Dan Barker on ‘Life Driven Purpose’

In his talk at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Dan Barker put a twist on Pastor Rick Warren‘s popular phrase and gave a talk on “Life Driven Purpose“:

As always, if there are any bits we should pay special attention to, just leave the timestamp and a summary in the comments.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • From dimension 9

    The life driven purpose of the atheist is to run down other people’s faith so that no one in this world has faith. Ha.

    • LesterBallard

      And the purpose of Christians is tell people, to tell children, that they are worthless pieces of shit unless they are Christians.

      • Revyloution

        I love it when complex social issues can be easily distilled down into two separate groups with no overlap.   It makes it so easy to demonize the other and perpetuate hate.

        • LesterBallard

          You can suck shit out of their asses. I’m done with that.

          • randall.morrison90

            It sound like you are just sucking shit our of other asses, Lester.

            • LesterBallard

              I like your name; not everyone brags about their IQ. Good for you.

        • LesterBallard

          Yep, I hate their sick, twisted, vile theology.

        • Drew M.

          Life imitates art.

          http://xkcd.com/774/

      • Randomfactor

         Unless?  ESPECIALLY if they are Christians–it’s how they keep ‘em coming back for re-inoculation.

        • Stev84

          So true. The obscenity known as “original sin” teaches Christians that they are born evil and worthless with no chance of being good on their own. They are made to feel ashamed and guilty at being human from childhood on and then get more shame and guilt heaped on when they reach puberty.

    • usclat

      Exactly D9. Faith over reason is insanity. I’m glad you understand that some atheists (like yourself, no doubt) have a mission to expose faith for what it is: a child-like belief in something that NO ONE can prove! Thanks for being at the vanguard of this real-world battle against “faith” and all the evil that it stands for. You da’ man!

    • http://gadlaw.com gadlaw

       Actually the purpose of the atheist is to keep the faithful from imposing their irrational beliefs on the rest of us. Theocracies are not fun places to live in and being polite and silent is the best way to usher that sort of nonsense in. So silence is not an option.

    • Sevensecundelay

      you obviously know nothing of Dan barker, or of atheists in general.

      • randall.morrison90

        Well, we do know that Barker is willing to lie when it suits his purposes. as when he contined to preach when he no longer believed.

        I wonder what else he would lie about, if he would lie about that?

        • http://www.facebook.com/iztok Iztok Umek

          You are right, clergy lies for a living. Sometimes they believe their own lies, sometimes they don’t.

        • John W

           You do seem seem fixated on Dan Barker randall, I’m more concerned with issues like that pedophile protection club known as the Catholic church, what they do is lie, we need to lock up a few bishops for telling lies to protect their own turf.

        • JoeBuddha

          You know? I’d've praised him to non-existent heaven as virtual saint a if he just up and quit on principle to live in poverty. I can praise him as a normal human when he made the best of a bad situation and got out when he could safely do so. We’re not all saints.
          Besides, I suppose you never had a shitty job where you had to pretend to be happy and lie your ass off to put food on the table, but I know plenty of people who have. It’s called getting by. I’m pretty sure if he had to go on welfare because he no longer had a job and had no other skills, you’d be dissing him for sponging off the state.

    • Gordon Duffy

       I would love it if noone had faith!

    • Duke OfOmnium

      A doctor’s purpose is to cure disease so no-one is sick.  What is your point?

  • Stephen

    If the existence of suffering, nullifies the existence of God (as suggested)…then what does the existence of matter/thought/physics say in regard to suffering?  Hasn’t the existence of matter always included suffering (speaking from an atheist POV).  What is the atheist answer for why suffering exists?  If there is no God, why does suffering exists?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shiari-Ryu/821884434 Shiari Ryu

       Because the universe is not perfect, and sometimes bad stuff simply happens.

      Do you even realise that your last sentence seems to imply that God is the cause of all suffering? What a jerk he would be if he were real.

      • randall.morrison90

        Its always hilarious when Moral Relativists start trying to tell us something is “wrong”.

        • Millotts

          It’s even more hilarious when Biblical Literalists start trying to tell us that god only does “good” when the bible itself shows the evil god does – the flood, approval of slavery and rape, genocide, etc.

    • Gordon Duffy

       We don’t need to explain why suffering exists. We don’t believe there is a magic man with the power to stop it. If there were such a man we’d have to answer why he did nothing.

    • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

      This seems to assume that things need a reason to exist beyond cause and effect. They don’t. To the atheist, suffering exists as a result of long causal chains not for any purpose. 

    • Sven

      Trying to lump all “suffering” into one cause is deeply flawed.
      Sometimes suffering is caused by natural disasters.
      Sometimes suffering is caused by national economic problems.
      Sometimes suffering is caused by brutal government regimes.
      Sometimes suffering is caused by individuals in the victims’ lives.
      Each of these causes have their own causes behind them.  One cannot answer “why does suffering exist” in a simple or concise way.

      • amycas

         ”One cannot answer “why does suffering exist” in a simple or concise way.”

        Sure you can: Shit happens

  • jdm8

    It seems cheap to make a play on Christian products like that, much like how cheap Christian products often make a pun on secular products.

    • Randomfactor

       On the other hand, I quite enjoyed Robert Price’s book “The Reason-Driven Life”  which more or less demolishes Warren’s slight-of-hand point by point.  There’s a use for such cleverness.

      • randall.morrison90

        Price quoted Nietzsche way too much in that book.  After all, Nietzche’s later work was produced under the influence of Syphillis Induced Insanity, and he spent the last Ten Years of his life as a raving lunatic.

        A real “go to guy” there.  snicker

        Of course, Price also edits horror anthologyies and has written a lot about the anit semitic H.P. Lovecraft, so I guess Price has his own problems.

        And he certainly has his own agenda.

        Yeah, I am happy to see Price in the atheist column.

        • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

          That’s the largest bit of the genetic fallacy with ad hominems I’ve seen yet today. You win one anti-internet. 

          Ok, obnoxious snark aside, lots of people enjoy Lovecraft and enjoy his work despite his personal beliefs and flaws. That’s also how for example people can enjoy Dickens even though he wrote some pretty racist characters or can think that Shakespeare was the greatest English writer ever even though he wrote Merchant of Venice. Etc. Etc.

          Similarly, that someone was going insane doesn’t make their arguments less intrinsically valid, it is just a (weak) heuristic that says that something they say is less likely to make sense. Arguments once they’ve been presented still rise or fall on their own merit. By your logic, mathematicians should disregard everything that John Nash has done because he’s schizophrenic. 

        • Randomfactor

           So, you’re conceding that Price’s criticism of Warren is valid, but he’s off your Christmas card list.

          As to the literary influence of organic insanity, I direct you to Revelation.

    • nakedanthropologist

      I like it sometimes, and think that the satire can be well-deserved.  Its a common trope among theists that a life without god(s) has no purpose.  Most atheists I know are humanists, and believe that life is what we make it (in my experience, Christians are the most vocal about atheists having no purpose, which is kind of weird IMHO).  I read “A Purpose Driven Life” back in the day, and Warren (basically) wrote that life is what we make it -with God injected into it (praying and such).  Like I’ve said, sometimes satire is well deserved, and can be particularly enjoyable if done with wit as with Barker.

  • randall.morrison90

    The problem with Barker is that he is a liar.  Face it, by his own admission he continued to preach after he no longer believed.

    And now he still makes a living off preaching, a pretty decent living.

    I can’t stand double dealers.

    And I don’t trust them to give me the time of day, much less advice on living.

    He is a has been.

    • mikespeir

       Have you lied, Randall?  Ever?

      • mikespeir

        Hm.  No reply.  I guess it’s easier to be a troll at 2AM, when nobody much is paying attention.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/5AU7DJ4GGBKTNOMWD3HBZVBGZ4 Randall

        Never to people who trusted me.

        And sure as heck not for money…that’s called FRAUD.

        • mikespeir

          Oh, like hell!  You’re a riot!

        • amycas

           No, you see fraud has an actual legal definition. What he did isn’t fraud, it’s called “keeping the job you no longer want for long enough to put food on the table until you’re able to safely extricate yourself from a terribly situation that you had no way of foreseeing when you entered the profession.”

    • Compuholic

      Well I’m glad that your life is so perfect.

      And I’m sure you never told a lie to keep youself out of an uncomfortable situation. I guess you prefer consistent liars.

      And I’m sure that earning a living as a preacher, becoming an atheist, and then realizing that you never learned anything else in your life qualifies as such. But then I’m sure that you would prefer to be an honest person that is homeless and broke.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

      “sorry, kids, my integrity is more important than your groceries.”