I have something to say to the theists who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil — you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself.
vruz: in a way it’s an absolutely contradictory way of using your lifetime if you’re a conservative. right now you have $100 in your pocket. it’s not much, but it’s good and it’s yours. but you are promised that one day, after you’re very old and die an friend at an insurance fund will give you $10,000. however you are in panic of offending your friend at every step, you save those $100 for 80 years or so, instead of making good decisions about using them well right now, because you’re going to get $10,000 from your friend after you die.
The most important philosophy, I think, is that even if it isn’t true, you must absolutely assume there is no afterlife. You cannot for one second, I think, abrogate the responsibility of believing that this is it.