The nonreligious experience love. This is probably too obvious a fact for even the most prejudiced person to deny.
Nonetheless, one frequently hears the claim that if there is no God, then our lives are meaningless, as we would have no destiny but the grave. Moreover, without God to give us eternal life, any love we experience would be of limited value because it will not last forever.
We who are nonreligious accept that our lives are finite. We die. However, we do not accept the notion that something must last forever to be valuable. The embraces we share with our lovers and the hugs we share with our children are precious even if they are not everlasting. The value of love is not measured by a calendar.
The death of a loved one can be heartbreaking. Contemplating our own deaths can produce anxiety. So it is perfectly understandable that many wish that they and those close to them could somehow survive their deaths. Wishes are not the best guides for life, however.
Moreover, we who are nonreligious don’t believe our lives lack meaning because there is no God to supervise and direct them for all eternity. Frankly, we like the fact that no plan is imposed on us by some immensely powerful being; we create our own meaning. And the fact that our lives do end actually invests them with significance. We are responsible for what we accomplish or fail to accomplish. We are responsible for extending or withholding love. What we do matters because we do not get second chances.
One life is sufficient—if it partakes of hope, care, and love.