God is not dead; God never lived.
There was no God to begin with.
No Eden’s fall, no Hell at all,
No matter who you sin with.

There is no reason, is no plan,
And purpose, what we make it.
No god above—but merely love
For all who don’t forsake it

Ok, so quite some time ago I posted something about a “Socrates Exchange” program I had happened upon on the radio. For no particular reason, I was looking through past posts, clicked a link, and found the upcoming Socrates Exchange… rather annoying. “Is life ultimately meaningless?” is the question, but that doesn’t begin to tell the story. The real question is, if there is no god, is life meaningless? If there is no ultimate purpose, is life meaningless? And the odd thing is, those questions are assumed to be identical!

Most of the comments, thus far, suggest (reasonably) that purpose is what we make it. There are one or two that say God gives life purpose, and that the “if there is no god” clause is just silly. Ok, they don’t use that phrase.

What would be our purpose, if there was a god? I’d really like to know. How would it make our lives meaningful, if our purpose was to suck up to a deity? Might be nice for him/her/it/them, of course–might give h/h/i/t a purpose, much like stamp collecting gives a collector purpose–but what does that say about our own purpose?

If god gives us purpose, are we the equivalent of beany babies to a collector? More active, perhaps. Pawns? No, far less powerful. Goldfish?

I don’t think the Socrates Exchange people have really thought this through. True purpose must be our own, and cannot be god’s. It can only be determined by us–a false “ultimate purpose” (you may insert any god’s wishes here) is nothing but fantasy. Real purposes, our own purposes–learning about ourselves and our universe; making our world a better place; collecting all the beany babies–are, no matter how trivial, superior to god’s purposes in one very important way.

They are real.

(BTW, the actual program does not start for about a week, so if you have comments to add to their site, you could go a long way toward polishing the image of atheists/skeptics/humanists/cuttlefishists (or just plain humans) and our view of the world as it actually is.)



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