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Meaning In Life


Guest Tyranthraxus
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Guest Tyranthraxus

For many years, Christianity gave me a sense of meaning... it offered that pie-in-the-sky hope for something better when it's all over if i could put up with the shit now.

 

The thing is, when the negatives in your life outweigh the positives, what reason is there to go on, without the carrot/stick of good afterlife/bad afterlife?

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What keeps me going is the desire to learn new things every day. You don't need religion to provide you with purpose. Find your own meaning.

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The thing is, when the negatives in your life outweigh the positives, what reason is there to go on, without the carrot/stick of good afterlife/bad afterlife?

Because in overcoming life’s challenges we discover the power of our own potentials. Being dependent on others to carry you over life (i.e. a God you pray to to save you from this life), never allows you to become who you are inside. Look at challenges as opportunities for your own growth, not barriers to happiness.

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You create your own meaning. If you don't like where you are at now, change it. No one is stopping you. You don't have a sky daddy whose will you are enduring. You don't have to ask for guidance. You don't have to worry about screwing up your eternal soul. If your life sucks, only you can fix it.

 

I find this a freeing concept myself.

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For many years, Christianity gave me a sense of meaning... it offered that pie-in-the-sky hope for something better when it's all over if i could put up with the shit now.

 

T.. "Shit Now" is the persistant human state. We are always in some kind of shit, coming out of it, or headed into shit. "Shit Happens" is a horrid way to look at life after listening to the sectarians preach "pie in sky, all is fine, life is gonna be better when..."

 

Understand, it isn't that we fall, but often fail to get our asses up after we trip, run to exhaustion, or have our legs taken out from under us. Best we can do often is keep going, hoping and striving to find or make things better for ourselves.

 

The thing is, when the negatives in your life outweigh the positives, what reason is there to go on, without the carrot/stick of good afterlife/bad afterlife?

 

'Cause ya can damnnit. Simply because you fucking have the ability to pick up, dust off, and make shit GO despite the minor inconviences of not having some space_bound_sky_daddy handy to "make things all cosmically better, all the time.

 

I won't bore you with pages of my bitches and carping against "life", but if there IS a responsible party at "god's Help Desk", I'ma gonna fuckin' kick its ass *someday* for the ills and problems faced in this wonder "trying and tuning of god's work, this life"...

 

The cards you've got dealt ARE the game you have toplay. No re-do, no re deal, no bottle shuffle, nothing is going to reorder what has happened, and AFAIA nothing but determination and desire to keep playing changes anything.

 

Few things that keep me going are the pure cussed bullshitting desire to outlive several of my enemies and to provide some stabilty for a teen son soon old enough to live without me. After the boy reaches his majority and gets on with his life, what happens can pan out and I won't care..

 

Can't speak for you and your life, but I see if your profile is correct, there is onehellova lotta living left in your life, time wise, for you to do. Don't spend it despondent and worried about *if*. Just *do*, and enjoy the living livid fuck out of doing things you want and care to. Pick a direction, and head that way. If that one doesn't work, try another while your relative youth and strength are with you..

 

k, always skippin' church, FL

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.......The thing is, when the negatives in your life outweigh the positives, what reason is there to go on, without the carrot/stick of good afterlife/bad afterlife?

No matter how bad it gets, life is always better than the alternative.

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Guest Florida
For many years, Christianity gave me a sense of meaning... it offered that pie-in-the-sky hope for something better when it's all over if i could put up with the shit now.

 

The thing is, when the negatives in your life outweigh the positives, what reason is there to go on, without the carrot/stick of good afterlife/bad afterlife?

Could be that you just need to find a "new" sense of meaning for you life. There are never ending reasons to live.

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I can't do better than quote Penn Gillette on NPR

Article with stream

 

(Creative commons and fair use)

 

Morning Edition, November 21, 2005 · I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy -- you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?

 

So, anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. All the people I write e-mails to often are still stuck at this searching stage. The atheism part is easy.

 

But, this "This I Believe" thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life's big picture, some rules to live by. So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God."

 

Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I'm not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.

 

Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

 

Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.

 

Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.

 

Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.

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Guest Florida

I liked that! Love is an ever expanding place. Why should one have to wait for death to have life? I don't believe in a literal heaven or hell, only what you carry inside you in life. If it's not enough... keep looking. Searching is half the fun.

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What keeps me going is the desire to learn new things every day. You don't need religion to provide you with purpose. Find your own meaning.

 

ITA.

 

When I deconverted it was extremely difficult. All of your life you're taught that you have this grandieose reward waiting for you in this magical lala land, inspite of everything. But once you find out that it's all a lie you are just...lost.

 

Well, for me my sense of purpose came from self discovery and community. Learning new things about the world around me(as opposed to a world that probably does not exist)helps me to grow. Trust me, it seems hard right now but it gets better. Soon you come to acceptance and then you find true peace and enlightenment.

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When my belief in god was gone, my family became even more important to me. So I guess I'd say family and friends.

 

And like a couple of others, I also became very driven to learn everything there is to learn.

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When my belief in god was gone, my family became even more important to me. So I guess I'd say family and friends.

 

And like a couple of others, I also became very driven to learn everything there is to learn.

Yup, being a Knowledge Junkie myself, I can say that works...

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I'm just starting to hit that "I want to learn everything" point in my life. How i wish now I had a hard science degree (instead of sociology). How I wish I had not let calculus become a stumbling block to my life. I might be the one making that all important discovery about life on other planets, or the equation that explains it all.

 

Don't know where I'm supposed to go...but for once in my life, it feels like it it finally my choice. Scared, but it sure feels good.

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There’s a magnet on my refrigerator that says:

 

Things to do today:

 

1. Get up.

 

2. Survive.

 

3. Go to bed.

 

Although it’s meant as a joke, it seems to be descriptive of my life right now. My existence has become a routine grind that I keep moving along to satisfy other people. The past few years have been difficult for me. Job woes, living in a place that I hated for a while, getting fired, bankruptcy, my husband’s increasing health problems, my mother’s illnesses and finally her death. Oh, I know that I haven’t had it as hard as other people or even as hard as other times in my life. But I find that I have less resilience, less strength and less optimism. I feel as if I’m sleepwalking and that waking up and taking a good look around might be my undoing. I have moments of muted happiness or sadness. It seems the only emotion that I feel with any kind of force is anger…which I direct at myself for making bloody stupid choices.

 

The only things that keep me going are the people who would be horribly hurt if I took “the alternative.”

 

Well, how about that fine drama queen moment for the thread? I almost didn’t post this but it seems to me that whenever I see threads of this nature, people don’t talk about not really having a purpose. People don’t seem to talk much about times when we go through our daily routines on auto-pilot. Or maybe it’s just me.

 

Anyway, I’m hoping that this too shall pass. I’m attempting to pick myself up by the bootstraps. I’m trying to get involved in more things that interest me, such as this site. I’m working towards re-shaping my career and changing my attitude. Who knows, tomorrow I may find the purpose that has eluded me for the past three years. Or I might get hit by a bus. Or it might be another SSDD. Or I might have a moment or two or real joy again. Who knows?

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I'm just starting to hit that "I want to learn everything" point in my life. How i wish now I had a hard science degree (instead of sociology). How I wish I had not let calculus become a stumbling block to my life. I might be the one making that all important discovery about life on other planets, or the equation that explains it all.

 

Ha ha... Replace soc with poli sci and that paragraph could have been written by me.

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This just was never an issue for me. I'm "what is the reason" deficeint. Because I've never felt it, to be honest, I don't completely understand it. I'm alive... why does that need a reason? Sometimes things suck, to me, "life" doesn't suck, THINGS suck. Being light on cash can suck, being sick definatly SUCKS! I don't think there is a reason. I can go, oh my family is my reason, but it's not. I love my family, all of them, I'm glad I have them, but there not the reason I'm alive. I'm alive because my parents had sex at the right time of my mothers ovulation. I'm alive because so far I have been healthy enough to withstand disease. If others want to make their life have a meaning, be about something, that's cool. Me, I'm just going to live mine.

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what reason is there to go on, without the carrot/stick of good afterlife/bad afterlife?

 

Richard Dawkins was once asked the same question. His response was that not expecting an afterlife shouldn't depress you, it should actually give you all the more reason to follow your dreams and have fun, because if you pass up on the chance now, you're never going to get another one.

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I think one of the problems here is that we look at the good things in religion and think that they can only be found there. That could not be further from the truth. All the wonderful things in religion can be found in secular humanistic philosophy, and hope is one of them.

 

There is a proverb, I believe it is Arabic, that says, 'he who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.' We automatically expect that hope must be for an afterlife...but why should it? Are there not an infinite number of wonderful and beautiful things in this life that we can hope for?

 

Personally, I'm still undecided on the idea of some sort of afterlife, largely because I really want to believe there is one. But there is still hope within this life without having to look beyond it, and the only reason I can see to want an afterlife is because it is more life. So it's not because I don't see the good in life, but because I really do.

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I've got a couple ideas, but I'm too new of an ex-Christian myself to know whether or not they will work:

 

1) Living for others. Now that I don't have to live for the invisible man who demands perfection, I can give to others as little or as much as I want and always feel good about it. If someone takes advantage of something good I've done for them, oh well. I don't have to worry about them burning in hell for eternity, and I don't have to be bitter about them going to heaven despite their actions. They'll die just like I will, but I'll be proud of myself while I'm alive. For the ones that appreciate what I've done for them, though, it'll be well worth the effort!

 

2) Experiencing life for all it is. I've always said when I leave this world I want it to be in a literal blaze of glory. I would never intentionally inflict pain on myself, and I don't wish it on anyone, but even pain is part of life. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger...well, sometimes. You don't really want to go out and pour acid on yourself, cause I'm pretty sure that would make you weaker. Everything else in between boredom and self-inflicted acid burns is fair game though, as long as it makes you feel good and doesn't harm anyone else.

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I've got a couple ideas, but I'm too new of an ex-Christian myself to know whether or not they will work:

 

 

2) Experiencing life for all it is. I've always said when I leave this world I want it to be in a literal blaze of glory. I would never intentionally inflict pain on myself, and I don't wish it on anyone, but even pain is part of life. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger...well, sometimes. You don't really want to go out and pour acid on yourself, cause I'm pretty sure that would make you weaker. Everything else in between boredom and self-inflicted acid burns is fair game though, as long as it makes you feel good and doesn't harm anyone else.

 

So, wanna party? :pureevil:

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So, wanna party? :pureevil:

 

LOL

 

Tempting, but I've gotta pretend to be a good little boy for a while. My wife is still a Christian and thinks I am too. When she's ready to hear the truth I'll tell her, but I've gotta plant seeds as carefully as I can.

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what reason is there to go on, without the carrot/stick of good afterlife/bad afterlife?

 

Richard Dawkins was once asked the same question. His response was that not expecting an afterlife shouldn't depress you, it should actually give you all the more reason to follow your dreams and have fun, because if you pass up on the chance now, you're never going to get another one.

 

Harry Harrison placed a similar comment in the mouth of Jim DiGriz, The Stainless Steel Rat. It was also why the character hated to kill things...

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Guest Tyranthraxus

The only meaning i've found is in pleasure and fun. And I don't have enough of them in my life to make up for the pain and work.

 

I have goals I'd like to accomplish but they are so far out of reach for me they are pipe dreams. Examples:

 

1) Deflower a girl at 12:01 AM on her 18th birthday

(it's like going to the midnight showing of Star Wars, you want to be there when it first opens)

 

2) Have a three-way with identical twins

 

Obviously my overweight, social misfit, poor ass isn't capable of achieving either of those things.

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Guest Florida
The only meaning i've found is in pleasure and fun. And I don't have enough of them in my life to make up for the pain and work.

 

I have goals I'd like to accomplish but they are so far out of reach for me they are pipe dreams. Examples:

 

1) Deflower a girl at 12:01 AM on her 18th birthday

(it's like going to the midnight showing of Star Wars, you want to be there when it first opens)

 

2) Have a three-way with identical twins

 

Obviously my overweight, social misfit, poor ass isn't capable of achieving either of those things.

 

Dreaming of happiness or putting it off into the future is the same as waiting for the pie in the sky.

 

Setting goals that you feel you never will achieve is not what you need. For example... you say you are overweight. It could be that you only feel you are a social misfit because of the fact. Set your goal to lose the weight. Challenge yourself to the extreme in doing it. Challenge makes life interesting. It could be the way to reach the prize of your "pipe dream". ;)

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