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Without God Everything Matters

May 6, 2009

A Christian on Twitter recently told me “Without God nothing matters.”

I really don’t understand how someone can come to this conclusion if they are thinking at all. To me, without a god everything matters. Our lives are so short that every last second is a page in the novella of our lives. Why on earth would you want to live your life thinking “If I’m wrong on this one issue then my entire life is for naught”?

Life is infinitely more important when it’s finite. This is my only life and I have no idea how long it’s going to be, with the advance of modern medicine I may live to be 150 if I can avoid a terrible accident, maybe even 300 years if we don’t have any more Republican presidents banning funding on research. Ultimately, I can’t know though and that is a scary thought, but that doesn’t mean I start believing in things that are completely devoid of evidence.

So what about you, fellow atheists, do you think life matters even though we don’t get to live forever?

  1. May 6, 2009 9:54 am

    life matters solely because we don’t get forever at it.

    look at the way fundys waste the brief time they have on earth constantly worshipping, following inane rules and worrying endlessly about sin and salvation.

    now that’s sad.

  2. ziusudrablog permalink
    May 6, 2009 9:56 am

    I can only confirm your opinion as being totally sane and reasonable.
    The citation of the christian was from
    Dostoevsky :
    “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.”
    There is only problem with this well-known quote:
    Dostoevsky never wrote it!

    Blogs are full of just letters, it is harder to find real sense. Search, and you will find.
    Evolution is still going on, there is hope that in a few million years our mental capacity will be adequate.


  3. May 6, 2009 10:28 am

    My father used to say “you can lead a hourse to water but you can’t make them drink”. The choice to belive or not believe in god is one of free will choice. As one who believes this is shared:

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” prov.:3:5-6

    The question is are you thirsty for the answers you seek?


  4. May 6, 2009 10:48 am

    Absolutely agree.
    Wait, I guess it depends on TO WHOM our life is meaningless. To the universe (as if it has consciousness anyway), we are, at best, a speck.
    If our expectation is to be significant, and that a life without significance is not worth living, then yes indeed, our life, relative to the big scheme of things, is insignificant. But why can’t insignificance be meaningful to us.
    So, we can argue our lives are significant or that we learn to love insignificance.

  5. May 6, 2009 10:59 am

    Joss Whedon said it best: “If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.”

  6. Sidney Carton permalink
    May 6, 2009 1:07 pm

    A difference of opinions. Your friend needs God to make his life meaningful, you do not. Perhaps he would be unable to cope without religion, in much the same way that you would find your world stifling and intolerable with it. We would do well to let everyone find a meaningful life in their own way, and cease to assert that our way is the only way to enjoy it.

    I need religion, you do not, if you are happy and I am happy then what’s the problem?

  7. May 6, 2009 11:12 pm

    I believe what Dostoyevsky wrote in The Brothers Karamazov is “without God, everything is permitted”…then, he didn’t actually write either that or “nothing is forbidden”…he wrote something in Russian which has been translated various ways. Anyway, looking at the behavior of true believes around the world, I think it’s more accurate to say “if you believe God is on your side, nothing is forbidden.”

    Anyway, much as teenaged nihilists like to get off on saying “nothing matters” or “nothing means anything,” ultimately, we have to find meaning in our lives. Ultimately, it seems to me, that meaning has to be created–thus, we end up with gods and God and all kinds of metaphysical concepts. I’ve always liked what Wallace Stevens wrote: “death is the mother of beauty”…meaning that it’s our mortality that creates the need for art. I can’t really imagine anything more empty and meaningless than the fundamentalist idea that we’re simply here as a test–that this life counts for nothing except to determine where we’re going to be in the life that actually does count.

    So, basically, while more agnostic (in the sense of believing strongly that human beings, ultimately, know nothing, rather than a wishy washy “I can’t decide between religions” kind of attitude), I’d say I agree…..

  8. May 6, 2009 11:42 pm

    Personally, life matters more now than it ever did, because this is all I get. That’s not to say I work myself up in a frenzy about it, but I definitely have a constant desire to make the most of the moment.

  9. May 7, 2009 4:06 am

    Just a thought as devil’s advocate (Amanojaku):
    For a young atheist, “This is all there is”, may mean grabbing life by the horns and trying to get the most of it – kind of exciting and engaged. For the elderly, with no changes coming, and much physical suffering, if this is all there is, then suicide seems more reasonable at times–likewise for those with severe depression and such. I think neither the theist hope or the atheist gusto offers a definitively better perspective on meaning. Both can offer excellent meaning, even if the theist one is illusory.
    Sure, an atheist will try to rationalize why theirs is better, as will theists, but the rationalizing reflex is totally human — you all share that.

  10. Teresa Silverthorn permalink
    May 17, 2009 8:45 am

    The author of Confessions of a Mystic, Teresa Silverthorn, formally invites you to formal, philosophical debate.

    Be aware, that I am not a Christian. I am a universal, independent Mystic, which means I respect all religions but am a member of none of them.

    The topic of this debate: The Existence of an Influencing, Communicating Force: “God”

    Be aware that this invitation has been made public at:

    And, there are many readers eagerly awaiting your response.

    This invitation has been made to you – solely. There is no animosity implied, just a simple invitation to philosophically share your viewpoint, with a Mystic.

    • May 22, 2009 2:20 am

      Hey sorry for taking so long to approve the comment. I’m more than willing to debate you. Why don’t we work out the format in email?

  11. Teresa Silverthorn permalink
    May 22, 2009 6:46 am

    That would probably be the best way to handle it…

  12. May 24, 2009 8:57 pm

    I believe I echo the majority of the statements here. I always said that living as an atheist means that I have more to live for since there is no afterlife, while those that believe in a Heaven should want to die ASAP to get there. This also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. I won’t say where it’s from because honestly that might discredit the sentiment a bit. ;-)

    “It doesn’t mean anything. In the greater scheme or the big picture nothing we do matters. There’s no grand plan no big win. . . . If there’s no great, glorious end to all this. If nothing we do matters then all that matters is what we do. ‘Cause that’s all there is. What we do now. Today. . . . All I want to do is help. I want to help because I don’t think people should suffer as they do. Because if there’s no bigger meaning then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.”

    • May 24, 2009 10:29 pm

      Joss Whedon fan here, so no quotes from his shows would be discredited on my blog. I’m more of a Firefly guy but I’ve watched my fair share of Buffy.

  13. David Zach permalink
    October 1, 2009 3:29 pm

    Mankind is always trying to give meaning and purpose to everything. Therefore, as an atheist, I find it hard not to give some meaning or purpose to life. I don’t find my day much different than anyone else’s regardless of their religious beliefs.
    Whether you think you’re going somewhere or not after life, still, you inherently try to make what you think is a better world for yourself, your offspring and others. This is why many atheists are passionate about getting their message out.

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