I say it is meaningless or "it would be better for a man not to be born than to be brought into the world", but Im just curious and somewhat sick of debates at the moment so you can criticize my view I just may not answer and Id like to hear yours
Also another question I have for Atheists is why should I (or anyone else) be moral if there is no God? I wont accept it if it is subjective because subjective morals makes Nazism moral.
I agree with Skycomet: getting along in society is evolutionary in basis. It was a survival instinct, much like the fact that we crave fattening, high-calorie food. That's the type of food that kept us alive when times came that all food was scarce, and to this day we want it even though for many countries food is plentiful (if not excess). Morality, however, can be chosen or disregarded, can't it? Priests molest little children, but they are men sworn to your god. They should "know better." They have a book full of rules to follow, for all the good it does them.
What is the difference between a soldier killing someone in war or a mentally disturbed person murdering a woman he follows from a gas station? What is morality, really? Do you need to be told by a being unproven as existing, or can you generally figure it out on your own? Can you work with your fellow man for the good of the species? And it will be subjective sometimes, my friend. No two people will always interpret anything the same way, even if it is written in black and white in front of the both of them. Sometimes, there is no "right," and you just have to choose the better of two evils. Life is very complicated. Some people need distinct directions, and others prefer to reason and think it through on their own. I prefer to use my thinking skills, personally. I may not always choose correctly, but I haven't yet become the drinker of baby's blood or thief of home stereo systems in my spare time that some people worry atheists become with no direction. I find this to be a good sign.
And why does there have to be a "meaning of life"? Can't this life be meaningful in itself? I treasure mine every day. I bask in the sunshine, I stop and smell flowers, I jump in puddles with my kiddos, I go running in the rain, I love the people I love very fiercely, I learn from my mistakes, and I am very comfortable in my own skin. This is a good life. I don't need to trade it in for an "afterlife." We are very lucky beings. There's plenty of meaning in that.
Why deny basic humanity? We are not selfless beings. We are judgmental. You can pretend you aren't or even try really hard not to be; good for you if you manage it. I'd guess you probably just don't notice when you do something selfish or judgmental and thus think you are truly above it all. (I believe that's why Christians so love the term "righteousness.") It only means you are honest to acknowledge imperfection. It doesn't mean you can't attempt to attain this state of selflessness if that's what you want, but I think it's important to recognize that humans in general are just born selfish, selfish creatures. A good example is an infant. They are completely self-centered and egocentric. It's how they survive to grow into toddlers and children and adolescents, etc. Yet they are born clean slates, innocent and ready to be shaped. It's inherent and not a "sin" for them to act in this manner.
I just spent a lot of time reading most of this 44 page long debate and joined this website so I could reply. To other messages too, obviously. To answer the main questions:
what is the meaning of life to an athiest?
Well as I see it, its the same for everyone. We're born into this world, this is our reality so we live. It's not bad, there aren't too many reasons not to live. You have kids. Theres a meaning. Friends, a spouse or partner, those are reasons to live. The meaning of life is just to be happy because you are.
Why would you live because of a hope that when you stop living (if you live according to a book) you'll be in some kind of wonderful place.
The meaning of life is that you are.
The morality question...
I was watching a children's cartoon on a religious TV channel the other day. In this episode, a boy stole his friends baseball and felt bad about it. But he didn't feel bad about his friend was upset he felt bad because he "feared an eternity in hell".
SO what are good morals? Feeling bad about something because you don't want to burn in flames for eternity or because you know you're friend, who you care about feels bad because of you?
I wasn't brought up christian, so that's basically the moral standard I was raised with.
I think it worked well, I consider myself a good persons.
I think human beings instinctively know the difference between right and wrong.
And to all the quotes from the bible that look like this:
26"But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case.
27"When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.
28"(O)If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,
are just thousand year old laws the someone wrote in the bible because they existed at the time it was written. GOD didn't write the bible. The book didn't fall from the sky.