Retarded arguments against atheism #42: the “Meaning of Life”

Dec 1, 2008. (This is a revision of something I wrote several years ago elsewhere).

Many religious folks, (and in my experience) especially Christians make the point that, to the atheist, there is no Meaning Of Life.

It irks me that whenever this view is expressed by theists, there is a chorus of “Nuh-uh, there is too a meaning of life for me!” from the atheists. It is clear to me that there are two distinct concepts being expressed by the words “meaning of life” in use here.

The theist is almost always referring to an (uppercase) “Meaning Of Life” which to them means some externally imposed and preconceived purpose for which he or she is expressly designed to fulfill, a kind of mission if you will. The point is the “purpose” for them to be here is externally decided by their deity. Their deity perceives a need and sees to it that they are born to fill that need. Or something generally along those lines.

For the atheist, that kind of Meaning Of Life definitely does not exist.

The atheist can come up with his own (lowercase) “meaning of life,” and those people around him can derive/provide some meaning from/for his life, but the theist concept of Meaning Of Life doesn’t work.

The counter argument against the “no Meaning Of Life” complaint frequently made by theists is not to say that “there is too a Meaning of Life”, because there isn’t. The atheist’s “meaning of life” does not fill the same role as the theist’s “Meaning of Life,” generally. (Imagine the theist pronouncing the words “meaning of life” as Xavier: Renegade Angel would pronounce them, and you’ll get some sense of the idiocy the theist has in mind.)

To those that voice this complaint, that if atheism is true, that there is no “Meaning of Li–ife” (heavy reverb) what I want to say is this: Exactly how is the lack of a Meaning Of Life any kind of a “big problem” for atheism? So, there’s no Meaning Of Life. So what? To whom are you complaining? What you have presented is not in any way an argument against atheism, it is just whining. Boo hoo! Don’t be such a crybaby!

The theist’s complaint that without God, life would be meaningless is not even an argument which needs to be countered with some atheistic version of a meaning of life, a meaning derived from non-theistic sources. Suppose, for the sake of argument that the atheist’s life was necessarily devoid of meaning in every sense.

How is this an argument for the truth of theism? It might be an argument for the desirability of theism, justification for wishing that theism were true, if one finds a meaningless life to be undesirable. However, it is not an argument for the truth of theism itself.

The theist complaining that “life without God would be meaningless” is a bit like a person who looks at his bank statement, and upon seeing the balance is a paltry $5.00, says, “I don’t believe this, if this were true, that would mean I’m not a millionaire. And I ever so want to be a millionaire, i just know that I’m a millionaire, it cannot be the case that I am not a millionaire. I can’t live without being a millionaire.” and throws the bank statement away, concluding that it must be false, because he ever so wants it to be false.

The theists moaning on about “the Meaning of Life,” are not making any kind of an argument. They are merely complaining that they don’t like the implications of the atheist’s arguments. It is the fallacy called “argument from consequences.”

Leaving the above discussion for the moment, what about an atheistic “meaning of life.” When you take apart the words, the phrase “meaning of life” is pretty vague and meaningless itself. What does it mean for something — anything — to have meaning? For something to have meaning, it must have meaning to some thinking being. Meaning only exists in context — any context — as interpreted by some thinking being. So your life has some “meaning,” as long as there are people alive who think about you, or about things, writings, thoughts, descendents which you have influenced. Some anonymous human ancestor born 10000 years ago whose carcass has long since rotted away, and whose artifacts are lost to history can reasonably be said to, at this time, have no meaning. That doesn’t mean his life never had any meaning to anyone, but it does mean that his life can’t have meaning to anyone today, or in the future, if there is no evidence of his existence remaining to be found and interpreted. Is that really so bad? I would say it’s not so bad. But even if it were terrible, this in no way affects the truth of the situation. Deciding that it is terrible amounts to merely complaining.

So, quit your cry-baby whining complaining bitching moaning, you wanna-be havers of a meaning of life. It not only fails to be good argument, it fails to even be an argument of any kind at all.

And so you’re not a millionaire, and life has no ultimate over-arching meaning. Get the fuck over it.

~ by scaryreasoner on December 2, 2008.

16 Responses to “Retarded arguments against atheism #42: the “Meaning of Life””

  1. Listen, you can go over and over and over it a thousand times, and the same conclusion that you’ll reach, if you’re an Atheist is: I can find a meaning within my life, but not an ultimate ‘end meaning’. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you’ll never admit an end meaning as you denounce the existence of a life after the ‘end’.
    And, so, the atheistic ‘meaning of life’ statement doesn’t fulfill a gap within a person searching for it, and so they’ll continue searching.

    • Searching? Who’s searching. You theists seem to have this idiotic demand for a “meaning of life.” You’ve trained yourselves to need it. You do not need it. You only think you do, and you assume that others must as well. Fuck, you guys do an impressive imitation of being stupid, if you aren’t actually stupid.

  2. One could call this a ‘Retarded argument against the supposedly retarded arguments against Atheism’.

  3. One could call it that, if one were a fucking retard.

  4. Scaryreasoner,

    I totally understand where you’re coming from; I had, for many years, been an Atheist. But here’s the thing, I wasn’t living.
    I’m not promoting any specific religious ideology, but the ideology that whatever Human beings do, we can’t escape our natural resolution of a God, or one substance.

  5. What reasons convinced you of the existence of a deity, and of what properties you believe this deity posesses.

    Hint: faith is not a reason, faith is the admission of insufficient reasons, and an admission of dishonesty, in that it means you lie to yourself about how certain you should be.

    Hint2: A deity without properties is not admissible, and I will mock you if you attempt it.

    But here’s the thing, I wasn’t living.

    This is practically admitting your dishonesty, in that you strongly imply that you believe what you believe because you would like it to be true. Believing things because you’d like them to be true is dishonest.

  6. Scaryreasoner,

    With the statement above you have admitted your ineptitude to understand the whole ‘Plantinga’ concept. I do not believe in any specific religious description of ‘God’; I don’t need to as a belief in God is one that is totally subjective and all is required is your own individual faculties.
    I ask you again: How do you know that the sky is Blue? Or that other minds around you exist, and aren’t just some ploy by some ‘evil demon’ that makes you think they exist. No, you have faith in logic and the world around you because you would say that the Skeptical Paradox warrants it; it doesn’t matter whether or not the world around you exists, because this is all there is, right? The same can be said for the Human belief of a ‘one substance’. We can’t be sure exactly what it is, but we can be sure that it exists, and is inescapable.

  7. And a responds to the piece that you quoted above:
    “But here’s the thing, I wasn’t living”

    This shows the whole Plantinga concept in action. It doesn’t matter what you do, you have no reason to live if the ‘one substance’ belief system, A.K.A Spinoza’s God, doesn’t exist. We are constantly at the mercy of our higher ability to reason, and with that we ask questions like “Who/what created the universe”, or “why am I here”; atheists denounce this whole question, and in fact denounce their higher ability to understand something that was there all along.

    There’s no difference in your ‘dogmatic’ belief in the outside, deterministic world, to the beliefs the Roman Catholic Church, or any other religious group imposed in by-gone eras.

  8. Edit (oops posted on wrong thread — will be back later.)

  9. There’s no difference in your ‘dogmatic’ belief in the outside, deterministic world, to the beliefs the Roman Catholic Church, or any other religious group imposed in by-gone eras.

    Baloney.

    It’s funny that in order to defend your position, your main way of doing it is to try to destroy rational thought and knowledge, and say, “see? We know nothing! Any belief is just as valid as any other.”

    You’ve stuck your philosopher’s head up your own ass.

    Science, and the assumption that there is a real world out there fucking works. The rest of your bullshit doesn’t work — does not produce any testable hypotheses that can withstand tests that would distinguish whether they were true.

    You reduce yourself to a solipsist in order to hang on to your precious idiocy.

  10. i like it all that s**t was scary

  11. Scaryreasoner you are one miserable person, good luck with everything man I truly wish the best for you.

    • seroiusly bro? thats all you got, oh and im sure jesus loves him to right? i hate fucks like you

  12. I’m a “miserable person” because I can recognize an idiotic argument and am not too polite to point it out, eh? But you wish me the best? Fuck off, you passive aggressive dickhead.

  13. Couldn’t agree more.I’m from what I can tell the one atheist in this retarded hick town(Kountze,Texas).
    Every time I’m asked about my religous beliefs and express them with a rational argument they always say some crap like “Jesus saves” or something like that.
    They usually don’t have much of an argument for Chritianity.

  14. And by usually I mean they never have a rational argument for there beliefs.
    They just believe what they believe for no real reason.

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