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What if you found out your purpose in life was meaningless?

Discussion in 'Spirituality & Sexuality & Philosophy' started by Padawanbater2, Oct 6, 2017.

  1.  
    ttystikk

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    You have an excellent point.

    There's no requirement that such lasting impact be a positive one.
     
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  2.  
    ttystikk

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    If no one tells us, what's the difference between that and no meaning?
     
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  3.  
    Humanrob

    Humanrob Well-Known Member

    I think that Homo sapiens are at a strange and difficult point in our evolution, where we can conceive of questions that our brains are not evolved enough to comprehend the answers to. So the gap between our ability to think up big questions and our ability to answer them, is filled in with mythologies, religions, or ideas like 'life might have a meaning'. Without these things to fill the gaps, I think we'd go mad.

    Since we can conceive of the idea that life could have meaning, it can be very difficult to accept the idea that it might not actually have one. It's like wrapping your brain around the concept of a soul, and then deciding that they don't exist and you don't have one. Experientially it can leave a person feeling empty. Magical thinking seems to be the glue that holds the disparate fragments of our understanding into a (hopefully) cohesive picture of reality. It can bridge the gap between the mysterious brain chemistry which makes up our emotional life, and our attempts at defining and understanding everything our senses report to us.

    I think the longing for meaning is one more way we grapple with the general yearning to understand something beyond our native capacities. For instance: We know that we die, that everyone and every living thing eventually dies, and that alone leaves us staring into a void because the truth is, that's all we know. Everything else is speculation, it's all our brain's capacity to imagine without any data whatsoever. Take one step back and what we know is absolutely dwarfed by what we don't know. And how we face all that is unknown, whether it comes easily or with difficulty, informs every decision we make as much as what we think we know influences it.

    Giving this life meaning helps the narrative create a picture of a structured and coherent world, so that either we or some greater being appear to have some control, some direction/intention/design, in this river of time we are navigating.

    I spent decades trying to answer big questions, and ironically the closer I get to death, the less I know. Personally, I can't imagine an explanation for this world that has any semblance of a meaning inherently in it. My mind is too small, my brain too weak to conceive of a sentient being that would have intentionally created this world, and that the atrocities that occur daily are part of some greater meaning. It might exist, but it's beyond me. Given that limitation, I have to choose to believe that life has no inherent meaning, because the alternative is too absurd.

    If giving it meaning emboldens us to be better people, to do the right thing, then I'm all for meaning. Make up your meaning, make it bold, and know full well you invented it because it helps direct and steady you. Just know its yours, and no one else's. Or not. I really don't know anything.
     
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  4.  
    Roger A. Shrubber

    Roger A. Shrubber Well-Known Member

    maybe the whole thing is a test, and you get to leave when you finish....hopefully to move on to the next test, i'd hate to think that once you get it right, its all over
     
  5.  
    ttystikk

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    Reincarnation and Nirvana, according to Buddhism.
     
  6.  
    charface

    charface Well-Known Member

    My purpose in life is meaningless.
    I may be thought about a few years after I'm gone. A few People will carry with them pieces of me and even pass some of them down. But in the big scope of infinite time and space I won't even register as a blip.
     
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  7.  
    Roger A. Shrubber

    Roger A. Shrubber Well-Known Member

    have no idea, like to think the reincarnatist have it right, you gotta keep coming back and trying again, till you get it right
     
  8.  
    Nugachino

    Nugachino Well-Known Member

    I've made it through 32 years without a purpose. I think I could manage anonther decade or two.
     
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  9.  
    ANC

    ANC Well-Known Member

    Besides, that leaves more time for smoking weed.
     
  10.  
    Ghost67

    Ghost67 Member

    energy doesn't cease to exist, no one understands the process that makes thought possible, who knows what the hell happens after we die? I like to think our consciousness exists outside of the body. I've worked in an old Nazi hanger in Germany that you would hear footsteps, people knocking on your door when the building was locked. Voices. Makes ya think.
     
  11.  
    charface

    charface Well-Known Member

    I like to think I continue.
    However I can't remember where I was before I was here so it's impossible for me to think my awareness will continue however it might
     
  12.  
    dandyrandy

    dandyrandy Well-Known Member

    I had a purpose. It sucks.
     
  13.  
    Roger A. Shrubber

    Roger A. Shrubber Well-Known Member

    why does there have to be a "purpose" ? isn't it enough to be alive? to have the chance to live, to enjoy life? some people need a purpose, they need a goal to achieve, or they don't feel valuable. some people can cruise through life, enjoying what it has to offer, and trying to share that joy with others. there's not only a place for both, there's a need for both.
     
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  14.  
    ttystikk

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    We have a marvelous computer in our heads, fully integrated into an amazing input/output device for understanding and manipulating the world.

    But it only boots once.
     
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  15.  
    MarWan

    MarWan Well-Known Member

    true that, except there are many viruses and worms that deliberately corrupts that marvelous computer so it won't function properly, porn is one of them.
     
  16.  
    charface

    charface Well-Known Member

    And cats. Not kidding I think I read they carry a virus that causes you to want to care for them. Freaks me out if it's true.
     
  17.  
    Roger A. Shrubber

    Roger A. Shrubber Well-Known Member

    i must be immune to the virus. i like cats, other peoples cats.
     
  18.  
    charface

    charface Well-Known Member

    What if you found out taking care of cats was our true purpose.
    Crazy cat ladies would get all the poozle
     
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  19.  
    Roger A. Shrubber

    Roger A. Shrubber Well-Known Member

    if that's our true purpose, i'm not very impressed with the universe in general
     
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  20.  
    jonsnow399

    jonsnow399 Well-Known Member

    In the universe's time, humans arrived on earth a few seconds ago and will disappear with no trace in another few seconds, so what you do here really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
     
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