Atheists: What is the mean of life?

In your opinion what is the meaning of life?

I have seen some of you post about what life is, but never as to why life is.

What is the meaning of life for you?

Peace

[quote=dennisknapp]In your opinion what is the meaning of life?

I have seen some of you post about what life is, but never as to why life is.

What is the meaning of life for you?

Peace
[/quote]

Life is. Period.

(Assuming that “why” means, what purpose does life fulfill, and not how life came into existence, which is a totally different subject.)

*Life is. Period.
*
AnAtheist is being disingenuous. What he really says is that life is meaningless.

A great message to send our kids and no doubt one of the reasons for the moral chaos among the young.

What connection is there between the “meaning of life” and morals?

Planets do not orbit the sun in perfect cycles, no wonder the world is in chaos.

[quote=AnAtheist]Life is. Period.

(Assuming that “why” means, what purpose does life fulfill, and not how life came into existence, which is a totally different subject.)
[/quote]

I’m not an Atheist, but I can certainly see why an atheist would counter the meaning of “why” in this manner. What I’d like the atheist to explain is why humans are the only form of life that “is” and able to think as well. Does thought just exist? Does self-realization come form somewhere?

SG

[quote=AnAtheist]What connection is there between the “meaning of life” and morals?

Planets do not orbit the sun in perfect cycles, no wonder the world is in chaos.
[/quote]

Planets do orbit the sun in perfect ellipses - now THAT defies logic!

There is a connection between “meaining of life” and morals, but it would be hard to see an understand if you do not believe that morals have an absolute basis. (I’m using a stereotype and assuming that because you are am atheist then you decide what is right and wrong for you or society - i.e. Moral Relativism.)

SG

[quote=Seeks God]What I’d like the atheist to explain is why humans are the only form of life that “is” and able to think as well.
[/quote]

How do you know that? This universe probably contains a lot of non-human lifeforms capable of thinking, even on our very own planet. The human mind is the most complex one in this planet, but surely not the only one capable of a) thinking and b) self-awareness. I dare say, a lot of species, esp. mammals, are even capable of experiencing emotions like anger, compassion, even love.

Mostly yes, though I think some morals might come from instinct.

[quote=AnAtheist]How do you know that? This universe probably contains a lot of non-human lifeforms capable of thinking, even on our very own planet. The human mind is the most complex one in this planet, but surely not the only one capable of a) thinking and b) self-awareness. I dare say, a lot of species, esp. mammals, are even capable of experiencing emotions like anger, compassion, even love.
[/quote]

First prove that there are animals that are capable of thought in the same way human beings are capable of it. I deny emotions in animals and accept instinctual behavior; but even if I did accept that some animals experience emotion, there is still not connection to the level of human thoughts. How can you possibly prove that animals are self-aware? How can you prove that animals are intellectually comparable to human beings? You cannot! I agree that life has similar characteristics, but not all life is similar.

Secondly your insinuation that life exists elsewhere in the universe is simply theory and not based upon fact. I’m quite familiar with the ultimate Atheist - Carl Sagan - who was a strong champion of science and billions and billions of stars means that live MUST exist elsewhere and we may never be able to prove it. Carl Sagan at the end of his life, wrote a book that was quite insightful and still he denied the existence of God. But Carl Sagan still died pondering the question. Why would he do that? Why ponder when you don’t believe in God? It’s because there is a natural tendency for mankind to search for their Creator. Mankind has always seen itself as superior to all other forms of life. Why?

SG

[quote=AnAtheist]Mostly yes, though I think some morals might come from instinct.
[/quote]

So…I should base my moral insights on my dog? You can’t possible explain morality on instinct. Hunger instinctually tells an animal to eat; instinct tells animals to avoid predators; instinct does not tell a person when and where to tell a lie. If that is the case then why is it that some people do lie and some people do not lie? How can instincts tell one person what is right and wrong and another it is completely different? This question is simply answered by the fact that we as humans are capable of seeing ourselves as different than animals - that’s right as special and superior to animals. We have free will - we DECIDE how to act, but there is still an absolute basis to our morals. There is a judgement that must take place to decide what is right or wrong.

SG

[quote=Seeks God]First prove that there are animals that are capable of thought in the same way human beings are capable of it. I deny emotions in animals and accept instinctual behavior; but even if I did accept that some animals experience emotion, there is still not connection to the level of human thoughts. How can you possibly prove that animals are self-aware? How can you prove that animals are intellectually comparable to human beings? You cannot!
[/quote]

I said the human mind is the most complex one, so we won’t find animals with the same intellectual capacities as a human. But I strongly doubt that the brains of other mammals work much differently from ours, esp those of primates.
Regarding the bold-faced question: Afaik primates recognise themselves in mirrors. Proof enough to me.

Secondly your insinuation that life exists elsewhere in the universe is simply theory and not based upon fact.

It is not even a theory, it is just idle speculation. But with good reason.

AnAtheist -

I’d like to see the experimental prrof that primates recognize themselves in mirrors. I NEVER accept a truth because someone says it is so. Give me the scientific study and I’ll accept it.

But for arguments sake let’s pretend monkeys do recognize themselves. How does that disprove that there is meaning to life? We went off on a tangent that evaded the question. If there is no meaning in life then it really does not matter what I do for a living, how I treat my wife and kids; there is nothing to be said for lying, cheating, murdering; there is no reason not to be drunk, not to be addicted to drugs or sex. If there IS no meaning to life, then there are no consequences in life. Right?
SG

Fair enough.

Some quick googling procudes those articles (amonst others)
wissenschaft.de/wissen/news/154082.html
ruhr-uni-bochum.de/rubin/rbin2_00/natur/artikel1/
news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/05/0502_dolphinvanity.html
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9237465&dopt=Abstract

Interesting too: essex.ac.uk/psychology/psychology/CLIENTS/ClaudiaUller/AnimalCog_GoalDet_2003.pdf

Can I conclude from the bold faced sentence, that you are not a Christian or that God speaks directly to you or that you have scientific proof for God (now that would interest me)?

But for arguments sake let’s pretend monkeys do recognize themselves. How does that disprove that there is meaning to life?

It doesn’t. It just shows, that humans are not that special as we like to think.

If there is no meaning in life then it really does not matter what I do for a living, how I treat my wife and kids; there is nothing to be said for lying, cheating, murdering; there is no reason not to be drunk, not to be addicted to drugs or sex.

It matters to your wife and kids how you treat them.

If there IS no meaning to life, then there are no consequences in life.

??? How so? Your actions have consequences in life, regardless of any meaning.

[quote=Seeks God]AnAtheist -

I’d like to see the experimental prrof that primates recognize themselves in mirrors. I NEVER accept a truth because someone says it is so. Give me the scientific study and I’ll accept it.

But for arguments sake let’s pretend monkeys do recognize themselves. How does that disprove that there is meaning to life? We went off on a tangent that evaded the question. If there is no meaning in life then it really does not matter what I do for a living, how I treat my wife and kids; there is nothing to be said for lying, cheating, murdering; there is no reason not to be drunk, not to be addicted to drugs or sex. If there IS no meaning to life, then there are no consequences in life. Right?
SG
[/quote]

Have you looked into the eyes of a gorilla and watched him for any length of time? If you have you would have noticed something behind those eyes. He may not be as intelligent or understand or know like humans, but there is a spark of life and one can gain a sense of companionship with such an animal.

The meaning of life is everywhere. It is love, companionship, survival - all these things. I have no empirical proof to show you that monkeys or gorillas think like humans or have identical emotions. But then, as Christians, we don’t have empirical proof of the Holy Spirit and God the Father.

Be careful here. Everyone writes off other life forms on the planet, but there is more than meets the eyes.

Here is a snippet from the National Geographic site:

"One of the most important implications of this study is that it shows that the ability to recognize one’s own appearance is not specific to primates. According to Marino, the study is interesting because dolphins and primate brains have evolved along very different lines. “Our study shows that the same behavior can be an outcome of two very differently organized brains,” she said."

from here: news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/05/0502_dolphinvanity.html

Peace…

[quote=Seeks God]AnAtheist -

I’d like to see the experimental prrof that primates recognize themselves in mirrors. I NEVER accept a truth because someone says it is so. Give me the scientific study and I’ll accept it.

But for arguments sake let’s pretend monkeys do recognize themselves. How does that disprove that there is meaning to life? We went off on a tangent that evaded the question. If there is no meaning in life then it really does not matter what I do for a living, how I treat my wife and kids; there is nothing to be said for lying, cheating, murdering; there is no reason not to be drunk, not to be addicted to drugs or sex. If there IS no meaning to life, then there are no consequences in life. Right?
SG
[/quote]

There are natural consequences in life.

The stove is hot - you touch it - you get burned - natural consequence.
You drive your car 140 mph the wrong way on a one-way street -
you die.
You cheat on your spouse - spouse finds out - you get a divorce.

These are easy, painful occurences that are natural consequences in life. This is elementary my friend. I’m not atheist or arguing for it. I just get nitpicky when I see theists get this far off course. I happened to be a theist.

Peace…

hmmm I guess I must be a simpleton then because the meaning of my life is to serve my God.
He gave me life, so I am here
He gave me shelter, by creating this beautiful universe
He gave me food, by creating the very plants and animals I eat
He gave me a mind to think with, that I might ponder why I am here
But most of all he gave me love. A love so great that he sent his son to die for my sins and yours too. The only thing he has asked in return for his many gifts is that I praise him.
Every time I had a baby I praised him for the miracle of life.
Every time I lay my head down I thank him for giving me that day to serve him.
Everytime I cook a meal I thank God and praise him for the food that I can share with my friends and family.
Every quiet moment I get away from the kids, away from the noise of everyday life, I look around at the sky, plants, trees, animals and I feel the love he has for me. I think to myself “Of all these things…he loved me most,” I will serve and praise him everyday!

[quote=AnAtheist]Fair enough.

Some quick googling procudes those articles (amonst others)
wissenschaft.de/wissen/news/154082.html
ruhr-uni-bochum.de/rubin/rbin2_00/natur/artikel1/
news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/05/0502_dolphinvanity.html
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9237465&dopt=Abstract

Interesting too: essex.ac.uk/psychology/psychology/CLIENTS/ClaudiaUller/AnimalCog_GoalDet_2003.pdf

[/quote]

I’ll look these up and research them. I have a strong interest in science.

[quote=AnAtheist]Can I conclude from the bold faced sentence, that you are not a Christian or that God speaks directly to you or that you have scientific proof for God (now that would interest me)?
[/quote]

Let not your heart be troubled. I am a Christian. My point is that I don’t just accept things as fact. I beleive that God gives the ability to reason, discern fact from fiction and establish the truth in our own minds.

[quote=AnAtheist]It doesn’t. It just shows, that humans are not that special as we like to think.
[/quote]

I think humans are pompous, but because a monkey can resognize itself in a mirror still doesn’t prove that humans aren’t set aside as special…

[quote=AnAtheist]It matters to your wife and kids how you treat them.

??? How so? Your actions have consequences in life, regardless of any meaning.
[/quote]

Absolutely! I understand that, but when there is “no meaning to life” then consequences are irrelevant…

SG

[quote=ahimsaman72]There are natural consequences in life.

The stove is hot - you touch it - you get burned - natural consequence.
You drive your car 140 mph the wrong way on a one-way street -
you die.
You cheat on your spouse - spouse finds out - you get a divorce.

These are easy, painful occurences that are natural consequences in life. This is elementary my friend. I’m not atheist or arguing for it. I just get nitpicky when I see theists get this far off course. I happened to be a theist.

Peace…
[/quote]

We were speaking about the meaning of life and I mentioned without a meaning in life there are no consequences. Certainly there are physical consequences to actions - Newton’s Third Law of Motion hits that on the nose! I was speaking to spiritual consequences - yes in this country there are still (though fading fast) consequences to cheating on your spouse…Let’s move to a more liberal country or a country with alot of totalitarianism - do the same consequences exist? Probably not - are these physical consequences? Possibly possibly not, but regardless, my point states that without a meaning in life then there are no consequences…

SG

[quote=Seeks God]We were speaking about the meaning of life and I mentioned without a meaning in life there are no consequences. Certainly there are physical consequences to actions - Newton’s Third Law of Motion hits that on the nose! I was speaking to spiritual consequences - yes in this country there are still (though fading fast) consequences to cheating on your spouse…Let’s move to a more liberal country or a country with alot of totalitarianism - do the same consequences exist? Probably not - are these physical consequences? Possibly possibly not, but regardless, my point states that without a meaning in life then there are no consequences…

SG
[/quote]

Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. This from the lips of Christ is not a physical description. He was giving a spiritual principle that is universal. It is a law given by God to humankind. It isn’t an American phenomenon or Russian phenomenon. Whether a person understands the principles or knows the principle doesn’t matter. It still is in effect.

A non-civilized person in a far away country who doesn’t know anything about the “meaning of life” as you would describe it - is still under the sowing-reaping principle. Knowledge of it doesn’t make it true or false. His meaning of life is survival, one moment to the next.

Peace…

Re: Atheists

In your opinion what is the meaning of life?

I have seen some of you post about what life is, but never as to why life is.
What is the meaning of life for you?

Well, first, I’m not an atheist.
Secondly, “meaning” could mean “teleological” [the end
purpose of life] or the noetic…what does life -the living of life- mean.

From what I can tell, it seems to be fairly
simple: You’re born, you live, you die and that’s it.
Suffering has no “meaning”…it just is. A person
with values, who is an atheist, may try to relieve
suffering, but never try to “explain” it, or think of
suffering as having any value…except, perhaps,
in the strengthening of character and the development
of compassion.

Man is his own “project.” Self-perfection may be
striven for…man, literally, “invents” him/herself.

I don’t defend these positions, I just present what
I’ve observed and read, and I am certainly open to
correction on the above, by anyone professing
atheism.

Best,
reen12

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