there were not any movements prior to that because the alternative to believing in the church was to be ripped apart by four horses. I am not exaggerating. In fact, a lot of countries, especially in the middle east, to be atheist or not follow the state religion was met with a punishment of death.
as far as purpose goes, man, that is a really complicated topic. An individual has their own purpose as interpreted by themselves along their life.
I will ask you a question, if it were the case that the exclusion of a god from someone's life was also the exclusion of the judgement of good and evil, why does every nonbeliever not go about murdering, raping, and pillaging? Furthermore, why would there be those true believers who still go about murdering?
anyways after all is said and done we could be both wrong. who knows?