What is the purpose of life?

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What is the purpose of life?

Postby Captain Obvious » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:58 am

I would love to hear some perspective of others who may not agree with me.

Now, this is more of a personal post. I'll gather my thoughts later, may even ask a few pointed questions, but be candid in what you think the purpose of life is.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Calandria » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:40 pm

To survive
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Viper » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:51 pm

There is no ultimate purpose other than the purpose you make for yourself.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Captain Obvious » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:07 am

Cala, isn't that a futile purpose since we will all eventually die?

Viper, is that really a purpose?

pur┬Ěpose [pur-puhs]
noun

the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Sarc » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:34 am

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women......
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Calandria » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:19 am

Captain Obvious wrote:Cala, isn't that a futile purpose since we will all eventually die?


Yes, but we can try to survive longer. And I meant survival not just of the individual, but of the entire race.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby LVAD » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:45 am

Oh what a beautiful and pointed question. Being the resident religious wacko, I will give what may be a bit of a contentious answer...

I believe the purpose of life is to glorify Yahweh by becoming truly human, through being faith and obedient to His Son, the Messiah-King Jesus (who is the model of what True Humanity, without the taint or corruption of rebellion), which we are empowered to do by the Holy Spirit, God's presence manifested in the loyal servant.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Lord Tuvitor » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:45 am

I... actually agree with you now.

For most of my life I had a war inside my head. That war ended a couple weeks ago. You know the Winner of that war well.

So I wear a tie and go to church now. Me. Not because of anything I did either. My priorities were rearranged, and the new arrangement made FAR MORE SENSE than the old. I didn't set the arrangement of the priorities.

Not too long ago I started saying I was atheist. I seriously was trying to be because I thought that this God thing I kept going on about inside my head was the product of a delusion. At first, there was a kind of clarity, and I ran with it. Skepticism... I learned to become skeptical because my brain was terribly miswired after some poor life decisions in my late teen years. With an engine of skepticism I kind of ... cobbled together in my head ... remembering Occam's Razor, etc ... a reasonable working view of the universe ... that matched the empirical data.

But there were a lot of really bizarre things I have also experienced in my life. Because they were strange, and because there was no possible way I could prove in an empirical sense that they actually happened... I started classing those memories as 'delusional garbage'. I looked at the God of the Bible as ... a destructive myth, destructive to even my sanity, I then espoused to be an Atheist and believed that my view of the world was finally starting to become clear.

And then those reminders kept popping up. Little reminders of the fact that I used to dabble in things that one would classify under "things Man was not meant to know". I was intellectually curious, and the more arcane studies drew me. Within days, the war returned full scale AND THEN SOME... because there was also now a level of despair added on top of it. I would never be sane again. I would remain forever irreparably broken. Given a few years, I'd eventually have to be locked up.

All of this changed with two words. Two words that were simultaneously in my heart asked on a physical axis to a very close friend of mine, and on a spiritual axis to God.

The war ended with two words.

"Help me."

The close friend was someone who had been in similar straits to me, and had actually successfully turned their life around and THEN some. He directed me on a fast track to education and certification in a field I am talented in.

Everything became clear. Everything.

I even knew exactly how to describe my belief system. Lutheran. Who woulda guessed?

Now here's where the irony really begins to kick in. All my life, I've suffered obsessions and delusions. My brain was miswired in a way that caused my imagination to bleed into my memory, and I had a lot of false assumptions about the world I lived in and how it worked. All gone. Poof. Now my mind's boundaries are ... clearer. I know exactly how to delineate what is imagined, what comes from those realms I should have never stumbled around in, and my ability to plan and get my act together. My four page new years' resolution is a product of this. It's the framework of the plan, for the most part. It's simple. Prove that I know what I know by getting the right certifications for my skills, expand and update my skillset. So I'm going back to college and saving up money for some certification tests. There are still things I must work through. I'm still human and my body is still flesh, after all.

Remembering what it was like to live in my head before New Years' day and what it is like now... The blind are made to see, and the lame really are made to walk again. I was miserable. Today... stuff still happens, the world is still the same world, but... I know what to do now. And I LOVE doing it now. Work is more fun to me now than games. Though... I find that I'm doing forums a lot more these days again... go figure.

I realize now I have enough gifts to make a pretty decent life for myself if I get to work and don't stop until I have nothing left to give.

So... I'm working now. I'm not a preacher though; I'm a storyteller. Stay tuned.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Ney » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:55 am

I agree with Cala to an extent. Physically, we're here to produce stronger offspring for our race to survive and go forward.

As individuals I feel that it is a personal question that can drive men insane and to do illogical things.

As for myself I've decided the purpose in life is to celebrate my very existence and to treat others well, learn as much as I can and pass on as much knowledge as I can. Being able to do so fulfills my personal purpose in life.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby LVAD » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 am

LT, what you've put brings me unimaginable encouragement. I'm a volunteer youth pastor and Sunday school teacher, and seeing the gospel change peoples lives - heal and cleanse, as it did for me - is what makes me get up and do what I do in the face of numerous roadblocks and difficulties. I'm glad I can call you a brother in the truest sense I know.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Lord Tuvitor » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:05 pm

As for myself I've decided the purpose in life is to celebrate my very existence and to treat others well, learn as much as I can and pass on as much knowledge as I can. Being able to do so fulfills my personal purpose in life.


I.... completely agree with this too.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby soxtalon » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:03 pm

LT! Wow! What a beautiful sentiment.

I was about to come in here and crack the Carlinism that the purpose of life was to keep breathing (although it was said better above me) but I'm moved to speak.

I apologize for turning this into a religious discussion. I still hate religion to be honest (My apologies to both you and LVAD)...I don't like the concept of a church or anything like that. What I do completely agree with is some presence of a higher power. It has definitely influenced my life and has been there in my darkest hours and my lightest hours. I appreciate people being turned from darkness as well so there is that. I often wondered if I tried committing myself to a full on church experience with people would I feel the same revelation. I have tried a few times and was not ready. I still don't believe i am, as my main objection has always been that I feel strongly that my spirituality is personal and my own as is my relationship with a higher power of sorts. I feel like church often tries to kind of run interference and make me do it their way so to speak if that makes sense. SO that's why church doesn't work for me as well. Although with that being said I never mind discussing it which is kind of what church is..*shrug* I am a mystery wrapped in an enigma :P

BUT at the same time and back a bit more on topic..to me life is about living. Not to be completely selfish but it is to experience life yourself - learning what you want to learn, doing what you want to do and not let anybody hold you back from doing it...even if you want to be lazy and watch movies all the time or immerse yourself in your imagination. That's YOUR choice and no one should ridicule YOUR choice cause it's YOUR life.

With that being said, we aren't alone here...so another aspect of life is to GIVE to others. Whether that be time, a hug, words of advice, a listening ear, money, whatever it can be. Make the world a better place for yourself AND for those you interact with. That's the purpose of life to me.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Lord Tuvitor » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:17 pm

You don't have to apologize to me for hating religion. I hated religion most of my life. These days most people who hate religion do so for very good reasons.

Much of my experience was on an entirely different axis than the physical one. It wasn't about religion. It was about getting my house in order. The going to church thing... that's just something the new me does that the old me did not. The new me is *more* me than the old me was. I'm basically the person who had been fighting all the garbage in my head for so long... but now... I'm not fighting anymore because the coast is clear up in the neural regions now. I'm not saying I'm cured of all my ills. My body is still flesh. I still live in the world. I still have a lot of issues, wrestling with my imperfection (Pride, Lust, Envy, etc).

It's a lifelong process, and I accept that. I am no better than anybody here, no matter what particular belief system you subscribe to (and so long as you're not out spreading bigotry or hate I'll probably respect your beliefs too). We all have our choices and we all have our paths to walk. I'm not here to condemn people or look down on them for ... wherever they are in their own personal evolution ... I'm here to learn, grow, and use my abilities to create something good out of my life that I can share to make others' lives better too.

Belief and faith are entirely different things, though once that faith really took a hold of me--the beliefs just sorted themselves out because the reality behind them became completely clear. I don't believe in the supremacy of any particular denomination or lack thereof (except for... pretty much everybody over Westboro Baptist, but Westboro Baptist isn't Christian, no matter how much Bible they vomit -- in my eyes they are truly breaking the first commandment in ways that 'god damn it' doesn't even touch on. They are misusing the name of God in a way that completely misrepresents Him and constantly bearing false witness about... most of America and... anybody that isn't them. They are the current form of that "brood of vipers" the Lord went off on during His stay here. At least that's my take on those jerks.) More or less... Lutheran is just where I landed when the dust cleared.

Anyways, now I'm really done preaching. I mean it. :)
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Captain Obvious » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:42 pm

Some very interesting perspectives here. I started this thread after starting to read "A Purpose Driven Life".

So many people say it is "finding religion" when I think it is the exact opposite. For instance, what would you do with a new invention that didn't seem to serve any purpose? You would ask the inventor. Does an inventor have a purpose in mind for his invention(s)? Absolutely, or else it would be just discarded. I feel like organized religion can be good, but it is all dependent upon the theological teaching of the church itself. I'll pick on Islam for the moment, and don't get me wrong here, it is just as an example. I have gotten into theological discussions with a local Imam who is very vocal against the violent teachings of others whom have hijacked his religion. Are there sects of Christians who teach violence? Very few and far between. I often hear the argument that the crusades are comparable, but there is a difference between the 16th century and now.

LVAD, why would you be a resident religious wacko? Just because your views differ from others do not mean you or they are wrong. Different opinions are just that. Personally, I believe it is more of a personal experience that should be shared as just that. Leadership isn't manufactured, and there is a natural pull from someone who lives their life by example as opposed to just talking the good talk.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Emperor's Prize » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:17 pm

The purpose of life is balance, or rather the struggle to achieve it. Balance between a duty to yourself, your family, your friends, your community, your society, your civilization, your world, and whatever higher power you believe in. Perfect balance is unobtainable, but in striving for it, we make meaning out of everyday life.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby LVAD » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:59 am

Captain Obvious wrote:So many people say it is "finding religion" when I think it is the exact opposite. For instance, what would you do with a new invention that didn't seem to serve any purpose? You would ask the inventor. Does an inventor have a purpose in mind for his invention(s)? Absolutely, or else it would be just discarded.


I'm not following your line of thought here. Could you clarify? I would think that most people who 'find religion' would say that in some way they are tapping into their Creator(s) and thereby doing exactly that, seeking out the inventor of things. I'm probably misunderstanding you, but I do wish to know what you mean.

Captain Obvious wrote:LVAD, why would you be a resident religious wacko? Just because your views differ from others do not mean you or they are wrong. Different opinions are just that. Personally, I believe it is more of a personal experience that should be shared as just that. Leadership isn't manufactured, and there is a natural pull from someone who lives their life by example as opposed to just talking the good talk.


Well I was saying it jokingly, as I was the first to respond with a unequivocal faith/religion type answer. Which, I've learned, can elicit all types of responses. Though, on a serious note, if I was to explain what I think living out the purpose of life looks like, most people - Christian or not - would probably scratch their head and think me totally daft. On very fundamental issues of life my beliefs about the teachings of Christ mean a working towards a life (as I'm learning and growing and still far from living the life I believe to be correct) that looks somewhat absurd if not entirely foolish to 99% of people.

That I wouldn't see this question (that is, the purpose of life) as a matter of opinion, but of a very serious question of right and wrong direction (that is, towards or away from God). Which to some I have no doubt would make me seem...rather wack. Though I by no means have the slightest desire to force my beliefs upon anyone and I respect the freedom of every individual to believe as they will (so not that wack).
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Captain Obvious » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:47 pm

LVAD, you are following my line of thought. I think that religion is an organization, as opposed to a person tapping into their higher power/creator. I feel that when a person is able to connect to their creator to find a their purpose, it is a personal decision and relationship to their creator.

While my thoughts follow more along the lines of a purpose being what we were put here for, as I am absolutely sure that we are no accident, it follows a much larger arc much like a story does.

The theme would be our purpose. The plot would be what we do with our talents. We are the cast. That is where different theologies can be argued as to who the director, producer and other production members are.

EP wrote:The purpose of life is balance, or rather the struggle to achieve it. Balance between a duty to yourself, your family, your friends, your community, your society, your civilization, your world, and whatever higher power you believe in. Perfect balance is unobtainable, but in striving for it, we make meaning out of everyday life.


You bring up an interesting point about duty. This is actually a different perspective than I have. I believe success is measured by how many people's life you affect positively, and that can be in many forms. I agree that perfect balance, or what I would call living the perfect life, is unattainable, and that striving for it is the way to grow, both as a person and spiritually.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Ney » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:23 pm

re: the religious discussion

I don't have much to add but essentially coming from the far southeast I can say that religion does more harm than good and just builds a mob mentality. However, I have no problem with one's beliefs. As for LVAD's joke - he probably gets that sort of reaction a lot because in this day in age being religious is a stigma to a lot of people who left behind the religion-based communities/lifestyles/etc. It is a shame because honestly if one wants to believe whatever. Go for it; do what makes you act like a better person. My only complaint is when it drowns out reason... but most people I know that are true to their belief system aren't like this. Again, I just blame the sheep-herded, uneducated mob mentality of religion.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Captain Obvious » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:05 pm

Being from the south, I find that many are raised in religious homes, but most people I know, including my parents, insist that it is a personal decision and do not force one to make a decision.

I would like to know what you mean by "mob mentality" though. The same could be said about many things, not just about religion.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Emperor's Prize » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:17 pm

Captain Obvious wrote:You bring up an interesting point about duty. This is actually a different perspective than I have. I believe success is measured by how many people's life you affect positively, and that can be in many forms.

That is exactly what I mean by duty.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby LVAD » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:27 am

Captain Obvious wrote:LVAD, you are following my line of thought. I think that religion is an organization, as opposed to a person tapping into their higher power/creator. I feel that when a person is able to connect to their creator to find a their purpose, it is a personal decision and relationship to their creator.


Ahhh. Well I guess I would differ in seeing community as an integral part of experiencing the transcendent. A place of support, accountability, and instruction. A place where we live together, seeking to accomplish the mission that God has established for us. For myself this is borne out in God time and time again calling together a people, a nation, an assembly, to serve Him. As a product of a post-Enlightenment world this is not my natural inclination however; up until a couple of years ago I viewed it almost entirely as a personal, individualist endeavor. And while I still see the personal aspect as important I think by itself it is insufficient - no man being an island and such.

Captain Obvious wrote:While my thoughts follow more along the lines of a purpose being what we were put here for, as I am absolutely sure that we are no accident, it follows a much larger arc much like a story does.

The theme would be our purpose. The plot would be what we do with our talents. We are the cast. That is where different theologies can be argued as to who the director, producer and other production members are.


I actually really love this picture of our purpose, which is very akin to the Medieval Catholic idea of the Divine Drama. We all have a role to play and the good life is submitting to said role.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Ney » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:37 am

Captain Obvious wrote:Being from the south, I find that many are raised in religious homes, but most people I know, including my parents, insist that it is a personal decision and do not force one to make a decision.

I would like to know what you mean by "mob mentality" though. The same could be said about many things, not just about religion.


Southern Baptist church mob mentality. The preacher of one church my family attended would incite members of the church to ignore certain businesses, places and to protest against certain things. He'd also strongly infer political views upon people. In the end you have one person because of their church being able to mentally enthrall and manipulate people into feeling a certain way about things they may have felt differently about or had no feelings at all about.

And mob mentality is what it is - let it be religion, social, government, etc. I know not all churches are that way but when you have a township built around a specific church community if you're not part of that group you're the outsider and are treated as such.

I do know of a few friends who grew up in religious families just like yours, though; given a choice and nothing forced on them.
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Re: What is the purpose of life?

Postby Captain Obvious » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:57 am

Ney, I would say that isn't just talking about religion. That is common in any small town.
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