Why are we here?


#1

When I was in high school, our physiology teacher gave us an assignment. We were to write a paper to explain why humans are here on earth without mentioning God or religion. He gave us two days to write it and then hand them in and then he would give us an answer. I just wonder what kind of response we can get from Athiests to that question or from anybody else.


#2

What a strange teacher, to exclude from consideration “God” or “religion”. I wonder why s/he would deliberately remove any possibility of God/ religion being involved in any given individual’s “purpose for living” or “reason to be on earth”.

Forced secularization, perhaps?
An attempt to make it look as though religion, not being “scientific” or “provable” by empiric methods, is irrelevant? Outmoded? Man-made?

Hold your nose, take your pick. . .and hopefully consider for college some place like Christendom College.

God bless.


#3

Well, actually he was doing it to prove a point. I’ll see what type of responses we get and then I’ll reply as to the answer he gave us.


#4

[quote=TobyLue]I just wonder what kind of response we can get from Athiests to that question or from anybody else.
[/quote]

We are here. That’s it. Period.


#5

Cardinal Cushing once asked this of a group of children at a home for the mentally challenged [or whatever the PC term is for today]. The answer:

Please Sir. We are all here because we are not all there.

:wink:


#6

Just tell the teacher what the “scholars” say and is the rule in all schools. There was a swirl of dust or a big bang, and now here we are. It has been proven over and over again, thats why they can say those things. It wouldnt be in text books and people wouldnt be getting PhDs if this stuff wasnt 100% true. Why cant you just accept the truth?


#7

[quote=AnAtheist]We are here. That’s it. Period.
[/quote]

You mean there’s no reason? No purpose to life? How sad!


#8

I think I should have been more specific. I meant to say that when I was in high school in the late 50’s etc. It was a public school, but 99.9% hispanic and about 99% Catholic. I was hoping to get some replies from non-believers as to why we are here and what is our purpose. BTW we didnt get graded on it. The teacher was protestant but had nothing against Catholics.


#9

Would I be guessing right if I said the teacher said it was impossible to say why we are here without a reference to God or religion? It was the 50’s, after all. Before public schools were forced to bar God and religion from the classroom.


#10

Without mentioning God or religion, why are human beings on the planet Earth?

Simply consult a science textbook.


#11

[quote=tkdnick]You mean there’s no reason? No purpose to life? How sad!
[/quote]

I am an atheist, and I agree with you that it is a depressing. But so is the doctrine of eternal punishment. In fact, it might be even more depressing.

There might be a reason and purpose to our existence, but I think that it is most likely not a divine one. No one really knows, though.

clarkal


#12

Since he was a science teacher, and the question was to explain why humans are on this earth (without mentioning God), I presume that he wanted you to give the best naturalistic, scientific, response available. (For scientific purposes, it would, after all, be begging the question to try to answer the question using supernatural propositions.)

The answer would involve whatever is known of human development, probably including the theory of evolution. It might also include the fact that the physical constants of the universe are such as to make human life possible.


#13

the question “why are we here?” is really two questions. Science offers an answer to the first question, “by what means did we get here, in this time and place?” and religion offers the answer to both that question, and to the other question, “for what purpose were we placed (and by Whom) in this time and place?”


#14

[quote=tkdnick]You mean there’s no reason? No purpose to life? How sad!
[/quote]

It is not at all sad nor depressing. Buddha said," we suffer because we do not accept that everything must perish." And there is much wisdom in that.
The day I accept, that I have to die some day, the fear of death was gone.
Life starts without a purpose, is there for a while without a purpose, and ends without a purpose. Accepting that brings freedom, not sadness.

Besides, what’s the purpose of an afterlife?


#15

is there such a thing as Buddhist existentialism? If I believed that I would go stand in front of a train. God made me out of nothing as an expression of his love, to know, love and serve him in this world and to be happy with him in the next. The underlying question here is posed above: what is the purpose of the afterlife. If there is no afterlife, poster is correct, there is no purpose to this earthly life. Why is there an afterlife? So that we creatures may enjoy presence and union with God for eternity, so that we may be loved.


#16

Without a Creator God we wouldn’t be here.


#17

[quote=AnAtheist]It is not at all sad nor depressing. Buddha said," we suffer because we do not accept that everything must perish." And there is much wisdom in that.
The day I accept, that I have to die some day, the fear of death was gone.
Life starts without a purpose, is there for a while without a purpose, and ends without a purpose. Accepting that brings freedom, not sadness.

Besides, what’s the purpose of an afterlife?
[/quote]

Hi,
I was listening to a pastor who served in Vietnam and who was the butt of many comments of atheists. But he said that when faced with screaming bullets and horrific circumstances everyone found that deep in their heart there was God. So he said his life experiences have told him that when the chips are down it is as scripture explains, He is in your heart and so are His laws.
Your purpose in life is to find Him, to grow like Him so you can be His temple. Christ is the corner stone, the prophets and apostles are the foundation and we are part of His temple. What do we get here on earth for this? As we grow in Him our lives here go from glory to glory, His promises to us being fullfilled on every front. These words have real meaning, they are not only taken from some book but are facts of life. The bible is a do it yourself living book on how to live a successful life by obeying Him.
Accepting what you believe Atheist is to cut yourself off from the blessings of God and to life a lously life.
Walk in love
edwinG


#18

[quote=edwinG]Accepting what you believe Atheist is to cut yourself off from the blessings of God and to life a lously life.

[/quote]

I have evidence against that statement: I do not live a lousy life.


#19

[quote=AnAtheist]It is not at all sad nor depressing. Buddha said," we suffer because we do not accept that everything must perish." And there is much wisdom in that.
The day I accept, that I have to die some day, the fear of death was gone.
Life starts without a purpose, is there for a while without a purpose, and ends without a purpose. Accepting that brings freedom, not sadness.

Besides, what’s the purpose of an afterlife?
[/quote]

Oh you don’t believe a word of it and there are so many people saying stuff like that it no longer has any shock value besides you sound like Ebenezer Scrooge.

“I do,” said Scrooge. “I must. But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me?”

“It is required of every man,” the Ghost returned, “that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellowmen, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world – oh, woe is me! – and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!”

Again the spectre raised a cry, and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands.

“You are fettered,” said Scrooge, trembling. “Tell me why?”

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?”

Scrooge trembled more and more.

“Or would you know,” pursued the Ghost, “the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!”

Scrooge glanced about him on the floor, in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing.

“Jacob,” he said, imploringly. “Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, Jacob!”

“I have none to give,” the Ghost replied. “It comes from other regions, Ebenezer Scrooge, and is conveyed by other ministers, to other kinds of men. Nor can I tell you what I would. A very little more, is all permitted to me. I cannot rest, I cannot stay, I cannot linger anywhere. My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house – mark me! – in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole; and weary journeys lie before me!”

“You must have been very slow about it, Jacob,” Scrooge observed, in a business-like manner, though with humility and deference.

“Slow!” the Ghost repeated.

“Seven years dead,” mused Scrooge. “And travelling all the time!”

“The whole time,” said the Ghost. “No rest, no peace. Incessant torture of remorse.”

“You travel fast?” said Scrooge.

“On the wings of the wind,” replied the Ghost.

“You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years,” said Scrooge.

The Ghost, on hearing this, set up another cry, and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night, that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance.

“Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour, by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!”

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

It held up its chain at arm’s length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.

“At this time of the rolling year,” the spectre said “I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!”


#20

[quote=AnAtheist]I have evidence against that statement: I do not live a lousy life.
[/quote]

Why do you feel there is no God? What is your core reasoning for being an Atheist?


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