The purpose of life

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Re: The purpose of life

Postby charon on May 18th, 2012, 3:45 pm 

BadgerJelly

I don't think anything. Either the nameless has a reality for you or it doesn't. No one is asking you to describe it.

If it's only the word which has reality then the whole thing is meaningless. If, in the absence of all illusion, there's something beyond words that's quite different. Then you know of the unknown.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby henriette on May 19th, 2012, 12:12 am 

Dear,
Can't we say that there is a general spiritual purpose in life on one side and another purpose in the task of reconciling the apparent contradiction between the despair of humans daily social lifes and the joyfulness of spiritual enlightenment?

An argument for the first alleged purpose of life is that one's progress towards enlightenment is not linear; there are indeed experienced thresholds during one's spiritual life and those steps make sense in the very same way that it makes sense for a kid to finally get the skill of riding a bike without stabilisers. Because there are such milestones in the progress towards wisdom, the direction of this progress grants life with a sense.

On the other side, an apparent purpose of life comes through the consequences of the conceptual duality between the one and the many. This duality places the self conscious individual in front of the universe as a whole and in front of society, that are like two worlds we are passing through. The point here about the meaning of life is that this situation presents a contradiction and it makes sense to settle it. This can be considered a purpose of life. Indeed, logical reasoning do not yield social peace and we are still entangled in the violent struggle for life of the wild world; this has historically and universally made most humans' lifes painful while spiritual work offers an step from which spirit is joyful. In that perspective we are like actors performing far below the potential of the characters. It is noticeable that only a small number of humans manage to go beyond this contradiction.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Whut on May 19th, 2012, 12:27 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:Nothing is WRONG though. That word doesn't really mean anything anymore than the word YELLOW.


Late reply sorry, but No.

Many things are wrong. <- This is a factual statement.

and I think I've made it perfecty clear now where my meaning comes from.

But ofc. we have the "is ought problem," something many people love to flaunt.

Obviously, though, no logic or reasoning alone can bind a person to action.

What do people expect? metaphysical "good" and "bad" objects?....

I think it's good that words such as good have freedom though, dont get it twisted.

suffice to say people can say or think whatever they like...
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on May 19th, 2012, 1:52 am 

You've taken what I was saying slightly out of context.

My point was if it exists it is correct because if it was not it would not exist. I human terms the concepts of right and wrong are quantities of what we have been conditioned to accept.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Whut on May 19th, 2012, 1:55 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:You've taken what I was saying slightly out of context.


likely so, sry

BadgerJelly wrote:My point was if it exists it is correct because if it was not it would not exist. I human terms the concepts of right and wrong are quantities of what we have been conditioned to accept.


but I've been conditioned to understand.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on May 19th, 2012, 2:07 am 

I do not believe you have at all.

EVERYTHING communicates/interacts it is not conditioned to unless you regard the laws of nature (gravity, electromagnetic etc.) as conditioning.

I see human understanding as an inevitable progression from this seemingly simple inorganic communication/interaction.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Whut on April 12th, 2013, 3:55 pm 

I've loved reading through this thread so long after its conception.

There's so much I'd like to answer to-

-but there is something I have concluded from this line of inquiry, within this thread and without, which I find too valuable to stifle with quibbles:

The meaning of life is to live; the purpose of life is to live well.

So for anyone who manages to agree, where ought we go from here? =)
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Obvious Leo on April 12th, 2013, 6:18 pm 

Whut wrote:I've loved reading through this thread so long after its conception.

There's so much I'd like to answer to-

-but there is something I have concluded from this line of inquiry, within this thread and without, which I find too valuable to stifle with quibbles:

The meaning of life is to live; the purpose of life is to live well.

So for anyone who manages to agree, where ought we go from here? =)


Whut. I've just scanned through this thread which has been lying dormant since before I joined this site. I'll regard your resurrection post as a new OP and help myself to the first free kick.

My taste is always to reduce the complex to the simple. Therefore such concepts as meaning, purpose and living are essentially personal ones. The intrinsic self is required to traverse life's journey alone. Thus an objective definition of these concepts is valueless because one size can never be made to fit all.

This is my take: The living of life is in the journey. It has a goal but no destination. The meaning of life is to be found in the love we give and the love we receive. The purpose of life is to understand how and why we came to have such a stupendously improbable thing in the first place. A life well lived is a life examined.

I guess I've always been a simple hippy at heart. I've undergone numerous reconstructions over the journey but always I find myself back in the same place. Where ought we to go from here? I can only speak for myself and thus can only instruct myself and what I tell myself is this:

Just be nice, man. Just stay cool and keep digging it.

Regards Leo
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby dady551 on July 10th, 2013, 10:18 pm 

mate you have already explained the ideas in your thread but in my point of view the purpose of life is to obey lord and gain his consent by helping the humanity and by obeying the orders
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby greylorn on July 18th, 2013, 7:32 pm 

Whut wrote:What is the purpose of human life?

I know... it's a cliché question! The reason I'm pondering it at the moment is I've been reading into virtue ethics, and one of the things every virtue theory needs is some sort of teleological goal. (Eg. The purpose of a knife is to cut. Therefore: sharpness would be a virtue, bluntness would be a vice.)

Aristotle proposed that the Eudaimonia was the proper goal of human life. Eudaimonia translates as something like 'well being' or 'happiness', basically it characterizes the 'well-lived life'. So a virtue would be something that helps one towards Eudaimonia. Some other popular answers to the question are things like:

> to chase your dreams, to become the person you've always wanted to be.
> to survive or live as long as possible.
> some biologists conclude that if there is a primary function to life, it is the replication of DNA and the survival of one's genes.
> 42!
> to seek wisdom and knowledge, to try and understand the universe
> to seek spiritual enlightenment
> to make the world a better place
> there is no purpose

Now, I'm aware that everyone creates their own purpose, and that there isn't something we could really say is an intrisic purpose to life. However, I don't think it's a completely arbitrary question either. For instance, it's very possible to rule out what definately isn't the purpose of human life, i.e anything that is beyond human capability. So we know the purpose of life lies within human capability (I know, not exactly a profound realisation, lol :P)

I want to create a virtue theory for fun, so first I need to think of a teleological goal. I spent a little time trying to write one. here's what I got so far:

The purpose of life is to strive for your ultimate potential. Guided by your capacity for understanding and feeling, one should act towards a fulfilling life. To experience satisfying fulfilment and sustained well-being, and to create that: which best reflects your ultimate potential.

Any thoughts or criticisms? Anything that you think is worth adding? I tried to be as flexible with it as possible, so it could apply to anyone, not being to specific, though it might be to ambiguous.

My main idea was something like: the purpose is in aiming for the best you can be, your ultimate potential, something that's impossible to fully grasp, in a way it is "infinite" I was thinking about defining that "ultimate capability" as the the 'True Self', it's the capacity which encompasses you, whereas your current Self, is the form of being which defines you. So it's all about trying to define yourself as close to your ultimate self as possible.

I added "and to create that: which best reflects your ultimate potential." because our ability to create all sorts of things is one of the distinct aspects of human capability, I think. And the closer you get to your ultimate potential, the better quality your creations will be, sort of by default.

Is there any, more recent, teleological goals that philosophers have used in virtue theory that work well? I've been searching for things regarding the purpose of life etc. but I keep getting things like "the meaning of life", "the meaning of existence" and all the baggage that comes with that, not really what I'm after.

What do you think is distict when it comes to human capability? Any thoughts regarding any of this are welcome really, just milling over ideas at the moment :)


Why bother being the best that you can be? That takes work, struggle, and effort. The government will tax your efforts, and give the "money" you earned to someone else.

Welfare recipients get free food, housing, and entertainment courtesy of the federal government. They do not have to do squat, except to evacuate the used-up food, and maybe show up in a government-sponsored protest group waving a sign that they cannot read.

Unless you can justify some continuity of post-death consciousness in which higher intelligence makes a difference, it seems smarter to become a loyal Democrat and maximize the bennies for which the stupid working people must pay.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby charon on January 24th, 2019, 9:46 am 

Whut » February 23rd, 2012, 9:24 pm wrote:What is the purpose of human life?



You either know or you don't know. If you don't, you will guess. If someone tells you, you may not accept it. So what's to be done?

And who says there is necessarily a purpose at all?
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