What is your purpose in life?

Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby sandman » 22 Feb 2011, 17:16

divea wrote:I really really am not religious and yet, I can't believe anyone who has held their child for the first time, to not have felt God. To not have felt, a power, the presence of something holy. I really can't.....and this in no way is criticism, but I just can't believe that the birth of one's child does not make you see 'the end of the tunnel and the white light' :lol: and that kind of joy.

Dudette! I held my child for the first time and I felt... my child. Who maybe wasn't exactly "holy" but was FAR, FAR more powerful a presence than any gods, pusas, tudigongs or whatevers. Sure, I experienced great, almost indescribable joy, but to ascribe that to some bloke up in the sky, or "higher power?" Oh, PLEEEEEASE!
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Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby divea » 22 Feb 2011, 17:18

sandman wrote:Dudette!

They say there's a first time for everything...this is one of those :lol:

I held my child for the first time and I felt... my child. Who maybe wasn't exactly "holy" but was FAR, FAR more powerful a presence than any gods, pusas, tudigongs or whatevers. Sure, I experienced great, almost indescribable joy, but to ascribe that to some bloke up in the sky, or "higher power?" Oh, PLEEEEEASE!

Okay!! Whatever.
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Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 22 Feb 2011, 22:01

tomthorne wrote:
Got To Be Kidding wrote: When God isn't in the equation, things get pretty meaningless pretty fast.


Could this be psychological projection, GTBK? I assume that there must have been a point in your life when you didn't believe in whichever god you now believe in, at which time things for you were pretty meaningless. Since you developed a belief in a god I assume that things have improved for you. That's great, but you are making what in my opinion is the mistake many people who find religion later in life make in assuming that everyone else must be in the same boat. As a couple of posters have pointed out, a lot of us are quite content without a belief in any god.

I honestly don't believe I would feel any more content, or that my life would be any more meaningful, if I suddenly had a road to Damascus moment. I could be wrong, of course.


No, I've been a 'believer' since I was a kid.

However, it is interesting to see how the issue of meaning develops, how our perception of life develops as we age, and as our concept of time changes. I am not the same person that I was when I was 30, or when I was 20. At each of those moments I felt that I had all the answers, and now I realize that I had only some of them. I had some of them then; I have more now, but I doubt that I will have all of them when I give my last breath. Life is like that.

Bringing up the psychological is fitting for this discussion. Perception, knowledge, wisdom and acceptance of such lie at the heart of what we discuss here. Psychologically speaking, I know that I have 'unfinished business' when something makes me upset.

Here are a few more psychological thoughts:

It's always been interesting to see how people's perceptions of God are affected by parental relationships. If your father was nasty and vindictive, there's a good chance that this is how you view God. If your parents were lousy and Catholic, you'll do the best that you can to avoid being even remotely Catholic.

Someone who is truly at peace with their view of life does not get upset when that view is challenged. I had a great time recently debating with a self-proclaimed, fanatic Athiest. We had a great time, in part because we were both secure in our viewpoints and could therefore bat issues back and forth.

From both a secular and religious point of view, faith and its communication are completely fascinating.

However, psychological hangups over the idea of God, doesn't make the truth go away. Either there is a God, or there isn't. It's really that simple.
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Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby tomthorne » 22 Feb 2011, 22:06

If you've been a believer since you were a kid, how do you know that things are meaningless without religious belief? That's why I made the assumption that you were probably born again.
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Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 22 Feb 2011, 23:43

tomthorne wrote:If you've been a believer since you were a kid, how do you know that things are meaningless without religious belief? That's why I made the assumption that you were probably born again.


What I meant was that I had allowed myself to be distracted by life. Once I had achieved my goals and grown up a little... well, I realized that my view of life was too short-sighted, too limited. I'd also realized that my rigid religious views were... well, misguided.

It's so easy to miss the point, when you think that you have the world by the tail.
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Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby Jaboney » 23 Feb 2011, 00:05

divea, have you read Man's Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl? After surviving the concentration camps and based in part on his observations, Frankl founded a branch of psychotherapy called logotherapy, based on the premise that we have an innate need for meaning. It's a pretty decent read.

You might also, if you haven't already, read this thread the good doctor started. It's somewhat tangental, but there are some interesting suggestions in there.
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Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby Herodotus » 24 Feb 2011, 06:39

Got To Be Kidding wrote:Someone who is truly at peace with their view of life does not get upset when that view is challenged. I had a great time recently debating with a self-proclaimed, fanatic Athiest. We had a great time, in part because we were both secure in our viewpoints and could therefore bat issues back and forth.
...
Either there is a God, or there isn't. It's really that simple.


Obviously, the last thing we need is violent arguments about the existence of God, but since you are a life-long person of faith and your friend is a fanatic atheist and both of you are secure in your positions, one or both of you is barking mad. At least one of you is completely oblivious about a fundamental fact of the universe which is supposedly directly relevant to the meaning of human life itself. I think the only way to square that circle, therefore, is to acknowledge that the existence of God or lack thereof is irrelevant.
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Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 24 Feb 2011, 13:30

Herodotus wrote:
Got To Be Kidding wrote:Someone who is truly at peace with their view of life does not get upset when that view is challenged. I had a great time recently debating with a self-proclaimed, fanatic Athiest. We had a great time, in part because we were both secure in our viewpoints and could therefore bat issues back and forth.
...
Either there is a God, or there isn't. It's really that simple.


Obviously, the last thing we need is violent arguments about the existence of God, but since you are a life-long person of faith and your friend is a fanatic atheist and both of you are secure in your positions, one or both of you is barking mad. At least one of you is completely oblivious about a fundamental fact of the universe which is supposedly directly relevant to the meaning of human life itself. I think the only way to square that circle, therefore, is to acknowledge that the existence of God or lack thereof is irrelevant.


You're right, we're probably BOTH completely nuts. The taxi ride from Kowloon to Hong Kong International is about 45 minutes, and the driver said afterwards "and I thought women could talk!" (Our wives laughed with us all the way to the airport.)

Violence, both physical and rhetorical, do nothing but illustrate insecurity. Likewise, an inability to tolerate questions. If you can't take tough questions, your world view has a problem.

The issue of irrelevance is something else entirely. If you see someone building a highway (or carriageway) near your home, it's irrelevant ONLY if they don't plan to build it through your kitchen. If God exists, He is only irrelevant if nothing will happen to us if we ignore Him.

However, claims that God is irrelevant only work if you understand what He's up to.

Of course, this is taking us beyond divea's original post, because we are now talking about the purpose of the Universe. I don't think that anyone can claim to understand THAT. In fact I freely admit to anyone that I am completely mystified.

Of course, a lack of understanding shouldn't be a barrier to action, otherwise we'd never get married, have sex or even kids. (I hear that those last two are related.)

I think that everyone owes it to themselves to seriously address the question of whether there is a God. If you find that there IS a God, try to find out what that means. I know the answer to that one and am happy to share, but you need to go looking for it yourself.
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Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby divea » 24 Feb 2011, 13:33

Thanks Jaboney, will do.
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Re: What is your purpose in life?

Postby Dr. McCoy » 24 Feb 2011, 13:44

Who's purpose is it to make me some pie?
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