I feel so hopeless

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Michael Siegler's picture
I feel so hopeless

Hello. My name is Mikey. Lately I have been trying to search answers such as "Why do I exist?" "Why must I seek happiness?" "What is my purpose in life?" I at first looked at religion, however, I soon realize that religion has so much hypocrisy and contradictions. I then turned to atheism, but atheism was much worse, since it had ZERO answers other than just "be glad you're alive." I sometimes feel like nothing I do in life has any real value and I have this utter feeling of hopelessness. Can anyone help me?



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Sky Pilot's picture
Michael Siegler,

Michael Siegler,

"What is my purpose in life?"

Become my slave.

algebe's picture
@Michael Siegler:

@Michael Siegler:

What happened to your house? When you say "houseless" do you mean that you're homeless, or that you are useless with a ho?

My advice to you would be to discover a purpose in your life by proselytizing on atheist websites in the guise of someone who's lost his purpose in life.

I've found my purpose in life by living in the here and now, learning as much as can, and doing my best for my family and friends.

Sushisnake's picture
"I sometimes feel like

"I sometimes feel like nothing I do in life has any real value and I have this utter feeling of hopelessness. Can anyone help me?" It sounds like you're clinically depressed, Mikey. We can listen, but we can't give you any practical help. A medical professional can: go and get some help, mate, then get back to us and tell us how you're going.

algebe's picture


Look at the picture he posted. I don't think someone claiming to be depressed would mock the people he's supposedly seeking help from in that way.

Sushisnake's picture
I did look, Algebe, and my

I did look, Algebe, and my suspicions are the same as your own- BUT, what if he isn't? And someone who really is depressed may stumble on threads like this. They're not thinking straight, they read our replies and think " No help there- not even any compassion. Atheists are hateful human beings."

Michael Siegler's picture
Sushisnake is right though.

Sushisnake is right though. The caption I posted is the best way I can describe my experiences with Athiesm.

mykcob4's picture
Oh, bullshit Siegler. I don't

Oh, bullshit Siegler. I don't believe that for a minute. Why don't you stop feeling sorry for yourself and just fucking grow the fuck up. You blame atheists...ALL atheists for YOUR FUCKING PROBLEMS! STUPID!

algebe's picture
@Michael Siegler: The caption

@Michael Siegler: The caption I posted is the best way I can describe my experiences with Athiesm.

Then I'm sorry for my initial response. But really, did you think that posting a sarcastic and shallow piece of theist propaganda would get a good reaction here? It's better to be straightforward. It's not the best way to describe your experiences with atheism. Your experiences are personal. You should use your own words.

If you were indoctrinated with religion as a child, you'll feel the nagging pull of it even after you realize that it's all crap. You can't switch that off like a light. All I can say is look around at this wonderful existence with your eyes open and start thinking and learning for yourself. It's not atheism that's depressing you. It's the clinging tentacles of religion.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@Michael Siegler

@Michael Siegler

Existence is ultimately pointless.....if you allow it to be so. One builds one's own goals, whether they be modest or overweeningly ambitious. By achieving those goals (whatever they may be) gives your own worth a tangible home.

Coming to grips with the ultimate truth of "nothing" is the human condition, how we deal with it makes us what we are. What we are, and worth what we think of ourselves.

Dave Matson's picture
Michael Siegler,

Michael Siegler,

Volunteer for a group that helps the unfortunate, the down trodden and, after a time, you may discover that there is meaning in your life! You won't find it built into the cold depths of the universe, which care no more for humans than for grasshoppers.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I don't come with any life

I don't come with any life advice. I just thought this would be a great thread to post a quote from a chapter I recently read:

"In the very act of asking that question, you are seeking reasons for your convictions, and so you are committed to reason as the means to discover and justify what is important to you. And there are so many reasons to live!

As a sentient being, you have the potential to flourish. You can refine your faculty of reason itself by learning and debating. You can seek explanations of the natural world through science, and insight into the human condition through the arts and humanities. You can make the most of your capacity for pleasure and satisfaction, which allowed your ancestors to thrive and thereby allowed you to exist. You can appreciate the beauty and richness of the natural and cultural world. As the heir to billions of years of life perpetuating itself, you can perpetuate life in turn. You have been endowed with a sense of sympathy—the ability to like, love, respect, help, and show kindness—and you can enjoy the gift of mutual benevolence with friends, family, and colleagues.

And because reason tells you that none of this is particular to you, you have the responsibility to provide to others what you expect for yourself. You can foster the welfare of other sentient beings by enhancing life, health, knowledge, freedom, abundance, safety, beauty, and peace. History shows that when we sympathize with others and apply our ingenuity to improving the human condition, we can make progress in doing so, and you can help to continue that progress."

Francis Bezooyen's picture
Where did this quote come

Where did this quote come from?

mykcob4's picture
Really Mikey?

Really Mikey?
Your attachment is just christian propaganda. I don't think you are searching for anything other than a platform to proselytize.

dogalmighty's picture
IC, so you are either from or

IC, so you are either from or presently belong, to the house of god. Houseless...You have three choices. Either get busy living, or get busy dieing, or continue to languish in the purgatory of indecision. Seeing all humanity, irrelevant of religiosity, are moral...and morality being based on well being, It is simple...you really only have one choice. Get busy living.

Randomhero1982's picture
Embrace the fact that you are

Embrace the fact that you are a moderately evolved primate, clinging on to a dying rock that is hurtling through space.

Sheldon's picture
Hi Mikey,

Hi Mikey,

The problem here is that on the one hand you're searching for answers, but on the other hand you imply that only certain answers will satisfy your questions.

You must decide if your priority is the truth or if it is to mollify your feelings of "hopelessness" .

Q1. Why do I exist?"
A1. This rather implies that there is a reason. If there is no real evidence to support the idea that there is an ultimate purpose then again you must decide if you're really seeking the truth, or if the truth is not as important as feeling good about the answer.
Q2."Why must I seek happiness?"
A2. Well this isn't true of course, it seems innate in us but we are not forced to do this. Also you should try and realise how subjective a term this is.
Q3."What is my purpose in life?" I
A3. Again you seem to be begging the question, by implying there is "a purpose" in the sense it's somehow predetermined. Your life's purpose can be almost anything you choose, indeed it need not be just one thing. I'd recommend you don't pressure yourself into focusing on one single thing either, as even the best plans are apt to go wrong. Rather derive purpose from all aspects of your life that you enjoy, and that those you care about enjoy.

Looking for answers is fine, but we must never assume those answers must fall into our a priori ideas about life and existence. If you accept that the universe doesn't care about us anymore than ants it can be quite liberating. Being dissatisfied is easy, but unless you use it to motivate yourself it's also pretty pointless.

If religion seems like a hollow sham then don't let yourself be seduced into the idea you need it. Life has to be better without the hypocrisy and bigotry so many religions create.

LogicFTW's picture
@orignal post

@orignal post
I have dealt with the same questions years ago, and I found satisfactory answers. I consider myself one of the happiest people I know.

I will keep this short as I do not know if you will read it:
With no religion providing meaning of life answers, we turn to science, and the science answer for most people is: there is no meaning to life.

To me, after much thinking (I feel really people have to arrive to this on their own, and cannot really be "told this") is realizing this frees you up to decide your own meaning in life. It can be anything, I chose happiness, satisfaction, contentment, respect for life and being in the moment and simply enjoying life. It sort of sounds stupid and perhaps crazy on first pass, to people that do not spend a lot of time considering for themselves and arriving at a similar conclusion themselves. At first you will likely be weary of such a conclusion, but at least for me, over time I realized the truth of it. In some senses, I am all for lighting up the pleasure chemicals in my brain. (Without lots of dangerous drug use!)

Have amazing sex with someone you deeply love and respect and are connected to, that high you get? That in the moment feeling? You can build on feelings like that and realize you can get similar with other things like achieving a difficult goal you set for your self. Completing a major milestone, or building something and enjoying the fruits of your labor. Even growing healthy plants, helping others, taking good care of pets etc can all give you this powerful long term accomplishment feelings.

Shy away from empty things like material possessions. A car is a car, it may give you happiness for a while but it is just a tool, that you likely bought, and did not build. A tool to get you some what safely and quickly and easily from point a to point b compared to walking. Share experiences with people you care about and care about you.

mykcob4's picture
My name is Mike. I don't know

My name is Mike. I don't know any person named Mike that is a grown adult that goes by "Mikey". How fucking childish.

fruyian's picture
You should read Jean-Paul

You should read Jean-Paul Sartre.

Tin-Man's picture
Howdy, Mikey. Welcome to the

Howdy, Mikey. Welcome to the AR. Genuinely sorry you feel so alone and depressed. And if the things you are saying are truly how you feel, then you have come to the right place for some good advice.

For starters, allow me to restate what a few others have already said. Life is what you make it. It is entirely up to you how you want to live it. And (in my own humble opinion) that is the great beauty of it all. I spent a great deal of my life harnessed with the burden of religion on my back and always wondering and worrying if anything I was doing or ever did was acceptable or good enough for that imaginary entity in the sky. No matter how much good I ever did, there was always that nagging and bothersome feeling of thinking, "Is that good enough? What if I make a mistake and do something that cancels the good I did? What is my current 'score' in the Good Deeds vs. Bad Deeds book?" Always, always, always that feeling of guilt and uncertainty. Thankfully, I no longer have that oppressive feeling in my life.

To this day I am a very happy and satisfied man. My life is fuller and more meaningful now than it has ever been in the past. But it is up to you to realize and appreciate the things and people that are important in your life. It is up to you to make your own rules and code of conduct and live by them in a way that is meaningful to you and gives you a sense of worth and satisfaction. You are 100% correct when you say "we die and turn to dust and are gone forever." So what exactly is wrong with that? Why is that anything to get depressed about? If anything, that is all the more reason to be happy NOW and enjoy this amazing gift of life you have been given NOW. If you live in a reasonably moderate or affluent area with the means to go and do things you like, then take advantage of it. Do not squander the resources you have available simply because you feel like there is "no purpose" in life. Then again, if sitting around feeling sorry for yourself is what makes you happy and gives your life meaning, then that is your choice also. The ONLY thing being an atheist means to me is that I do not believe there is some type of god who controls my life or watches over me or determines whether or not good or bad things happen to me. That is IT. Period. I control my life. I watch over myself and my family. And if something good or bad happens to me, then that is just the way things happen sometimes. It's not that complicated, buddy. Open your eyes and look around. Enjoy these moments while you can. Deal with the bad shit that comes your way, take care of it, and get back to the good shit. That is what living is all about.

Flamenca's picture
Olé to "Howdy Mikey", @Tin

Olé to "Howdy Mikey", @Tin-Man. When one person acknowledges to be in control of their own life, no spy involved, goes through one of the most liberating and satisfying experience in their life.

Francis Bezooyen's picture
You know, this question

You know, this question really highlights one of the most basic misconceptions that many people hold about atheism. Historically, challenges to a religion have typically come in the form of OTHER religions, that is - other ideologies that purport to provide answers and solutions to the same questions and dilemma's that the incumbent religion provides answers and solutions to. Most people seem to subconsciously treat atheism in the same light - as though it were a competing religion, purporting to provide answers and solutions that fill those same needs. But atheism makes no claim to having such answers. It only points out that those systems of belief to which we have traditionally looked to for wisdom are dead wrong on ONE very important point - whether there is a God. The claim of atheism is, of course, an incredibly consequential idea from which we can immediately derive many important conclusions, but atheism doesn't actually purport to be a fully fledged alternative worldview. Rather, the claim of atheism simply wipes clean the white-board of our presumptions and bids us to begin the process of constructing a new worldview that will improve upon and supersede those which have come before - Atheism is the beginning of inquiry, not the end.

Sushisnake's picture

Great post, fbb. That explains why we keep being told what we believe, rather than being asked what we don't. We're expected to make claims, we don’t, so claims are made for us: "You atheists believe science is god", "You atheists believe everything came from nothing". Stuff like that.

Cognostic's picture
What you need is a good

What you need is a good pathological double bind relationship. You need to find a woman with no self esteem at all to take care of you. Then you can whine about being depressed and having no meaning and she will tell you that she cares about you and believes in you while you continue to fail and feel depressed.

The relationship could last a lifetime or until you stop whining or she gets tired of waiting on you.

What you should do is go to as many websites as you can and whine. Trust me, SHE IS OUT THERE. Do enough whining and you will find her.

Inexorable's picture
Wow. This is my first time in

Wow. This is my first time in an atheist forum, and you guys have surpassed my expectations of the fact that you have nothing useful to offer the world. Someone comes here with a sad heart and this is what you offer? How pathetic you all are.

Sushisnake's picture
Who's Inexorable? And where's

Who's Inexorable? And where's Mikey gone? His page comes up "Oops! It seems you don’t have access."

Tin-Man's picture
Hey there, Walter. Welcome to

Hey there, Walter. Welcome to the AR. Sorry you feel that way. But if you notice, there are several of us on here who have offered the young man a great deal of sincere and helpful advice. Also, as you may have noticed, everybody has his/her own methods of giving advice based his/her own life experiences. We are an incredibly diverse group of individuals here. Emphasis on the term "individuals". The ONLY thing most of us have in common is that we do not believe in any gods. That's it. Otherwise, we range across the board in age, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, political views, social status, economic status, and life experiences. Therefore, it stands to reason each person here will have a different view on matters and will respond according to his/her personal expierences. Now, in regards to Mikey, what I have read overall has been pretty positive. And in some cases young guys like that need a little "reality jolt" to snap them out of their funk. (I know because I was once a young man. lol)

I invite you to take a little time to look around the site and read several other threads before coming to any final conclusions. We really are a good bunch of folks here, even if we do happen to get a little prickly sometimes. *chuckle* Hope to see you around.

Sheldon's picture
Another chippy delusional

Another chippy delusional trolling theists takes the time to insult us and tell us how pathetic we are, quelle surprise. As for offering something useful you have hardly set a high bar with your only post. The guy was trolling, as I suspect are you.


"How pathetic you all are."

Not pathetic enough to find theist websites to troll and insult them, food for thought? Though of course this would require you to possess the ability and desire for thought, rather than just wanting to puke your vapid theist rhetoric, and faux indignation at the "uppity atheists" for daring to have a mind of their own.

Have a nice day Walter.

Cognostic's picture
EXCELLENT! Now you are

EXCELLENT! Now you are getting it. Keep playing the victim card. Refuse to take responsibility for your own life. BLAME THE FRIGGING ATHEISTS/ Pretend that there is a solution out there in the world that people are keeping from you. Pretend your broken heart is more important than all the children that have died while I was writing this last sentence in horrible ways. YOU ARE THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE and certainly the CENTER of my attention. If I were a weak willed, low self esteemed, lonely rescuer, I would be begging you for a phone number.

Tin-Man's picture


Hey, Cog! How much do you charge for counselling sessions? If I'm ever depressed and need therapy, I'm coming to find you. lol


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