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Meaninglessness Of Life
#26

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 08:29 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: My thought here is to ask why they would say that.

I wouldn't presume to speak for them, especially as they represent such a diversity of views that any single answer is likely to misrepresent the majority.

To my thinking, having your life's meaning taken from you and assigned by some external entity would be the most horrific form of violation and bondage imaginable.
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#27

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 08:29 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: 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.

Many theists think God is Truth itself. How could anyone have meaning without Truth?

But besides the fact that they can't prove their God exists, they overlook that people can derive meanings from truths, with a lower-case "t" -- relative truths.
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#28

Meaninglessness Of Life
Dum vivimus, vivamus!
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#29

Meaninglessness Of Life
We don't have meaning--we're just beings on a pale blue dot in the enormity of space. We can give our lives meaning through family, friends, pets, our jobs, helping others, following our dreams and aspirations.
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#30

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 08:29 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: 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.

It always comes down to what you mean by "meaning". If you mean externally defined and bestowed purpose, no. But if you mean that you can decide what you value and seek that value out and have subjective feelings of "meaningfulness" from having sufficient value in your life, then of course, you can have a lot of that, subject to your ability to flex around the random vicissitudes of life.

It helps a GREAT deal to have a good foundation such as not having had an overly abusive or neglectful upbringing, but even there, it's amazing what many people can do to overcome lack of nurture or other forms of bad luck. In my observation, god beliefs have never helped anyone define or find value in some essential way. It may be that religious belief works very well for particular persons, and that those people know or can imagine nothing else, but the notion that one becomes a bereft lost shade wandering aimlessly without bolstering theological notions, has never borne out in practice for anyone I know.
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#31

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 04:57 PM)Bcat Wrote: We don't have meaning--we're just beings on a pale blue dot in the enormity of space.  We can give our lives meaning through family, friends, pets, our jobs, helping others, following our dreams and aspirations.

As Garrison Keillor would say in his sign-off to his short feature A Writer's Almanac: "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."

Those are healthy words to live by.
Freedom isn't free.
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#32

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-03-2020, 10:35 PM)mordant Wrote:
(05-03-2020, 08:29 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: 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.

It always comes down to what you mean by "meaning". If you mean externally defined and bestowed purpose, no. But if you mean that you can decide what you value and seek that value out and have subjective feelings of "meaningfulness" from having sufficient value in your life, then of course, you can have a lot of that, subject to your ability to flex around the random vicissitudes of life.

It helps a GREAT deal to have a good foundation such as not having had an overly abusive or neglectful upbringing, but even there, it's amazing what many people can do to overcome lack of nurture or other forms of bad luck. In my observation, god beliefs have never helped anyone define or find value in some essential way. It may be that religious belief works very well for particular persons, and that those people know or can imagine nothing else, but the notion that one becomes a bereft lost shade wandering aimlessly without bolstering theological notions, has never borne out in practice for anyone I know.

Never mind the fact, and it is a fact, that the purpose the parents divine through their faith often result in abuse and neglect, hampering the ability of their children to succeed.
Freedom isn't free.
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#33

Meaninglessness Of Life
(05-02-2020, 10:34 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Just how meaningful is life?
As meaningful as I want it to be.  Meaning can't be imposed from outside, it can only be a function of my thoughts, feelings, aspirations and expectations.
"Aliens?  Us?  Is this one of your Earth jokes?"  -- Kro-Bar, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
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#34

Meaninglessness Of Life
Life has all the meaning we are willing and capable of giving it.

“Play hard, work hard, love hard….the bottom of life for me is to live life to the fullest in the here-and-now instead of a hoped-for hereafter, and make every day count in some meaningful way and do something──no matter how small it is──to make the world a better place.” (Michael Shermer)  Consider
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