel-gazing.
"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today." - Isaac Asimov
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#21

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 04:59 AM)Reltzik Wrote: The question that occurs to me most often in response to this sort of thing is, "Why would I care?"

Obviously meaning in this sense is a subjective thing, so trying to assign any sort of absolute meaning to existence is incoherent.  But even if it weren't, why would I care?

If someone told us that the meaning of our existence is to worship God.... why would I care?  Why would that arbitrary designation of my assigned meaning stop me from completely ignoring that meaning in pursuit of a different form of fulfillment?  What value would that meaning provide me?

Would I be happier for focusing on my assigned meaning?  Would I find my greatest success in it?  Would I self-actualize in this manner?  No, and the theists are smart not to claim so, because if they did make the claim and it did fail, it would (further) demonstrate that they were full of shit.  Instead, the whole notion is left as a vague, vapid thing, so amorphous that the idea of meaning itself is deprived of meaning.

I've found that demanding questions like this be put into concrete terms of how they are remotely relevant saves a whole lot of time that would otherwise be spent on philosophical navel-gazing.

Dinner?
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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#22

Meaninglessness Of Life
It is meaningless. Well, apart from meaning that any of us can impart to it. I don't see reason to be troubled by it however, just like I am at peace with my insignificance. To be frank and somewhat contradictory considering that I wrote response this is question that merits nothing more than shrug for an answer.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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#23

Meaninglessness Of Life
Hummmm, animals don't believe in a god yet they live their lives with purpose and meaning.  They don't sit around all depressed doing nothing.    The Christian concept of god is based on extortion with a big dose of the Stockholm Syndrome.   If you don't believe in, worship and love their god you'll go to everlasting hell, so if threats of hell and damnation give their life meaning then they can keep it.  I want nothing to do with their mofia boss.
                                                         T4618
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#24

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-02-2020, 10:34 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Many theists tell us that without there being a God, our lives would
have no meaning.  But if there is a God, who arbitrarily decides who
is elect and who is not, who will receive prevenient grace and who will
not, that makes life for anyone in such a universe meaningless...

Being as I'm an ignostic, I don't have much to say about this.

God or gods don't exist, so with that rider, the quality of life is in no way related to or
affected by any alleged supernatural entities.  As far as I'm concerned,  to say something
like "if there is a god" is part of an absurd argument.  We may as well start our argument
by saying "if gravity didn't exist" then.....

Put simply, I don't give a flying fuck what any theist says about life or the universe or the
human condition etc.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#25

Meaninglessness Of Life
This claim that atheists do not have any meaning in their lives without God is a common argument among Christians. My thought here is to ask why they would say that. Since their Biblical God is arbitrary and withholds salvation from many, if not most people according to their supposed revealed books of the Bible, it would seem that there is in the final analysis, no real meaning to any Christian's life either. What is the point in God arbitrarily condemning the majority of people to eternal torment. Why is that meaningful? But not atheism/naturalism without that endless torment for most people?

It is a bad argument when taken to that doctrine's logical conclusion. On the Christian's own grounds. What do they mean by meaning of life in this context anyway? I do not think many people bother to think beyond the platitude, the irritating little claim that seems at bottom to self destruct when approached that way.

Which is a far different beast that the usual atheist argument, "My life has meaning to me and my loved ones and humanity at large". Where is all that meaning when we examine what their religion really claims about their God and that God's ways and our possible eternal torment for no reason we are responsible for? What is the point to all of that? Is the meaning of life really unending torture for the vast majority of mankind?

I want to gut that little smarmy platitude from the Christian apologists. And make them think about how horrific their theology really is if we take the Bible seriously about God's nature and God's ways.
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