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Ever wonder what is your purpose in life?


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159 replies to this topic

#41 of 160 Jeff Gatie

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Posted August 18 2006 - 12:50 AM

BrianW, Lew, H, as much as I love a scientific debate, I'm going to refrain from this one (did I just write that???) because it brings up some clashes within me which really strike a chord of personal values and I usually choose not to speak about things so personal as spirituality. My only comment is I agree with BrianW that Evolution and ID can coexist, but until the day a physicist defines "God" (and there are some working on that very question, sort of), I'll keep my faith to myself (where it should be).

Actually Brian, as I read back over your ideas on "purpose of life", I see my parenthetical "and there are some working on that very question, sort of" is not a "sort of" at all. I think deep down, every scientist may be searching for a "god", not just by the quest for knowledge to understand the universe, but by contemplation of the wonders and mysteries of the universe which spurs that quest in the first place. Going back to the various "scientists know nothing and only the non-scientists can grasp the ethereal wonders of the world" threads, my statement may appear quite self-serving, but I feel it is true, none the less. Without the curiosity and wonder of the unknown setting initial value on knowledge, knowledge itself is worth nothing. If initialized by that spark of curiousity and thirst for the unknown - knowledge becomes priceless.

So what is the purpose of life? I wonder . . .

#42 of 160 JonZ

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Posted August 18 2006 - 01:15 AM

I think the buddhists have it all figured out Posted Image

#43 of 160 Bob McLaughlin

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Posted August 18 2006 - 01:20 AM

I wonder if any other living creatures ponder their own existence? Heck, plenty of humans probably don't...and they're probably the happier ones.

I think most people would like to believe that things have to make "sense", that there is reason and purpose and closure in life. We want our life to be a story, a book. But really, why do we feel this has to be? There's really no reason why there would have to be a purpose to life.

When explorers stumble across a self-contained living ecosystem deep in an underground cave, do they wonder what the purpose was for those living creatures they discovered? Nope, they just say, "look at what was possible". And that's what I think life on this planet is--this is what is possible now. Why would there necessarily have to be a reason for life to exist? That's like asking why is there a reason to have stars and gravity and matter. Pretty scenery?
"I'LL SHOW YOU THE LIFE OF THE MIND!!!" - Barton Fink

#44 of 160 BrianW

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Posted August 18 2006 - 01:28 AM

Ah, but Jeff, this isn't really a scientific debate, now, is it? Posted Image

But I see where you're comng from with regard to it being a personal thing. I feel the same way. While many may think I've now revealed my belefs with regard to ID, all I've really done is to question the logic of asserting that ID and evolution are mutually exclusive.

As for the "we're here to serve" crap I offered, come on, I think I'm just stating the obvious. There are a great many -- innumerable, perhaps -- things that separate us from bacteria. But one of the most profound is that we are capable of doing whatever we want with our lves.

What is the purpose of life? Perhaps the more pertinent question is, what is the purpose of your life? The greatest thing is, you get to decide the answer. What do you want the purpose of your life to be?

Geez, am I the only one here who's seen The Iron Giant? Posted Image
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#45 of 160 BrianW

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Posted August 18 2006 - 01:33 AM

Dang it, JonZ beat me to it!

I hereby rededicate myself. The purpose of my life is now to type and proof my posts in a more timely fashion.
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#46 of 160 Holadem

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Posted August 18 2006 - 01:33 AM

I am the one.

--
H

#47 of 160 JonZ

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Posted August 18 2006 - 02:14 AM

"Dang it, JonZ beat me to it!"

Yea decided to edit that and just keep it simple. I didnt want to have to defend that with a response.

#48 of 160 MarkHastings

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Posted August 18 2006 - 02:23 AM

Quote:
As mentioned in my original post, besides reproduction, the continuation of the species and all that crap
Considering the way people are and the way the world is going, I would think that procreation is less of a purpose as it is a hinderance on the world. Posted Image

The purpose of life is to live it to the fullest...be happy with who you are and with the time you have here. That's it. The best thing to do is to "Live in the moment" - The more you live for the past or the future, the less you'll be experiencing life. Life is about "right now" - no more/no less.

The only thing kids do for people is to make them feel better that their name is living on after them...but what does life really mean when you're dead? What I mean is, when you start thinking about kids as being your purpose, it means that you are happy with what happens after you're dead and that's not living in the "now" - That's living for the future. The future will never come, so there's no reason to base your purpose on something you'll never see.

#49 of 160 JonZ

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Posted August 18 2006 - 02:32 AM

"What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived"
- Captian Jean Luc Picard

#50 of 160 MarkHastings

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Posted August 18 2006 - 02:39 AM

Nice quote Posted Image

#51 of 160 Buzz Foster

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Posted August 18 2006 - 02:44 AM

And don't forget to wear sunblock.
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#52 of 160 Lew Crippen

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Posted August 18 2006 - 02:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW
Ah, but Jeff, this isn't really a scientific debate, now, is it? Posted Image

But I see where you're comng from with regard to it being a personal thing. I feel the same way. While many may think I've now revealed my belefs with regard to ID, all I've really done is to question the logic of asserting that ID and evolution are mutually exclusive.

...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW
... My point was that the two could easily be embraced simultaneously. Just because the Universe is intelligently designed (if, indeed, it is) doesn't mean that evolution isn't part of that design. How difficult is that?

...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Gatie
BrianW, Lew, H, as much as I love a scientific debate, I'm going to refrain from this one (did I just write that???) because it brings up some clashes within me which really strike a chord of personal values and I usually choose not to speak about things so personal as spirituality. My only comment is I agree with BrianW that Evolution and ID can coexist, but until the day a physicist defines "God" (and there are some working on that very question, sort of), I'll keep my faith to myself (where it should be).

...
As you are all aware, religious faith and science are not mutually exclusive. Many, many prominent scientists (including Einstein—witness his “God does not play dice with the universe” statement) have been (and are) men of faith.

It is regrettable that some people (with an apparent lack of understanding of the relationship between science and spirituality) have chosen to separate the two.

As an aside, Yale used to (and may still) have an undergraduate course of study combining the two: Physics and Philosophy. Just my opinion of course, but I truly believe that to try to understand the one is to contemplate the other.
¡Time is not my master!

#53 of 160 Arthur S

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Posted August 18 2006 - 02:56 AM

To those who wonder about reproduction, please remember that the key word is "natures" imperative. Those who for what ever reason, don't have children have nothing to be concerned about. There is no reason you can't have a full and satisfying life. And, if children are important to you, adoption is a viable option.

Thanks to those who provided an explanation of how ID and evolution can coexist.

I agree with those whose sentiments are along the line of giving being a very satisfying way to live. Long, long time ago I had a girlfriend who decided at the age of 22 to devote her life to making the world a better place via politics. When I spoke to her 20 years later she said she had not regretted one minute of her life. Her life is not about living well or having things. If you could look her up in a book, you would probably see a picture of Ralph Nader.

Please, let's not turn this into a flame of Ralph Nader.

Thanks

#54 of 160 Jeff Gatie

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Posted August 18 2006 - 03:03 AM

Quote:
(including Einstein—witness his “God does not play dice with the universe” statement)

To which Niels Bohr replied "Who are you to tell God what to do?"

Years later:

"God does play dice, but they're loaded dice."
- John Ford, Chaostician

"God not only plays dice, but sometimes throws them where they cannot be
seen."
- Stephen Hawking

Which mesh quite well with the themes of this thread. Posted Image

#55 of 160 RobertR

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Posted August 18 2006 - 03:20 AM

Quote:
long time ago I had a girlfriend who decided at the age of 22 to devote her life to making the world a better place via politics.
What annoys me are people who declare political activity to be THE way to make the world a better place, and who wish to use political mechanisms to impose their vision of "better" on others.

To those who ask "is that all there is?", I'd ask, what more do you want there to be? If you're not content, what would make you content? And if your answer is "I don't know", then I suggest the purpose of life is to find happiness and contentment. Posted Image

Quote:
As you are all aware, religious faith and science are not mutually exclusive. Many, many prominent scientists (including Einstein—witness his “God does not play dice with the universe” statement) have been (and are) men of faith.
Yes, Martin Gardner, one of the founders of CSIOCOP (the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) is a theist. I get really annoyed at people who demand that their religious concepts be the only ones followed, coupled with a demand for the abandonment of reason and science.

#56 of 160 MarkHastings

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Posted August 18 2006 - 03:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR
To those who ask "is that all there is?", I'd ask, what more do you want there to be? If you're not content, what would make you content? And if your answer is "I don't know", then I suggest the purpose of life is to find happiness and contentment. Posted Image
Very true. Stop looking for something more because there may not BE anything more and you're waisting the time you do have.
Quote:
To those who wonder about reproduction, please remember that the key word is "natures" imperative.
Posted Image Yeah, reproduction is natures purpose. Nature just 'uses' us...that's why I hate to think about reproduction as being the purpose of life becuase that's very disheartening.
Quote:
I agree with those whose sentiments are along the line of giving being a very satisfying way to live.
While I agree that it's satisfying, I have to ask why it's satisfying? Is it because we feel the need to do something productive in order to vaildate our existence? Why can't we just be satisfied with just being here?

#57 of 160 JonZ

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Posted August 18 2006 - 03:55 AM

Well I think its in human nature to want to "do good". Most people, even those who dont like to admit it, has compassion for their fellow man.Whether your a doctor of just wnat to help some old lady across the street.

IMHO its usually disappointment in humanity or the world that lead to peopel to think along the "I just want to be left alone to live in peace" type of thinking.

#58 of 160 RobertR

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Posted August 18 2006 - 04:03 AM

Quote:
Well I think its in human nature to want to "do good".
The problem is the people who demand that "good" be done by forcing A (or a group of As) to do "good" for B (or a group of Bs), even if they don't agree it's good for them or those they're doing "good" for. In other words, the notion that good or happiness is defined by a separate entity called the "all", instead of being the sum total of what individuals want.

#59 of 160 Jeff Gatie

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Posted August 18 2006 - 04:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonZ
Well I think its in human nature to want to "do good". Most people, even those who dont like to admit it, has compassion for their fellow man.Whether your a doctor of just wnat to help some old lady across the street.

IMHO its usually disappointment in humanity or the world that lead to peopel to think along the "I just want to be left alone to live in peace" type of thinking.

Is it really though? Remember, "good" is a relative term. Many, many people have died due to "doing good" by persons who's morality left something to be desired. Would it have helped the world overall if Stalin had not forced his ideas of "good" on his people and was just "left alone to live in peace". Was Hitler convinced he was "doing good" for the German people? Were the inventors of atomic weapons "doing good?" These are moral and philosophical questions that can be pondered, but not every person who does "good" can be lauded and not everyone who minds their own business and keeps to themselves is necessarily the opposite of "good". Some of those who claimed to do good make me personally wish they had kept their idea of "good" to themsleves. Posted Image

#60 of 160 RobertR

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Posted August 18 2006 - 04:11 AM

Quote:
not every person who does "good" can be lauded and not everyone who minds their own business and keeps to themselve is necessarily the opposite of "good".
What’s most insidious is when the “good” is trumpeted and put on display for all to see, but the harmful effects of the “good” action are diffuse, not readily available for public consumption, and not publicized.


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