Debate and Discussion

What do you live for?
kyupol at 5:33PM, Oct. 29, 2010
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Yep. As the title says. What do you think is the reason you are alive today? What is the purpose of your life? What is the meaning of your life?

Discuss.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
Genejoke at 6:56PM, Oct. 29, 2010
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As a broad question… What is the meaning of life, there is none save for that you give it. I see life as meaningless but that doesn't mean it has no value.

Why do I live? Because my father impregnated my mother.

What is the purpose or reason for my life, my children. That and the need to learn and create.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
ozoneocean at 8:23PM, Oct. 29, 2010
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I live for pussy!



…My cat. I love him very much :3

Maybe this would be better in General Discussion?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
lothar at 2:49AM, Oct. 30, 2010
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sometime i like to ride my bike real fast ! even in the rain
ever since i got out from the hospital , and stick my head out the window of the fast moving car and yell at random people “ get a bike !!!:” i will tell them
and masturbating as much as possible and solitary picnics ,
setting things on fire and spazzing out to the loud music

we all on our ways to be corpses , but i wont know when i am.. and neither will you

life is life
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Chernobog at 2:44PM, Nov. 1, 2010
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Q: What do you think is the reason you are alive today?

Not supposed to be, but I brought some measure of peace between my family members so that's arguably something. That said, I don't work off of ‘certainty’. Strikes me as an easy exit when the question is more of a koan by nature. Maybe there is no reason. I'm not sure that bothers me terribly either.

Q: What is the purpose of your life?

If there's such a thing as personal destiny, apparently there's a certain something I need to write and put out there. I'll know when that time comes along. I realize that's kind of esoteric, but I don't have a better way to explain it and its all sort of ‘need to know’ basis.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
Abt_Nihil at 12:28PM, Nov. 4, 2010
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If there can be any answer going beyond what lothar has said, for me it would be:

First off, asking for a reason why you're alive seems completely meaningless to me. There are numerous scientific, sociological and historical answers to the question why I am alive, but obviously, these aren't the ones you'd want to hear. You're probably asking about purpose (even though you're asking another separate question about that). Life isn't created with purpose, except to live. Life can be created by intentional beings for a purpose, but if the life created is once again intentional life (a being with a “soul”, a being to which psychological predicates apply), then I'd see that as a violation of this person's right to choose their purpose for themselves. (I'm thinking about cases like having another baby as an organ donor, or certain forms of cloning; there are weaker cases like having children to ensure that someone will care for you when you're old, or something like that.) But maybe I'm over-interpreting your use of the word “reason”.

Secondly, and probably (hopefully?) more interestingly, the question about what I see as my own purpose:
I'd like to do something good (morally, aesthetically…) and be somewhat good at it. But I'd also like to live my life well and enjoy it. If I fail at either of these, I'd get the feeling that I wasted my life.
Sadly, I have the feeling that if I were to die tonight, I wouldn't have achieved my goals. There are many things which I consider essential for living, which I haven't done yet. And I'm also not good enough at anything I'm doing that I could claim I excelled at anything.
But hopefully, I did bring some joy to the people around me, to my friends and relatives, or even the people who are reading my comics. That would be a great relief.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
Dave7 at 11:25PM, Nov. 13, 2010
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Q: What do you think is the reason you are alive today?

Because hundreds upon millions of years of evolution and a series of mass-extinction events led to the proper conditions for our ancestors to thrive and after many generations, evolution led to the emergence of an intelligent, sapient species; a species that both my parents are members of, and thus, because I share half of each of their genes by means of sexual reproduction, I am also part of.

Q: What is the purpose of your life?

At this particular moment, trying NOT to die (I'm currently sick with a nasty chest cold that I seriously hope isn't turning into pneumonia). Beyond that, finishing grad school and getting a Master's in Entomology, and after that contributing to the overall collective scientific knowledge of the human species through that particular field.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:09PM
bravo1102 at 2:08PM, Nov. 14, 2010
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All the knowledge in the world will not teach you why the sage laughs when asked these questions. It is just being and enjoying every minute as I endevour in live in the joy of each moment.

To quote Kung Fu Panda: Right now is a gift that's why it's called the present. :)

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
imshard at 4:27PM, Nov. 16, 2010
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What do I live for?



Well I guess I don't know. I've always just kinda floated along.
I was born.
I ate when I was hungry, drank when I was thirsty.
I washed when dirty.
I slept when I was tired.
I learned when I was curious.
I cried when I was mad, and yelled when I was sad.
I smiled when I was happy.
I screwed when I was horny.

Then school was over and I joined the work force.
Been a wage slave ever since.
Just a simple man making his way in the world.
Earning enough to keep eating and drinking, washing and sleeping, crying and screaming, laughing and screwing.

I live until I die. My story will never be told, my name will not be remembered. History will not record me. My life, your life, all our work and efforts will eventually be erased by time.

I live for nothing and nothing will be all I achieve.

What do YOU live for?
Don't be a stick in the mud traditionalist! Support global warming!

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
GameCargo at 6:00PM, Nov. 23, 2010
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I live to advance the population and intellect of the human race. XD
Going through motions while I get my head straight.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:32PM
Abt_Nihil at 3:59AM, Nov. 24, 2010
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GameCargo
I live to advance the population
In numbers? :P
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
mlai at 2:52AM, Nov. 26, 2010
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I'm with IMshard and Abt. I kind of just float along the currents of life. If I am to die tonight, I would say I have accomplished nothing that I told myself would be good to accomplish.

Am I bothered daily by that? Not at all; I'm too laid back to be bothered by it, or to be “spurred to action” by it. I don't think I want an interesting life either. Interesting lives are miserable for the persons living it, but fun to watch/read about by other ppl from the comfort of their sofas.

Would I like to win Lotto/Powerball? Ofc, LOL. But that's not an interesting life, merely a more comfortable one.

Why does life need a “purpose”? Enjoy it for as long as possible, doing whatever you want to do or can do, and that's it. Not everybody can be Mozart or Napoleon, and even they are just dust now. They're remembered… so what? They don't know that they're remembered; it makes no difference to them. And Mozart died when he was 30, and Napoleon spent the last years of his life in prison, a “failure”.

Would I want to have short/miserable lives like theirs, in ordered to be remembered as a giant in human history? Hell no. It's not about cowardice on my part; global fame and epic life is meaningless unless you personally place value on it.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
bravo1102 at 7:12PM, Nov. 26, 2010
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mlai
Napoleon spent the last years of his life in prison, a “failure”.

Would I want to have short/miserable lives like theirs, in ordered to be remembered as a giant in human history?

As was said to Napoleon when he left for St. Helena “You shall be tied to a rock like Prometheus where the memory of your own greatness shall gnaw at you day after day.”

It brings to question that if you did accomplish all the great and big things could you stand the years afterward where you could do nothing and saw yourself forgotten? Like Salieri after the passing of Mozart?

Outlive your purpose as opposed to making a new one as you float on the tides of chance?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
ayesinback at 6:50PM, Nov. 27, 2010
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bravo1102
Outlive your purpose as opposed to making a new one as you float on the tides of chance?
I don't think we always float, although floating is required at times in the currents of chance. Sometimes we swim. And I'm not sure that we make our purpose, or even know it.

Every day we have the opportunity to make choices, and those choices are seedlings for other choices. Rarely does a choice present a level plot to build on.

But with time, with consistency, we can form directions. And sometimes we battle to force a direction that results in folly, and sometimes this consistent devotion can lead to a success, and for the rarified: greatness.

But each choice is a step, and each step has some reverberation. It may seem that no one notices, that it doesn't matter, but each choice matters.

Even the smallest life that seems utterly contained and insignificant, even this can cause ripples that emanate to the outside and can impact others, for good or bad.

I think of it as a game, and there's always another play ahead of you. Just keep yourself limber.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
SarahDot at 12:54PM, Dec. 5, 2010
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What do you think is the reason you are alive today?

Directly: Antibiotics
Indirectly: The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My grandfather was to be one of the first to make landfall on Japanese soil before the war was abruptly ended.

What is the purpose of your life?

Happiness and freedom.

What is the meaning of your life?

I don't know that there is one. I try to be kind and good, because I enjoy pleasing other people, but I don't think there is a higher point to my life. When you have some sort of perspective on how small we all are compared to everything else in the universe, it is hard to think there is much point to life at all.

Sarah
http://www.drunkduck.com/Worst_Best_Comic_Ever/

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:22PM
Loud_G at 5:21AM, Dec. 6, 2010
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I am the spirit son of God, the Eternal Father. I lived with Him and all of His other spirit children as a family long before I was born to my earthly parents. He has a body of flesh and bones, while at the time I and the rest of us did not. Our Father created this world that we might come here to gain a physical body. Learn to control it, become one with it, and overcome the urges of the flesh. My purpose here is to learn, grow, and strive to become like Him. He is perfectly just, kind, and knowledgeable. I am to learn about this world, how it works; learn about my fellow man, seek to make their life better; learn about myself and who I am and who I can become. I seek to improve on the talents that I have been given, use them to make life that much brighter for all around me. My Father wants me to be happy and has laid out some guidelines that he know (if followed) will lead me to happiness. Not just in the life to come, but also in this one.

Then once this mortal existence has passed, if I have done all I can, I will return to live with Him and my family once more. Having learned how to become like Him, I will move forward to the next phase of my existence. For we are truly God's children and there is a spark of divinity in us all. So like a child grows up to be like his earthly parents, our purpose is to grow up to be like our divine parents as well.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:46PM
LOOKIS at 9:32PM, Dec. 26, 2010
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1) What do you think is the reason you are alive today?

If you mean the ultimate reason for my existence rather than simple biology and history, then I say…

Nothing that exists is able to determine the reason for its own existence. The word “reason” in the context of existence requires two factors, that which exists and that which has a reason for bringing that which exists into existence.

For example, the “reason” my pencil(factor one) exists is so that I (factor two)can draw. The pencil can never determine the reason for its existence and I cannot determine the reason for my existence. That would require me to be “beyond” myself or “outside” of myself and I am pretty sure I will always be “in” myself. If I tried to imagine being outside myself it would be a false image constructed by my imaginative powers, not reality.

The ultimate “reason” for something is always beyond the understanding of the “something”.


2) What is the purpose of your life?

To live. And the purpose of my ear is to hear, and my eye to see…


3) What is the meaning of your life?

Aren't meaning and purpose practically synonyms? What is the meaning of a glass of water? What is the meaning of a tree?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Abt_Nihil at 5:20PM, Dec. 27, 2010
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LOOKIS
Aren't meaning and purpose practically synonyms? What is the meaning of a glass of water? What is the meaning of a tree?
I agree with what you wrote in your post. However, I do believe there's a distinction to be made here:

“The meaning of life” is “the significance of life”. Whereas “the purpose of life” is its ultimate goal, or aim, or use. These are different concepts, and they remain so even if they can be closely linked: one life can be significant because of the purpose it has (and here, the word “because” signifies that purpose and significance are two different things).

As for your examples: trees and water can have purposes - i.e., their subjective uses (as oxygen producers or to quench thirst), but no literal meanings. Except that the terms have “meanings” in a semantic sense.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
LOOKIS at 8:06PM, Dec. 28, 2010
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Abt_Nihil
“The meaning of life” is “the significance of life”. Whereas “the purpose of life” is its ultimate goal, or aim, or use. These are different concepts, and they remain so even if they can be closely linked: one life can be significant because of the purpose it has (and here, the word “because” signifies that purpose and significance are two different things).

As for your examples: trees and water can have purposes - i.e., their subjective uses (as oxygen producers or to quench thirst), but no literal meanings. Except that the terms have “meanings” in a semantic sense.



Words are slippery and purpose and goal can be easily confused. But there is a difference between a goal, which is something a hammer never has, and a purpose, which is something a hammer does have.

Humans don't have purposes unless you slip the meaning of purpose over to mean goal and then it looks like they do.

However, I agree that's a common usage. “Why did you do that?” becomes “What was your purpose in doing that?” or “What was your goal in doing that?” or “What was the significance of you taking that action?”

I suppose if all words actually had precise meanings then we would all think much more clearly.




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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Abt_Nihil at 5:27AM, Dec. 29, 2010
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This seems to become an extension of our discussion in the “standard word definitions” thread ^_^

Just to clear it up: Most of the time, when I refer to a word's meaning, I refer to its “common usage”. Any special usage that deviates from common usage will have to have some neat scientific theory to back it up. And scientific theories are ultimately grounded in common usage too, except for the technical terms that are defined in them.

LOOKIS
I suppose if all words actually had precise meanings then we would all think much more clearly.
I like to think of it as: If we all thought more clearly, then words would have meanings that were more precise. (That is, words and sentences reflect our potential for cognitive distinctions, but they are not the only relevant causal factor for our cognitive complexity. <- in opposition to linguistic relativity.)

But, to stay on topic:

LOOKIS
Humans don't have purposes unless you slip the meaning of purpose over to mean goal and then it looks like they do.
I think there are even more differentiations. A soldier has a purpose, not a goal. Most social roles have purposes. Firemen have purposes, nurses, secretaries and salesmen have purposes. In fulfilling a social role, you are given social purpose.
Also, the meaning of life can be different from both purpose and goal. It can consist solely in the existence of a deity that has created you. Most religions combine this idea with the idea of a goal (like: reaching Nirvana and the like), but that doesn't mean that the idea of meaning is conflated with the idea of a goal. Another popular idea is that another person can constitute the meaning of your life. And this doesn't mean that this meaning consists of tending for the other person, or achieving something for the other person (which would be a goal), but quite literally: my meaning of life is this or that person. That's linguistically odd, but psychologically sound ^_^
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
SarahDot at 5:18PM, Dec. 29, 2010
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LOOKIS
Humans don't have purposes unless you slip the meaning of purpose over to mean goal and then it looks like they do.

That depends on your perspective. If you are the human performing an action, then you have a goal. If you are the one directing other humans, those other humans have purposes.

In this case, I think purpose is appropriate, because you are not referring to what you want to do as much as the role that you're supposed to play in the collective existence of our universe.

Sarah
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:22PM
LOOKIS at 8:41PM, Dec. 29, 2010
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I doubt there is any role we are supposed to play in the collective existence of the universe. I think the human race could go extinct and the collective existence of the universe would just shrug its shoulders… no, probably no reaction at all.

I know we like to pump ourselves up to being something important in relation to the universe but… well, I have always liked the billiard ball analogy. If earth was a billiard ball then all the life on it would be a film just a molecule or two thick.

A greasy film on a ball of rock.

We have the same purpose as those whirligig beetles you see on the surface of a pond. We do a frantic little dance for about a century (if we're lucky) and then we die.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Beelzy at 11:32PM, Dec. 29, 2010
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I live to see the beauty of mathematics. It is everywhere. I love seeing it in action. I love solving puzzles. Whether it's deducing a new word or character in a foreign language without the help of a dictionary, utilizing physics in stuff like ice skating, programming code snippets for a computer application, or even solving other people's problems, it's all math to me. The process is enjoyable, and the results are ever so satisfying. That's what I live for.

I tend to think my curiosity is partly to blame for that.

As for what other people live for? That's for them to decide, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either deluded or attempting to delude you.
Pauca sed matura.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:16AM
Abt_Nihil at 4:12AM, Dec. 30, 2010
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LOOKIS: Our points aren't mutually exclusive. The insight that the universe would shrug its shoulders upon our collective demise doesn't mean that there aren't social purposes. These are quite simply conditional purposes, realized in specific social settings. To say that they exist (the descriptive level) is not to say that they are particularly important (and to say that they are often happens on the normative level).

What's more, to say that something is “important” is highly relative. In relation to the stability of the universe, anything we do means nothing. But to me, a lot of things still mean a lot. People's ideals can't be devalued by the fact that the universe doesn't care. That our ideals, goals, purposes, meanings etc. are subjective doesn't devalue them in the least. Just the contrary: Stating that they have to have a universal status would be pretty arrogant. I couldn't make any sense of that. (Which also goes well with what Beelzy said. ^_^)
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
PIT_FACE at 9:27AM, Dec. 30, 2010
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to have fun, to do what needs to be done, to the best of yer ability anyways, and then eventually get really angry and die of a heart attack. :D

above all i guess just to try not to be too much of a bastard, cuz if yer NOT a bastard, that's one place in the world a bastard doesnt exist. that all's subjective i guess. even the most evil sonovabitch out there can argue his case why he does what he does, so ya gotta just take responsibility for yerself. be truthful to yerself. and that's my preaching for the day.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
Loud_G at 7:50AM, Dec. 31, 2010
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“Man is that he might have joy”

That is our purpose.
Find out what George is up to:

 
 
Go! Visit George or he may have to eat you!*
*Disclaimer: George may or may not eat violators depending on hunger level and scarcity of better tasting prey.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:46PM

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