Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /home/public/blog/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/_inc/lib/class.media-summary.php on line 77

Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /home/public/blog/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/_inc/lib/class.media-summary.php on line 87
 IAmAnAtheist » The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.

A theist and an atheist waiting for a nurse in a theme park first-aid station

Katherine: That was pretty scary, huh?

Laurie: A parade bicycle drove over my foot. My life wasn’t exactly flashing before my eyes.

Katherine: It makes you think, though, doesn’t it? If it had been something bigger, like one of the floats going out of control? What then?

Laurie: If you’re trying to turn my stupid foot into a conversation about God, I swear I’ll kick your ass with it the second it stops throbbing.

Katherine: It’s not that. I’m thinking about how life is so precious and so full of meaning. It concerns me that you don’t think life has any meaning. I’m worried that when things get bad you’ll get depressed and feel pointless.

Laurie: What gives you the idea I think life’s meaningless?

Katherine: Because you’re, you know, an atheist.

Laurie: Atheists don’t think life’s meaningless.

Katherine: But doesn’t it have to be? You know, from your perspective?

Laurie: Why?

Katherine: Because there’s no God. How can there be meaning without someone to give life meaning?

Laurie: There is someone to give my life meaning — me.

Katherine: How can you do that? You can’t make yourself part of a larger plan. That’s something that has to be given to you.

Laurie: Even without some kind of divine plan life can have plenty of meaning. I hope to leave the world a better place than it was when I entered it, or, if not that, to at least have the world be better for having had me in it. That’s plenty of meaning for me.

Katherine: But what about people who don’t have lofty goals like that? People who just get through the day or look to have a good time? They wouldn’t find meaning in something like that.

Laurie: That’s fine. Let them find their own meaning. People can have a job that gives their life meaning, or a hobby, or a group of friends. There doesn’t have to be one big meaning of life that everyone shares. It can be an individual thing.

Katherine: How can the meaning of life possibly be something so small?

Laurie: It’s my whole life. That’s not small to me.

Katherine: I see that. Oh, here comes the foot doctor.

Laurie: Good. I owe you half an ass kicking.


If you have a conversation that you’d like me to consider publishing on this blog or in an upcoming book, please see the conversation guidelines.

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Conversations

Leave a Reply