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Enjoying the Good Life Without Gods: Gods, Religion Not Needed to Enjoy Life

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Living Without Gods:


It's common for religious theists to be incredulous at the idea that a person could not just live, but enjoy life without believing in any gods and without following any religion. Because of this, religious theists also often make all kinds of assumptions about irreligious atheists and the sorts of lives they must lead. These assumptions are rarely, if ever, true. Religious theists must learn that neither their theism nor their religion are necessary to living a satisfying, fulfilling, and happy life. It's not merely possible to be a godless, irreligious atheist who enjoys a fulfilling, meaningful life, but common.

If We All Die, Why Bother?:


A popular objection to living well without gods is the claim that since life is short, everything we do is temporary and thus pointless. This assumes that something can only have a point if it is eternal in some fashion, but does anyone really believe that? Every meal we eat must end, so is there no point in eating or enjoying a meal? Every movie ends, so is it impossible to enjoy movies? Of course not. What we do will have a point if we create one — being eternal is unnecessary. Atheism Does Not Lead to Hopelessness and Despair...

Without God, How Can there Be a Purpose to Life?:


Religious theists also tell atheists that the theists' gods are necessary for life to have meaning, but this isn't true either. Things have meaning to us when we value them, and whether we value something or not — and how much — is dependent entirely upon us. No god, no spirits, and no humans can force us to value a book, a meal, or a relationship. This means that what we value comes from the choices we make and the presence of meaning in our lives is solely our responsibility. Gods are unnecessary and irrelevant.

Without God, How Can there Be a Meaning to Life?:


Religious theists also tell atheists that the theists' gods are necessary for life to have meaning, but this isn't true either. Things have meaning to us when we value them, and whether we value something or not — and how much — is dependent entirely upon us. No god, no spirits, and no humans can force us to value a book, a meal, or a relationship. This means that what we value comes from the choices we make and the presence of meaning in our lives is solely our responsibility. Gods are unnecessary and irrelevant.

Your Life is Your Own:


The most important, and perhaps most difficult, thing to remember about living without gods is that your life is entirely your own. This means that you must take personal responsibility for all of the choices you make and for the consequences of those choices. There are neither spirits to blame nor spirits to call upon for help — it's up to you do deal with your life and this is the only chance you'll have. There are no do-overs and there is no afterlife where your losses are made up for. If you want to live, it's now or never.

Importance of Learning:


We don't come into this world knowing anything that we need to know; we don't leave this world having learned a fraction of what we could use. In between, we need to spend as much time as we can learning because without knowledge and experience, we won't be able to accomplish anything. Accurate, reliable knowledge of the world around us is indispensable for adequately navigating our world — not just physically, but socially and mentally as well. Learning should not stop with school; instead, it should be a life-long endeavor.

Importance of Teaching:


As social animals, our learning won't occur in complete isolation and we shouldn't try to keep what we learn from others. The process of learning should be accompanied by simultaneous teaching. We are all different, possessing different perspectives and experiences. We all have something to offer, if we can figure out how to put it together — and we should definitely try, seeking to help others learn even as we ourselves are being helped.

Importance of Loving:


Love is more than an emotion, it's an attitude — a way of approaching those around you, the things you do, and even yourself. Love is important because it molds your approach to incorporate attitudes of caring, kindness, gentleness, and generosity. The opposite of love is not hate, for hate still implies that one cares — even if in a negative way. The opposite of love is indifference — an indifference towards consequences, towards results, and towards life itself.

Striving for Excellence:


There's an old adage that if you are going to do something, you should do it well. The same can be said about life generally. There's a lot that a person can do to get the most out of life, but one of the most fundamental things may able to strive to do the best you can possibly achieve. Mediocre accomplishments will likely result in a mediocre life; excellence, even in the seemingly smaller things like how you conduct your relationships with others, can result in a richer and more satisfying life.

Meaning, Purpose, Value, and Morality Without Gods:


Religious theists may place their religion and their belief in a god at the center of lives, but the fact that they cannot imagine living a good life without that religion and that god doesn’t mean that it's impossible and that others cannot. A godless life is not one that is necessarily without meaning, joy, purpose, and love.

What about weathering life's low points, though? Life comes with both its ups and downs; while we may wish for life to always be pleasant, we can't avoid incidents that will make life seem more of a burden than a joy. If religious believers can find comfort in their doctrines what are godless, irreligious atheists to do? That religion can provide comfort is undeniable, but not everything that's comforting is necessarily good for you, especially over the long term.

Regardless of the "comfort" which religion may offer, it's typically based upon promises of what happens in some other plane of existence or future life. Setting aside questions about whether they even exist, it's an indisputable fact that we have to live here and now. As enticing as the promises may be, it will always be necessary to drag our gaze away from them and focus on what lies before us — our lives, with all its joys and sorrows. If we don't do that, we'll never really overcome the sorrows and we certainly won't be able to appreciate the joys.

Because of this, the "comfort" typically offered by religion may not be a real benefit at all. Godless, irreligious atheists should thus not look with envy upon the religious beliefs which people try to rely on. Whatever life has in store for you, you won't deal with it any better if your attention is drawn to unreal promises of an unexplainable, unknown future.

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