Rationality Now Rotating Header Image

The Meaning of Life

One question (or statement, depending on who’s speaking) I come across on occasion is how life can have any real meaning if I don’t believe in a divine creator. In other words, there’s a claim that if you don’t devote your life to serving “God,” your life can’t possibly be meaningful.

I was pondering posting my thoughts on this when I found the following post by Alonzo Fyfe of The Atheist Ethicist and thought I’d put off posting my own thoughts for now and share Alonzo’s wonderful metaphor. It gently and gracefully addresses the issue and shows a great difference between “meaning via religion” and  meaning via life.”

Here’s the link: The Meaning of Life



  1. Stephen says:

    Well, the way I see it, the only thing that separates us from dogs, ocelots, and capybaras is the knowledge that we’re going to one day die. What is the meaning of life for animals? Procreation and the carrying on of genes. Therefore, the meaning of life for humans is to screw like bunnies to propagate our genetic material. That makes me fairly content because if life did happen to have some sort of meaning different from other animals, that would make us somehow special and therefore would imply that there’s a mechanism for judging whether we’re fulfilling that “meaning”. That I’m not cool with. Though I suppose you could argue that “the meaning of life” and “why we happen to be here” are two totally different things.

  2. Dan says:

    I think your last sentence is dead on the money and critical to even discussing the issue of life’s “meaning.” Different people will have a different take on what that means… whether it’s “how we got here” or “why we’re here” or “why we’re different than animals” or “what’s the point” or something else entirely.

    I frequently hear it in the frame of “what’s the point?” In that context, I fully feel that any “divine” presence makes absolutely no difference. I can love, laugh, play, work, and wonder without any dogmatic beliefs and would even argue that I’m able to more freely and fully enjoy the wonders and joys of the world without that extra baggage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.