1. What About the Bad Things in the World?
Theists get to believe that everything bad in the world has a reason behind it, that everything happens for a reason.
This has an obvious advantage, and a less obvious disadvantage:
- Advantage – When bad things happen, you get to think they’re not really as bad as they seem, because there’s a silver lining in it somewhere, be it ever so faint.
- Disadvantage – Since everything has a purpose in the plan of an omnipotent being, the bad things are not going away. They’re part of a plan that man cannot frustrate. Who can resist the mighty arm of the Lord?
Atheists have an obvious disadvantage, and a less obvious advantage in believing that NOT everything happens for a reason.
- Disadvantage – Bad things are just bad. Some things in the world just really suck. REALLY suck. There’s no silver lining.
- Advantage – Bad things are not part of some deep and mysterious balance of the universe. They’re just physical phenomena. We can end them like we ended polio with the vaccine and tamed lightning with the rod.
And, while not everyone cares, for those who do, it’s worth pointing out that the atheists are right.
2. Does Anything Matter? What is the Meaning of Life?
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
It depends on what you mean by “sound.” If “sound” means vibrations in the air, then the right answer is “yes sound.”
If “sound” means an auditory experience for someone, then the right answer is “no sound.”
It is a curious commentary on unclarity in words that the same question can be answered with both Yes and No, and both answers can be right.
What is the meaning of life? Like many “deep” questions, the answer is only difficult because the question is unclear.
Do you mean “Can we be happy?” The answer looks to be yes.
Do you mean “Should I care about anything?” The answer is also, yes (see ethics).
Do you mean something else? Contact us to let us know.
3. How Can I be Happy?
Luke Muehlhauser, from CommonSenseAtheism, and lukeprog.com wrote this, detailing things that do and don’t correlate with happiness (see excerpt).
“Factors that don’t correlate much with happiness include: age,7 gender,8 parenthood,9 intelligence,10 physical attractiveness,11 and money12 (as long as you’re above the poverty line). Factors that correlate moderately with happiness include: health,13 social activity,14 and religiosity.15 Factors that correlate strongly with happiness include: genetics,16 love and relationship satisfaction,17 and work satisfaction.18″