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What's the purpose of life?

  1. Aug 25, 2005 #1

    Lisa!

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    I enjoy my life most of time since I try not to worry about the future and just do something to make a better future. I try not to think about things that I can never change and I just try to change my view about this problem. Whenever life is to difficult to stand, I calm myself by saying "Thanks to God almighty, we're free at last!".
    But sometimes I ask myself "What will happen at the end?" and then I think the whole world and life is silly or confusing. Some people say there is another world and things like that. It sounds like a game to me "Why has God created us?" :confused: ! On the other hand, some peole say there's no life and world after our death. It makes the situation even more confusing.

    Now I want to ask you what's the purpose of life?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2005 #2

    Galileo

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    You know, I just figured that out when I was on the toilet. But I forgot it already.

    ..sorry :uhh:
     
  4. Aug 25, 2005 #3

    Lisa!

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    :rofl: Sounds like you're too busy to think about it in another time!
     
  5. Aug 25, 2005 #4

    Tide

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    To make the problem tractable, assume a spherical life ... ;)

    Seriously, why rely on someone else to define the purpose of YOUR life and why not define your own purpose?
     
  6. Aug 25, 2005 #5

    Lisa!

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    I'm not going to rely on someone's else definition. I just want to know if others have any idea about that. :wink:
     
  7. Aug 25, 2005 #6

    Tide

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    So would that be life in general, your life, my life? Can we narrow it down a bit? :)
     
  8. Aug 25, 2005 #7

    saltydog

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    Lisa, there is no purpose of life. Now that may seem a grim perspective to some. I don't think so. Why should it? Why do humans need purpose? Why do we need life after death? Tough to let go isn't it? That is is our heritage, our adaptation to a harsh, unforgiving, cruel Darwinian world. I suspect it's such a heritage of "survival" that leads us to seek purpose. It's a survival strategy of a limited intellect. However, with time I believe a person can obtain the wisdom to transcend this limitation and live a very happy and productive life knowing fully well that there is nothing after death and no grand purpose to life at all.


    :smile:
     
  9. Aug 25, 2005 #8

    arildno

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    Life. The great mystery. The all-embracer.
    Or was that death? :confused:
     
  10. Aug 25, 2005 #9
    To eat, to reproduce, and to be eaten. Or did you mean what is the purpose of human life? In that case add: to avoid being bored.
     
  11. Aug 25, 2005 #10

    Mk

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    You can easily avoid those to questions by become atheist. That should reduce your stress level.
     
  12. Aug 25, 2005 #11

    Astronuc

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    Part of the journey of life is figuring out the purpose of life - or rather finding the purpose. Meanwhile, enjoy the journey.

    "Don't worry, be happy" - Bobby McFerrin. :biggrin:
     
  13. Aug 25, 2005 #12
    Satisfaction of the faculties, discovery, happiness: distraction.

    :0 also avoid an answer to the previous questions.
     
  14. Aug 25, 2005 #13
    I thought it might be:

    "Find out your good points and try to enhance them. Find out your bad points and try to reduce them. Be honest with yourself".

    It's something that'll last you a life time and if there's no meaning to life at least you'll become a better person (hopefully).
     
  15. Aug 25, 2005 #14

    Lisa!

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    Being an atheist? I figured out to be an atheist. I thought alot about it but being an atheist doen't really help. It just causes more questions in my mind.
    Some of you say be happy ad enjoy your life. Ok I'm doing that, but why I came to this world "To make myself happy?". so base on it I should end my life whenever I'd think I couldn't be happy anymore!

    I think life is as mysterious as death. :wink:



    Well you can. But you know I think there's a purpose for life in general.
     
  16. Aug 25, 2005 #15
    The purpose of life is to cook for you, clean for you, and satisfy your every desire for the rest of your wife. It would also help if she could point out any unfortunate spoonerisms you make at inappropriate moments.

    On a more serious note, I think the question, and so the answer, can be split into:
    - the purpose of a life;
    - the purpose of life in general;
    - personal purpose,
    the difference between the first and last being that the purpose of a life holds for all life forms, while personal purpose is unique to each.

    For the purpose of a life, we can look to what defines it. A living thing metabolises, grows and reproduces. All else is accidental, so you might say the purpose of a life is to metabolise, grow and reproduce.

    All that is rather specific to one life. The metabolism of some life form long since dead is hardly relevant to you or me today. Reproduction is relevant, for were it not for my dear mother's ill-thought-out night of sexual abandon, I would not exist and would not have a life to have a purpose. The impact on my life of the reproduction of my ancestors is the realm of genetics and evolution. I'd say the purpose from this viewpoint is one of natural selection: to preserve the bloodline and refine the fitness of generations to come by advantageous sexual selection. I am proud to be a blight on the purpose of life in general, then. \o/

    And finally personal purpose. This is not something intrinsic like the previous examples, for the purpose itself is unique, must be determined and may be transient. This is the realm of existentialism. The purpose of life is the great existential problem we must all face. Some people opt out of the problem by embracing some pre-packaged solution, such as religion, capitalisim or heroin addiction, while others permanently defer the problem, say by spending their lives drinking lager in front of the television. Others find something to dedicate their lives to and maybe achieve great things in one or more field, maybe achieve nothing despite trying. I'm not sure it really matters what approach you take, if any. There is no wrong or right path to existential relief, but I think most people would agree that dedicating your life to helping homeless kids is probably more rewarding than dedicating it to relieving yourself of junk sickness. And people will think you're a lot cooler, so you'll probably get a better range of prospective mates to refine your progeny's fitness for survival. The best way, of course, to find a quest you will be happy to dedicate your life to is to broaden the scope of your experience. Some people do this with travel, others work, others means of expression, others sex, others drugs... Plenty of areas to experiment in.

    So I'd go for:
    1. follow a healthy, balanced diet;
    2. follow a good exercise regime;
    3. choose your sexual partner(s) well;
    4. shag often;
    5. experience as much as you can, preferably without debasing yourself;
    6. find something you like and hold onto it with both hands;
    7. when you're done growing, child-rearing and achieving, do all the things you didn't let yourself do earlier in life just in case.

    It's not a bad philosophy. Look after yourself, broaden your experiences, embrace free love but be discriminating, try to achieve something in your life, then screw it all and become a reclusive crack addict!
     
  17. Aug 25, 2005 #16

    LURCH

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    I think the answer to that depends on what you mean by "life".
     
  18. Aug 25, 2005 #17
    I agree basically. I think religion is good for comforting people and giving them an unquestionable reason. I personally can't believe in it so I ignore questions like... well, like the one I'm about to not ignore.
    I think you should end your life if you're not happy anymore and the people around you wouldn't be hurt. And also if your unhappiness isn't temporary. It's hard to judge how temporary things are, of course, but it can be done :).

    So I modify my previous statements. I think the purpose of one's life is to make EVERYONE happy. It just so happens that you have more power over your own life than those of others so often it's most effective that people concentrate on making themselves happy. But you should never forget the others!
     
  19. Aug 25, 2005 #18

    saltydog

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    You came to this world by chance caught on the wing: out to get the newspaper one ordinary day, a stroll to the corner store, a chance encounter, love, a relationship, a family . . . Lisa. There you go, all cus' of a newspaper. There's nothing wrong with that either. And you can't be certain you won't be happy anymore so that last part is inappropriate.
     
  20. Aug 25, 2005 #19
    There is no purpose....

    Reality does not need a purpose
     
  21. Aug 25, 2005 #20

    vanesch

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    According to Epicurus, the purpose of life is pleasure.

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/e/epicur.htm

    (look at part 5 Ethics).
     
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