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Old 04-27-2005, 11:32 PM   #1
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Meaning in life

I got into a discussion with someone in a chatroom (one that is normally fairly condusive to discussions as it is small and caters to a select group of people) about belief in a god vs agnosticism or atheism. Just as I thought it was getting interesting, the other person typed up this long rant (only some of which actually showed on the screen -- only about 2 1/2 lines shows up), hit the enter button and left! Twit.

Anyway, not only would I have liked to have read the end of the rant (rants are lots of fun to read...), but I would have liked to ask for some clarification. So.... although I know it's not at all likely that any of you is that person, I thought I'd get your thoughts on one of the comments left hanging by his/her abrupt departure.

I had noted that I'm agnostic and don't believe in a god or an afterlife, which seemed to shock this person. So I asked, what's so terrible about that anyway? And that's when the rant ensued. The gist of the rant is that without a god, my life would have no meaning, and that's what's making me shake my head thinking, huh?

So my question (I know, I know it's about damned time! ) is -- do you have to believe in a god to have meaning in your life? If so, why? What meaning does a god give that you don't have already? And if not, why not? How does a life without a god have meaning?
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:49 PM   #2
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The Bible says that Christians are aliens in this world, this world is not our home. And I tell you I can feel that. I genuinely have a "disconnectedness" that I can feel in my heart and in my spirit. I long for a home, an eternal home. But even though that, while I'm here, I have a deep internal peace, the "peace that passes understanding", and that's God. It gives me hope and love. It gives me a reason, meaning for my life.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
The Bible says that Christians are aliens in this world, this world is not our home. And I tell you I can feel that. I genuinely have a "disconnectedness" that I can feel in my heart and in my spirit. I long for a home, an eternal home. But even though that, while I'm here, I have a deep internal peace, the "peace that passes understanding", and that's God. It gives me hope and love. It gives me a reason, meaning for my life.
Can I ask what that meaning is? I can understand the peace and comfort, but I'm not sure about the meaning.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:56 PM   #4
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The meaning is that no matter what happens to me here, in this place which is so alien to me, I know that God's promises are true, and I trust in what he says, not what the world or what the devil says. As anyone has, I've had rough storms in my life, and he's always been there. Always. He is my rock.
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:11 AM   #5
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No need for God to have meaning and purpose in life. The struggle itself is the nobler path, to do the right thing for its own sake and not in the expectation of earning something greater. Without some sort of meaning we might as well be dead.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:58 AM   #6
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I'm not sure if this is the direction you are going with indra, but I'll try and spit out how I feel about this lol.
I see life as a finite amount of time which all of us experience fully as equals. What seperates us all is the tangible from our environment like wealth and environment and all that stuff which makes some of us educated successful people for example, and some of us begging in the street for change. But in essence, we are all on this earth for about the same time, all prone to certain diseases, all see and live in a world which is the same. Take 2 equals in a particular societal bracket, like me and a neighbour down the road. We all live in similar houses, work for similar income, all have the same kind of opportunity for leisure, and religion wont change anything for the Catholic down the road, to the agnostic like me. Each could die of cancer, get killed in a car accident, might travel around Europe, might mow their lawn with the same Victa 4 stroke, have scrambled eggs for breakfast on Sundays...and so on. But the Catholic will say my life is empty without God. And they say that because their life feels full with God, but I personally have my God shaped hole filled with my art. Now, to a Christian, that will sound pitifully empty and rather superficial. But that is because just like I dont feel the same for God as they do, they might not feel the same with art as I do. And art here is interchangeable with whatever makes an individual feel fulfilled and that life has a plethora of potential. Religious types might say nothing can compare with the feeling God and religion gives. But take me and my life lived the same as the Catholic down the road, and we are each getting something from our lives which makes it feel wonderfully complete. I doubt this is getting explained too well. But I will try and reword it so it at least makes sense on paper as it does in my head lol.
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Old 04-28-2005, 05:09 AM   #7
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I have to believe in God to have meaning in my life-honestly I don't care to explain why, no offense. I don't care really if other people don't, that's their belief system and it's perfectly fine w/ me.
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
No need for God to have meaning and purpose in life. The struggle itself is the nobler path, to do the right thing for its own sake and not in the expectation of earning something greater. Without some sort of meaning we might as well be dead.


yup.

we create our own meaning, and this, to me, is the ultimate form of empowerment and agency. its far nobler to do the right thing not for the promise of eternal rewards, but simply because you know, in your head and heart, that it is the right thing to do.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
The Bible says that Christians are aliens in this world, this world is not our home.
Wow. Can you tell me where this is said in the bible? For some reason, I find this really fascinating. Maybe even post the qoute if it's not too long because I don't think I have a bible around....
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:25 AM   #10
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Originally posted by Irvine511




yup.

we create our own meaning, and this, to me, is the ultimate form of empowerment and agency. its far nobler to do the right thing not for the promise of eternal rewards, but simply because you know, in your head and heart, that it is the right thing to do.

I totally agree with you and well said. However, and not that you implied this, following your head and heart is not exclusive of belief in a god/gods. One can do both. In fact, I think anytime you follow your true will and desire you are doing the will of the gods. Even if you don't believe in any.

The best spiritual expression comes through poetry, art, human celebration of connectedness and love. And I find that I do not care where it is directed. As long as it is made. A thousand dry readings of legalistic verse in the bible could not compare. I think God should have just written a pamphlet instead that said: "Make art, write poetry, have great sex, don't hurt anyone, feel fully every emotion even the uncomfortable ones, take care of yourself so you can take care of others."

Putting all this energy into worshiping a god, the right god, or any god at all is misdirected. Allowing for each individual to follow their own truth to its end is the only thing we can do, anything else always eventually leads to some sort of religious war anyway.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:26 AM   #11
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No, you dont need to believe in god to have a meaning with your life.

I´m agnostic and i have a meaning with my life. I dont want to write about the personal stuff about my life, but it HAS meaning.
If God gives somebody a meaning with life, then i am happy for them. But finding the meaning with our lifes is a personal matter and nobody can tell you what works for you.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

but simply because you know, in your head and heart, that it is the right thing to do.
I have a question:

If there is no God, where do "right" and "wrong" come from?
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tinybubbles

Wow. Can you tell me where this is said in the bible? For some reason, I find this really fascinating. Maybe even post the qoute if it's not too long because I don't think I have a bible around....
Here's what Christ said in the Gospels...

John 15:18-19 (New International Version)

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Then Peter said this...

1 Peter 2:11-12 (New International Version)

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


I have a question:

If there is no God, where do "right" and "wrong" come from?


logic. rationality. empathy. i don't think the phrase "do unto others as you would have done to you" is given from God, i think it's something that can be easily intuited.
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:33 AM   #15
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I totally agree with you and well said. However, and not that you implied this, following your head and heart is not exclusive of belief in a god/gods. One can do both. In fact, I think anytime you follow your true will and desire you are doing the will of the gods. Even if you don't believe in any.


i agree. it is not exclusive of God, but it is independent of God, or at least as God is popularly understood.
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