Secular Symposium: Meaning Without God

Image via Matthew under CCL 2.0
Image via Matthew under CCL 2.0

Sample quotes (scroll to the thumbnails for full responses)

When I strive to improve myself or some facet of the world we all share, it’s really not the same as masturbating to Muppet porn… — Ryan H. 

When I die, the way I achieve some level of immortality is through affecting others.  That is my *forever*.  — Sandra B.

Imagine walking up to a complete stranger and asking them “what do you mean?” I can only imagine their confusion…. I think it is a question with no answer. I think it is a question that we use to distract ourselves from the real experiences of living. — Paul W.

My existence simply is.  I make of my life what I want to make of it.  And that’s kind of beautiful. — Sarah P.

A couple months ago a fellow atheist at a dinner-eating atheist event and said something that made a profound impact on me. He said he rarely came to such groups because they got boring pretty quickly — he wanted to do more than just sit around with a bunch of people who didn’t have a belief in God or gods in their heads.  He could do that at home.  Instead, He wanted a community of people who enjoyed sharing experiences, passions, thoughts and ideas.

He’s not the only one seeking deeper connections in an atheist community. Here in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex we are located in a Bible-Belt environment, so it’s often hard to be an atheist. As a result, many of us want to build connections to godless people, and those of us who have succeeded tend to find that such connections and support groups can make our lives easier to live.

We thought other people might appreciate the support too, so we’re sharing the conversation here.

The question we handled, in various ways, was: “How do you find meaning in your life without God?”

Wait.

If that question annoys you — believe me, you’re not the only one. As I said, we’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Bible Belt country.

We get asked that question all. the. time.

symposium

Religious people often think that there is just one answer atheists subscribe to. If you’ve spent any time talking to atheists, you’ll know that’s not true. We differ on this question widely.  Some of us don’t think the question is relevant, some of us say that we create meaning in relationships, some of us say we discover meaning through observation of the way the world works, some of us find meaning in abstract ideas and experiences, and there are many others in between.

Sharing our answers with each other widened our individual perspectives and strengthened our understanding of each other.

In case you wanted to join the conversation, we decided to share the written answers to our questions to a larger audience.

We’re interested in hearing about what resonates with you, and hope you enjoy reading our responses.

Click an image below:

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