Thursday, March 24, 2011

My meaningless atheist life

When I stopped believing in gods, I realized that my life is meaningless. And that makes me happy.

What I realized is that my life has no prescribed meaning. There's no cosmic sky fairy who created me for his own reasons. I'm not the pawn or the slave of some "higher" being, no matter how benevolent and wise (or not). No external meaning is imposed on me. There is no Plan.

My life means whatever I make it mean. No more and no less. I'm free.* And I'm glad.

So here's the meaning of my life.

I find life meaningful. I find the way I affect others' lives meaningful. Some of those effects will outlast my own life. When I die, I hope I will die knowing that I made the world a little bit better place, for a few people, in a small way, while I was here. I hope I will die knowing that some of those people will carry with them some of my beliefs and values as a sort of legacy, and will pass them on to others as well.

As long as anyone who has been influenced by someone who has been influenced by someone (and on and on) who has been influenced by me exists, my legacy will continue. Just as most of my genes have existed since the beginning of humanity, my influence just might continue until its end.

But even if I leave no legacy, or only a short one, so what? I'll have lived. I'll have loved. I'll have thought. That's enough for me.

And in the end, I'll return to where I came from. "We are star stuff."



*Or at least, free to think I'm free.

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4 comments:

  1. Yeah, you know why my atheist life is meaningless? Because I don't think that I was created by a god for any particular purpose. So it's meaningless. This Christian guy explained it all to me. Apparently, if something wasn't created for a purpose, it can never take on any purpose at all.

    I wanted to ask him what purpose his god created him for, but I think his answer would be too depressing.

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  2. Yesterday I watched the news about all the unrest in Libya and Syria, etc. And I realized that if I were still a devout Mo these events (and Japan) would give me a feeling much like a cold fist squeezing my entrails. I would feel fear, believing the end of the world is imminent.

    But I don't feel fear. Life is life. Death is death. And it is what it is.

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  3. Daniel,
    You mean being created to fulfill the emotional needs of a neurotic god doesn't appeal to you?

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  4. CD,
    Yeah, the whole Latter Days "the world is getting so terrible" thing is complete BS. In terms of freedoms, access to food, medicine, and education, and pretty much every other measure of well-being, the world is better now than it's ever been.

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