1. Standard memberNemesio
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    12 Aug '08 05:33
    In a recent thread, I found this:

    Originally posted by whodey
    Well that is the difference between believing there is a God and not believing there is a God. It is the difference between believing your life has purpose or believing that you are a result of random chance without purpose.

    There are two parts of this statement that I think are worth investigating.

    1) Obviously, even in the absence of God, I can assign purpose to some task and thus value
    it while I'm alive. I think he means some sort of 'ultimate purpose,' one which outlasts the
    earthly life of the individual in question. So, if my life is ephemeral and not eternal, then
    the purpose that life has exists as long as the consciousness of life exists. Do we have agreement
    on this?

    2) Why is it important to people to have an 'ultimate purpose?'

    Nemesio
  2. Joined
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    12 Aug '08 05:592 edits
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    In a recent thread, I found this:

    Originally posted by whodey
    [b]Well that is the difference between believing there is a God and not believing there is a God. It is the difference between believing your life has purpose or believing that you are a result of random chance without purpose.


    There are two parts of this statement that I think ent
    on this?

    2) Why is it important to people to have an 'ultimate purpose?'

    Nemesio[/b]
    1) You can assign purpose and meaning in your life, however, it is merely only what you and others assign to that life. Outside of your own perception and the perception of others around you, however, you have no meaning. You must then conceed that you are creating your meaning rather than your meaning finding you. I suppose it is comparable to the feeling you get when your parents tell you that you were an "accident child" compared to parents who told you they tried to conceive you. In the first case, you feel as though you were unwanted, or at best, later incorporated into what they wanted in comparison to the child that is comfortable in the knowledge that he or she is and always has been wanted. Of course there is the added meaning of onces life in an eternal sense, however, I am talking more in terms of the here and now.

    2) Why is it important to have purpose? Why must we only talk about 'utlimate purpose'? As human beings we MUST assign purpose to our lives and only then can we find fulfillment.
  3. Standard memberNemesio
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    12 Aug '08 07:101 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    You must then conceed that you are creating your meaning rather than your meaning finding you.

    I am assigning meaning. I value X, and do not value Y, and I make those judgments based
    on how I reason, intuit, or just feel. Why is this an intrinsically bad model? Why does some
    supreme power have to assign meaning for me?

    I suppose it is comparable to the feeling you get when your parents tell you that you were an "accident child" compared to parents who told you they tried to conceive you.

    You see, I find this explanation weird. Knowing that I was an accident only tells me about the
    frame of mind of my parents at the time of discovery. It doesn't rewrite any of my past
    experiences, though. Either they loved me once I arrived, or they didn't. Any adjustment they
    may have made, they made before I existed. My sense of having felt wanted as a child isn't
    altered by my parents' emotional states before I was around to experience them.

    As human beings we MUST assign purpose to our lives and only then can we find fulfillment.

    Yeah, so? That's exactly what we do. Why does it have to have some 'ultimate' purpose?
    Why can't our assigning be sufficient? Why do you feel that your life ceases to have meaning
    if there isn't some higher purpose to it? If you discovered unequivocally (say through some
    sort of infallible time machine) that your God didn't exist (i.e., Abraham, Moses, Jesus, &c,
    didn't relate with God in the way described in the Bible, but were just charismatic men who
    guided people), why would anything (other than worship) have any less meaning. Why would
    your relationships with your friends, family and children somehow diminish?

    Nemesio
  4. Illinois
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    12 Aug '08 10:07
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    In a recent thread, I found this:

    Originally posted by whodey
    [b]Well that is the difference between believing there is a God and not believing there is a God. It is the difference between believing your life has purpose or believing that you are a result of random chance without purpose.


    There are two parts of this statement that I think ...[text shortened]... ent
    on this?

    2) Why is it important to people to have an 'ultimate purpose?'

    Nemesio[/b]
    Why is it important to people to have an 'ultimate purpose?'

    After I first learned the real truth about Christ's message (i.e., his invitation to come and die), I no longer wanted there to be an "ultimate purpose" to life. Suddenly, keeping my life just the way I liked it became a high priority for me.
  5. Joined
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    12 Aug '08 11:24
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    In a recent thread, I found this:

    Originally posted by whodey
    [b]Well that is the difference between believing there is a God and not believing there is a God. It is the difference between believing your life has purpose or believing that you are a result of random chance without purpose.


    There are two parts of this statement that I think ...[text shortened]... ent
    on this?

    2) Why is it important to people to have an 'ultimate purpose?'

    Nemesio[/b]
    we DO have an ultimate purpose, we are living organisms and just like all other living organisms, our purpose is to reproduce. any other purpose we "assign" ourselves is more of a secondary purpose; i know some people dont want kids but that was the intended purpose.
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    12 Aug '08 17:551 edit
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    [b]Why is it important to people to have an 'ultimate purpose?'

    After I first learned the real truth about Christ's message (i.e., his invitation to come and die), I no longer wanted there to be an "ultimate purpose" to life. Suddenly, keeping my life just the way I liked it became a high priority for me.[/b]
    Yes. Once I discovered the truth of Zen, I dropped all compulsions about an “ultimate purpose”. My day to day existence became thereby richer, deeper, more resonant. Like breathing more deeply, yet more easily.
  7. Joined
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    12 Aug '08 18:51
    Originally posted by whodey
    1) You can assign purpose and meaning in your life, however, it is merely only what you and others assign to that life. Outside of your own perception and the perception of others around you, however, you have no meaning. You must then conceed that you are creating your meaning rather than your meaning finding you. I suppose it is comparable to the feeling ...[text shortened]... As human beings we MUST assign purpose to our lives and only then can we find fulfillment.
    1) Everyone creates their own meaning. Christians or other religous people are no different. Religious people simply choose to define their meaning as linked to their god. Someone's life's meaning being defined in terms of a god or religion doesn't make that meaning any more legitimate or valuable than anyone else's.

    2). Most people do struggle to find purpose in their lives. Humans have the luxury of being able to find meanings other than just to survive and propogate our species.

    It's quite offensive to me when theists suggest that without god or religion that lives just have no meaning. It's insulting and extremely arrogant. I'm not saying you're saying that whodey, but just something that bothers me in general. Others have suggested that on this forum though.
  8. Joined
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    12 Aug '08 18:56
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    [b]Originally posted by whodey

    I am assigning meaning. I value X, and do not value Y, and I make those judgments based
    on how I reason, intuit, or just feel. Why is this an intrinsically bad model? Why does some
    supreme power have to assign meaning for me?
    Who am I to assign meaning in your life? I am merely trying to convey my own.
  9. Joined
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    12 Aug '08 19:03
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    You see, I find this explanation weird. Knowing that I was an accident only tells me about the
    frame of mind of my parents at the time of discovery. It doesn't rewrite any of my past
    experiences, though. Either they loved me once I arrived, or they didn't. Any adjustment they
    may have made, they made before I existed. My sense of having felt wanted as a child isn't
    altered by my parents' emotional states before I was around to experience them.
    I find it comforting knowing that although my parents may not have planned me, they simply participated in God's ultimate plan that included me. It is the difference between believing that a loving being was at the helm of my existence rather than random chance. It is believing that you had enough value to be apart of the Almighty's plan from the beginning of time.

    Assuming you buy into what I am saying, you then must assign value and importance to your own existence no matter what others may tell you or what you may tell yourself. I do not mean to claim that you need God in order to value your own lives and the lives of others nor do I claim that everyone who claims to believe in God values their life or that of others, rather, I am merely relating my own perspective on the matter.
  10. Joined
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    12 Aug '08 19:091 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Yeah, so? That's exactly what we do. Why does it have to have some 'ultimate' purpose?
    Why can't our assigning be sufficient? Why do you feel that your life ceases to have meaning
    if there isn't some higher purpose to it? If you discovered unequivocally (say through some
    sort of infallible time machine) that your God didn't exist (i.e., Abraham, Moses,
    your relationships with your friends, family and children somehow diminish?

    Nemesio[/b]
    Again, I can only relay my own experiences in life. For example, I always had a nagging empty feeling in my gut telling me that something was missing in my life before I came to Christ. I asked my parents and they were clueless to what I was talking about as you seem to be. I also remember asking my parents why I was brought into the world and what I should do with my life. They responded that I should do what I want to do with my life. That answer seems like a good one on the surface but it struck me the wrong way. Internally, I knew that this was not the right answer, but did not know why or how to express my feelings, so I just said nothing and smiled. Perhaps that is what I will do now. 😀

    As for your hypothetical scenerio, I really could not say. I suppose that nagging empty feeling would return. Who knows?
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    12 Aug '08 19:11
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    It's quite offensive to me when theists suggest that without god or religion that lives just have no meaning. It's insulting and extremely arrogant. I'm not saying you're saying that whodey, but just something that bothers me in general. Others have suggested that on this forum though.[/b]
    No, that is not what I am saying. Before I came to Christ I felt my life had meaning but in a different way. Again, I don't know how to communicate what I am talking about very well so I will just leave it at that.
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    12 Aug '08 20:08
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    1) Everyone creates their own meaning. Christians or other religous people are no different. Religious people simply choose to define their meaning as linked to their god. Someone's life's meaning being defined in terms of a god or religion doesn't make that meaning any more legitimate or valuable than anyone else's.

    2). Most people do struggle to fin ...[text shortened]... t something that bothers me in general. Others have suggested that on this forum though.
    Just to expand on these points (with which I agree) a bit:

    The cosmos does not simply disclose meaning; what is disclosed to us are facts, patterns, relationships. Whether one prefers to say that we create meaning or discover meaning, the fact is that such meaning derives from our conscious engagement with the given existential conditions. And that engagement includes all our perceptual and intellectual faculties, including imagination.

    It’s a bit like asking, when two cars collide, “In which car is ‘the collision’?” An absurd question.

    But the fact that we are inescapably and creatively party to the generation of meaning does not, as you point out and as Scriabin’s presentations here on Viktor Frankl have also argued, reduce such meaning to—well, meaninglessness. If the generation of meaning is not essential to the survival of beings with a consciousness such as ours (and it may be), it at least seems essential to our ability to thrive and flourish both intellectually and aesthetically. I personally think that embracing the challenge of meaning-generation makes for a richer life.

    Frankly, to insist upon a meaning-of-life that is simply given to us without our creative effort in fashioning it, seems to me to smack of existential laziness—a malady to which I also am not immune.
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    12 Aug '08 23:24
    Originally posted by whodey
    No, that is not what I am saying. Before I came to Christ I felt my life had meaning but in a different way. Again, I don't know how to communicate what I am talking about very well so I will just leave it at that.
    I know. That's why I specifically said that I don't think you were saying that.
  14. weedhopper
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    13 Aug '08 14:39
    I think our respective purposes go far beyond the biological.
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    13 Aug '08 18:38
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    I think our respective purposes go far beyond the biological.
    Other than EV I don't think anyone here thinks their purpose is only to reproduce. Of course, I could be wrong.
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