In my discussions with believers about my lack of faith often they resort to the teleological argument for God. “If there is no God,” they will ask me, “what is the purpose of our being here?” This is usually asked in a pitying sort of tone that suggests that I am somehow unable to be whole without a sense of purpose. Less frequently their attitude is smarmy, as if they believe they have outwitted me with an unassailable argument, ignorant to the fact that they have skipped at least two or three steps in even proving we have a purpose, much less that it has been granted by the conscious efforts of the Divine.
Please do not mistake this for an attack on believers (well, besides those that would attack me.) If you feel you have a purpose in this world, and you feel that purpose has been given to you by God, unless that purpose drives you to harm others, to hold them as less than you, then I think that is great. I just do not need a purpose to motivate me. I do not need a Creator to appreciate existence. My readers who have followed me over from other sites will have heard this before, but my feelings on the issue are thus:
If there is a Creator, and they are responsible for everything as it is in the Universe, from the grandest spectacle to the minutest detail, then obviously, based on the detail and effort involved, that Creator loves their Creation and I return that love in kind. If, however, there is no Creator, then it is still a groovy, beautiful Universe and I still am happy to be a part of it.
I do not have too many discussions with fellow atheists about what they believe about purpose, or the Universe, or what moves them in general. I just know that for myself, being able to observe the world around me, or contemplate the complexity of it all and I take some joy in the beauty of it. I take pleasure in my human interactions, in the idea that I get the opportunity to affect other people’s lives and to open myself up for them affecting mine. Even heartbreak is a worthy experience, because it provides contrast to make that next time I fall in love seem that much sweeter. None of this, though, necessarily means there is a purpose to any of it I just find the beauty where I can.
This is not to say there is necessarily no purpose. Indeed much of that last paragraph suggests an appreciation for teleology. What I am really getting at is if there is a purpose, and I am not saying there is, then maybe we create it for ourselves, which is no more, or less, wonderful than it being granted by God.