“If God isn’t real, what's the point of living at all when one day you’re just going to die?”
Because of the wording, I assume you are referring to the Abrahamic version of a god and the flavor is most likely Christian, although it could be stretched to include the Islamic flavor.
As an atheist/evidentilist/rationalist, I put no credence in supernatural things of any stripe. I am as aware of my mortality as anyone and I am creeping up on that final day now. Hopefully it will be later than sooner, but we never know, do we?
You asked, “…what’s the point of living…”, and I am somewhat surprised that you don’t seem to know what the point of living is. There is only one point to living and that is to reproduce to perpetuate the species, everything else is survival.
The difference between us and many of the 'lower' animals is that we can contemplate the future, reminisce the past, and count our days, knowing that the clock is ticking down. There are several other animals on this planet that I suspect are able to do the same in varying degrees, so we may not be all that unique.
Sometime in our ancient past, one of our more clever members figured out a way to explain everything by applying agency to things like wind, rain, fire, lightning, thunder, birth, sickness, and death. The first gods were born. We’ve been living with these notions so long that they have become ingrained into our psyche. It is indeed a sad thing that those clever folks back then didn’t realize what damage they would do to our species.
It wasn’t much of a leap from the first gods to inventing souls, heavens, hells, and holy reward systems in an … afterlife. Fear of the end was not eliminated, but it was alleviated to some extent. All one had to do was believe in this or that, obey a usually convoluted set of rules, use certain jargon/handshake/moves, pay their dues, and WHAM!, they were off to collect their rewards and live forever and ever in a land of no pain, strife, need, and whatever else our clever members could create to entice new members to pay their dues. It is interesting that most of this has a decidedly masculine content. One must wonder why that is.
At any rate, most of the various reasons/meanings for life that are expounded by members of our species are human inventions because we have creative minds and far too much time on our hands. Morals and ethics are not the property of the myriad religions we have infesting our world. They have come to us through experience over deep time and have become a part of us. Good and evil are not an invention of any god or gods, but the result of hundreds of thousands of years and the fact that we are a social animal which makes things like that important to the survival of the species. Remember: You are born. You mature. You propagate. You assure your offspring get to maturity. You die. In order to accomplish all of that — except the last — you must survive. All the mental constructs we have conjured do not change the order or the meaning of life one iota. This is the only way your question can be answered realistically. The constructs we use to give meaning to our lives are as numerous as there are people on this planet. Each answer is personally tailored for the person who gives it. It is part of the beauty of being alive — deciding what to do with it and how to value it. How to make the best of it and do no harm in the process.
Oh, and 42.
why does there have to be a point? just so Humanity has an excuse to exist? if you need a point, try to do something you like, but realize it's a self-imposed purpose. I don't see any point at all. except perhaps the consumption and appreciation of Pancakes.
I do three things. I work hard, help people, and have fun. In no particular order.
Now, I get it that cult leaders, like the one from whom the original quote came, don't like that very much. I neither help prop up their Ponzi schemes nor give them any sort of opening to exploit. No money, no resources, no impressionable little minds.
But that is not my jungle, and those are not my primates
I prefer knowing that I am just the result of random events rather than the intended creation of some needy god who, despite its perfection, created tiny imperfect beings to worship it--or else!
I don't mind so much the god of deism, that doesn't know or care about what it creates; but I have no reason to think that even that kind of god, or any other kind of god, exists.
Although I absolutely think there is other life in the universe, life in the universe is rare. And, I would say life that can contemplate its own existence and create meaning for itself is even more rare. This in itself is a reason to appreciate the simple fact that we are here, that we exist, if even for only a wisp of a moment when compared to infinity.
The opening is religious bullshit. A person needs to realize that they are not alive "looking for their god" and if they could not find him or have him being alive meant nothing. This sounds like a kid throwing a fit for an ice cream cone. A person makes their own purpose in life by doing and following what they want to do.
Very good food for thought and, while agree with what you said, I cannot totally agree with your reason for living. I personally have not fulfilled my "obligation" to perpetuate the species. If that is true, it unfairly leaves out all those who are not physically, or psychologically, able to do that. I don't think in the history of mankind anyone has really come up with a better reason, but it's not good enough for me. It presupposes that it is of some consequence that our species remain on Earth. Perhaps a better reason would be, for the sake of playing "devil's advocate", that we are here to change the face of the planet for however many millions of years until, when we have succeeded in destroying it for ourselves, if not for other species, Earth will be free to begin a new cleansing and regeneration. Do we really have to have a reason?
Too too many are so hung up on spirituality and the nothingness of the end of their lives that the reality we live in takes second stage to realization that we are just animals that think, talk, over build, and then destroy everything in our way!!!
We have no meaning, just like all life on this planet always comes to and end!!!
At the beginning:
“If God isn't real, what's the point of living at all when one day you're just going to die?”
Ok... On the other hand -- If God is real, what's the point of living at all when one day you're just going to die (and very likely be sent to hell(tm) )?
How much difference does Dog's existence make? He/she/It supposedly created us and knew exactly how we would each behave.
It seems to me to be a pretty pointless question.
the individual reason for living may have nothing to do with reproduction even though that is the species' raison d'être . however, just because it is hard or even impossible to answer a question (the one about an individual reason for living) that doesn't mean someone's ridiculous answer must do. "i don't know, so, you know, god!" doesn't work, right? it is natural to wonder. it is also natural to make up a nice, comforting answer, regardless of reality. but 42 is indeed as close to an answer as we will ever come, and meanwhile, the existence of any gods (be they abrahamic, olympian, aztec or unimaginable to mere mortals) is sufficiently unlikely that i feel i can safely aver that not a single one exists without fearing a huge surprise from some lurking deity.
p.s. i sure wouldn't want to go to any afterlife -- heaven, for example -- unless i was in charge of the music and the menu.
I likewise don't agree with the god mumbo-jumbo, but I don't believe it necessitates nihilism. I believe we are awareness and not simply part of this body. I have a great many reasons for believing this way but I'm not here to argue that.
Unless someone is using their view to push you I see no reason to not let them be so to speak. It just makes my time a big conflict in the real world and if my time is indeed short I don't need that. I'd rather live it out in a passive manner. But I haven't always been this way. I was once mad and lashing out at them too. I think it fades for many when they find their path.
Very good great overview. I would however say that the line. "Fear of the end was not eliminated, but it was alleviated to some extent." Is perhaps less than half the story. Since you could also add. "Fear of the end was also exacerbated to a large extent." Those who pretend to control the god/supernatural, use both the stick and the carrot, the stick perhaps more so. They love to say that religion is about moderating the fear of death, because that makes them sound benign, and ignore the fact that the small natural fear of death has been vastly exacerbated by thousands of years by them, pedaling scare stories that have seeped into the fabric of our cultures.