Lesson 3 : The Meaning of Life

I’m tempted when somebody throws out the “if you’re an atheist, life has no meaning” quip to ask them which actress they believe has best portrayed the role of “Catwoman” and whatever answer they give, sneer back at them that, to them, Batman has no meaning.

[ Unless they say Eartha Kitt, by the way.  The correct answer is Eartha Kitt. ]

But the subtlety of that example is lost on many, so I use the crayon story that follows.

= = = = = = = = =

What is the meaning of life for an atheist?


Hand a child a blank piece of paper and ask them to draw something.  Anything.  Whatever they’d like.

Let’s say they draw you a cat.

Now, look at the paper, frown, tear it in half and crumple up the torn pieces while admonishing the child:  “You fool!  That was dog-paper, not cat-paper!  Your picture means nothing.  You’ve squandered your paper!”

That’s pretty much how I feel any time somebody insists that the canvas of my life is God-canvas.  Thanks just the same but, I’m happy to decide for myself what sort of meaning my life should [and DOES] have.

My self-ascribed purpose is to make our brief and precious lives as enjoyable as possible for the friends and family who surround me, and subsequently, for myself.

= = = = = = = = =

[ Alternate short version, better suited for editorial replies. ]

If a child draws a cat, and somebody tears the picture in half, crumples the pieces, and admonishes the child about how stupid they are for drawing a cat on what was obviously ‘dog-paper’, we wouldn’t stand for it.

Theists who insist meaningful lives can only be painted on their ‘god-canvas’ are equally reprehensible.  And we shouldn’t put up with THAT either…