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Old 10-10-2011, 06:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
If these are an accurate representation of the tough choices you've had to make in your life, I would say that I'm envious. I suspect most people, including myself, have run in to some extraordinarily difficult situations and decisions that presented rather significant moral implications.
Can't answer the questions, can you? This leads me to question that theist world views are coherent. Are your views coherent?

Quote:
Please explain how it would be logical for a person to live their entire life without making KEY decisions. Logically, these decisions will either be in line with God's morality of they will oppose God's morality...there is no middle place we can run to.
Please show your work here. How can it be a key decision if god's not real in the first place? The only way around this is to prove conclusively that god exists and is reasonable to believe in, otherwise your worldview is incoherent.


To everyone else - look at how many times this post answers a question with a leading question. And how many time he ignores an answer only to ask the question again to try and prove rhetorical points. You're wasting your time pretending he will admit that you've answered - the best you can do is ask him uncomfortable questions instead of letting him pretend that his position is the default and everyone else needs to justify their positions.

Last edited by KCfromNC; 10-10-2011 at 06:53 AM..
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
However, no one likes having their questions ignored, being attacked personally, being lied to, misrepresented...the list goes on.
Yes, but we're a patient bunch so we tend to overlook these flaws of yours. Hate the sin, love the sinner and so on...

Quote:
If you don't involve God in your decision making process, and apparently you don't, I'm basically asking you to defend YOUR view and seeking answers as to how it can be REASONABLY viewed as true and coherent with a truth and coherency that may be presumed to be lacking in the BASIC theistic view.
It's reasonable to believe that we can know our own beliefs. Atheism is a statement about our own beliefs. Therefore it is reasonable.

Quote:
You claim to be an agnostic and that's fine. However, if your decisions don't involve God then, logically, you are making non-God (atheistic) decisions. As well, you seem to freely admit that there is no need to include God as a possible explanation for deeply philosophical questions that science is currently unable to apparently answer.
Not currently using god as an explanation isn't the same as excluding god from any possible answer.

Quote:
IF GOD exists, and IF GOD has communicated a moral code, then, logically, we have established the existence of moral absolutes.

The only way I see that this can be logically refuted is for you to make the case that belief in the existence of God and the Ten Commandments is unreasonable.
Or people could do the obvious, and point out that there's no reason to pretend either of your hypothetical IFs are true. If you're just going to make stuff up and pretend it is reasonable until someone bothers to take the time to conclusively prove you wrong, you're going to end up believing all sorts of nonsense. No one here really cares that much if you go through life thinking the tooth fairy, uh, I mean THE TOOTH FAIRY leaves money for you at night - we're not going to waste our time showing you how that doesn't make sense. But that doesn't make us the unreasonable ones.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:54 AM
 
Location: USA - midwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
What evidence, arguments, data or reasons are there to support the idea of atheism?
Atheism makes no claims and presents no arguments. It simply rejects god claims, since they are empty.

Quote:
Is atheism logically coherent?
Much more so than faith, which requires followers to reject logic.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I do believe my "world view" is both coherent and truthful. But I'm not sure which part of it you want me to defend. An assignment to explain my entire world view and defend it's coherency/truthfulness would take me several pages to respond to. If you could narrow down the part you think may be problematic for me, I would appreciate it.
I've already done this. Here is a restatement of what I view as the common elements that make up a world view:

"A world view basically offers answers to four necessary questions - questions that relate to origin, meaning, morality and hope that assures destiny."

Please feel free to address these one at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I think all people make "non-God decisions" most of the time, for most of the decisions. There are some decisions that would be made differently if one believed certain types of God existed. From your questions, it seems to me that you want to limit theism to Abrahamism, which is all right with me if that's what you want to do. For the purposes of this thread, we can limit the term of god to the Abrahamic God, and that way I don't have to take into account the impersonal hands-off notions of God.
We can limit the discussion to BASIC theism and BASIC atheism.

BASIC theism: Monotheism and belief that this God has communicated a moral code. The purposeful PRACTICAL APPLICATION of this code in decision making.

BASIC atheism: The belief that no God exists. The purposeful PRACTICAL APPLICATION that discounts the inclusion of God and a transcendent moral code in decision making.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
On to your next point. Given the choice between a primary cause agent and no primary cause agent for the origins of everything, I would say having a primary cause agent is somewhat less reasonable than not having one. This is based on the justification that a primary cause agent doesn't really answer any questions that it doesn't also ask, because we still have to wonder "what caused that" unless we are willing to assume something always existed. So we might as well cut to the chase and just assume something must have always existed to begin with.
That would explain why I see the primary first cause agent as the most reasonable explanation.

Again I ask, which alternative do you view as somewhat more reasonable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
And now the final point. I am not gliding over any of your points; as I pointed out I think you are mistaken.

If a god existed, and he handed down a moral code, that doesn't necessarily make the belief system morally absolute. For it to be morally absolute the code would have to indicate that certain actions are in-and-of themselves wrong. It couldn't be relative to the time and circumstances of the actors and still be morally absolutism, by definition.

This is why the Christian tradition is moral relativism. What is moral and immoral changes based upon time and circumstance, and it does not hold that certain actions are always wrong. The fact that it is allegedly based on the word of god doesn't make it absolute, and I'm not sure why you claim that it does.
Why can't you see that your entire assertion here amounts to a very obvious and apparent non sequitur? Arguments over the application of a transcendent moral code do absolutely nothing with respect to demonstrating that such a code does not exist. Nor does it demonstrate why it would be unreasonable to believe in the existence of a Transcendent Law Giver or the belief that a transcendent law has been communicated.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:46 PM
 
Location: OKC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
I've already done this. Here is a restatement of what I view as the common elements that make up a world view:

"A world view basically offers answers to four necessary questions - questions that relate to origin, meaning, morality and hope that assures destiny."

Please feel free to address these one at a time.
Very well. I'll take these one at a time.

The Origin. I don't know what the origin of everything is. I obviously believe in evolution, but I don't know what the starting point for that was. I suspect there was a Big Bang, but I don't know what caused it, or what, if anything, preceded it.

I have not seen a theory for the "origin of everything" that I consider likely true. Accordingly, my most rational position, and the position I adopt, is "I don't know how it all started, or even if it all started."


Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
We can limit the discussion to BASIC theism and BASIC atheism.

BASIC theism: Monotheism and belief that this God has communicated a moral code. The purposeful PRACTICAL APPLICATION of this code in decision making.

BASIC atheism: The belief that no God exists. The purposeful PRACTICAL APPLICATION that discounts the inclusion of God and a transcendent moral code in decision making.
Fair enough. For the purposes of this thread I will limit the definition of theism to:

1. Belief in a God
2. Belief in no more than one God
3. Belief that this God communicated a moral code
4. The practical application of that moral code in decision making.

And I will limit the definition of atheism to:

1. The belief that no God exists. (and I assume you mean has never existed)
2. The practical application that discounts the inclusion of a God
3. And further discounts a transcendent moral code in decision making

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
That would explain why I see the primary first cause agent as the most reasonable explanation.

Again I ask, which alternative do you view as somewhat more reasonable?
I veiw it as somewhat more reasonable to believe that something has always existed. I see no reason to assume this something is from a different multiverse than ours, and I don't see a reason to assume it more likely that it was something other than our universe that always existed. After all, we atleast have proof that our universe does now exist, while that something else remains to be proven.

So I judge it slightly more reasonable to believe that the universe always existed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Why can't you see that your entire assertion here amounts to a very obvious and apparent non sequitur? Arguments over the application of a transcendent moral code do absolutely nothing with respect to demonstrating that such a code does not exist. Nor does it demonstrate why it would be unreasonable to believe in the existence of a Transcendent Law Giver or the belief that a transcendent law has been communicated.
I thought you were arguing about moral absolutims, not transcendent moral codes.

Moral absolutes /= transcendent moral code

A transcendent moral code can be relativistic, just as it is standardly applied in Christianity.

That's why it was wrong when you claimed this:
Quote:
IF GOD exists, and IF GOD has communicated a moral code, then, logically, we have established the existence of moral absolutes.
Perhaps you meant to instead say this:
Quote:
IF GOD exists, and IF GOD has communicated a moral code, then, logically, we have established a transcendent moral codes.
Because as I clearly stated before, Christianity DOES have a transcendent moral code... it's just a relativistic one.

None of this was in refutation to the point of whether or not a transcendent code exists, or whether there is a transcendent law giver. recall that I stated:

Quote:
It is logically possible for theist to offer a coherent basis for moral absolutes, just as it is possible for atheist. But I have never actually met a theist who DOES believe in moral absolutes. They often claim to have moral absolute beliefs, but then will explain why that the standards of morality depend upon the time in which the person lived, and the situation the person was in. For example, is it moral to kill the first born children of your enemies? That question, according to many Christians, will depend upon who is doing the killing, and sometimes the time frame in which the action occured.

Then you replied:
Quote:
Wrong. You're having a discussion with one right now.
The whole point of this was to show that you DO NOT believe in moral absolutism, which refutes your statement. You only believe in a transcendent moral code.

I never said that it was impossible for theist to have a moral transcendent code. In fact, I said it was possible that they could even believe in moral absolutes - I had just never met any that do.

My position, which I have stated long ago, is that I am agnostic to whether there is a God, and I will add that if there is a God I have no reason to believe that he handed down a transcendent code. That is neither the theist or atheist position we have assumed for the sake of this conversation.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
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Originally Posted by Astron1000 View Post
...atheism does not seem to accept the idea of a "supernatural being" since, by definition, that being is outside of the natural - i.e. scientifically knowable - realm.
It goes far deeper than that, Astron. Atheists eventually, through their own process of self-evaluation, come to conclusions that are supported by the absolute lack of any demonstrable aspects of an actual God. Be it positive responses to prayer (beyond the statistical options, like a 50:50 chance of a coin toss), the lack of any demonstrable "miracle cures" (the regeneration of a lost limb, for instance, which should be real easy for God as described...), all the super-silly old literal biblical tales (Noah's Ark, water into wine, parting of waters) and so on.

And of course the fact that, obviously, Christian prophets could not have experienced dinosaurs, ice ages or plate tectonics, because they greatly preceded the bible's very limited time frame, and thus were "omitted", until only recently, when they necessarily became the subjects of vastly ambiguous but ambitious revisionist interpretations of that sadly inadequate tome.

Naturalism is just one aspect of the reasons many become atheists. It's also pretty much true that most atheists were once Christian, only to lose that artificial and inter-dependent belief system upon careful and thorough evaluation and series of rational questions. which, natch, cannot ever be answered by the Christian theology.

Then there's that "Well then, you never were a true Christian!" insult, as though thinking for yourself and coming to an obvious alternate conclusion makes you somewhat of a lesser hominid. Funny, but also insulting, and intellectually demeaning to the insulter, I might add.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:49 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
The Origin. I don't know what the origin of everything is. I obviously believe in evolution, but I don't know what the starting point for that was. I suspect there was a Big Bang, but I don't know what caused it, or what, if anything, preceded it.

I have not seen a theory for the "origin of everything" that I consider likely true. Accordingly, my most rational position, and the position I adopt, is "I don't know how it all started, or even if it all started."
Is it your view that atheism offers no answer to the question of origin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Fair enough. For the purposes of this thread I will limit the definition of theism to:

1. Belief in a God
2. Belief in no more than one God
3. Belief that this God communicated a moral code
4. The practical application of that moral code in decision making.

And I will limit the definition of atheism to:

1. The belief that no God exists. (and I assume you mean has never existed)
2. The practical application that discounts the inclusion of a God
3. And further discounts a transcendent moral code in decision making
Agreed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I view it as somewhat more reasonable to believe that something has always existed. I see no reason to assume this something is from a different multiverse than ours, and I don't see a reason to assume it more likely that it was something other than our universe that always existed. After all, we atleast have proof that our universe does now exist, while that something else remains to be proven.

So I judge it slightly more reasonable to believe that the universe always existed.
So, in other words, you believe that a never ending series of causes and effects is reasonable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I thought you were arguing about moral absolutims, not transcendent moral codes.

Moral absolutes /= transcendent moral code

A transcendent moral code can be relativistic, just as it is standardly applied in Christianity.

That's why it was wrong when you claimed this:

"IF GOD exists, and IF GOD has communicated a moral code, then, logically, we have established the existence of moral absolutes."

Perhaps you meant to instead say this:

"IF GOD exists, and IF GOD has communicated a moral code, then, logically, we have established a transcendent moral code."

Because as I clearly stated before, Christianity DOES have a transcendent moral code... it's just a relativistic one.
No, I stated precisely what I intended to state.

We apparently have a different view with regard to the definition of moral relativity. Disagreement over the meaning or the application of a moral absolute does not equate to moral relativity - it simply equates to disagreement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
None of this was in refutation to the point of whether or not a transcendent code exists, or whether there is a transcendent law giver. recall that I stated:

"It is logically possible for theist to offer a coherent basis for moral absolutes, just as it is possible for atheist. But I have never actually met a theist who DOES believe in moral absolutes. They often claim to have moral absolute beliefs, but then will explain why that the standards of morality depend upon the time in which the person lived, and the situation the person was in. For example, is it moral to kill the first born children of your enemies? That question, according to many Christians, will depend upon who is doing the killing, and sometimes the time frame in which the action occurred."

Then you replied:

"Wrong. You're having a discussion with one right now."

The whole point of this was to show that you DO NOT believe in moral absolutism, which refutes your statement. You only believe in a transcendent moral code.
First, we never discussed any concept of moral absolutism. Adding the ISM completely changes the terminology. We were discussing the existence of moral absolutes - big difference. I never inferred nor intended to infer that it's even possible for any human being to live their life without transgressing all or some of the prescribed moral law. Again, the fact that these laws are disobeyed or that there is disagreement over the interpretation or application does not equate to moral relativity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
My position, which I have stated long ago, is that I am agnostic to whether there is a God, and I will add that if there is a God I have no reason to believe that he handed down a transcendent code. That is neither the theist or atheist position we have assumed for the sake of this conversation.
You've agreed that it's unreasonable to assert the possibility of going through life without making decisions. Logically, these decisions will either include or exclude God. With respect to PRACTICAL APPLICATION, your personal world view apparently lines up with BASIC atheism. Do you agree?
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:42 PM
 
Location: OKC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Is it your view that atheism offers no answer to the question of origin?
It's my view that atheism doesn't offers a view on the question of the origin of life - with the exception that it doesn't allow for a God to have created it. At least not the type of atheist we have agreed to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
So, in other words, you believe that a never ending series of causes and effects is reasonable?
I do not believe a never ending series of causes and effects is reasonable. But I believe it is less unreasonable then having an outside agent start everything, who must also have either been created or have also been part of a never ending series of causes and effects.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
We apparently have a different view with regard to the definition of moral relativity. Disagreement over the meaning or the application of a moral absolute does not equate to moral relativity - it simply equates to disagreement.
It is true that a disagreement over the meaning or the application of a moral absolute does not equate to moral relativity. But that is not what is occurring in traditional Christian theology.

There is very much an agreement over the meaning of the moral code in traditional christian theology. But what is agreed is that morality is dependent upon when the action occurred and who committed the action. Standard Christian Theology holds that it is moral for some people to do some actions in some periods of time, but it is not moral for other people to do those same actions in other periods of time. Polygamy is probably a good example, as well as observing the Sabbath rather than worshiping on Sunday is probably another.

It's not that there is a disagreement over whether those things are moral. Its that there is an understanding that they were moral during OT times, but immoral today. If one believes that certain actions would have been moral if committed 3000 years ago, but those same actions would not be immoral if they were committed today, they are a relativist.





Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
You've agreed that it's unreasonable to assert the possibility of going through life without making decisions. Logically, these decisions will either include or exclude God. With respect to PRACTICAL APPLICATION, your personal world view apparently lines up with BASIC atheism. Do you agree?
Most of the time, but not all of the time, my decisions would be consistent with basic atheism, if for no other reason then even if there was a God who handed down a moral code, I don't have any idea what that moral code commands.

My decision making is also equally consistent with basic theism, whose God handed down a moral code that states, "do what you think is right."

In the end, my agnosticism leaves me with few other alternatives than to simply do what I think is right. That is consistent with basic atheism and at least some forms of basic theism. It is not consistent with Abraham-ism, but we're not limited to that type of theism in this discussion, so the point is moot.


Now, I'll try to address one more of your "world view" questions.

The Meaning of Life. - In most respects, I believe that life has only the meaning we give to it. The explanation for life doesn't really inform us of it's meaning. It's sort of like describing "The Ode to Joy" as a patterned fluctuation of air pressure. Technically true, but not really a meaning.

The meaning I give my life is to love my family and friends, try to have a positive impact on those around me, live in a way that I can be proud of, and experience as much of the world as I find interesting. I don't believe I have pre-ordained purpose, although there is certainly many biological and evolutionary drives that compel me to act in certain ways. But that meaning brings me happiness, and it is pleasing to me when I fulfill that meaning.

But that is only for me. Other agnostics and atheist have different philosophies.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:29 AM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
It's my view that atheism doesn't offers a view on the question of the origin of life - with the exception that it doesn't allow for a God to have created it. At least not the type of atheist we have agreed to.
Does your personal "agnostic" view answer the question of origin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I do not believe a never ending series of causes and effects is reasonable. But I believe it is less unreasonable then having an outside agent start everything, who must also have either been created or have also been part of a never ending series of causes and effects.
You seem to be missing the primary point here...the basic reason why it's reasonable to posit a primary first cause agent is to avoid the illogical endless eternal repetition of cause and effect. It's the notion of a primary first cause agent that does not require a first cause which would be necessary to begin the chain of causes and effects that can be empirically verified.

You infer that any primary cause agent must also be assumed to have a cause. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
It is true that a disagreement over the meaning or the application of a moral absolute does not equate to moral relativity. But that is not what is occurring in traditional Christian theology.

There is very much an agreement over the meaning of the moral code in traditional christian theology. But what is agreed is that morality is dependent upon when the action occurred and who committed the action. Standard Christian Theology holds that it is moral for some people to do some actions in some periods of time, but it is not moral for other people to do those same actions in other periods of time. Polygamy is probably a good example, as well as observing the Sabbath rather than worshiping on Sunday is probably another.

It's not that there is a disagreement over whether those things are moral. Its that there is an understanding that they were moral during OT times, but immoral today. If one believes that certain actions would have been moral if committed 3000 years ago, but those same actions would not be immoral if they were committed today, they are a relativist.
Again, you appear to equate a disagreement over the application of a moral code to moral relativity. Also, your assertions here with respect to orthodox Christianity and Biblical hermeneutics present a potential sort of 'rabbit trail' to our discussion. My intention was to limit this to BASIC monotheism. Common elements in my view would basically encompass the Ten Commandments as a fixed common code of moral absolutes.

Perhaps if I present my view of the definition of moral relativity it might help to clarify things. Moral relativity would fall into line with the those who deny the existence of absolute truth and morality. In other words, that truth and morality are reduced to personal preference. Hence the saying: 'What's true and moral for you, is true and moral for you and whats true and moral for me is true and moral for me.' Relativity denies the existence of any a priori absolutes.

Basic theism does not deny the existence of moral absolutes. I would suggest that it does quite the opposite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Most of the time, but not all of the time, my decisions would be consistent with basic atheism, if for no other reason then even if there was a God who handed down a moral code, I don't have any idea what that moral code commands.

My decision making is also equally consistent with basic theism, whose God handed down a moral code that states, "do what you think is right."

In the end, my agnosticism leaves me with few other alternatives than to simply do what I think is right. That is consistent with basic atheism and at least some forms of basic theism. It is not consistent with Abraham-ism, but we're not limited to that type of theism in this discussion, so the point is moot.
"Do what you think is right" is most certainly NOT a tenet of basic theism.

This sounds more like a Jiminy Cricket sort of theology - "Let your conscience be your guide." More suggestive of moral relativity than objective morality I would think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Now, I'll try to address one more of your "world view" questions.

The Meaning of Life. - In most respects, I believe that life has only the meaning we give to it. The explanation for life doesn't really inform us of it's meaning. It's sort of like describing "The Ode to Joy" as a patterned fluctuation of air pressure. Technically true, but not really a meaning.

The meaning I give my life is to love my family and friends, try to have a positive impact on those around me, live in a way that I can be proud of, and experience as much of the world as I find interesting. I don't believe I have pre-ordained purpose, although there is certainly many biological and evolutionary drives that compel me to act in certain ways. But that meaning brings me happiness, and it is pleasing to me when I fulfill that meaning.

But that is only for me. Other agnostics and atheist have different philosophies.
Yes, the old: "We create our own meaning" response seems to be the most popular among professing agnostics and atheists. However, it completely misses (or purposely avoids) the weight of the question:

Why is it logical to presume that we have ANY meaning if we are simply the chance product of some random chance occurrence somewhere in space time? If there is no God and no creation, how does one ascribe true meaning to anything? Why should I be convinced, under an atheistic model, that I have ANY intrinsic or inherent meaning to my existence?
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post


Yes, the old: "We create our own meaning" response seems to be the most popular among professing agnostics and atheists. However, it completely misses (or purposely avoids) the weight of the question:

Why is it logical to presume that we have ANY meaning if we are simply the chance product of some random chance occurrence somewhere in space time? If there is no God and no creation, how does one ascribe true meaning to anything? Why should I be convinced, under an atheistic model, that I have ANY intrinsic or inherent meaning to my existence?

You don't have to be convinced that there is meaning when you are creating meaning for yourself. Humans are the only animal (that we know of) that cares about meaning. That's the beauty of centering yourself on people instead of on some imaginary overlord.
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