From Richard Weikart at the Federalist:
The 2018 study in question by David Speed, et al, “What Do You Mean, ‘What Does It All Mean?’ Atheism, Nonreligion, and Life Meaning,” used surveys to try to figure out if atheists find meaning in life or are nihilistic. This survey defined someone as nihilistic if he or she upheld the position: “In my opinion, life does not serve any purpose.”
This study found that atheists and non-religious people are not nihilistic, because they claimed that they did have a purpose in life. This is an interesting finding that seems to refute the oft-repeated charge (levied by religious folks) that atheists are nihilistic.
However, there is a problem with this finding. The survey admitted the meaning that atheists and non-religious people found in their lives is entirely self-invented. According to the survey, they embraced the position: “Life is only meaningful if you provide the meaning yourself.”
Thus, when religious people say non-religious people have no basis for finding meaning in life, and when non-religious people object, saying they do indeed find meaning in life, they are not talking about the same thing. More.
Study. (public access)
Didn’t fairy tales used to be Hollywood’s specialty?
See also: Can science survive long in a post-modern world? It’s not clear.