The Point To Living

  • tautomer

    Posts: 1010

    Feb 21, 2013 8:31 AM GMT
    I am looking for sincere answers to this.

    For those who are atheist, and or do not believe in an after life+, what drives you to stay alive? What is your reason for existing, being, and moving forward day after day? What's the point?

    I ask because for me, I don't see much of it anymore.* It boils down to the fact that in recent months, my spiritual beliefs have vanished. Poof. Gone. I could not deny the logic to the world and I have very unwillingly become atheist. I SO badly don't want it to be, but my mind is a steel trap and it can't forget truth and fact. I've turned over one too many stones in essence in my quest to understand the world.

    As such, there is no after life. There is no consequence after death. That's it. Done. If this is all there is, then I genuinely don't see the point for existence. Within the contstraints of my life, I can't see things improving, and all of the things that gave me hope in life, are gone, because they were derived from the spiritual. So I am now at a loss of hope as well. All I see is likely suffering and hardship ahead. The only two things keeping me going forward are A.) a few select people whom would be harmed by my death. B.) I fear pain, and dying I assume is painful. B I could overcome, A may become a non factor if the pain I feel from sadness and loss of hope gets greater. It's only been going up over the past few months. Granted, due to aspegers I experience emotions different from others, but I am in near constant low level physical pain from the sheer level of emptiness/lonliness/hopelessness I feel. If live is suffering? Why on earth would you put up with it? Our drive to survive is driven by biology anyway.

    So, non-believers, what keeps you alive? In my mind, I genuinely don't understand it, and I sort of need to understand it.

    Please, and thanks to all.


    +If you can't answer within these constraints, then please don't.
    *I am seeing a therapist, worrying is not needed.

    (Edit: I know some of you may be compelled to PM me about this, that's fine if you want to, just note I may or may not reply depending on my energy levels)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 8:38 AM GMT
    Fashion and my boyfriend. Those are the two things I love most in life.
    Technology is also exciting to me. When I'm much older, the technology that will exist will be so much more advanced. I find just that simple fact makes me want to live for as long as possible. To see how the world changes and progresses in regards to civil rights is also very interesting to me.

    Oh, and being atheist is much better, because at least this way you're not living in a fantasy world.
  • PolaroidSwing...

    Posts: 1131

    Feb 21, 2013 8:41 AM GMT
    I'm an existentialist, I think we create our own reasons to live.
    Ultimately there is no "point." In accepting that, the individual discovers freedom.

    I would definitely recommend picking up The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 8:43 AM GMT
    PolaroidSwinger saidI'm an existentialist, I think we create our own reasons to live.
    Ultimately there is no "point." In accepting that, the individual discovers freedom.
    Yes, very much this. The meaning of life is to give life meaning.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 8:44 AM GMT
    I'm still alive today because there are people who care about me and select people out there that I care about; whose lives I want to watch unfold, and whose lives I want to try and make better with my existence.
    And that's all I can type because I can and will start crying if I ponder this topic any more.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 8:47 AM GMT
    Heaven and hell are on this earth here and now, seems you have dropped down into hell; I've been there. But you can get out. Saddly there are people who are born in a rut, and never get out of it, and those who do. The movie the Blind Side deals with this issue.

    But for well over the past 20 years, I've been in heaven; living a life I never thought I would have. certainly after loosing so many loved ones to HIV.

    Yet I get up every morning for my four dogs, and my garden, and my man. it helps going to bed knowing I am loved, and when I turn my light off at night that I have done my best.

    But I also don't fear death either, as it's all part of living, to die, and I support euthanasia, and will use it if needed. I will not fight on till the last breath, for fear of death.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 9:42 AM GMT
    Life is worth living because of the mere experience of it. Everything is finite: has a start, a beginning, and an end. Even the universe, if current cosmological theories are correct. So why worry? Just BE. icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 12:02 PM GMT
    Nothing drives me to stay alive. Most of my hobbies - including my f/t job - could kill me at any moment.

    The only reason I don't kill myself is because I'd much rather die accidentally while having fun. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 12:40 PM GMT
    Where might you find a basic reason to live, in science or in spirituality?

    Is believing in an afterlife or God necessarily relevant to thinking about suicide because even if there is God, isn't there also both free will and individual sovereignty, and even if there is afterlife might that not necessarily involve rewards and retributions but resets or continuums? So speculating in terms of God, one might say you're throwing away your gift while another might say you just wanna go home early and in terms of afterlife one might say "oh are you gonna get it for this!" while another might say, "ooops, wrong planet, I better make a quick course correction."

    Now what does science say about it? It says by observation that life is an evolutionary process utilizing survival of the fittest and the struggle to survive.

    Does that make suicide less a possible abomination of spirituality and more a certain rejection of science?
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Feb 21, 2013 12:53 PM GMT
    Some children take awhile to digest that Santa isn't real....

    Also, your reason A is a good one. Why not focus on your loved ones for awhile and try not to dwell on your supposed meaninglessness? Chances are you'll find meaning to your life there.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 1:08 PM GMT
    I am going through some difficult things right now (more than just my elbow injury). The only thing that is getting me out of bed in the morning and helping me make it through the day is the curiosity to see what this will look like on the other side.

    I don't think I'm handling things well at the moment and I am certainly ashamed of myself, but I do have to reach back to one of my grandmother's favorite sayings, "this, too shall pass."

    So when I do get past this, will I be stronger and better for it? I am learning to cut myself some slack and realize that not everything is going to be perfect and I am not going to always handle things perfectly. The universe is flawed and I am one of it's biggest flaws, but that's what makes life in this world interesting.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 2:07 PM GMT
    McQueen said
    PolaroidSwinger saidI'm an existentialist, I think we create our own reasons to live.
    Ultimately there is no "point." In accepting that, the individual discovers freedom.
    Yes, very much this. The meaning of life is to give life meaning.

    Absolutely agreed! The world we create for ourselves, is the world we know.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 4:25 PM GMT
    McQueen:

    "The meaning of life is to give life meaning."

    *reads above quoted line in appreciative awe*

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 4:31 PM GMT
    tautomer, I'm christian and Bill's atheist. There are no issues around my faith because I will easily say the beauty of mine is that I don't know. lol, spiritual mystery is pretty wonderful; I don't have to have answers or reconcile it to the physical world.

    Bill lives a life full of warmth, compassion, being helpful to others, and never forgetting that his existence makes a difference. icon_wink.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 7:22 PM GMT
    chocolate
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Feb 21, 2013 8:06 PM GMT
    Nabisco saidchocolate


    What about chocolate covered bacon?

    (I need a sweet & salty meaning to my life.)

  • Feb 21, 2013 8:13 PM GMT
    I've had to redefine my point to living many times. I came out at 15 with supportive parents, family, even school counsellors - at that time I thought this was great, it was more than enough, and I would be living a life that was very enriched. Then I moved to a 'big gay city' and quickly discovered that while coming out was (for me) an act of honesty and courage, I felt like I was in a new society full of constraints: other gay men, who expect you to be affluent, perfect, very highly educated, wear the most expensive, and never complain. I contemplated ending my life. Never did I think that the very people I'd waited years to find treated me worse than the anti-gay bigots who would love to see me dead. My trust, particularly over the last five years, for other gay men has dwindled down to zero. I have met so many gay men who lie about everything, manipulate, have no intentions of coming out or sharing a life with someone; they are cruel in that you are rejected for very trivial things. This made me discover that, yes, I am gay, but no, I have nothing in common with these people and I choose not to allow my self-esteem and confidence be ruined by men who I have no interest in anyway.

    Back to purpose: my mistake was, because I came out so early, I wrapped my 'purpose and identity' into who I was as a gay person and what that meant (being open). As time went on, I had little to nothing in common with other gay people, and I felt like a hypocrite going to 'pride' when in the past I would go and see gay men saying horrible things about each other, cutting each other off, elbowing each other out of the way to get to the new 18-year-old first; this is what we are proud of? That we all hate each other and would move heaven and earth to get our hands on some straight college athlete?

    So I went back to where it all started. Since my trust for other gay people has been shot, I chose to get closer to my family, the ones who had my back since day one. These years that I've spent with my parents and siblings have saved my life, and have taught me so much about family. I know that in the gay world I am never going to find any sense of a family because I'm not willing to go through another 15 years of letdowns. My real family loves me, no questions asked, unconditionally. Outside of them, I've never experienced that, and being able to feel good about that allows me to figure out 'why am I here' since I can't have kids and can't find a relationship. It's not easy when everyone around you has a spouse and kids; it makes you feel perpetually 15 and that something must be wrong with you. Be your own person. Don't get your identity wrapped up in something external (church, the 'gay community', materials - that's all image and illusion). Hope that makes sense.
  • PolaroidSwing...

    Posts: 1131

    Feb 21, 2013 8:27 PM GMT
    DuluthMinnesota saidStuff


    You're certainly entitled to feel that way; but I fail to see how it's constructive advice for the OP. He's not asking about identity politics or personal hangups with the gay community.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 21, 2013 10:19 PM GMT
    meninlove said tautomer, I'm christian and Bill's atheist. There are no issues around my faith because I will easily say the beauty of mine is that I don't know. lol, spiritual mystery is pretty wonderful; I don't have to have answers or reconcile it to the physical world.

    Bill lives a life full of warmth, compassion, being helpful to others, and never forgetting that his existence makes a difference. icon_wink.gif

    Nicely put Doug. My bf is a Buddhist and we have much the same ways of enjoying our respective faiths. It works.
  • hanzo83

    Posts: 457

    Feb 22, 2013 1:11 AM GMT
    That is an interesting question for atheists. I left religion behind but I do have my spiritual beliefs that I have found my own confirmation for. I could tell you all about my own beliefs and experiences but it takes your own life experiences to really believe something. I do believe in an afterlife and a before-life. I believe our lives don't begin or end with the conception of our bodies.

    If I were you I would check out nderf.org and near-death.com. There you will find hundreds of accounts of people who actually died but managed to come back to tell what they experienced. Read some of these stories and you can make your own conclusions about what these people saw. They are from people from all over the world. I think if you read enough of them you have to wonder why these people all report the same things.

    Also I would learn about the law of attraction from a woman on youtube named Esther "Abraham" Hicks. Even if you don't believe in any of this just reading it I think would help you escape the despair you feel for a little while. There is a lot more to this story of life than just a few years and then it's over. The fact that you made this thread means you are looking for some kind of answer so explore these free resources. You have nothing to lose and hopefully everything to gain icon_wink.gif.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 22, 2013 1:46 AM GMT
    HottJoe saidSome children take awhile to digest that Santa isn't real....



    I was 7 years old. I was laying on my parents bed, quietly, just thinking. I suddenly out of nowhere blurted to my mom "Santa isn't real is he". I think she just smiled or something. Then I was like "....neither is the tooth fairy, easter bunny etc...etc..." I actually felt really proud of myself at that moment, all OMG I SO SMART!!!
  • tautomer

    Posts: 1010

    Feb 23, 2013 8:02 AM GMT
    Thanks everyone for your feedback. It has helped give me some perspective on how people move forward when there is no feeling of something beyond. I spoke with therapist earlier and combined with this I am thinking I will be able to at least find a reason to go on. Even if I need to find a new reason every now and again, it's still a reason.

    For now, I have to quiet my mind.

    I have a better understanding of things, but it's difficult for me to verbalize.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 23, 2013 8:05 AM GMT
    tautomer saidThanks everyone for your feedback. It has helped give me some perspective on how people move forward when there is no feeling of something beyond. I spoke with therapist earlier and combined with this I am thinking I will be able to at least find a reason to go on. Even if I need to find a new reason every now and again, it's still a reason.

    For now, I have to quiet my mind.

    I have a better understanding of things, but it's difficult for me to verbalize.


    May I recommend you to read the book: Atlas Shrugged.
  • Lukehiker

    Posts: 161

    Feb 23, 2013 8:25 AM GMT
    tautomer saidThanks everyone for your feedback. It has helped give me some perspective on how people move forward when there is no feeling of something beyond. I spoke with therapist earlier and combined with this I am thinking I will be able to at least find a reason to go on. Even if I need to find a new reason every now and again, it's still a reason.

    For now, I have to quiet my mind.

    I have a better understanding of things, but it's difficult for me to verbalize.


    Getting closer to your loved ones is a good idea.

    I rejected religion when I was 9; before that my mom had tried very hard to instill catholicism; eventually I just realized that many of the ideas and beliefs that were being instilled in me meant little to me, so I chose to make my own path.

    I selected a goal, something that I knew would take a long time: invent warp drive, and started working towards it. That is my purpose in life; the meaning of my life is to accomplish this.

    There are other aspects to it as well: get married, adopt 12 kids. All of these together give me something to drive for.

    Afterlife for me means being remembered after I am gone; my Legacy is my afterlife; everyone who remembers me, from my children, to those whom I've influenced with my life's work, carry on my legacy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 23, 2013 8:44 AM GMT
    If your point to living is for a promise of 72 virgins or a celestial heaven paved in gold or to avoid some fiery pit, congratulations. You have the moral development of a toddler.

    What brings joy to your life and how you want to leave the world a better place than you found it might not be the same as your neighbor, but that's ok.
    If you don't know what makes you get up in the morning, it's up to you to learn what your point to living is.

    aidenMaximus said
    May I recommend you to read the book: Atlas Shrugged.

    Why do you hate tautomer?