I promise I am not a troll and this is a sincere question and not a challenge.

I know this will be like the classic 'where do atheists get their morality from without god" question.

The religious people all have their edicts from their god and the promise of an afterlife to keep them in line and keep them a purpose.

What do my fellow atheists use as a grand purpose in life to make it worth it? 

I am not considering hurting myself or doing anything stupid but I will admit it has been tough lately. 

I was widowed a few years ago and still dealing with that loss.  Lately my job has been real crazy and I am starting to get the feeling like I just want to walk in a quit.  But then you have to worry about finding a new one and money and all that crap.

So what do you use as motivation to get through the daily crap storm that seems to be all that life has to offer these days?  With no thoughts of an afterlife or promise of a paradise what makes it worth putting up with it all.  

It seems like objectively speaking life has no intrinsic purpose.  It is just misery and strife all day every day and not much good to say about it.   So how do you justify to yourself putting up with it ever day. How do you convince yourself it is worth slogging through the day knowing it is just going to be more of the same tomorrow, and the day after that.

It may be just a rough patch but it all seems pretty futile right now.

I know how bad this may sound but please don't worry I am not on the edge of doing anything stupid.

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There are two definitions of purpose. One...as a mostly objective description of an object or some concepts/actions. A hairbrush's purpose is to brush hair. It was made for that purpose, bought for that purpose and used for that purpose. Its purpose is almost a given based on the definition of the word (minus a minority of idiosyncratic usage). This purpose is objective, rational andmdificult to challenge or change.

The other definition is a subjective one that identifies a purpose with an idea/concept/action. The purpose of political debate is to foster dialogue amongst differing views. (as opposed to countless other purposes held by others). No one purpose is more correct than the other (though one purpose may describe the actions of people in a group better than others...biut that is not the same as purpose). There need not be a purpose at all for the second.

Expecting there to be an objective purpose for man, humanity, the universe etc. is something of a category error. Religion is utterly genius at making this category error and taking advantage of it. It feeds you your purpose thereby robbing you of your chance to construct your own...or choose to have no purpose at all. Demanding an objective universal purpose is confusing the first group with the second. As a person you don't need to have a purpose. If you do...it cannot be an objective one. Unlike objects in the first group...your purpose must be your own construction.

One of the few things existentialists got right (Nietzsche and Sartre) was that your purpose must be consciously self-contructed as authentically as possible. It must reflect your value systems, world view and morality. Those too should be constructed as authentic as possible.

Studying philosophy, the humanities, the social sciences and the sciences will all help you greatly towards finding your authentic values etc. Let me know if you'd like a short reading list that can get you started off.

Still...you aren't required to have a purpose at all. You can let go of that religious/spiritual delusion and just be for the time being.

One of the few things existentialists got right (Nietzsche and Sartre) was that your purpose must be consciously self-contructed as authentically as possible. It must reflect your value systems, world view and morality. Those too should be constructed as authentic as possible.

That is SOOOO true, and so well said Davis. You are always so smart, lol

Studying philosophy, the humanities, the social sciences and the sciences will all help you greatly towards finding your authentic values etc. Let me know if you'd like a short reading list that can get you started off.

Please do share!!!!!!! c'mon, don't be shy....lol

@Mike:

Hi, I'm Gregg, I'm a diabetic who's dick doesn't work any more and has a hole in his heart, I've been suffering thru strokes for the last two years, I just had Cataract surgery, I still love my ex-wife even tho she's Re-Married and we have been divorced since the mid eighties.  I don't get to see my kids very much and even less often my only granddaughter.

Sounds depressing I know, but you know how I handle the times when I'm feeling down?  I say nice things to other people and not just casual things but heartfelt things I really mean.  And Mike, I LAUGH.  I tell jokes and get others to laugh and I laugh with them.  I do this Mike because it is a physiological impossibility to feel depressed when a human being laughs, it's the best medicine for the blues.

So Mike when life is kicking me around, I just say nice things and make people laugh and laugh with them.  Trust me Mike, this is the cure and has been used by us humans for thousands of years.

No matter how crappy my day is, there is always someone in this world who would trade places with me in a New York Minute. 

Mike, all my feelings good and bad occur within my brain and mind and Mike that area belongs to me alone and I'm in charge of my emotions so when I don't like them I fucking change them.

Smile and say nice things to others, they will smile back at you and you will feel better, the more people who smile at you the better you will feel.  It's as close to a magic tonic as I can get, take a big gulp and enjoy your life, as Frank Capra showed us all "It's a wonderful life"

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