Building on what JT said, I would venture to say that life is actually MORE meaningful without religion because there is no promise of anything other than the here and now. We do good for good's sake and not to buy our way into an afterlife. Holding onto the notion that there is something else devalues your life, and attributing experiences that move you to a god for whom their is no evidence cheapens those experiences.
Very well said. I've long thought that if you are a good person, it's because you are truly good, and if you need religion's threat of hell and/or promise of heaven to make you be a good person, then you're not really a good person at heart.
Yes, and you don't have all the horrors religion can put on people. You follow natural instincts for behavior. Lose religious fear and you have peace and confidence to do good for good's sake. People will build helping agencies when there is need. Altruism is part of humanity.
Absolutely. I think it's even more meaningful since we live in the present. Not worrying about pleasing some entity or going to some magical place when we die. I love life!
i'm a bit of a nihilist -
so i do not find there to be any inherent meaning in life.
i see meaning as something we add to our lives -
to help us form our direction as we move through it.
as a believer i was always searching, fearing, scrambling for what my meaning and purpose was -
what was i SUPPOSED to be doing...
as a non-believer and a survivor of the death of my only child, life is deeper, richer, brighter, darker, truer than it ever was before.
i live for both of us & even the mundane things of life seem louder, bigger, more sacred.
i DO believe in "sacred" -
without any religious connection.
life has become sacred - which, for me, is far deeper than "meaningful".
My sincere condolences for your loss. It’s incredibly brave of you to have come out of the other end of something like that with a lack of belief when profound loss so often propels people deeper into it.
Absolutely! I can be good without God. I don't need fear or threat of punishment to do good. I care about people and animals and the earth and try to do no harm. Nature is a wonder, amazing, awe inspiring.
That depends on the individual. I absolutely think it can be meaningful without religion, but I also think it can feel meaningless without religion if you have been brainwashed since childhood to believe that. The idea that we will die and never live again can make it feel like nothing we do now is of any consequence. Eventually the sun will become a red giant and engulf the Earth, and so on, so ultimately there is no external meaning to it all. But so what? We can still enjoy our life, and we can still find meaning in it, even if it won't last forever.
Religion preaches that meaning and purpose come from "out there", but the truth is that meaning and purpose are subjective, and must be created from within us. A finite life becomes far more valuable than an eternal one. The only meaning I care about is that which I create, and my life also has meaning to my kids and those I love. My life is far more meaningful to me when I live it on my own terms.
There is no meaning in sacrificing one's life trying to attain another, or becoming a slave to an imagined deity.
It is MORE meaningful without religion.
(TRIGGER WARNING!!!! IF YOU'RE EASILY TRIGGERED, PLEASE DO NOT READ PAST THE THIRD SENTENCE FOLLOWING THIS WARNING!!!!)
Yes. Personally, I do nice things because it makes others happy therefore it makes me happy. I don't do it because the repercussion(s) would negatively affect me (like basically EVERY christian does). Besides if you need a book to tell you that killing people is bad, you yourself must be bad. The bible even says that incest is okay, rape is acceptable and killing in the name of god is understandable. IF YOU NEED A FICTITIOUS BOOK TO TELL YOU WHAT YOUR MORALS SHOULD BE, YOU'RE A HORRIBLE PERSON!!!!!!!!
I follow no religion; my life is steeped in meaning, in joy, and in curiosity. Curiosity makes life very interesting.
Life existed long before religion, yet it somehow survived anyway.
Life is MORE meaningful. To know this is the one life to only exist, I love more. Strive to have fewer regrets. Appreciate the little moments. Appreciate the time I have with my loved ones; especially my grandmother who turns 90 this year. To know that I will never see her again makes every second THAT much more special for me.
I will quote, if I may, Joss Whedon's series Angel (from the episode "Epiphany"): words that speak more eloquently than I can.
"If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters... then all that matters is what we do. What we do, now, today. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world."
Yes! It’s more meaningful because you don’t waste the life you have here on earth waiting for some promised paradise after this life where there is absolutely no proof of.
Test: Put your under water. If life has no meaning, you will have no trouble breathing in the water and staying under. Organically, we want to live. Intellectual lying makes us feel a loss of meaning. Be honest with your body. It wants to live and will fight death in the end or very close to it. Not happy with yourself? Find an external focus that does bring meaning to you. Choose wisely, you cannot expect to control the object of that external focus. Disappointment is always possible. Be prepared to accept it for what it is. External and secondary to your own existence.
Life without religion is meaningful. I know healthy, well adjusted people who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic, secular, humanist, naturalist and skeptic. For non-believers, we try to do good, not because we hope for "heaven" but because we feel better when we are being decent, honest and kind.
very much so, if not more, in life i go out of my way to have great success in the things i do, and that strives me to do even more things. I'm not wasting my time being hardworking for something that we have no proof that it even exists, i mean what has a religious person ever got in return for things that they do for "god".
I agree, and very well put.