«Home

What Is The Purpose Of Life According To Atheism?

I get various answers, basically, it's whatever you want it to be? So say the purpose of life is to acquire fame and wealth, what's gonna happen to your fame and wealth once you're in your grave? You're not gonna be benefiting from it no more, right?

That's why am a believer in God, we pray and remember God every single day, and we are encouraged to remember death so that we are not OBSESSED with this life, because whatever material things we earn here, they'll be of no use to us in the grave. Whatever good we do here will benefit us in Heaven, if we get there.

So what is the true purpose of life according to Atheism then?

Avatar
Newbie
28 answers

Ilosiwaju -

Although i am impressed by the quality of your post, and although i tend to agree with most of what you have written, i must state that in the excerpts highlighted above, you have mis-stated Atheism, or at the very least, you have extended its borders intolerably.

Atheism is a positive denial in the existence of God or gods (all or any deities). It is without doubt a gross exaggeration to characterize Atheism therefore as "a pro-life concept. . ." The Atheistic idea does not venture into the question of life or what anybody does with his or her life. Atheism is not concerned with that. It is simply a point of view that states: ("God(s) do not exist." Period. Whatever any person wants to do with his life is not, and has never been the concern of the atheist.

Atheism advances no dogmatic or doctrinal positions. For this reason, it is a entire contradiction in terms to state, as you have done, "According to Atheism. . ." save with respect to the strict matter of denying Deism or Theism.

Might i add a footnote. God, properly understood, is life itself, the living power of the Universe, the source of that power. Denying his/ her/ its existence therefore, can never in any event be "pro-life."

I state this because most atheists i have come across on this forum are tragically unable to distinguish the cosmological question of the existence of God from the fallacies of human religious dogma. They tend to argue along the line that since human religion is obviously flawed, then. . . God does not exist! I hope you are able to see the inherent intellectual laziness reflected by such a statement. Because "God" refers to an uncaused cause, and prime mover of all existence, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the veracity or stupidity of human religious dogma.

0
Avatar
Newbie

I think the purpose of life is relative or based on your perspective. For theists, they like to think they have a purpose here which is a noble idea except that majority of them feel their purpose is to fulfill scriptures or prophesies sha. God wants mankind to multiply and fill the face of the earth, biologically that should be through sexual intercourse which david in psalm 51 hypocritically apologised(on his parents behalf) about being conceived through. Yet sex is a good thing ordained for married people, c'mon, why the mind games?

I know this is not a sex or romance thread but sex is just one of the numerous topics that religion messes with and people are expected to shape their lives via such unreliable notions. Purpose is all about what u want, what you love, what you can become etc. so according to atheism, purpose is not all about having to conform to some stereotype celestial masterplans but to take charge of your life and be responsible for whatever happens to you.

As humans, we all have a responsibility to help each other, educate each other and so on.

Atheism is a pro-life concept if u ask me and not a pro-death-thus heaven one.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Noetic100 ? hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahhaha, Honestly an Atheist is far better than a hypocrites.

0
Avatar
Newbie

debating with abuzola is like pouring water into a basket. . .nonetheless all his concerns have been answered here

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-322800.32.html

0
Avatar
Newbie

Yes i do know that destiny is far more complex and bigger than i stated. This is a post on what life means to an atheist and not about destiny, that was why i just mention my simplistic view of destiny. But in recognition of the complex nature of destiny was why i made the following statement

I believe your destiny is what ever you want it to be within educational, social, physical, medical, gender, etc. limits.

But if i am to elaborate a little further i would say the effect of destiny on individuals is similar to the effect of gravity on objects in space. The gravity of all celestial bodies influence each other and the closer their proximity the greater influence they exert on each other (sometimes you must factor in their relative sizes too). For example the earth is mainly influenced by the gravity of the sun and hence the destiny of the earth is to go around the sun through out its life (it was born by the sun anyway). but the moon also in very close proximity to the earth exerts a significant influence on the earth's destiny. Also other bodies that exert some influence on the earth are, in order of importance ; Venus, Mars, Jupiter and the rest of the planets. Others of minute influences still, are; the other solar systems in our galaxy, other galaxies and galaxy clusters.

In comparism with an individual, our parents naturally would exert the greatest influence on our destinies ( since also they gave birth to us), then comes other close family members like brothers, sisters, uncles aunt and cousins. Then comes more distant people like friends, classmates, acquaintances and colleagues. The only difference of humans to celestial bodies is that we can decide at some point to change the course of our destinies and redirect it.

So a person born in a war torn society or a poverty stricken community has a natural course of destiny attached to his movement through his life, but most often we find such person employing enough force (determination) and with the help of other bodies (people) changing the course of his pre-destined destiny and becoming a very huge success. Carry out a survey of the most successful people in the world today (including Nigeria), you will find out that they fall within this class. only few people with a well laid out and rosy destiny rarely make it.

I hope you have an idea of my definition of destiny. So I still say at the end of the day we ( our will) exert the greatest influence on our individual (and even collective) destinies.

before you remember something, such a thing would have been perceived before.

I do not have any notion of God as a distant non-existent person, i do not have the notion of God being a person at all - male or female. I have no notion of God.

My favourite character in the new testament was Thomas, he has a scientific mind. How can you tell me someone rose from the dead and expect me to believe it without any evidence. He got the evidence he needed and believed. I am waiting for my own evidence.

about the others that believed a story or stories based on hearsay (the miracles were all hearsay as no original eyewitness recorded the events) , visions, revelations, inspirations. Vision, revelations, inspirations and dreams are often a reflection of our beliefs, aspirations, expectations, fears, etc. that is why a Muslim would have visions of Jinns, a catholic would have visions of Mary and the Ifa priest would have visions from Sango. About prophesies, i seem to concur with Thomas paigne who said Prophet and prophesies are words that have changed meaning. In ancient times the real meaning of a prophet was Poet and his Poetry was termed Prophesy, and you had a poet attached to kings and priests as they are the only ones rich enough to afford them. Anyway that is an argument for another day.

I know i sound dogmatic in my labeling of theists ignorant. That is because most theist i come in contact with has no basis of their own for their beliefs, especially Muslims and Christians. If you asked them why you believe in Christ or God? what is God? even when did God create the world or even what is the meaning of the word Bible and when was it compiled and by whom. You will be surprised most  Christians are ignorant of even Christianity. A favourite question i love asking Christians is What is the meaning of Amen and Halleluyah, which they shout everyday of their lives. Only very few are able to provide answers.

I respect highly theists like Pastor AIO, he knows the basis of his Christianity.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Noetic100, please come over here and defend your God, he is being taken to pieces by Abuzola with quotes from the Bible.

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-330432.0.html

0
Avatar
Newbie

I am not mis defining atheism at all. . .All the gods I know of are gods of man made religions. . If you have any evidence to show that their is a god/gods apart from that of man made religions pls let me know. . .

When I say evidence I mean evidence that points to a god outside that of man made religions. . . pointing to the universe as an evidence for a god will not do because the universe is just the evidence for the universe. . .If you claim that there are 1000000 flying trees out there in the clouds that are moving in a circular motions it is then up to you to provide evidence for them, pointing to the clouds as your evidence will not do. . . .

0
Avatar
Newbie

I said earlier in my previous post that "BELIEF" is a STRONG word. . , I dont believe in ANY kind of re-incarnation, but I do acknowledge the claims and dogma behind this kind of re-incarnation.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Mazaje, please stop mis-defining atheism.

When you say that as an atheist you deny gods of man made religions, you are insinuating that if there was a god that you found not to be of man made religions, then you may believe in such a god. That is not atheism, because atheism denies the existence of God or gods, whether man made or not, period.

0
Avatar
Newbie

And do you believe in this type of re incarnation?. . .You said that their have been reported cases of known reincarnation. . .

0
Avatar
Newbie

The above is not my idea of re-incarnation. . . . . there is no basis or proof that supports the above, thats just a ridiculous dogmatic belief.

My idea of re-incarnation is of cases where people die and come back in the form of another person. They however retain ALL knowledge of their previous life, including language, family, origin and events in that life.

0
Avatar
Newbie

I will like you to shed more light on this claim. . .some people believe that if you are good in this present life you will re-incarnate as a better person in the next life. . some believe that if you are bad you might even come out as an animal in the next life. . . do you believe that the Dai Lama is a re-incanation of previous buddist deities or have you ever meet a dog or cat that told you he/she was a human in the previous life?. . .

0
Avatar
Newbie

Let me state my own purpose in life since I am an atheist. . . Atheism is simply a disbelieve in all the gods of man made religion based on their lack of evidence for all their assertions. . . . The fact that I disbelieve in man made myths does not mean I have no purpose in life actually I have found more purpose in life after I dropped all the myths I used to believe in. . . .I do not feel the need for a savior in my life.  I feel I need to take responsibility for my own wrong doings and be self-reliant to the best of my ability.  However if I do need help I think asking family and friends would be much better than asking an imaginary friend who is powerless in the realm we live in. . . .

Many theist chose to come to invoke their dieties when they are in need of something. . .they pray for protection, good health,wealth, happiness, comfort etc. . .But the problem is that there is NO evidence to show that theist are better protected, happier, richer, more moral than atheist and there is NO evidence to show that theist are better than atheist in any way. . . .Belief in god relies basically on emotional reasoning and fear and basically that is how all religions function. . . Most religions rely on these two things. . . .  All religions offer people lies and false hope. . . They find a way of making you feel guilty and then claiming to have a solution to the imaginary guilt they have instilled in you, that is why all the man made god's do not rely on reasoning and rationality. . .They religions tell people absurd stories that have NO basis in reality stories that can never be replicated and stories people know are lies. . .the rely on man's fear of death and the unknown and claim only them know what will happen or have the knowledge of what will happen. . .they all claim to know something they can never know. . .They promise people peace comfort and happiness as long as your abide by their dogmatic and mythical teachings. . .but that too has been shown to be false. . .

Now let me make my case for atheism and the purpose it gives me in life. . . Since I left religion behind me, stopped being a christian and stopped asking god to help me(actually its not as if any god has ever helped me before), my life has improved immeasurably, makes much more sense and I'm a much more centred, happier and focused person. . . I do not need an imaginary purpose, I do not need an imaginary direction all I need is to live my life, be happy as much as I can and try to make others around me happy. . .I try to be good to the best of my ability knowing that doing good is good enough not because I expect some imaginary sky daddy or master to reward me after wards. . .Doing good because you know it is right is better than doing good because you expect to be rewarded in an imiginary after life that has NO evidence at all. . .I live this life knowing that it is all that I know there is and try to make the best of it by contributing  in what ever way I can to make the people around me happier than they are. . .I do not always succede in that but I mostly try. . . . .

So my purpose in life as wirinet has said is to be born to live my life and make my contribution to the survival of the universe. . .

0
Avatar
Newbie

For me d purpose of life is wateva u want it 2 be.

According 2 some religion, d purpose of lyf is 2 worship god. If god had wantd us 2 worship him. He wud have designd us in such a way dat. U wont be able 2 do otherwise. U'l just sing & clap everyday. Take a caculator for xample, all it can do is jst caculate.

0
Avatar
Newbie

This is a tough question. . . . .

Belief is a strong word. . . .I don not "believe" in re-incarnation, . . . .but I do acknowledge reincarnation, astrology or other mystic powers largely because

a. The bible acknowledges them but condemns them in the book of deuteronomy. (the bible does not mention re-incarnation though, to the best of my knowledge)

b. There have been cases and instances of known re-incarnation. There have also been cases of accurate mystic readings even in the bible and in todays world.

My position is that just like astrology, re-incarnation does exist but is outside the scope of my beliefs. I dont subscribe to them. . . .but it points largely to the fact there is more to this universe than we presently know.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Noetic! This is just brilliant! This is why i like you too. . . despite being a dogmatic christian, you spice up your posts with good arguments now and then. . . excellent thinking, especially on the Destiny bit. . .

Might i ask you: do you believe in re-incarnation. . .

0
Avatar
Newbie

THIS is a very very good write-up, except the part about "how does one remember God". . . that was rather lame. . .

I would like to ask you one question: What's your reaction to the proposition that other than the material body which dies, man also posesses a living spirit.

0
Avatar
Newbie

No i never run!

I was impressed with your last response, it contained valid and reasonable arguments. I will respond later as i am busy right now.

Are you the same Noetic I know or an imposer?

0
Avatar
Newbie

Allah, the Exalted, created me to purposely worship Him and Him only.

A person or any other created thing does ask to be created.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Quran 5;14. And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection (when they discarded Allah's Book, disobeyed Allah's Messengers and His Orders and transgressed beyond bounds in Allah's disobedience), and Allah will inform them of what they used to do.

5;15. O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Now has come to you Our Messenger (Muhammad ) explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and passing over (i.e. leaving out without explaining) much. Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light (Prophet Muhammad ) and a plain Book (this Qur'an).

16. Wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace, and He brings them out of darkness by His Will unto light and guides them to a Straight Way (Islamic Monotheism).

17. Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary) . Say (O Muhammad ): "Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), his mother, and all those who are on the earth together?" And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things.

18. And (both) the Jews and the Christians say: "We are the children of Allah and His loved ones." Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins?" Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created, He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and to Him is the return (of all).

19. O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Now has come to you Our Messenger (Muhammad ) making (things) clear unto you, after a break in (the series of) Messengers, lest you say: "There came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner. " But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And Allah is Able to do all things

0
Avatar
Newbie

@ wirinet

1. I STRONGLY disagree with ur notion that destinity is what a person makes of it, . . .for obvious reasons

a. Have u ever put into consideration the billions of people who have no say in their destiny. . . including u? . . .did u have a say in where u were born? how and when u were born? did u have a say in the choice of ur parents, nationality, race or heritage?

b. how about the millions of war victims, who are traumatised by the policies of a group of men? WWI, WWII and other wars? how about the victims of ridiculous economic policies in zimbabwe, nigeria and other parts of the world? do these people have a say in their destinies?

My point is that, by choice none of these victims would love to be born in Africa or impoverished nations, no one would choose to live in dehumanising and inhuman societies with devilish policies. Destiny is far bigger than u think of.

I do concede that a man's actions or inactions have a say in what he makes of his life, but the most potent decisions in a man's life were not taken by him.

No man  chose a. where he was born

b. who his parents would be

c. how he would be born

d. when he would be born

e. the family, race, country of birth.

If a man has no say over these things, it is pertinent to state that whoever decides these things still has a bigger say in the life of man.

2. I also disagree with ur postulation that God has to be seen before He can be remembered.

ur notion of God as a distant non-existent person is not the same for many others. Some have a close inter-personal relationship with Him. so when u call for a visual experience like Thomas did in the bible. . .others are merely content with prophecy, visions, revelations, inspirations, miracles or manifestations of the spirit to serve as their basis of belief in God.

This fact of their might be unacceptable to u. . .but does not proof them wrong.

3. Its ironical that u mention ignorance. We need to largely define what ignorance means. Cos to u, I am ignorant simply because I fail to see things from ur world view. I disagree.

ur world view is a very biased and dogmatic one. There has been no concrete reason to support ur dogmatic beliefs about the non-existence of God, so it is impossible to see things from an atheistic point of view. . .as such a non-atheist CANNOT be considered ignorant in this context.

0
Avatar
Newbie

No i did not create myself. What of you did you create yourself? if not what created you? when and why?. Did you ask to be created or was forcefully created for a purpose you have no say in?

Your answers would be appreciated.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Any way, did you creat yourself?

0
Avatar
Newbie

There is no purpose in life in Atheism.

0
Avatar
Newbie

My dear sexy, i am in the mood to indulge you with my answer and i will not claim to hold forth for all Atheists or all shades of Atheism.

before I attempt an answer lets me analyze your statements.

You say some Atheists say the purpose of life is whatever you want it to be. I will only agree with that statements if you substitute Purpose with destiny. I believe your destiny is what ever you want it to be within educational, social, physical, medical, gender, etc. limits. Although you can sometimes achieve your destiny even with those limitations. For example it would be almost impossible for an autistic child to become a professor of physics. Like wise it would be near impossible for a woman to carry heavier weights than men.

About some people saying than the purpose of life is to acquire fame and wealth. I can say that can only be said by a person living in poverty. Because according to his terrible experience of life, his purpose to existence would be a struggle against poverty. He will not be able to think of anything else. That is the situation a lot of black Africans face. That is why this purpose is not restricted to atheism or any religion but most poor Africans. You will even see majority of African religionist embracing religion because of the promise of escape from poverty.

You said you remember God every day. I am interested in knowing how you remember God. You remember things you have previously had interactions or physical encounter with. So please enlighten me with your description of your God and the remembrance of that description.

Now how can you be encourage to remember death? have you died before and thereby remembering that state.I think you mean think of death. Me as an Atheist do not think of death, i remember life, I want to live life to its fullest and as you people say live life abundantly. i want to wake up everyday looking forward to living that day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Death will come when it will come.

I am not a believer or an aspirant for heaven. I cannot survive in that environment, where i will monotonously sing praises to your god till eternity, with no free will, no challenges, nothing new to learn or aspire to, to me that is worse that hell.

Now the purpose of my life is the same as the purpose of existence, the purpose of the universe, the galaxies, the stars, the planets and in fact all other living thing. The purpose is the same, to be born to live our our lives, and make our contribution to the survival of the universe.

I have lived fairly successfully, I hope to make a contribution to mankind by educating people around me both formally and informally ( I believe ignorance is the greatest decease plaguing mankind and the cause of most of our problems), and at the end contribute half of my genes to the human gene pool (so part of me will live forever).

That is my purpose.

Any questions?

0
Avatar
Newbie

thanks for info

regards

0
Avatar
Newbie
Your answer
Add image

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.