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Switch to Forum Live View New thought, everyone has a purpose....
3 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2011 - 6:36PM #21
Namchuck
Posts: 11,628

On the subject of the meaning of life, though, the answer is: the meaning of your life is the meaning you give it; it consists in what you create through identification and pursuit of endeavors that your talents fit you for and your interests draw you to, together with the relationships you form in the process.


There is not one thing, a one-size-fits-all thing, that is the 'meaning of life'. People are various, life is various, circumstances differ; and there are many ways that life can be good, flourishing and meaningful, just as there are many causes of misery and failure, despair and tragedy.


Those who think there is a single thing that is everyone's meaning of life - they are usually the purveyors of some ideology or religion that claims to know what this one-size-fits-all thing is - naturally wish to force everyone into the same mould, no matter what their individual starting shape might be.


Of course many people like others to do their thinking for them, and accordingly want others to tell them what is valuable and how they should live.


The proper question, in sum, is not 'what is the meaning of life?, but what is the meaning that, out of my relationships, my goals, my efforts, my talents, my various doings and interests, my hopes and my desires, I am creating for my life? Trying to answer it is itself part of life's meaning.

Moderated by Beliefnet_community on Aug 16, 2011 - 10:37AM
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2011 - 8:05PM #22
Namchuck
Posts: 11,628

All those who would wish to discuss the 'meaning and purpose of life' thoughtfully would likely agree that, outside of the biological imperatives, there is no one-size-fits-all meaning to life. As I previously stated, those that think there is a single meaning to life naturally wish to force everyone into the same mould, no matter what their individual starting shape might be. 


There are as many meanings and purposes to life as there are people to generate them.


The meaning to one's life will be the meaning one gives it, which will consist in what you create through the identification and pursuit of endeavors that your talents fit you for and your interests draw you to, together with the relationships you form in the process.


It is a very creative thing.


I think it is also worth repeating that the proper question is not 'what is the meaning of life?', but 'what is the meaning that, out of my relationships, my goals, my efforts, my talents, my various doings and interests, my hopes and my desires, I am or should be creating for my life?'


Trying to answer it is itself part of life's meaning.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2011 - 12:47PM #23
JoliverJOLLY
Posts: 440

In other words people can think for themselves and will, and do not need as you do evidences, to think about and consider the purpose for which god may have made them.

Moderated by Beliefnet_community on Aug 16, 2011 - 10:13AM
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 19, 2011 - 4:07AM #24
Namchuck
Posts: 11,628

Aug 15, 2011 -- 12:47PM, JoliverJOLLY wrote:


In other words people can think for themselves and will, and do not need as you do evidences, to think about and consider the purpose for which god may have made them.




You missed the point there pretty thoroughly.


Without evidence there is little or nothing of substance to think about. One may as well ratiocinate about a bladeless knife with no handle. Reason can only function on the basis of sensory evidence and rational proof.


Thinking about "the" (one-size-fits-all) purpose that some supposed God "made" for them requires the assumption of God, yet why, given the utter paucity of evidence, should one make such a baroque assumption?

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2011 - 10:41PM #25
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,686

You don't need evidence to have a purpose in life. You just need desire to have a purpose in life. Our vocations come about due to desire. When you study people you see that all people are acting on the principle of sense gratification. No one acts blindly, we do what we do because it either fulfills a need, duty, curiosity,or an ambition.


It's cause and effect, one thing leads to another, therefore action is born from purpose.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2011 - 10:46PM #26
Namchuck
Posts: 11,628

Aug 20, 2011 -- 10:41PM, williejhonlo wrote:


You don't need evidence to have a purpose in life. You just need desire to have a purpose in life. Our vocations come about due to desire. When you study people you see that all people are acting on the principle of sense gratification. No one acts blindly, we do what we do because it either fulfills a need, duty, curiosity,or an ambition.


It's cause and effect, one thing leads to another, therefore action is born from purpose.


 




I don't think anybody said that one needs evidence to have a purpose in life. Purpose, obviously, sustains itself and give its own meaning.


To claim, though, that there is a one-size-fits-all meaning and purpose to life certainly requires evidential justification as there's nothing that even suggests that such a thing is true. 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2011 - 12:03AM #27
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,686

To me, what i see is that people want to increase their happiness and diminish their distress.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2011 - 3:57AM #28
Namchuck
Posts: 11,628

Aug 25, 2011 -- 12:03AM, williejhonlo wrote:


To me, what i see is that people want to increase their happiness and diminish their distress.




Yes, you're right, but such an end is largely only unconsciously pursued.


Most who have made such a thing their purpose have soon come to the realization that it is a fruitless path. 


Solon of Athens, the man to whom the Greeks themselves always gave first place among their wisest, summed up his own experience in unambiguous elegiacs:


'Like gaping fools we amuse ourselves with empty dreams. Do not doubt it that insecurity follows all the works of men, and no one knows when he begins an enterprise how it will turn out. One man, trying his best to do the right thing, steps right into ruin and disaster because he cannot see what is ahead, while another behaves like a rascal and not only escapes the penalty of his own folly, but finds himself blessed with all kinds of success.'


The greatest of their lyric poets told the Greeks in one of his greatest odes:


'The hopes of men are often exalted in one moment only to be dashed down in the next as they roll helplessly in a sea of false expectations and miscalculations. For no mortal ever got an absolute guarantee from the gods that his affairs would turn out as he thinks they should. There is always some unknown quality that vitiates any attempt to predict the future'. - Euripides

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 12:33AM #29
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,686

 True, most peoples quest for happiness meets only with frustration, yet, the search for happiness remains something primal. It's the search for happiness that produces the frustration and depression we experience in life when we don't achieve our desired goal. This quest for happiness is the impetus behind so many of our sacrifices. We even perform sacrifices for the betterment of others so they may achieve happiness.   To me, in my opinion, it's the suffering we experience in this world that gives us the purpose to improve our environment.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 2:49AM #30
Namchuck
Posts: 11,628

Aug 26, 2011 -- 12:33AM, williejhonlo wrote:


 True, most peoples quest for happiness meets only with frustration, yet, the search for happiness remains something primal. It's the search for happiness that produces the frustration and depression we experience in life when we don't achieve our desired goal. This quest for happiness is the impetus behind so many of our sacrifices. We even perform sacrifices for the betterment of others so they may achieve happiness.   To me, in my opinion, it's the suffering we experience in this world that gives us the purpose to improve our environment.




"To me, in my opinion, it's the suffering we experience in this world that gives us the purpose to improve our environment."


I'd agree with that entirely, williejhonlo, although that is only one of the many 'purposes' that one might adopt to pursue.



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