The purpose of life

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Re: The purpose of life

Postby kidjan on April 5th, 2012, 10:32 pm 

Whut wrote:What is the purpose of human life?


I'm not sure, but this question seems to assume the answer to another more basic question: is there a purpose of human life? From any realistic perspective, we're a rather insignificant footnote in a universe that is large beyond comprehension.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby sponge on April 6th, 2012, 7:59 am 

kidjan wrote:Re: The purpose of life
by kidjan » April 5th, 2012, 9:32 pm
Whut wrote:What is the purpose of human life?I'm not sure, but this question seems to assume the answer to another more basic question: is there a purpose of human life? From any realistic perspective, we're a rather insignificant footnote in a universe that is large beyond comprehension.


Is it essential to be significant to have a purpose?
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 6th, 2012, 9:10 am 

kidjan wrote:
Whut wrote:What is the purpose of human life?


I'm not sure, but this question seems to assume the answer to another more basic question: is there a purpose of human life? From any realistic perspective, we're a rather insignificant footnote in a universe that is large beyond comprehension.



What is the purpose of life to me is like asking what is 1+6b/ab-2 ? We don't know several factors in the equation so we should be asking what those factors should be right? ie. WHAT is life?

OR how about we take a leaf from the child's book?

WHY is life?
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Whut on April 6th, 2012, 2:01 pm 

kidjan wrote:I'm not sure, but this question seems to assume the answer to another more basic question: is there a purpose of human life? From any realistic perspective, we're a rather insignificant footnote in a universe that is large beyond comprehension.


So it's clear, what I'm asking here is not if there is some supreme purpose for humans that has been decided upon beyond ourselves. Rather, I'm asking what should our main purpose be? What this assumes, is that humans can create their own purpose, and that we should create a main purpose; an axiomic ought from which all oughts may be derived.

And while it's hardly relevant, I disagree that any realistic understanding deems us insignificant. Significance is purely relative, dependant upon context. Our size is realistically insignificant, sure. But in terms of complexity? As far as we know we're as realistically significant as it gets. Furthermore, we're the only known expression of existence that has created a concept of significance. Just by being here, the universe begins to illuminate itself where we stand. Although it seems pretty popular to be "anti-anthropocentric" these days... considering whether or not humans are significant without some context is a "glass half full or half empty" exercise at best.

The needle in a haystack is significant; only if someone's looking for it.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 6th, 2012, 2:40 pm 

I'm asking what should our main purpose be?


To me it seems the purpose for humanity as a whole is to understand ourselves and therefore the universe. And to do this we have to communicate and by communicate I mean with EVERYTHING we can. Through communication we can find both fascination, understanding and eventually joy. And everyone likes to be happy and to solve puzzles and learn about something amazing they had never thought of before so it seems pretty obvious for me ...
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Eclogite on April 9th, 2012, 9:04 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:WHY is life?

Emergent property.

Why are there emergent properties?

Continue until dead.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 9th, 2012, 2:56 pm 

Eclogite wrote:
BadgerJelly wrote:WHY is life?

Emergent property.

Why are there emergent properties?

Continue until dead.


WHY is death?

and/or what happens to humanity when you are dead? What happens to your offspring? WHY does life continue in others in your stead?

WHY is reproduction?
WHY is universe?
WHY is perception?
WHY is sexual attraction?

The biggest WHY for me is WHY is COMMUNICATION?
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby neuro on April 10th, 2012, 6:17 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:WHY is death?
WHY is reproduction?
WHY is universe?
WHY is perception?
WHY is sexual attraction?

The biggest WHY for me is WHY is COMMUNICATION?

I have the impression this somewhat exceeds the horizon of the OP.

However, it would be good to realize that these are questions that belong to completely different domains.

Why is universe is a purely metaphysical question, or even a purely abstract logical question which cannot be approached in any reasonable way.

Why is death, why is reproduction, are a different kind of questions, and they can be easily answered because life as it has evolved on our planet is not based on building systems that can persist but rather systems that are able to persist long enough to produce further copies of themselves; this is particularly efficient as a way of propagating life in multifarious forms rather than preserving life in a specific perennial form.

Why is perception, why is sexual attraction are quite simple questions, related to the possibility of a living system to react differentially to different environmental situations, and to the amazing advantage, in terms of adaptation, of combining two genomes into a new one, rather than reproducing one genome many times.

Why is communication, finally, can be answered by noting the evolutional advantage possessed by a species which is capable to perceive the environment not only in a direct (sensory) way, but also in an indirect way (sensory perception of the actions of con-specific and non con-specific subjects).

The original question, hovever - i.e. why life? - remains, and apart from "why universe", all the other questions you are posing come after that.

My tentative answer to "why life?" is "because an incredible amount of energy was flowing from the sun to the Earth and it only followed one path: heating everything. Unstable molecules could instead be generated by capturing such energy, and their transition to more stable conformations could be partly used to build ordered systems which might further capture energy from the sun and use it the same way.
Water will not follow only the least-resistance path to flow down the roof of your house; if any small leak is present, water will penetrate that as well. The same is true for energy. Life is a particularly rich path for transforming solar energy into enthropy, a particularly vast and varied battery of "leaks" for such energy to flow, instead of simply dispersing by increasing the temperature of everything on Earth."

Then, if one is looking for a final and not a causal "why" (what for and not because of what), then the question becomes much more interesting, and it looks as if the topic at hand should properly be this one.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 10th, 2012, 8:17 am 

I just find it too limiting to think like this all of the time.

If the OP is about the purpose of life then I think it is pointless to try and approach this without considering death or what life really IS.

I did get a bit carried away though! :P

Keeping to the subject I have to at LEAST consider death when thinking about life. Individually life is different than collectively. Organ life has been going for a very long time but my life will not but I do pass on data through my senses and through reproduction and being part of the wider environment outside my our personal "bubble".

So basically the purpose of life is to be and in being data is expressed on the environment through reproduction and communication, that being verbally visually or by me breathing in air or moving a stone that could in the furture help an ant colony find a home and then that colony evolve to wipe out the human race by some weird and wonderful disease or whatever.

So life is communicating like this ALL the time but that it appears its not its purpose just its mechanism. Its purpose is a bigger question than what life is itself and that is why I expanded into other areas.

If its just in regards to Ethics then we are essentially talking about right and wrong. If we are now just talking about right and wrong then we get nowhere because this is relative to every individual, culture and species and the interactions between them. Emotions are what drive us and drive our sense of right and wrong but are emotions "real"? Is this not important to the question posed in regards to life.

For me personally as an individual human being the mechanism of life is about understanding, and understanding comes through asking questions in relation to my environment and my ethical view is that it is right and good to ask question and gain understanding because eventually it makes me more happy and others more happy once the bumps and misunderstandings have been navigated and new perspectives looked into.

Sorry if I have somehow taken this down a path no intended my the person who posted it. Was not my intention at all. I just cannot grasp the question properly without even considering the implications of death and relating this to everything else I can or its just to vague to say "To exist" or "To communicate" without going more in depth as to why my personal ethic leads me down this road of thought. I cannot talk about the ethics behind the purpose of life without discussing the sociological, neurological, biological and practically every other "ogical" aspect of the topic and certainly not without considering "post" and "pre" life. These are part of our moralistic views on life and shape our behaviour.

Maybe the purpose of life is simply to avoid death or deal with death?
"
I won't post again on this thread unless questioned.

Interesting topic. Thank you
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Whut on April 10th, 2012, 6:21 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:If its just in regards to Ethics then we are essentially talking about right and wrong. If we are now just talking about right and wrong then we get nowhere because this is relative to every individual, culture and species and the interactions between them.


That which a mathematical sum will equal is relative to the values used in the sum, but there is still a universal addition process. IMO, it's the same with ethics or morality. And there is plently of places to go with it - plently of constructive and objective conversations to be had; it's not so arbitrary. It's just like math, except we are doing math with ourselves -real moral agents- not just numbers.

You're right: what we think is right or wrong, good or bad, depends a lot on which culture we are raised in -the values of that culture- but there is still a capacity for moral reasoning and a predisposition to moral behaviour that is innate; humans all over the world -in all sorts of cultures- have some kid of moral sensibility and behavior.

BadgerJelly wrote:Emotions are what drive us and drive our sense of right and wrong but are emotions "real"? Is this not important to the question posed in regards to life.


There's a lot more to morality and values than emotions, and while I would grant that emotions do play a large part in the function of morality, what you have implicitly said here -correct me if I'm wrong- is that if I say "x is right" I'm just expressing an emotional attitude that equals "x is good; I have a positive emotion about it"... which isn't the case.

Are emotions real? Well, what does real mean here?

I can't point to an object and say "that's an emotion" -perhaps some correlated or causal related chemical or electrical process will sufice for some, but that's not the feeling of an emotion. That experienced feeling, in of itself, is real in every sense of the word I can imagine. Is consciousness real?

BadgerJelly wrote:Sorry if I have somehow taken this down a path no intended my the person who posted it.


Your thoughts and questions are welcome.

Regarding death, as neuro has addressed in a similar way, imagine if the first mammals that ever existed never died? and thus never had a need to reproduce? There would never be any other types of mammals, they wouldn't be able to "naturally" evolve. What's intresting about this is when we think of humans, because we may be the only creature that actually comprehends death as a process in the natural world; let alone fearing death itself.

A zebra might be scared of a lion, but is she scared of the lion because the lion may bring death? or because she's just wired to be cautious of lions? has grown up to be cautious of lions? I don't think monkeys sit on branches contemplating death itself, but who knows? This is also intresting because we may be the first creature that actually see's it possible to overcome natural death, or atleast bargin with it for longer. And also, if we ever overcame death, we have evolved far enough that ceasing to die wouldn't actually stop our evolutionary progress, in a way we are now able to evolve ourselves... soon moral philosophers will have to ask what it even means to be human!

BadgerJelly wrote:Maybe the purpose of life is simply to avoid death or deal with death?


That's actually a popular answer I find. And I do agree in part, in so far that living life implies avoiding death, but living life implies quite a lot for humans.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 11th, 2012, 12:41 am 

what it even means to be human


Well for me that is precisely the purpose of philosophy, science and religion have been trying to do since the dawn of time without even realising it.

Coming back to morals and emotions I have not made myself very clear here.

For me as a human our sense of right and wrong is based on fear. Fear itself is based on shame and shame comes from the ego and sense of "self". When I asked whether emotions are real I was eluding to the prime emotion we first developed as organisms. What was the step before we became emotional?

If I was to show you that everything you believed to be true was utter nonsense then you just wouldn't expect it very easily because it would question you own sense of reality and cause you shame and fear (ego). Sure humans as a whole have a certain sense of right and wrong but I firmly believe much, if not all, of this is due to environmental and therefore, to a large part, social conditioning.

My problem with getting a grip on this thread is that the question posed is asking "The purpose of life" but I do not see this being addressed. All I see are references to the mechanism of life. Obviously this is a key part of the process of finding the answer but so is the consideration of death and pre life.

Life itself has little regard for morals. We kill to survive. Without death life could not go on. There are situations where people are willing to die for a cause and this is because, rightly or wrongly, they see something that helps progress life as a whole and is more important for the collective if not the individual. Even mass murdering psychopaths can teach us a lot about human nature in regarding the purpose of life. They have little emotion and so by torturing people they are just trying to understand themselves. In a sense they are showing through metaphor the true essence of humanity. To break things down and rebuild them for greater understanding. Again though this is the mechanism.

Also we have to look beyond human life. You bring animals into the question and it does seem that animals have a sense of death (Go check out a slaughter house). When it comes to the question of consciousness be real or not we could also break this down and ask where it has arisen from.

This to me is pretty obvious. It has arisen because of the environmental conditions. Atoms form molecules and molecules eventually form organisms through simple environmental interactions and life arises as these building blocks combine in complexity to further the ability of interaction with the environment and consciousness itself is an evolution/devolution from that point.

So to sum up from my perspective life is almost trying to replicate the complexity of its environment to understand it and therefore the purpose of HUMAN life is to gain greater environmental interaction and reach out as far as we can in every direction. The actual purpose of life is he same as the purpose of the universe just like the molten core of the Earth shapes the surface so life helps shape the universe.

This this begs the question WHY? ... that is what makes life so damn amazing! :D

Maybe life is just a catalyst? Or maybe just a kick of energy that will fade away? Will life as we know it cease or is it meant to push on further and stop the ultimate death of all organic life?

From a human moralistic point of view if this is true then where are the clues? Personally when I discover something new I am filled with a sense of amazement and awe and happiness. As everyone wants to be happy and everyone to some degree feels this sense of awe upon discovery I am saying our purpose is to understand and the best way to understand is to communicate ideas. The problem is somethings are so awesome and can shake the foundations of our beliefs (creationists vs evolution) that we just don't expect them and find it hard to except them. This in itself is the major boon of being human and why conflict exists in its many forms why essentially every thought and every thing exists.

What I am saying does sound like determinism and fate. But we know so little about the universe I woudl propose that there could be another temporal dimension and therefore we could have free will (that is if the thought of not having free will scares you). That is for another thread though ... one which no one has bothered to reply to :(
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Eclogite on April 11th, 2012, 6:50 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:WHY is reproduction?
WHY is universe?
WHY is perception?
WHY is sexual attraction?

The biggest WHY for me is WHY is COMMUNICATION?

I think you are missing the point. There isn't one.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 11th, 2012, 8:26 am 

Eclogite wrote:
BadgerJelly wrote:WHY is reproduction?
WHY is universe?
WHY is perception?
WHY is sexual attraction?

The biggest WHY for me is WHY is COMMUNICATION?

I think you are missing the point. There isn't one.


hahaha!! What you doing on this forum then?
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby sponge on April 11th, 2012, 4:17 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:So to sum up from my perspective life is almost trying to replicate the complexity of its environment to understand it and therefore the purpose of HUMAN life is to gain greater environmental interaction and reach out as far as we can in every direction. The actual purpose of life is he same as the purpose of the universe just like the molten core of the Earth shapes the surface so life helps shape the universe.


Hi badgerJelly,
I’ve noted through your posts you return again and again to the importance of communication in all its forms as the point (reason) for life.

I get your argument about communication and discovery through communication producing happiness. I can think of examples of communications or connections producing negative results but, that aside, can you explain more about the ultimate result that you envisage from communication through time that would make it more important than other happiness-producing activities that require no interaction with other beings – meditation, dreaming, praying, thinking etc.

Is your stance that happiness through understanding is the reason for human life?

Or that the gathering of understanding is the purpose of human life?

If the latter, then isn't that the same as gathering wisdom as advocated by many schools of mystic thought? And does your philosophy have a reason or use for all the wisdom that is created?

Just trying to get a handle on your thinking :)
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 11th, 2012, 5:01 pm 

sponge wrote:Just trying to get a handle on your thinking :)


Me too! :P

I know what I think I just struggle to express it sometimes.

In brief though referring to this :

Is your stance that happiness through understanding is the reason for human life?

Or that the gathering of understanding is the purpose of human life?


Neither really. I see communication as the mechanism that is life. Happiness only comes if you push hard enough and its not guaranteed IMO unless you have resolve and/or direction.

Anyway there are a couple of things you have said I would like to come back to and also something Whut mentioned that I would also like to go back to ... its late though so tomorrow.

that would make it more important than other happiness-producing activities that require no interaction with other beings – meditation, dreaming, praying, thinking etc.


Would it?

Thank you for making me communicate with myself some more ;)
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Eclogite on April 12th, 2012, 7:46 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:
Eclogite wrote:
BadgerJelly wrote:WHY is reproduction?
WHY is universe?
WHY is perception?
WHY is sexual attraction?

The biggest WHY for me is WHY is COMMUNICATION?

I think you are missing the point. There isn't one.


hahaha!! What you doing on this forum then?

Creating one. A point, that is.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2012, 7:57 am 

Well I refuse to stop looking for a point to things and if you don't agree with that point by saying you think there is no point then why bother making any point whatsoever?

If you want to continue this I'm happy to talk about it in Logic forum as I have already been slapped on the back of the wrist several times of going off on a tangent.

PM if you start up a thread please regarding this.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby charon on April 12th, 2012, 8:36 am 

Whut

What is the purpose of human life?


The purpose of a tin opener is to open tins and the purpose of life is to live it.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2012, 10:42 am 

charon wrote:Whut

What is the purpose of human life?


The purpose of a tin opener is to open tins and the purpose of life is to live it.


That begs the question HOW?
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2012, 10:58 am 

Whut - but there is still a capacity for moral reasoning and a predisposition to moral behaviour that is innate; humans all over the world -in all sorts of cultures- have some kid of moral sensibility and behavior.


If you are looking for an ideal right or wrong I think the search is futile in the bigger picture. What exists is correct because it exists. To build on this idea think about a race of humans that believed murder was the best thing ever. We would kill each other off in no time. The innate human attributes we have seem to be empathy and optimism as many studies can show.

As for the right and wrong on a different scale, say the animal kingdom, of creatures many assume to not be self aware but driven by instinct the same characteristics remain for all life.

Nice clip here of nature at work : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

Not saying this clip proves anything just that it is a fascinating thing to see happening and wanted to share this if you have not seen it already.

soon moral philosophers will have to ask what it even means to be human


I was under the assumption that is what all philosophers do anyway and what every human being does by existing, be it consciously or not. Are we not all essentially dealing with the human condition every moment and figuring it out in one way or another?

When it comes to death and life I like to think about the temporal aspect of life and death and ask what the real difference is if each moment can be viewed as a separate entity. Basically could time itself be a kind of "illusion" if you will? This is not a thought that is easy to get a handle on though and brings the idea of fate and free will into the picture and that can scare many people.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2012, 12:08 pm 

@ sponge

My views on communication and happiness are pretty simple.

Who hates to be happy? Find me that person and I'll throw my idea out of the window right now.

So if we are all pursuing happiness then this is a very base human drive if we ALL feel it. The problem is though sustained happiness. We all need to feel unhappy to appreciate being happy its just the mechanism of our nature and no matter how happy we feel we'll more than likely want more.

If being happy the purpose of life? I don't think so its just what we are programmed to aim for. So I ask WHY are we programmed this way? In what way does this relate to the evolution of humans?

I get your argument about communication and discovery through communication producing happiness. I can think of examples of communications or connections producing negative results (as mentioned above the one gives rise to the other - What is curious is we always strive for more happiness no matter how much we get and sadistic tendencies also go full circle and give us pleasure) but, that aside, can you explain more about the ultimate result that you envisage from communication through time that would make it more important than other happiness-producing activities that require no interaction with other beings – meditation, dreaming, praying, thinking etc.


As mentioned briefly communication is not just a human to human thing. I'm sure there are philosophical terms what what I am going to say so maybe I am going to repeat the words of another now in my own way.

Anyway your next bit :

Is your stance that happiness through understanding is the reason for human life? NO

Or that the gathering of understanding is the purpose of human life? NO

If the latter, then isn't that the same as gathering wisdom as advocated by many schools of mystic thought? And does your philosophy have a reason or use for all the wisdom that is created?


The concepts of Wisdom, Knowledge, Intelligence etc ... I believe are an evolution of the basic principle of communication. Now I have spent some time thinking about how to explain this and the only way is to think of humans as physical entities not spiritual, so my thought process although appearing "mystical" is more grounded in physical observation but I do use what I suppose would be considered by some more rigid beliefs or doctrines of science to be illogical by suspending disbelief.

Anyway to the point! This may take some time ...

When you see someone in the street they are communicating with you whether they see you or not, and you are communicating with yourself. How? Simply by the colours they wear and the choice of clothes, fashion statements in layman's terms. What someones appearance is tells you something about them but it may also be misleading. Whether what they wear or not is a good representation of WHO they are is not important. The photons go into you eye and the data received is converted and stored as your brain sees fit. If they wear a police uniform your brain will respond to what it knows about this, or if it is a woman with a designer label. These are just garments though but are the first step towards seeing where I am going with this. Some people may be really expressive in their sense of fashion and make their own clothes or have things especially designed to suit their personality. Some people consciously do this for nothing more than attention and some do it because it is just natural for them, and I'm sure it is not completely one or the other because of humanities various social unwritten rules of conforming to the "norm". Those people who are considered truly eccentric are not looking for attention consciously they are just expressing their subconscious. Why do they like green or pink? Frills or bows? I'm sure there could be some mnemonic influence on their choices. If someone they like wears green they will start to wear green too because it reminds them of something happy and they subconsciously want to express joy to the world by mimicking another they hold dear.

As we all have different experiences in life and have seen, smell, touched, tasted, heard and therefore thought in many different things our brains have been wired up differently before we even consider the genetic traits that further define the path we have taken. Our environment shapes our thoughts this is undeniable (by environment I mean every sensual piece of data we receive in case there is any confusion here).

Anyway i fear I may go on too long here so I will stop because there is too much to say and I don't want to make a hash of it!

Hopefully this give you a better idea of the line of my thoughts. One thing to consider is that communication is interaction with the environment and we interact with the environment by existing. Follow this line of thought not just for humans but for everything including neurons and dust and atoms and you can see that interaction and communication are no conscious choices. We can, it appears, choose to interact less of more but we cannot stop the flow by sheer force of will so we may as well pursue to have greater interaction/communication with our environment to further our interaction/communication because it will happen anyway to some degree.

So basically the purpose of life and the universe is to interact/communicate for a greater ability to interact/communicate. To what end we will only know and enjoy by asking why and gaining information to work with to open up new avenues of interaction/communication with self/other/object/concept/everything.

This line of thinking has led me to question every bit of my reality and every concept of my existence and concept of self to the point my ego nearly gave up and at that point I felt very,very happy and still do. Although the questioning to get to this point has been frustrating and things will always frustrate me I have found happiness in pursuing knowledge and a need to express myself without regard for self. Basically I think I have become a selfless narcissist if that makes sense? Although the ability to turn it off is not so easy I am learning how to calm this feeling of complete and total belief and complete total disbelief.

It may sound nuts but its me and I'm neither proud of it or ashamed of it. Its just the way it is and surrendering to myself to be myself has given me what I believe to be a greater understanding of everything else and made me VERY happy just because I have been quite a bloody minded individual most of my life and refused to give up on questions told me were pointless to ask.

I am trying hard to get this down in some kind of philosophical paper or maybe a novel to express this better without the me me me aspect not just because I want to but because I think its worth something and I think I am worth something ... I'm happy to admit I may be wrong though and that would only lead to me having more questions to be intrigued by :D I just REALLY enjoy learning stuff and discovering how some of my ideas make sense and some do not. The best thing is finding that some of my most resolute ideas in the past could be completely wrong. THAT is fascinating more than anything.

Anyway that is my personal waffle out of the way unless you want to ask about or question any of this more? Anything helps but I don't want to be greedy and hog this entire forum too much by writing hundreds of words left , right and centre.

FIN
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby charon on April 12th, 2012, 2:26 pm 

BadgerJelly

'The purpose of a tin opener is to open tins and the purpose of life is to live it'

That begs the question HOW?


Oh, dear god...

How? How to live? All right, I'll give you a method which you must follow assiduously every day.

Is that living?
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2012, 3:04 pm 

charon wrote:BadgerJelly

'The purpose of a tin opener is to open tins and the purpose of life is to live it'

That begs the question HOW?


Oh, dear god...

How? How to live? All right, I'll give you a method which you must follow assiduously every day.

Is that living?


I'm not asking for instructions just your view. If every human being answered this question would you not be curious as to the consensus?

If you have a problem with what I am saying then please explain what it is rather than just metaphorically rolling your eyes at me like I'm some kind of nuisance to your very existence. OR maybe try and understand why I am asking and why I am expressing what I am expressing? OR whatever you want. I just don't see what you are getting out of this though other than a bit impatient.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Whut on April 12th, 2012, 3:17 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:I'm not asking for instructions just your view. If every human being answered this question would you not be curious as to the consensus?


Havn't got time right now to answer your other post, but in regards to this comment, I guess all one has to do is study popular belief systems and then pick out the core ideas that are found throughout all of them, and you'll have your consensus - in theory atleast.

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

84% of the people in the world believe in a religon.

33% are christians
21% are Muslims
16% are nonreligous
14% are Hindus
6% are the many traditonal african religons
6% Chinese traditional religons
6% are Buddists
0.36% are sikism belivers
and the rest is other

Not sure how legit these figures are, but it's a lot of people regardless.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2012, 3:30 pm 

Not exactly what I meant Whut but interesting stats.

How to live? Pretty simple. Pursue happiness.

Then you have to ask how to pursue happiness?

And for me it seems like understanding and communication seem to be key. Actually implementing this is not so easy though.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby Whut on April 12th, 2012, 4:01 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:Pursue happiness.

Then you have to ask how to pursue happiness?


Personally, I disagree. Rather than to pursue happiness in life, I'm happy to pursue life.

If we convince ourselves that our own happiness depends upon a goal or outcome, then we surely make it so. This is troublesome however, as once we reach any of these goals or outcomes, we will set up updated, higher goals; leaving hope of a "desired happiness" one step further away. Instead, one is able to -and many do- find happiness in pursuit of a goal itself. In this sense, I regard happiness as way of living -a positive mindframe- rather than regarding it as the destination in itself. Works for me, atleast.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2012, 4:25 pm 

Whut wrote:
BadgerJelly wrote:Pursue happiness.

Then you have to ask how to pursue happiness?


Personally, I disagree. Rather than to pursue happiness in life, I'm happy to pursue life.

If we convince ourselves that our own happiness depends upon a goal or outcome, then we surely make it so. This is troublesome however, as once we reach any of these goals or outcomes, we will set up updated, higher goals; leaving hope of a "desired happiness" one step further away. Instead, one is able to -and many do- find happiness in pursuit of a goal itself. In this sense, I regard happiness as way of living -a positive mindframe- rather than regarding it as the destination in itself. Works for me, atleast.


VERY good point and I agree. I am very happy now not because I have found an answer but because I am pursuing one ... well many!

From another :
The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.


It could be said we as humans are quite self destructive. When we reach our personal "goals" or get close to them we almost fear realising the dream may not live up to the expectation.

Maybe happiness lies in the curiosity of life itself? I do like your version though and maybe my personal "pursuit of life" just happens to be the unobtainable goal of understanding everything and being in awe every step of the way.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby charon on April 12th, 2012, 8:04 pm 

charon wrote:BadgerJelly

'The purpose of a tin opener is to open tins and the purpose of life is to live it'

That begs the question HOW?


Oh, dear god...

How? How to live? All right, I'll give you a method which you must follow assiduously every day.

Is that living?


You haven't answered my question. Is following somebody's method living?

I'm sorry if I sounded impatient but, frankly, asking how to live is the height of foolishness. There a hundred things involved in it and I could write a huge post down the page. I doubt if you'd read it!

All right, I'll go ahead. I have the time! From this point on you don't have to reply if you don't want to so I won't expect it.

First, isn't it a tragedy that we have to ask how to live?

Second, the very asking implies all kinds of things. It implies that we're lost and we want to be led. If you create such an authority how do you know they're right? If you accept them as your guru or leader then you become a subordinate. They become more important than you are, which is absurd.

It also implies choice and confusion. That further implies that anyone who offers themselves in that role is also confused, so it's like the blind leading the blind and both fall into the ditch.

Can anyone tell us in any case? And, if they do, can we ever do it? Let's say someone said 'love everything with all your heart'. How are you supposed to do that if you're not in that state already? Just turn it on? It's impossible.

My point is that a wrong or misguided question will produce the wrong answer, won't it? In my view the 'how' question is totally wrong because of its implications.

I can answer your question - not the how question - but you won't like it. No one ever does!

Are we living now? Aren't we very confused, miserable, lots of problems, suffering, and so on ? Is that mess living? Or is living something free, eternal, without end, joyful?

And can we just 'do it'? Is it the result of following some system or other? Don't listen for one second to those who say it is, or more cleverly, it is eventually. They're very dangerous people.

You can't just shift from this life into some other one, it can't be done. What one has to do is profoundly understand this one and in understanding it be free of those things which prevent living.

You understand? Now we're not living, we're miserable. Being miserable is what we call living but it's not and we can't have both. So we have to tackle the misery not seek happiness or ask someone the right way to live. If we do we become slaves to their system and that's not living.

If you see that being a slave to a system isn't living then there's no system, right? All systems are finished, gone out the window. But we reject that because it means we're totally lost, alone, nothing to follow or rely on. That means an extraordinary loneliness and we're scared to death of that.

But that's what has to be faced. One has to face that first. Either that or we stay in the world of gurus, priests, leaders, and all that. So no Jesus's, Buddhas, or anything else. Then you begin to find things out...

The trouble is no one ever wants to do that. We're frightened, we want to be dependent, we want something to lean on and follow, therefore we never live.

What I'm saying isn't a system. If you reject all those false things because someone has said so then you're back again at the beginning. You reject them not because you're following but because you see they're false for yourself. Then you'll never go near them.

In facing that extraordinary loneliness then you go beyond it, then you're alone and then you're living. But as long as there's any kind of fear and dependency you're lost and have to ask for help - but all help is the wrong help.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2012, 9:52 pm 

Somewhere we have got our wires crossed.

How? How to live? All right, I'll give you a method which you must follow assiduously every day.

Is that living?


You twisted what I said. The methods we live by are from a single person and that person is ourselves.

Yes it is living. It is what happens in the lives of everyone. We are born and influenced by what we tell ourselves through the actions/thoughts of others. Obviously this is a grey area as the actions and thoughts of others are influential on us but if we are allowed to think and do what we want to do rather than being told repeatedly or given unwanted advice then its better. This is in a broad human sense and will obviously vary from individual to individual as we all have differences.

We live by base instincts in combination with the influence of our environment on our genetic make up.

First, isn't it a tragedy that we have to ask how to live?


Considering we are practically told how to live in independent and confined conditions from a very young age how to live I see no harm in questioning it?
Considering humans have an innate tribal mentality I see good reason for people to ask why they have this behaviour rather than just being dragged along by social conditioning like sheep.

I can answer your question - not the how question - but you won't like it. No one ever does!


You can but you won't? Your choice ...

Aren't we very confused, miserable, lots of problems, suffering, and so on ? Is that mess living? Or is living something free, eternal, without end, joyful?


No to all of the above for me except to some degree I am free and joyful. We are empathetic and optimistic creatures though so always have the hope of happiness and the instinct to empathise.

If you create such an authority how do you know they're right?


This authority exists already through social conditioning.

My point is that a wrong or misguided question will produce the wrong answer, won't it?


Only if we cannot think for ourselves freely and without too strong an imposition against our force of will.

It also implies choice and confusion.


Yes it does. The individuals ideology is the choice and the confusion is the masses.

Sorry to say I struggle with some of the rest ...

The trouble is no one ever wants to do that.
Do what? Think?

What I'm saying isn't a system. If you reject all those false things because A) someone has said so then you're back again at the beginning. B) You reject them not because you're following but because you see they're false for yourself. Then you'll never go near them.


A) There is the fault.
B) Makes PERFECT sense except for never going near them again.

In facing that extraordinary loneliness then you go beyond it, then you're alone and then you're living. But as long as there's any kind of fear and dependency you're lost and have to ask for help - but all help is the wrong help.


This bit makes some kind of sense but is a bit black and white for me and it depends on how you regard "loneliness"? Is loneliness ignoring yourself and the environment or just the environment? The former is ignorance of life itself from my perspective.

Anyway this is interesting and I think I kind of see some of what you are trying to say and how you have taken a meaning in my words that was not intended.
Are we getting somewhere or are you thinking I am asking how we should TELL people to live when in fact I am for the exact opposite.
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Re: The purpose of life

Postby sponge on April 13th, 2012, 4:54 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:Anyway that is my personal waffle out of the way unless you want to ask about or question any of this more?


Thanks for answering my queries so fully and honestly.

No questions, but I think your idea of writing a novel is a good one and probably the best way for communicating your ideas.

Good luck – and stay happy.
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