I have a question about purpose.

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by jonathanlivingstonseagull, Aug 9, 2007.

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  1. Forgive me, this post will be boring.

    In The words of Hilary Putnam: “If someone approaches us with a gleam in his eyes and says, "Don't you want to know the 'Truth'?", our reaction is generally to be pretty leery of this person. And the reason that we are leery (apart from the gleam in the eye) is precisely because someone's telling us that they want us to know the truth tells us really nothing as long as we have no idea what standards of rational acceptability the person adheres to: what they consider a rational way to pursue an inquiry, what their standards of objectivity are, when they consider it rational to terminate an inquiry, what grounds they will regard as providing good reason for accepting one verdict or another on whatever sort of question they may be interested in."

    So, with that in mind, I want to know what anyone thinks about purpose. I would say questions like, "Is there a point to life"; "Is there anything worth living for?" are used without a deeper consideration to what a human is comparative to his surroundings.

    I mean to say: What purpose does a cat have? or moss? or crackers? I suppose the crackers for eating, the moss for producing oxygen, and the cat to limit mouse populations. And for you and me? Probably a food source for a big cat or scavengers. No? Then I wonder what has removed us from such a limited idea as ecosystems. First and foremost I think imagination, which first started our reach for the stars, so to speak.

    So we escaped the grasslands, we are self aware, we found our humanity, but how have we led ourselves to lose our kinship to a rose. All the beautiful poetry in the world won't remove a rose from itself; it grows, flowers, pollinates, maybe supplies a bit of pollen to a hive of bees, wilts and dies, and something comes along to steals its carbon.

    We are deeply kin to every living organism on this earth in that we die. And what an idea! Being so similar to everyone might make me feel small but death is the great equalizer, as they say, I can't help but be a bit giddy about the idea that for all their achievements, worries, downfalls, love everyone will met me in the end as an equal. I feel I can meet my death climbing about all those fretful souls with a swagger I probably couldn't muster in life. After birth the next plausible step is death.

    Knowing this, I don't want a purpose. I don't believe life needs a point. I'll just bumble about life doing whatever the socks it is I do, happy things I hope, but if not, well... hardships seem so much more interesting when they don't scare me.

    Please criticize the hell out of me. What doesn't seem logical, because I can't see myself, I'm the same person. And any thoughts about purpose?
     
  2. silent_enigma

    silent_enigma Well-Known Member

    I guess one's purpose in life is what one choses to make it be. It doesn't seem to have an inherent purpose, other than for the sake of being alive and reproducing. I've got a multitude of little purposes. It'd be a different combination for each person.

    lol. What for? Did you fart? I found your post interesting, actually.
     
  3. Darken

    Darken Well-Known Member

    as far as i know there is no point. no purpose. it just exist. your born you you live you die and its over. sucks yeah. I dont understand why life with would exist out a purpose. did life create itself? how is it even possible? why is there some thing rather than nothing? maybe there is a greater power in the universe.
     
  4. smackh2o

    smackh2o SF Supporter

    Life is not living if you can't feel alive and in my opinion the only thing that can make you feel alive is purpose. It's our vice and our virtue.
     
  5. ShalenaM

    ShalenaM Well-Known Member

    I think my purpose in life here is to do what God called me to do, serve him and other people..but I'm a really bad person..Lord forgive me!!!..:sad:
     
  6. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Forgive me, this post will be boring.

    I'm boring, so this should be right up alley. :smile:

    In The words of Hilary Putnam:

    I won't regurgitate the whole quote, but I don't think this is correct, or at any rate is not completely correct. When such people approach you, they waste your time, want your money, don't make a whole heck of a lot of sense, so using past experience as a a guide you quicken your step, look everywhere but where they are and try to move past them as fast as you can. Also, most people going about their day to day business simply do not have time to address such issues, they're too busy simply surviving. And discussing such issues with strangers on the street does not help you on the job, does not help you at home or help you at all in any direct material sense. I think that's more the case than anything else.

    So, with that in mind, I want to know what anyone thinks about purpose. I would say questions like, "Is there a point to life"; "Is there anything worth living for?" are used without a deeper consideration to what a human is comparative to his surroundings.

    Possibly, but you're not defining your terms well enough for me to understand your point. What "deeper consideration" should we be mindful of?

    My personal answers to the two questions above are "No, other than what you make for yourself" and "No, other than the point you find for yourself," but you seem to be implying some sort of objective standard by which we can measure such things. Yet do not define what the standard is. So your thesis veers into the unknowable.

    I mean to say: What purpose does a cat have? or moss? or crackers? I suppose the crackers for eating, the moss for producing oxygen, and the cat to limit mouse populations. And for you and me? Probably a food source for a big cat or scavengers. No?

    Well, for starters, crackers don't have a purpose, they're made for a purpose. So I don't know why you included them.

    Cats and moss apparently exist in and of themelves to propagate their species, as neither has much in the way of self-awareness. Cats probably have some sort of rudimentary sense of self-awareness, but I think we can ignore that for purposes of this discussion. For a cat and for the moss their place in any particular ecosystem is of no concern at all. If conditions permit, moss and cats will multiply like crazy and be apparently quite satisfied at doing so.

    Then I wonder what has removed us from such a limited idea as ecosystems. First and foremost I think imagination, which first started our reach for the stars, so to speak.

    If we've been removed, we've removed ourselves as a species, perhaps the first time somebody settled down and started raising grain. Not sure what you mean by the above beyond that.

    So we escaped the grasslands, we are self aware, we found our humanity, but how have we led ourselves to lose our kinship to a rose. All the beautiful poetry in the world won't remove a rose from itself; it grows, flowers, pollinates, maybe supplies a bit of pollen to a hive of bees, wilts and dies, and something comes along to steals its carbon.

    And I suppose our "kinship" from duck-billed platypi, dung beetles, flesh-eating bacteria and fans of professional wrestling. Though what precisely was this "kinship?" I think you need a more rigorous definition of your terms.

    We are deeply kin to every living organism on this earth in that we die. And what an idea! Being so similar to everyone might make me feel small but death is the great equalizer, as they say, I can't help but be a bit giddy about the idea that for all their achievements, worries, downfalls, love everyone will met me in the end as an equal. I feel I can meet my death climbing about all those fretful souls with a swagger I probably couldn't muster in life. After birth the next plausible step is death.

    And none of the above balances your checkbook, buys your groceries or, hell, really does much of anything for you or anyone else. Its harmless metaphysical speculation, so I guess if you wish to do it as a hobby, go to it. But you'll probably not garner much interest from others.

    Knowing this, I don't want a purpose. I don't believe life needs a point. I'll just bumble about life doing whatever the socks it is I do, happy things I hope, but if not, well... hardships seem so much more interesting when they don't scare me.

    Generally when people speak of a "deep consideration" in these topics they've got a purpose in mind. I guess if you're saying the universe or Creation is a random thing with no point in and of itself, your reasoning makes perfect sense. Is that where you're going with this?

    Please criticize the hell out of me.

    My only criticism is your use of language, not with anything I think you're positing. Your positions are hard to fathom as you've presented them, so you should work on using more concrete language.

    One thing that popped into my mind during the first part of your post: It almost seems like you want to believe in the Gaia hypothesis, but then abruptly veer away from any such conclusion at the end.

    What doesn't seem logical, because I can't see myself, I'm the same person.

    I think you've made a more coherent exposition than a lot of folks could or would ever be bothered to do, personally. Please take my criticisms as being made at the margins of your position, and not at anything I take as central to your beliefs. Of course, it is very possible I've misinterpreted you, as I've already noted.

    And any thoughts about purpose?

    Not at this time. I may make my own post on this at some point, but I think what I said above at the very start of this post will have to do for now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2007
  7. Crackers! I'll be honest, gmork, I didn't expect anyone here to do what you did. Looking at your writing I'm reminded how limited my ability is to convey my thoughts and am very thankful for the critique. I love being picked apart and Christ! you do it like a pro. Professor maybe?
     
  8. Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Well-Known Member

    I think it depends upon whether or not you believe in a higher power.

    If you believe in God, the purpose of life is pretty much whatever he says it is.

    If not, the purpose is whatever YOU say it is.

    Then again, maybe our only purpose is to live and die so that the aliens can use our remains as fossil fuels in order to fuel their spaceships and further their Imperialist agenda of total intergalactic domination. Fuckers.
     
  9. HomerSimpson

    HomerSimpson Well-Known Member

    You know I think the worst thing is this world is to not ever find your purpose in life. What you are meant for, what you want to live for. I am 33yo and I am still searching for mine, and I belive thats why I am so depressed. A person that lives life without a purpose just isnt living.
     
  10. Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Well-Known Member

    But on the other hand, finding the purpose in life is akin to finding the meaning of life. Once you have done that, what else is there? Try to appreciate the journey...the journey is the whole thing! Learn to be fully present in every moment of your life, with no thought of the past or the future. Take pride in everything you are doing at the time, be it achieving your lifetime goal or cleaning the bathroom floor. Do this, and you will be fulfilled.
     
  11. HomerSimpson

    HomerSimpson Well-Known Member

    You make offer great advice and make a good point, and I wish I could allow myself to see it that way, but with me I see people I know and it seems they have found there reason for being here they seemingly have great lives. I am literally depressed and stressed every second of my life over this. I feel at 33 I am running out of time, and never will find a reason for me to live.
     
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