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What is the purpose of life?


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Initial post: Feb 7, 2012 7:23:33 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 7, 2012 7:24:13 PM PST]

Posted on Feb 7, 2012 11:08:59 PM PST
tokolosi says:
got cold feet Grace?

Posted on Feb 7, 2012 11:22:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2012 11:22:42 PM PST
What is the purpose of a tree? It can give you shade, its fruit can be used to feed you, or its wood can be used to make a fire or build a home. It's purpose is what you make it. Nothing has inherent purpose.

Posted on Feb 7, 2012 11:33:32 PM PST
Why is the purpose of life(?)

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 12:22:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2012 12:23:01 PM PST
"The Purpose of Life"
http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-6.html

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 12:31:02 PM PST
Rev. Otter says:
why does it need a purpose? isn't "being alive" enough?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 12:36:49 PM PST
"Being alive" is existing not living.

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 12:37:10 PM PST
Rev Otter,

You beat me to it. Some people are always running around. 'What does this mean, what is the purpose." Deep thinking if I question the purpose. The purpose of most things is to survive. Even for bacteria.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 12:40:54 PM PST
Sounds like the words of someone who knows more about bacteria than about people.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 12:43:31 PM PST
If you have ever been near death or were in a situation where you could be killed. Existing and being alive is enough. Living is to make your life as nice and pleasurable as possible. Enjoy your life because this is not some preliminary to something else. You know you exist now and where you live is reality. After your dead, there is no guarantee that anything exists. Your heart stops. Your brain cells die and you are gone. So do not put your eggs into that imaginary basket.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 12:47:36 PM PST
Joe W says:
Depends on how you go about it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 12:48:02 PM PST
Here for the music - ""Being alive" is existing not living. "

No, being alive *is* living. Existence does not depend on being alive. I've seen stuffed bears in museums. Their longevity seems to exceed that of living bears by quite a span. And my life has the living I give to it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 12:48:18 PM PST
I need a little more than that to get me through.

"Life should be seen as an eternal process of joyous spiritual discovery and growth: in the beginning stages of earthly life, the individual undergoes a period of training and education which, if it is successful, gives him or her the basic intellectual and spiritual tools necessary for continued growth. When individuals attain physical maturity in adulthood, they become responsible for their further progress, which now depends entirely on the efforts they themselves make. Through the daily struggles of material existence, people gradually deepen their understanding of the spiritual principles underlying reality, and this understanding enables them to relate more effectively to themselves, to others, and to God. After physical death, the individual continues to grow and develop in the spiritual world, which is greater than the physical world, just as the physical world is greater than the world we inhabit while in our mother's womb."

http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-6.html

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 12:49:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2012 12:55:02 PM PST
Here For The Music writes "Sounds like the words of someone who knows more about bacteria than about people."

I know quite a lot about people Here For The Music.

I've seen people at their worst and their best. Far more than you have my friend.

I interact with people 100%. I don't waste or split my time here on Earth with imaginary friends. Think of all that time you use up with this imaginary friend when you could be using that time with your fellow humans. Doing something to help your fellow humans.

Understanding a non-extent god helps no one. Understanding bacteria helps people in medical terms. As the saying goes, helping hands is better than praying hands.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 12:52:58 PM PST
"Far more than you have my friend."

And you know this how?

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 12:56:10 PM PST
Have you been in a war zone?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 1:04:49 PM PST
Scientific Mind says: "Think of all that time you use up with this imaginary friend when you could be using that time with your fellow humans. Doing something to help your fellow humans."

"Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship."

(Abdu'l-Baha)

"all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise'."

(Abdu'l-Baha)

"It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action.... That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race."

(Baha'u'llah)

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 1:07:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2012 2:13:50 PM PST
Ku says:
There are only three people in the world who knew the answer to that question.

One of them has died, one of them has gone loopy and the third has forgotten.

EDIT: The more serious answer is that you're free to give your life whatever meaning or purpose you want.

And that freedom is not to be sniffed at.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 1:13:44 PM PST
Max Flash says:
HFTM: I need a little more than that to get me through.

Max: I wonder how much that "need" drives your view of reality. It seems to me that you have identified one of the driving forces behind religious belief. The repulsion that many have with the idea that death is final seems to also be a factor, perhaps the strongest.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 1:22:53 PM PST
Why would you think that need driving ones sense of reality is a bad thing?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 1:25:28 PM PST
Stan Furman says:
To Scientific Mind:

Your: <<Living is to make your life as nice and pleasurable as possible.>>
And yours: <<Think of all that time you use up with this imaginary friend when you could be using that time with your fellow humans. Doing something to help your fellow humans.>>

seem to be in direct contradiction to each other...

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 1:29:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2012 1:52:30 PM PST
sfon says:
Max Flash says: "I wonder how much that "need" drives your view of reality. It seems to me that you have identified one of the driving forces behind religious belief. The repulsion that many have with the idea that death is final seems to also be a factor, perhaps the strongest."

Sure, I have talked to many who claim that this life is 'not enough' for them. We have all of the wonder and beauty of nature, all of the wonder and beauty of our loves, all of the joys and sorrows of life, and yet it is 'not enough'. I wonder where their dissatisfaction comes from.

Is it the desire to have it go on 'eternally'? It seems disproportionate, to me, to be dissatisfied with life because it will someday end. Every moment 'ends'... and, it seems to me that projecting it into infinity would diffuse the moment, to an infinite degree, and give it far 'less' meaning and value.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 1:31:54 PM PST
SM: <<Living is to make your life as nice and pleasurable as possible.>>
And SM: <<Think of all that time you use up with this imaginary friend when you could be using that time with your fellow humans. Doing something to help your fellow humans.>>

SF:seem to be in direct contradiction to each other...

SA: Not necessarily. Helping feels good.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2012 1:32:56 PM PST
Max Flash says:
JL: Why would you think that need driving ones sense of reality is a bad thing?

Max: Well first off I would describe this as a desire not a true need. Given that, do you think reality bends to an individual's desire?

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 1:36:57 PM PST
Some of these responses are awfully strange, particularly from people I would normally take to be educated. It almost sounds as if the thread question irritates people or makes them uneasy.

Garrett Gutierrez wrote:
>What is the purpose of a tree?

We aren't trees.

Garrett then wrote:
>Nothing has inherent purpose.

I agree. Does that mean we need not bother devising purposes for our own lives? (That seems to be the underlying assumption of several respondents, who appear to find the whole question inane.)

Rev. Otter quips (I'll add that editorial touch, since the Rev. often seems concerned to show that he is a wit):
>why does it need a purpose? isn't "being alive" enough?

Perhaps it is, for the following:

1. Plants
2. Insects
3. People who weigh 300 pounds and spend their days in a La-Z-boy with a bag of chips, watching Jerry Springer. Somehow, I wouldn't think that would apply to anyone here.

Here for the Music wrote:
>"Being alive" is existing not living.

For my money, that's one of the best things written on the thread so far. People seem to think that no one could argue that unless they were religious, but the same argument is actually what I admire in Sartre: one can merely be, like a slug or bacteria, or one can strive, achieve meaning, and become what he calls, if I remember correctly, a true "existent." How strange that such an idea seems not to have so much as crossed anyone's mind, except for the single religious poster here.

Mark Hornberger, who I generally think is one of the more intelligent people posting on these boards, amazes me when he writes:
>No, being alive *is* living.

I guess that's true, but so trivial it hardly seems worth saying. Mark, I think you're on much more worthwhile ground when you write:
>my life has the living I give to it.

Completely agree. But then, again, it's so strange that some here appear to want to ridicule the very idea of even taking meaning or purpose into account to begin with.

Does that mean that atheists have conceded concepts of "meaning" and "purpose" to religion? I think that would be absurd. I feel quite confident in saying there is no God and no supernatural. My self-adopted purpose in life is to make good use of my abilities. That includes reading a great deal, walking a great deal, listening to a great deal of good music, and raising money for the charity of my choice. That's not a universal purpose that binds me or anyone else, but it's a better answer for anyone, in my opinion, than to point out that bacteria are alive.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  114
Total posts:  1958
Initial post:  Feb 7, 2012
Latest post:  May 8, 2012

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