Is Your Existence Meaningless?

In today’s (2/9/15) Garfield cartoon*, I couldn’t help but think to myself … this is probably garfield-the-catwhat many Christians think about atheists … that they are “stumbling aimlessly through a meaningless existence.”

Speaking for myself as a non-believer, I can assure you my life is FULL of meaning. I have direction, I have goals, I have dreams … and more than this, I have peace in knowing my life is my own. I answer to no supernatural Big Guy in the Sky. I’m not worried about some unseen malevolent creature tempting me to “sin.” And most of all, I have no fear of a “hellish” afterlife.

I would daresay most non-believers/atheists feel similarly. But just for fun, I decided to conduct a quick study.

If you are an atheist/non-believer, how would you describe your existence?


*If you are reading this on another date, you will need to click “Comics” and type in the date. I tried to get permission to post the relevant strip, but didn’t get a response. 😦

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27 thoughts on “Is Your Existence Meaningless?

  1. I think the meaning discussion can be confusing because everyone has different definitions for meaning.

    Some think “meaning in life” is something which is objectively defined by something that is outside of the minds of humans. Given that definition then I think my life is meaningless, but to me that is a silly definition.

    A good definition I’ve seen for “meaning in life” is whether someone has reasons to continue living their life. If that is the case then my life is filled to the brim with meaning.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Life had no meaning – we just are for a brief time, and we’re gone. The only meaning life has is that which we bring to it, and that which we leave behind us, as a legacy for those we’ve left. It’s only those who are looking for more than that, that get caught up in religious traps.

    But there HAS to be more than this!” – Why?

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  3. Howie, technically, I suppose the discussion could be confusing. But I wasn’t asking for anyone to define “meaning in life.” I was asking how they would define their existence — in contrast to what Garfield said to Jon.

    It’s a pretty common belief among Christians that atheists are “stumbling aimlessly through a meaningless existence” … for the simple reason they don’t have “God” and Jesus in their lives.

    I was hoping my atheist friends would counter this belief through their comments by offering reasons why they are NOT “stumbling aimlessly ….” For example, Arch commented on another blog how much his granddaughter means to him. THIS is just one of the things that obviously makes his existence meaningful.

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    • Yeah, that was my last paragraph. I’ve got so much in life that gives me reason to live. I can list specifics. Is that what you’re going for? Does posting here require a specific response?

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  4. ….. I have peace in knowing my life is my own. I answer to no supernatural Big Guy in the Sky……
    You formulate my thoughts, Nan! When my mother, a believer but not a church-
    goer, indicated that she wanted to end her life, of course everybody tried to prevent her of making that mistake. Although a widow, she was healthy, she had (grand)children, good friends, relatives, neighbors. My mom listened patiently to the protests, and her answer was: “You are soo right, but it is I who doesn’t want to live any more. May I?”. She died at 2 o’clock in the morning of her 93rd birthday.
    I agree with the doctor’s explanation that nobody can give meaning to somebody else’s life. I cannot see how anyone else than myself can give meaning to my life. Your post makes me want to hear Richard Dreyfuss again, questioning the medical staff of the hospital “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” – I suppose you have seen that movie. Greetings.-

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  5. Sorry, Arch. 😦 I completely overlooked the gender when I read your comment on the other blog.

    I’m thinking now that I should have just offered my own thoughts on Garfield’s comment rather than open it up for discussion. But I saw so much meaning in it, I couldn’t help but think others would too.

    I remember so well that when I was a Christian, I had no life other than those things that were related to my belief. Church on Sunday and Wednesday for sure, other days when there were “Fellowship” meetings. Bible reading everyday (or at least twice a week during services … HA!). Prayer … unceasingly, of course. Witnessing? Oh, you betcha! Gotta’ reach out to those sinners!

    And I sincerely believed those who didn’t know “the Lord” were “stumbling” exactly as Garfield described. How could they ever know the true meaning and value of their existence without a relationship with “God”?

    But like I said in the posting. There is soooo much more to my existence now than there ever was when I was trying to please you-know-who.

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  6. “Whose life is it, anyway?” Excellent question, Federico. And I would answer … It’s my life, my existence, and as such, it is mine to live as I see fit and in the way that brings me the most joy.

    If a person finds happiness, delight, and meaning in serving an unseen entity that lives somewhere skyward, that’s their prerogative … as it is mine to spend my existence on this planet enjoying the wonders of nature, the love of family, the excitement of learning, and the freedom from guilt and fear that religion places on those who accept its myths and stories.

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  7. My existence matters to my wife, my kids, my family of origin, my friends, my coworkers, my employer, my community… And theirs matters to me. We give each other meaning.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Nan, the link you have now shows today’s cartoon. But based on your comment I can pretty much get the gist of the cartoon. The Thinking Atheist wrote about two two years ago, and I thought it represented my own thoughts fairly well.

    “Theists continue to tell me that my life is void and meaningless without God. They do not (yet) understand how liberating it is to cast off the false and harmful superstitions which bind so many. They cannot see the much-larger picture through my eyes, nor appreciate the sense of awe and wonder that comes with each viewing.

    It’s not about comfort. It’s not about what is easy or socially acceptable. It’s not about placating others to keep the peace. It’s not about tradition, culture, family or fear.

    It’s about living real life in the real world, understanding and accepting the responsibility we all have to govern our own lives and working to better this world for all.

    I see no evidence, anywhere, for any gods, and this does not make me sad or cause me dismay. It liberates me. It unshackles my mind, my heart, my hands. It allows me to approach each day with a curious mind, a full heart, and a tremendous sense that I must maximize each moment of my short tenure here.

    I am moral. I am good. I am part of an evolutionary story that spans billions of years. I am a rationalist. Humanist. Atheist.

    And I am free.”

    I will add to this what I said in a blog post I wrote 2 years ago before TTA wrote his thoughts”

    “I am no longer a servant. I am free to investigate. Free to think critically. Free to question everything. Free from devils and ghosts. Free from having to please a jealous “Father”. Free to live my own life and follow my dreams. I no longer die to myself. I am in touch with my humanity. I am at peace. I am me. I am free.

    I Am.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Victoria, did you see the note at the bottom of my posting related to the date of the cartoon?

      I’m with you. The Thinking Atheist said it far better than I ever could. And your thoughts wrap it up very nicely as well. 🙂

      TTA’s first words are primarily the reason I wrote this post: “Theists continue to tell me that my life is void and meaningless without God.” IOW, their thinking runs along the lines of Garfield’s comment. I just wanted to point out that they’re wrong-wrong-wrong!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nothing to “Pass on”
    No meaningful Heirlooms , no memories, no pictures or videos, no thoughts of your birth, life or death , no desire of future generations to learn something about you………

    This could be a “life without meaning” and transcends the religious and non-religious alike.

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  10. Speaking of idiots, and I was, near the turn of the century, 10,113 Americans insured themselves against giving birth to the messiah at the millennium. I would have taken that bet in a heartbeat!

    It’s hard to imagine that many people, who believe that strongly that such a thing could even exist, would say in essence – we don’t want him!

    Liked by 1 person

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