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Humanists believe that life ends at death, because the mind is part of the body and there is no evidence or reason to suggest that it can ever survive without the rest of the body.
People often fear death, but it is the fact of death that brings structure
to our lives. Without death but with eternal life, what could motivate
us to do anything, to care for others, to seek achievements – what would
be the point? Of course, many of us ask questions such as ‘Why are we
here?’ or ‘What is it all about?’ but humanists do not look for answers
to such questions from religion or superstition. For humanists, the
answers are present in humanity, in our relationships, aspiration and
In any case, the belief that an external god is necessary for meaning is incoherent. If for there to be meaning and purpose in human lives there needs to be something external, then we should ask what gives meaning and purpose to gods? There would need to be something further still, and the appeal to god as meaning simply pushes the ultimate question back a stage. Humanists are people who believe that we make meaning and purpose for ourselves, personally and in community.
In many ways, human beings are like other living creatures. We are born, some of us will reproduce, and we all eventually die. But we are probably unlike any other creatures in reflecting on where our lives are going. Within limits (unfortunately, sometimes severe limits), we can choose what shape to give our lives – and that gives meaning to our lives.
The meaning of human life in general comes from within, not without.