Hello all, I recently have just been to myself, and began to think deeply about life in its entirety.  This self-discussion has led to a small amount of depression. I feel as if religion puts value on human life, and yet at the same time, looks down on it, looking forward to the "afterlife". They say thou shall not kill, etc, all moralistic things in human nature.  Then they say, just follow your "god" and you'll have eternal love/happiness/etc in the afterlife.  My point is, I have come to my own realization/opinion that one life (including my own) is not important when looking at the universe as a whole. You become aware of the fact of how minute your life-time is here on Earth.  Just a “microsecond" in the life of the universe.  I have struggled to come into a valid reason as why I should feel one minuscule timespan is worthy in this vast timeline.  I am no where near saying I’m contemplating suicide or anything of that nature lol. What is there to look forward to, when you envision that your life will just end without any imprint on the world. Just would like to know some opinions on what is important enough in a small amount of time, when all-in-all, we came from “nothingness” and will eventually return to “nothingness”. 

Thanks :)

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Comment by Paul Jones on January 2, 2012 at 3:23am
Hi there - I think many atheists have been on the thought journey you've been on,I know I have. My reaction to it now is that everything you have said is of course true, but actually, it's that "universal perspective" which is irrelevant, all that matters to you is your span of life and the lives of those you care for. The grand scheme of things is of no consequence to you as an individual in the same way that your life is of no consequence in the grand scheme, so which perspective is important to you - yours of course!
Comment by Thomas54 on January 2, 2012 at 4:29am

When a person becomes atheist it is tempting to think life loses meaning. I felt the same way for a while, but it really is an illusion.

We still have family and social relationships which we can enjoy. We can take satisfaction in creativity, whether in our job or in other ways, in our achievements such as sport or learning a new skill.

In general terms, we can find purpose in life through enriching our lives and the lives of others.

The wonders of nature are still awe-inspiring. In fact, without a god overseeing it all, nature and the wider universe are more amazing. Our individual existence is such an unlikely occurrence, when you think of the thousands of generations that have gone before, down the evolutionary tree to the first life on Earth. For me, this is perhaps the most awe-inspiring. That all humans are descended from a small group in Africa around 80,000 years ago. That we are all related.

Taking this further. That every living thing is related. I can't help but be amazed and want to understand and learn more about the universe.

As a species, humans are naturally inquisitive and hungry for knowledge. Science and the scientific method are the way we gain new knowledge of the universe, out there in space and here on Earth.

Taking an interest in new discoveries is an important part of my life. Encouraging others to do so, in my own circle of influence, is part of my small contribution to the future.

Comment by sway austin on January 2, 2012 at 6:28am

The moment I realized/felt that my life was trivial in the larger scheme of things, I began to enjoy it more. Just like when I ceased believing in the god I was raised to believe in. All of a sudden things that were a big deal suddenly were not and I was able to enjoy myself as the person I am in ways that I didn't know were possible.

Comment by Stuart Boswell on January 2, 2012 at 6:55am

I find I have a clear perspective of my importance in the universe when sailing an ocean alone,which I love to do. Look, marvel and enjoy in the short time that we have, don't look for a meaning, as at best it will only be a poor guess like all religions.

Comment by trillianalice on January 2, 2012 at 7:42am

Some great comments here.  I have done my one purpose already and passed on my DNA but all my life I have always strived to leave this world a little better than I found out.  So, my life does mean something to everyone I interact with.  I hope that helps.

Comment by Chase King on January 2, 2012 at 1:21pm

Thanks to all for these amazing responses! They all help, just great! David, never even imagined life from that point of view. Thanks again to all, I will keep all of these in mind daily.

Comment by John Kelly on January 2, 2012 at 4:07pm

Chase, what frees you is that you are not important, thus your urges are not more important than other's urges and impulses.   I think this is the basis on which we can have a whole different outlook on cooperation.  If nobody is important, then self is not important, so there is no justifiable reason to put yourself above others.

Enjoy "dopamine and seratonin, the only two things that humans really like" (Author unknown).

Existentialism, making meaning for yourself doesn't seem to satisfy me much.  But life must be lived.  And I still am able to enjoy myself, and enjoy being kind to others and enjoy most of the things I did when I was religious.

Comment by Geektheist (Rocky Oliver) on January 2, 2012 at 4:12pm

I think these are all fantastic answers; I also agree that, truly, the objective answer IS "completely irrelevant" in the grand scope of things.

But the objective answer is also completely irrelevant.

The relative, subjective, and personal answer of whether your life is irrelevant or not is what's important.

Personally, I find my own life precious, since it's the only one I have. My passions, my wife, and most of all my kids make my life completely "relevant".

Comment by Chase King on January 2, 2012 at 5:01pm

John - I see your viewpoint, just enjoy the fact that we are able to realize who we love, and spend time cherishing their company in this short lifespan. 

LotusGeek - yes, I understand that the answer is also irrelevant. I was just looking for personal opinions/thoughts :D

Comment by matt.clerke on January 2, 2012 at 5:38pm

Relevance is subjective. For the universe, your life means next to nothing. For you and your family, your life means everything.


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