Tag Archives: atheist

The Meaning of Life

17 Jan

I was approached, today, by a long-time friend of mine who simply asked me what is the meaning of life?

As an agnostic atheist, the meaning of life is not clear as it may be to others. I’ve met gnostic atheists who say there is no meaning to life other than the biological need to reproduce. Many theists (read: religious folk) say that the only reason for our perpetual existence is serving a higher being.

And because it is unclear, it is something I’ve spent much of my time pondering.

I’m also a scientist, and as such, I can tell you that humans are animals, and are thus subject to many of the same principles all animals are subjected to. These being the essence of survival: intake (food, water), excrete, and reproduce. Reproduction is the essence of all animal life, which is why, although our planet is vastly overpopulated and we are basically killing our own kind, humans continue to have offspring. That, in a nutshell, could be the meaning of life. Humans just happen to have developed opposable thumbs and a conscious, or we wouldn’t be thinking about why we exist.

That’s how I’ve come to my conclusion about the meaning of life.

The meaning of life is about the human connection. We’ve already supported that with our brief discussion of reproduction, but it’s more than that, too. It’s about gaining knowledge and sharing knowledge. It’s about being kind and sharing ourselves with others. If I can inspire one person, whether it is to be kinder to others, or to learn something knew, then I’ve made a difference. If I can teach someone something, I’ve made a difference. Even if my smile at a stranger in a grocery store can brighten their day, I’ve made a difference.

Why else do humans spend so much of their time with others, exchanging stories and asking advice? It’s all about spreading the wealth of knowledge, and making our journey in this life about the journey, not the destination. I think that is what many of us get caught up in, is the destination. You know…living life through God so that we have a beautiful afterlife with rainbows and butterflies and unicorns (because what’s heaven without unicorns!??). But that isn’t good enough. We are here now, and we need to make the best of it.

From my point of view, if you live this life trying to teach, help, and be kind to others then whatever your belief, you win. How can a Christian God send someone who has lived their life virtuously, but was Buddhist, or Jewish, or Atheist, to anywhere other than this heaven place? That doesn’t sound like a being that is amazing, and forgiving, and wonderful. That sounds like a judgmental, power-hungry dictator.

Living life to it’s fullest. Gaining knowledge and wisdom. Giving knowledge and wisdom. Connecting to each other. Showing kindness to all. Sharing stories and giving advice. That’s what life is about. Growing as an individual, to grow as a culture.

And sex. Lots and lots of sex. It is our biological prerogative, after all.

What do you think is the meaning of life?

Why I’m Agnostic, Not Atheist

23 Jun

I feel like agnosticism gets a bad rap – worse than atheism by religious folk, and worse than religion by atheists. Really, it’s because we don’t really “fit in” like we should.

A lot of the time, we seem to given this title of being unable to decide (just look up “agnostic” in Google images and you can see exactly what I’m talking about), and while that may be the case for some folks, I am very firm in what I believe.

So, what do I believe? Well, I do not believe in a god, and am, therefore, atheistic in my beliefs. You know…polytheistic meaning the belief in multiple gods, monotheistic, meaning the belief in a single god, and atheistic, meaning the belief in no gods.

But if I don’t believe in a god (and I say a god, because multiple “exist” – not just the Christian one), then why do I call myself agnostic?

Now THAT is because I find atheism, just like most religions, to be slightly…arrogant. Basically, if you’re atheist you firmly believe that no god exists, and that it is impossible for one to exist. If you are religious, you firmly believe that one does exist, and that it is impossible for one not to exist.

That’s all fine and dandy – I mean, its your beliefs – but in order for either of those to be true, one has to have full understanding and knowledge of the universe.

No one has an understanding like this, so while I do not believe in a god, gods, or anything similar, I also acknowledge that my knowledge of the universe is limited, and I can, in no way, have all the answers or exhaust all possibilities. 

This is what separates me from atheists. It isn’t what I believe, it’s how I believe it.  Even if I did believe in a higher being, I would still acknowledge that there is a possibility it’s a load of crap, and would still consider myself agnostic.

That does not mean that I am, in any way, indecisive about my beliefs.

How do you define agnostic? Atheist? What is your religious association? Thoughts?