Is having a purpose in life of paramount importance?

Theists will say that a life without divine purpose is futile and worthless. They make the claim that there is little to live for if we are not following the spiritual purpose their god arranged for them on this planet. It all ties into their world view that the universe is finally tuned to accommodate our existence as they fulfill the commandments of their god. 

Do you as an atheist/agnostic have a definitive purpose in life? If so, how did you determine the specific qualities of that purpose? I can honestly say I have no specific purpose in life. Is this odd to have that mindset? I mean, I get up every day eat some food for sustenance and try to survive. But beyond the basic requirements of food, clothing, and shelter is there a good reason to feel a compulsion to have a purpose? What do you use as a yardstick for measuring the value of your particular purpose, if you have one? Are people like me really a detriment to society if we lack a desire to have a purpose? Because we are cognitive sentient beings at the top of our planet's intellectual totem pole does that dictate that we be purpose-driven beyond the basic requirements for life? It is also interesting that the myriad purposes that individuals around the world harbor is oftentimes in direct conflict with the purpose of others. Even to the extent that we are unwilling to peacefully coexist and avoid killing one another. What criteria is used to define a meaningful purpose?

Can you have a life of fulfillment and joy without purpose? Or would we be like a weather vane caught on top a barn, in a driving incessant wind, that spins us uncontrollably with no sense of direction? 

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It is interesting that humanists also possess the quality of rational skepticism just as atheists. Although an uncaring self-centered asshole could be an atheist I believe you are correct about the percentage of our site's membership who have humanistic tendencies.   

can assholes help not being assholes?

" but we are surely behind when it comes to practice and organization."

Practice & organize what?

I don't think there is anything in my comment that dismisses religion. 

You would want atheists to be organized around unbelief or do you refer to some common causes?

Are those simple things like going to work, doing charity what make life? Why would a separate purpose outside of these be necessary?

Thinking now about Artificial Intelligence with Artificial Purpose... (oh no!)

If one gives oneself a purpose, that is a form of artifice as well.

If I give myself a purpose, it is the purpose my brain arrived at. What's the other possibility?

Good point. Bringing up free will just confuses the issue. My context filter widened too much, there. Brain fell out.

Uh didn't just open that can of worms Pope did you? ;)

Sorry. Would anyone be offended if I just deleted the past 3 hours of this branch? Next thing ya know, maybe next decade, some bot may take it as an invitation.

I know for a fact that God prohibits all discussions of free will ... and so does Thor and Santa Claus and Harry Potter for good measure. I'm just saying...

"Assuming one has the Free Will to do so, eh?"

According to Sam Harris nobody has Free Will and he's a god to his fans.


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