Atheism and Life … The Basics

I’ve said it before. The meaning of life is simple. It’s not at all complex. Eat, breathe, drink, reproduce, sleep, wake … repeat as long as you’re able to. This is the simple form. Everything else is just added bits here and there. In the modern western world the eating and drinking parts are different than in sub-Saharan Africa. It does not matter. You have to do both no matter where you live. This is what the basics are all about; the things that you have to do no matter what.

You have to do them regardless of your race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation etc.

You have to do them whether you believe in a sky daddy or not. The meaning of life must be true for all of us, the least of us and the best of us. From amoeba to human, these basic things are true. Everything you know, everything you do, everything you purchase, trade, sell, make, borrow, or steal is to suit or fulfil one of these basic goals of life. Beyond that there is no grand meaning.

When you sit alone with yourself, thinking, ask yourself this: “have you done well at these goals? Does your world view support them, or hinder them, or render them useless?”

That is the true measure of being human. The meaning of life if you will.

Sure, you can add on things like ‘have I treated others the way that I want to be treated’ and ‘have I not treated people the way that I want to not be treated’? But these are simply ways to create cooperation in order to facilitate the basics of life. Getting banned from grocery stores makes a couple of those basics hard to deal with.

The title seems to indicate there is a basic way of doing things or world view. There is. Take care of those basic needs/goals. Don’t cover them up or hide them behind walls of dogma. It doesn’t matter what your world view is, sometimes you just need a friend, a hug, or a thank you. There are basic things we need and do. Don’t cover them in drama and rules. Every animal on this planet will basically be able to understand when you are helping them with their basic needs or not. It does not matter if that animal is human or other mammal, they tend to get the same needs and how to provide them. Look at all the evidence for empathy in mammals of all stripes. Survival generally requires cooperation. So be ready in life to give a hug, share a smile,  provide a meal, or simply sit quietly in the company of those you like whether they are pets or other humans. A kindness which meets one of the basic needs for another is the definition of grace.

You don’t need ancient books, rules, or clergy to do these things. You don’t need them to have and show grace. You were equipped for it long before religion was invented. Evolution prepared you for it, ensures that you need it, and continues to ensure that it exists.

Yes, you might like to poke holes in such an explanation. You might like to point out this minor point or that major objection. I have not tried to make this bullet proof. It is simply how I feel. That said, I’d like to hear what others think along these lines.



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