Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Meaning of Life?

Over at Beliefnet, David Klinghoffer has posted what he calls, "A Challenge to Atheists and Agnostics." He asks, "From where do you derive meaning in life?" When I see that question it reminds me yet again of how people often operate based on entirely different underlying assumptions. I don't assume that life has or needs to have meaning at all. Life just is. My response would be, life's meaning is what you make of it.  He goes on to say,
meaning or value in life needs to refer to something outside our lives, which are physical-, material-based experiences
Why? I would ask Klinghoffer, just because you think that way, why do you assume that your thinking applies to all others? He finishes with this:  
If your intellect or your philosophy tells you that a certain action is right or wrong, what makes that moral judgment authoritative? What compels you to obey it? Your conscience? But why obey that, when it's merely part of the same physical system that gave rise to you and your body (which of course are the same thing)?
This is basically another variant of the old how can atheists have morals argument. That's already been addressed by many people. But I will note that even most religious people interpret the moral code and rules of their religion. They don't usually follow it blindly without any thought. In other words, they use their brain and their instincts to determine right and wrong -- just as atheists.


  1. It's a silly question and an even sillier assertion, that makes the silly question unanswerable.

    Which I imagine is the point.

  2. My response would be, life's meaning is what you make of it.Yes, but making one's own life meaningful is a big responsibility. It's so much easier to imagine that there's a god up there doing it for you.