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What is the purpose of life?


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Showing 101-125 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on Feb 10, 2012 1:02:53 PM PST
To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

-Conan

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 1:38:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012 1:40:34 PM PST
Vicki says:
Dear sfon,

You said :"But this is a matter of belief, not a mandate suggested or supported by our natural reality... and then we are right back at "to each their own belief..."

But doesn't the truth matter?
Or, do you believe that we can't know the truth?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 2:15:45 PM PST
sfon says:
Vicki says: "But doesn't the truth matter? Or, do you believe that we can't know the truth?"

What is real matters, and such is true. My estimate of what is 'real' is generally quite conservative (modest, restrained). We each have a sense of what we think is real, and of what matters. All we can do is express it, and live it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 5:02:31 PM PST
chasmcg says:
HeyLanny, no, thank goodness I haven't. Hope I'm never in such a situation.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 5:11:17 PM PST
Banner says:
"Nothing has inherent purpose"

I disagree completely. Everything has a purpose. Or maybe it's just your wording.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 5:13:20 PM PST
Banner says:
Name one thing that you know for a fact doesn't have an "inherent" purpose. Oh I forgot about the whole purpose vs function debate. Never mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 5:14:14 PM PST
Banner says:
How can we measure "living" as opposed to being alive?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 5:18:11 PM PST
Banner says:
Maybe. Or we might be some sort of fuel or amusement for some other more powerful thing out there. Who the hell knows for sure??? Not me.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 6:38:18 PM PST
>>I love you with all my heart
I want to spend the rest of my life with you
You are the most important thing in my life
I love you
Please forgive me I didn't mean to hurt you
I would give my life for you
My mind is constantly upon you<<

This sounds like something a wife beater says as his wife walks out the door.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 6:41:48 PM PST
>>"If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice."<<

So, if I don't choose to decide whether the tooth fairy is male or female, I have still decided?

Doesn't say anything about my belief in the existence of the tooth fairy, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 7:04:49 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 7:09:59 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 7:11:32 PM PST
Banner says:
I can agree with that.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 7:23:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012 7:31:59 PM PST
MycroftH says:
@ Here For The Music
>I was trying to make the point that to live an optimum human life one needs a sense of purpose.<
I agree. But why does that purpose have to be so more-than-life-size? Or inhumanly, un-understandable, divine?
Isn't it purpose enough to care for my kids, spouse, friends, acquaintances, co-citizens, nation, humanity (in decreasing order?). Is my and others' native curiosity not an important purpose? Finding out how stuff works, learning as much as possible about the whole human spectrum? Avoiding uninformed decisions may sound like a petty thing, but for me it makes all the difference...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 7:24:11 PM PST
Banner said: "I disagree completely. Everything has a purpose. Or maybe it's just your wording."

Me: Well, yes I would say everything could be assigned purpose, but no purpose is inherent. When I say this I mean that no object expresses any sort of purpose which could be objectively determined and is thus not up for interpretation. You might argue that the purpose of a hammer is to hammer things, but if I use one as a door stop then neither of us are right or wrong in our usage of the hammer, since there is no intrinsic property belonging to the hammer that makes it so it must be used for hammering.

Thing are made with purpose and things exist with purpose, but no things exist with purpose that is not assigned to them, independent of any being's subjective perception or interpretation.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 7:26:25 PM PST
Banner says: Maybe. Or we might be some sort of fuel or amusement for some other more powerful thing out there. Who the hell knows for sure??? Not me.

Me: Well, even if there is a powerful being out there who has created us with purpose he has defined, that doesn't make the purpose inherent in us, and it doesn't mean we cannot do with our lives what we will and find our own purpose. This, our purpose is still ours to decide to a degree.

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 7:37:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012 7:41:56 PM PST
".....'no wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.'

'Wouldn't it really?' said Alice in a tone of great surprise.

'Of course not,' said the Mock Turtle: 'why, if a fish came to me, and told me he was going on a journey, I should say "With what porpoise?"'

'Don't you mean "purpose"?' said Alice.

'I mean what I say,' the Mock Turtle replied in an offended tone."

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 7:51:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012 7:54:31 PM PST
Banner says:
No no, not really lol. We don't really have much of a choice in anything except for a mind set.

I'll use your tree analogy. Can a tree choose to serve any other purpose than what trees do? Can a human?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 8:59:24 PM PST
You are making the same mistake that Michael Higgins made: confusing the subject with the object.

Humans (or other thinking things) assign purpose to trees.
Humans (or other thinking things) assign purpose to human life.

You see. This is what I am saying. I am NOT saying, however, that:

Trees assign purpose to trees.

That does not belong in my analogy. Trees don't have a choice regarding their own purpose because trees lack the capacity to think. We humans, however, do have the capacity to think. Thus, we have a choice regarding our own purpose.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 9:04:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2012 9:08:00 PM PST
Banner says:
No no I'm not making any mistake. I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was using your analogy to show you that we don't really have many choices. You think we do. And I think we don't. Sure we have choices in what actions we take. But we have set functions or purposes here on Earth. A tree does what it does the same way a human does what it does.

You seem to think that because I disagree with you that I don't understand your analogy. I understand it fine. I just don't think we assign much of a purpose to things. They have a inherent purpose as it is. IMO. Maybe not "God given" but inherent just the same. Just because you don't use a hammer to hammer things...doesn't mean its main purpose isn't hammering things.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 10:36:05 PM PST
Maybe, maybe not. It would be pompous of me to believe I controlled anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 10:41:52 PM PST
If you are not misunderstanding my analogy, then you are merely making a very weak point. You use the fact that trees are not conscious entities to establish that we don't make choices... but we ARE conscious entities (unlike the trees in your analogy). If a tree was conscious, than a tree could choose its own purpose. Even if we forced these conscious trees to be used for lumber, we would not able to infringe upon their right to choose, only their right to execute their decisions. Not only that, but us forcing our decisions of purpose upon them would not establish in any way that the given purpose is not inherent, as we humans are still thinking things subjectively assigning them purpose.

This brings me to my next point: I am not sure what know what inherency means in this context. When it is said that an attribute or quality is inherent in this context, it means that it essentially intrinsic; that by it's very nature, something possesses the given quality or attribute.

When you say that the purpose of a hammer is inherent... I cannot help but say that this is utterly ridiculous. If someone were to create something in the exact shape and design of a hammer, except that this person intended for it to be a doorstop, would it be a doorstop and not a hammer? It genuinely seems completely obvious to me that the purpose of things is subjective, so I cannot see why you disagree.

You say "we don't assign purpose to things... they have inherent purpose as it is..." How can you possibly justify this statement? What is the inherent purpose of a person, then? If it is inherent, then it stands to reason that it could be measured or understood objectively. How do you measure the purpose of a thing? If purpose is inherent and thus unchanging, then how do you explain the obvious fact that we assign purpose to everything around us? Simply by using things, we assign them purpose (by definition). Do you deny the fact that we use things in this world? If not, then how can you possibly hope to deny that we give things purpose?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 10:50:03 PM PST
AxeGrrl says:
Garrett Gutierrez wrote: "even if there is a powerful being out there who has created us with purpose he has defined....*snip*...it doesn't mean we cannot do with our lives what we will and find our own purpose."
~~~~

Exactly.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 10:51:09 PM PST
AxeGrrl says:
Banner wrote: "we have set functions or purposes here on Earth."
~~~~

We do? according to whom?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2012 11:17:58 PM PST
Banner says:
Nature?
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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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