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Thread: The Purpose of Life

  1. #1 The Purpose of Life 
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    There is probably no greater unknown aspect of human life than the "purpose of life". All living organisms begin life with a built in, hardwired purpose which drives them throughout their existence. We call this hardwired purpose "instinct". Except for humans all other organisms can avoid their purpose only by dying before their purpose is accomplished.

    While humans are born with the same built in, hardwired purpose as all other living organisms, humans, through the gift of intelligence can forge their own purpose and override the hardwired purpose they are born with. With intelligence, normal humans can write their own destiny regardless of the circumstance into which they are born. History is replete with stories of humans, both male and female, who have risen from utter despair to great heights. The single common factor in all of these stories is that each of the people had, first and foremost, a set purpose toward which they directed all of primary efforts.

    Moreover, because of the way human instincts are implemented in the human brain, humans can not only pick and choose between different purposes for their lives, at a young age humans are forced to choose a purpose to which they will devote their lives. The most successful humans are those who pick a life purpose that is moral and contributes to society's success. The least successful humans are those who are incapable or unwilling to commit their lives to any purpose. Unfortunately the latter includes the majority of the human race.

    One of the first and most important things taught in Business 101 is that to be successful any enterprise must have a purpose and every function of the enterprise must be aimed at accomplishing that purpose. In the military the objective is the purpose of an army. The general does not say "go fight the enemy" which leaves the troops without any specific direction. Rather he says "your objective is to take hill 107 which provides both a direction and a purpose." No successful army ever moved without a specific purpose!

    Without a fixed purpose human life is simply a hapless, aimless wandering from birth to death with no chance whatever of accomplishing anything which benefits anyone. Perhaps even worst than having no purpose is having the wrong purpose and wasting efforts and resources in this folly as the human race has been doing for at least 200,000 years.

    There is a given (either by a Deity or acceptance by humanity through intelligence, free will, logic and self interest.) purpose to human life, the clue to which is written in stone across the mountains of Earth for all to read. Unfortunately, the knowledge required to decipher the writing has only been acquired within the last 192 years. Before then there was no possibility of humans discovering the true purpose of human life.

    In 1819 Georges Cuvier was instrumental is starting the scientific field of paleontology which is the study of prehistoric life on Earth. The study of prehistoric life involves the study of fossils which are the petrified (turned to stone) remains of creatures and organisms long dead. This fossil record is a 3.2 billion year record of life on earth written in stone. Through this study scientist have concluded that for all the differences in size, shape, color, makeup and functioning of prehistoric organisms, all living creatures on Earth since the beginning of life have accomplished only one thing in common. That one common factor of all living organisms is the reproduction of their species. All of these trillions of creatures, living and dying over more than 3.2 billion years, learned nothing beyond what was needed to survive to propagate. They learned nothing because they did not have any capability to learn beyond what was needed to survive and propagate. Learning and abstract reasoning were not possible on Earth until the evolution of humans some 200,000 years ago.

    It is not a stretch to say that because all these organisms did nothing except propagate that the purpose of all living organisms is to propagate. Some will nitpick that function and purpose are not the same thing, that a purpose implies a premeditated intention, an objective, a strategy to reach it and an awareness of the whole process in order to carry it out; where as the function can be the mere instinct and often a simple chemical reaction. The fact is that mere instinct and chemical reactions are in fact choices (premeditated intentions) which all organisms experience. The only difference between other lower evolved organisms and humans is that humans can choose to act or function differently from what their instincts and chemical reactions dictate. All organisms want to and do put most of their efforts into survival and propagation. Consider the lengths most organisms will go to avoid death and pain and to mate! Many creatures mature, mate and die immediately. Would you try to get between a female tiger in heat and a male tiger? Consider it this way… the premeditated intention, objective, and strategy are hardwired choices and desires which all organisms have but which cannot be avoided except by humans.

    For one last example, consider the hammer. The hammer was invented to pound things with more force than the human hand could apply. The function of the hammer is to pound things and to pound things is also its purpose. It may of course have other uses, but it is folly to say that the purpose of the hammer is any different that its function (i.e. to pound things)! The hammer itself has no awareness of anything and therefore cannot have any premeditated intention, but that does not change the fact that the purpose of the hammer is the same as its function.

    If we accept that propagation is the given purpose of life (given by God of course if you believe in God or by the Laws of Nature if you don't, it must have come from somewhere.), what does that mean for humans? First it means that humans have gotten it wrong for a long time and continue to do it wrong. If you took a poll of Earth citizens and ask "what is the Purpose of your life?" you will get primarily two different answers, sometimes both from the same person. Most will answer "To do God's will" or "my children." It turns out both answers are correct, the problem is that there are and have been approximately 2500 different versions of God's will, ranging from the requirement for human sacrifice to doing absolutely nothing except praying. There is not, nor has there ever been any verifiable communication between God and humans. If we examine the various "Words of God" handed down through the centuries it is obvious that the "Words" were either written by humans without any input from God, or God did communicate with the authors of the "Words" with the intension of confusing and causing pain and harm to humans. If God is a benign, loving Deity, there simply cannot be 2500 different correct versions of God's Words. There cannot even be two different correct versions of God's Word. To think otherwise requires that some kind of insanity be at play. Something cannot be both all black and all white at the same time.

    This is the reason God allows so much evil to exist in our world. God simply does not interfere in the affairs of humans. For one thing God interfering in affairs of humanity would negate the immense gift of free will humans' posses. If humans are indeed endowed with free will then God must allow humans to do whatever they desire to do and all evidence strongly suggests that is indeed the case. Human free will is limited only by the Laws of Nature. Anything that does not violate any of the Laws of Nature is possible on Earth; anything which violates the Laws of Nature is not possible anywhere in the universe.

    The fact is that all the scientific evidence strongly suggests that God does not, nor ever had any kind of intercourse with any human. For one thing, for God to communicate with humans as is described by the Words there would need to be some kind of "Magic", a violation of the unbreakable Laws of Nature. Any scientist will tell you that is impossible. Even the some of the Words say "And he (God) said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live". Exodus 33:20.

    The result of this confusion on what is or is not God's will, is the chaos and immorality that pervades humanity. There is no ONE word on which we can base our morality, there is no absolute yard stick by which we can measure human activity, no marker separating good from evil! What is good in one society is evil in another.

    On the other hand, children as the purpose of life has scientific proof in the fossil record, and having children as the purpose of life gives us the absolute by which we can measure good and evil. What is good for the children of Earth is right and good; what is harmful to the children of Earth is wrong and evil. Is it difficult to tell what is good for children and what is harmful to children? Absolutely not! If you have a happy child that matures into a moral productive adult then you got it right, if you have an unhappy child or one that matures into an immoral or non productive adult, you got it wrong.

    We can also add that the welfare children are the most common desire and bond that connect one society to another, world wide!

    Moreover there is no need to give up our faith in what ever God we believe in. I am sure that most will agree that we cannot go wrong if we give better care and priority to Earth's children. By making Earth's children the priority of society we for fill God's intention that humans propagate and multiply far better than humans ever have before because we will stop killing off the best our children have to offer. This is the only purpose God intended for which we any scientific evidence at all! We have a 3.2 billion years record of life doing just that, a record that is written in stone as the Ten Commandants were written in stone.

    Consider this… If God exist and God intended a "purpose" for humanity, there must be some clue somewhere as to what that intended purpose is. If there is no clue, no way for humanity to understand God's will, then any purpose or meaning to human life is pointless. It's like a king telling his servant, "bring me what I want or I will punish you severely!" The poor hapless servant cannot comply with the king's wishes because he doesn't know what the king wants. Nor can he know unless the king gives him some kind of clue to what he wants. The fossil record is the clue to the purpose of life humanity has searched for since the beginning.

    Many will say that God's will is spelled out in the Word of God (i.e. Koran, Bible, etc.) but which of the 2500 different God's that have been invented by humanity over the past 200,000 years is the correct one? Without some scientific provable evidence one Word is as good as the next. A person can chose one Word over another based on faith only, and that faith is the faith that your parents and society taught you to believe in as a child. Had you been born into a different culture with a different faith, you would probably practice the faith you were raised in as 5 or 6 billion other individual humans do. "We are what we are taught to be as children."

    Herein lays both the reason for and the solution to all of humanities problems! The problem is that humanity does not teach its children to be all they can be, rather it puts great store in teaching children to conform to the present society's culture and norms. What humanity should be teaching its children is the "Truth" and "Reality" of human existence, and they should be taught this with the same zeal we now practice in the propagation of religion and culture.

    How do we know what is the real truth and reality of human existence. That is simple! The universe came with an instruction manual which science and the scientific method has allowed us to decipher. We call this instruction manual the "Laws of Nature!" The Laws of Nature are constant, consistent and inviolable across time and space. They are the only absolute known to science. If the Laws of Nature were not constant, consistent and inviolable across time and space, none of the technology humanity now depends on would be possible. If something conforms to the Laws of Nature then it is true and real. If it violates any part of the Laws of Nature, it is false and fantasy. We have millions of scientist who are capable and who have the technology to prove or disprove any hypothesis concerning truth and reality. In order to insure we teach human children only truth and reality we must insure that everything we teach them conforms to the Laws of Nature as we understand them.

    Perhaps the most insidious thing that has been taught to children over the past 200,000 years is the belief in "magic" and "miracles" through fairy tails and religious instructions. The fact is there is no such thing as magic or miracles because such things violate the constant, consistent and inviolable Laws of Nature!

    Herein lays the primary reason humanity has failed to achieve peace and goodwill among all humans. Human children are born with a very acute and accurate "bullshit" detector. Children learn at a very young age that there is no magic or miracles in life and in the process learn that they have been lied to by their parents and society. Having learned that they have been lied to then gives the child permission to lie themselves, even to lie TO themselves about the reality they face. And this of course leads to the commission of immoral acts. The children reject the morality society tries to teach them simply because they believe it is another lie. This fact has been written about since the beginning of human history as evidenced by the story of Cain and Able. Children simply do not believe in ANY absolute morality because such has never been demonstrated to them. Could any human ever conceive of doing any immoral act if they knew for sure they would spend eternity in Hell for doing so?

    If we do not lie to children about ANYTHING then children will trust their parents and society and follow the morality code accepted and taught by the society.


    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

    Richard (Dick) C Roose
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  3. #2 The Foundation of Purpose 
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    To understand the Foundation of Purpose we must first define the meaning of purpose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purpose) as accepted by both the scientific community and the general public.

    My on line dictionary defines "purpose" as…

    1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
    2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
    3. determination; resoluteness.

    For our purposes we (i.e. define the Purpose of Life) we must also consider the definition of instinct.

    "Instinct" is defined as…

    1. a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity <had an instinct for the right word>
    2. a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason.
    3. behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level .

    From this definition can we not say that, in effect, an organism's instinct causes it to want or desire to do what the instinct unalterably demands? Can we not also say that purpose, by the first definition given, does not require any intention or desire but only existence or accomplishment (i.e. done, made, used).

    I would suggest that one must stretch reason to the limit to conclude otherwise. Instinct is the reason and rational behind prehistoric organism's and lower evolved organism's purpose because the only thing in common any of them ever accomplished (i.e. done, made, used) was to reproduce.

    While humans have the same basic instincts to survive and propagate as all other living organisms, humans have on top of their instincts "free will" and "intelligence" which allow us to mediated our response to natural instinctual impulses.

    This does not change the fact that human's basic purpose is the same as all other life forms, to survive and propagate!

    Because humans have the same basic instinct to survive and propagate as all other living creatures, all humans have at least the one purpose of survival and for most humans, the purpose to reproduce. So it saddens me when I hear,"there is no purpose to life", because such statements belie the fundamental reality of human existence. In order to say or write something like that one must lie to themselves.

    What is true is that many humans, probably the majority, have no purpose or give only lip service to any purpose beyond their own self interest. It has been my experience over almost 75 years that the happiest and most productive (and best parents) are people who have a purpose beyond their own self interest. I have observed that the happiness these people experience comes from the success in accomplishment of their purpose and that their higher productivity results from the extra effort their purpose in life demands. I have never met a person who was happy and productive who didn't have a purpose beyond their own self interest.

    The most amazing thing is that people who have a higher purpose than self interest do in fact for fill their self interest far better than people who do not have such a purpose. They are happier, they usually make more money and they live more comfortably and are much more satisfied with life than they otherwise would be.

    There is another reason Americans especially need a purpose beyond their own self interest. It is a responsibility Americans own that they put the interest of the nation above their own self interest. The fact that the nation works so well is evidence of the vast numbers of Americans who take on this responsibility willingly. The fact that this nation is doing so poorly is evidence that vast numbers of Americans do not accept and for fill this responsibility. Barely half of the population of the US (63%) even voted in the recent presidential election.

    This nation was founded on premise that a Creator existed and had a given purpose for humanity.

    From the Declaration of Independence…

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    The last sentence of the Declaration of Independence…

    And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

    This last sentence (at least for me) defines the responsibility each American is born into. That responsibility is putting the interest of the Nation above all self interest. That is the only way and the only reason democracy works as well as it does.

    Democracy has worked in this country for over 235 years only because the majority of Americans have strived to achieve a purpose beyond their own self interest. It would work better if we all pursued the same purpose.

    All I am tying to do is present a way to formulate a Purpose of Life all Americans can sign up for since it is something most Americans already believe in; and something which would bring unbelievable good changes to American life.

    For me the purpose of life is the care, nourishment and education of all children to the point where every child born in the country has the love, care and resources to they need in order reach the highest potential to which they are capable.

    I believe this can be accomplished by the simple expediency of teaching children how to be parents before they become parents.


    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

    Richard (Dick) C Roose
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  4. #3 An Authority for the Purpose of Life. 
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    It would appear that for most people a purpose of life requires some kind of higher authority such as religion gives; otherwise life has no purpose at all. I would like to debunk this notion.

    It can be taken as a given that for any kind of society to exist, from a school of fish, to monkeys to humans there must be mutual cooperation and agreement between the members of that society no matter how that cooperation and agreement is reached (i.e. choice or instinct).

    Now if anyone has done any study of human nature they know how difficult it is to get a large number of humans to cooperate and agree on anything. The reason for this is that humans also have the instincts for survival, prosperity and propagation for themselves alone (i.e. self interest) without regard for any other organisms.

    So how is it that ancient man was able to form societies in the first place; and to keep forming them for over 200,000 years?

    The answer is, of course, that it is in the individuals self interest to cooperate and agree with at least some paradigms of the society. Humans simply cannot survive without the cooperation and agreement among the majority in any society. The fact is people in a society need the other people in the society in order to survive.

    Now what about the minority in society who choose to not cooperate and agree with the majority? Early on humans invented what we know as the "LAW". (It is interesting to note that the LAW existed for hundreds of centuries of human societies before (as it is claimed) Moses received the LAW from God in the form of the Ten Commandants.)

    In the beginning it must have been obvious that something more than a big stick was necessary to force the minority into conformance. For ancient man the invention of a God and religion solved the problem. The LAW came from god and God would punish those who broke the LAW through some kind of eternal Hell. Since the beginning the rulers of human societies have taken upon themselves the authority of God in the pursuit of the interest of society and their own self interest.

    The LAW, God and religion were probably the most intelligent, long lasting and successful paradigms ever invented by humans because they allowed the human species to survive long enough to discover science and the scientific method. As has been pointed out elsewhere (Tatarize, http://godsnotwheregodsnot.blogspot.com/) these paradigms were the only option which would have had any kind of success as before the discovery of science humanity had no real knowledge of human reality, rather only supposition, opinion and faith.

    The LAW, God and religion has been the human purpose of life since the beginning of human societies. According to polls I have read 83%of the human population presently has some form of religious faith. Religion has lasted for so long and is so powerful because for the most part it works! The is probably the best example on how good the pursuit of these purposes can be in a society.

    (Perhaps the most successful LAW ever invented was the law of heresy which forbids the questioning of the authority on which the LAW is based.)

    In the Declaration of Independence our founding fathers spelled out specifically what the purpose of the is…

    " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"
    And the last sentence states…

    "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
    To sum up, the purpose of life for any society is survival and propagation of the society and the species. For any society, this purpose must be stated in some form that can be accepted and pursued by the majority of the society's population. This stated purpose is not an option which can be rejected by the majority of the population but rather is a necessity on which the success (i.e. a more just and moral society) of the society depends. The greater the majority that accepts and pursues the stated purpose, the greater is the success of the society. The United States of America being one of the better examples.

    In proposing a new purpose of live I am simply saying that in light of the new knowledge which science and an understanding of the fossil record gives us, it maybe time to reexamine the purpose of life laid out by the founding fathers and clarify it so that it more closely adheres to the reality of human existence. I believe this is a necessity if our society is to grow into a more just and moral society. Actually in light of the current problems facing I believe it is necessary if we are to continue for very long as a viable society.

    What I am proposing in the simplest terms is that the majority of the American society add to whatever purpose they now serve, the unconditional love, care, nourishment and education that all children need to have in order to have the opportunity to mature into the best, happiest and most successful person they are capable of achieving. In fact this is a purpose the vast majority of humans already practice. I am simply suggesting that we formalize it into a national policy and purpose.

    I believe an understanding of the fossil record is scientific proof that the unconditional love, care, nourishment and education of all children is the given purpose of life. If not given and/or defined by any Deity then defined by society through the use of intelligence, logic, reason and self interest.

    What this would mean is the complete elimination of ALL child abuse, physical, moral and mental; to be accepted as the priority task of society.
    I believe this can be accomplished within a few generations by simply teaching children how to be parents before they become parents. The reason for this is that I believe the vast majority of human problems stem from child abuse; and that the vast majority of child abuse is now and has been since the beginning accomplished by parents who are ignorant of the fact that they are in fact abusing their children. The result of eliminating all child abuse and helping every child to grow into all they can be would result in success (i.e. a much happier, productive, prosperous, just and moral society) beyond what most people can imagine. Humanity could then put an end to the national debt, war and global pollution; and all but eliminate hunger, disease and crime from the entire Earth.

    In my book, (which is in the process of being rewritten)"The Fifth Revolution - The Understanding of Human Reality And The Beginning of Human Wisdom" (http://realityfound.org), I go into detail on how the elimination of the national debt, war, global pollution, hunger, disease and crime can be accomplished. The book is free for anyone to read and/or download.

    Be warned, I have, of course, received the same criticisms to my book that I receive on this forum. That is why I am so grateful for all the feedback. With a lot of help I may get it right before I die.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

    Richard (Dick) C Roose
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  5. #4 Purpose and Morality 
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    Once we accept that the primary, priority purpose of society should be the unconditional love, care, nourishment and education that all children need to mature into just, moral and productive citizens of society to the greatest extent to which they can aspire or are capable, we then have, for the first time in human history, an absolute which can be proven by the Laws of Nature and by which we can judge the morality or immorality of any human act.

    For more that 200,000 years humanity has needed to depend on unproven and essentially unsupportable suppositions, opinions and faith as the absolute by which morality was judged. The fact that this absolute on which morality was judged was in fact unproven and not provable is the primary reason humanity has for so long failed to achieve a truly just and moral society.

    As an analogy, humanity has been trying for 200,000 years to build a very large, tall building (i.e. society) on a foundation of sand rather than on the bedrock of reality. Humanity has done this simply because it had no knowledge of the bedrock of human reality and nothing else which could serve as an absolute judge of morality prior to about 192 years ago with the start of the scientific exploration of paleontology. One must admit that with 2500 different religions practiced through out human history, the foundations of societies religious faiths were indeed rolling, shifting beds of sand on which no human structure could long survive.

    At one time I had several references to scientific works which concluded that the purpose of life was simply to survive and reproduce and which supported the following statements. Unfortunately, I have lost these references. If anyone knows of any books or articles which support these notions please send me a reference,

    It is a well accepted fact among most scientists that the only common function ever performed by prehistoric organisms and the vast majority of living organisms today is survival and reproduction. This fact is many organisms such as salmon and a great many insects die immediately after mating and absolutely perform no other function beyond surviving, providing food for other organisms and mating. Yes some organisms build tunnels and some organisms build nest and some organisms build hives but these functions are part of their function of survival and are not common to all organisms.

    Since there is very little disagreement over the function of prehistoric organisms and the majority of living organisms, can we not say that these common functions were/are in fact also the “purpose” of the organisms life? Can we not also say that since we are evolved from these lower life forms we also share their instinct and purpose to survive and reproduce?

    The quandary here is a matter of semantics. Although both the English dictionary and English thesaurus give interchangeable definitions to both of the words “function” and “purpose” there seems to be a great deal of difficulty in people applying these standards to the words when we talk about the purpose of life.

    This is sad because if we apply the same definitions to the two words in this context as in all other context, we will have answered the most asked and longest unanswered question in human history. We will then have, for the first time in all of human history, an absolute which can be proven by the Laws of Nature and by which we can judge the morality or immorality of any human act.

    Because the human brain is so large it takes years for a human infant to mature to the point where it can take care of itself. Our gift intelligence and free will gives humans an added responsibility beyond simply fornicating to propagate. In order to be successful at propagation humans must give unconditional love, care, nourishment and education to their children for the first 15 or so years of the child’s life.

    Moreover if a parent wants to guarantee unconditional love, care, nourishment and education for their child they must guarantee it for all children in the society; if for no other reason than self interest and the interest of their children. It’s also cheaper that way! To see that most humans already believe this one has only to look at the pervasiveness of public education across the world.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

    Richard (Dick) C Roose
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  6. #5 Previous posting 
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    The four essays above were originally published on the forum http://login.about.com/ in the "Agnosticism/Atheism" section under "Ethics, Morality and Philosophy".

    I hope no one minds the cross posting as I believe the subject pertains to both forums. I am interested in seeing if the responses I get here are any different form what I receive on the other forum.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

    Richard (Dick) C Roose
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  7. #6  
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    Can i get the abridged version?
    The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas - Tao Te Ching

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    I haven't read all of this thread yet, but I like that you said we can devise our own purpose.

    Since the ultimate essence is either "don't know" or is causeless (since cause-and-effect cannot go on forever beneath) then it is that we have the freedom to be (within our form) and to make our own meaning and purpose in life. Actually, it is a must (beyond ending one's life), for we have been thrust into existence. This is why existentialists don't even care about essence. Even for us who on The Science Forum like to understand All, as a pursuit, we, probably many, in our everyday lives outside of here, attend to existence primarily, and so so meaning of it must be made to direct it.
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    I believe that life's biological purpose is propagation and betterment of conditions or lives. However, the higher purpose (i.e. the purpose of propagation) is harder to define. Aristotle puts it in his treatise Ethics that the purpose in life is the "chief good" or happiness. However, his more accurate description of purpose applying to are existence is acts of working. Perhaps he is right and it is the climb that counts. This is a bleak perspective for me, a goal setter, but it would suggest living in the moment will help you achieve your purpose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Can i get the abridged version?
    No! if you are not interested enough to read 4 short essays then you are not intereted enough to meaningfully contribute to the thread.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

    Richard (Dick) C Roose
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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    I haven't read all of this thread yet, but I like that you said we can devise our own purpose.
    I like everything you said. All I am really trying to say is that the unconditional love, care, nourshment and education of all of Earth's Children would be a good purpose for most people to chose, especially since the marjority of humanity already believes this to be true.

    Having such a purpose would change very few lives and allow the vast majority to continue as they are with only their propoity changed when it comes time to vote.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

    Richard (Dick) C Roose
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    Aristotle puts it in his treatise Ethics that the purpose in life is the "chief good" or happiness.
    Aristotle lived over 2,000 years ago. Our knowledge of human reality has increased many fold over the intervening time. Isn't it perhaps time to re-evaluate what society considers the purpose of life?
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

    Richard (Dick) C Roose
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  13. #12 Re: The Purpose of Life 
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose
    While humans are born with the same built in, hardwired purpose as all other living organisms, humans, through the gift of intelligence can forge their own purpose and override the hardwired purpose they are born with.
    Then according to what I've just read in the 2nd paragraph, our primary purpose is to forge a purpose. The purpose that is forged, is secondary.
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    To the thread title, it's just to love, and be loved in return. *


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    If I was to say my forged purpose in life is to exterminate a race of people from the face of the Earth then have I not satisfied the OP if I try to pull it off?

    I'm talking strictly about forging a purpose as the OP suggests. If the purpose of life is to act upon the forged purpose then there can be no sole stand alone purpose. The purpose of life would then require two actions, not one. One to forge and another to act. Unless of course the first action was hardwired and not forged. To have a single sole purpose in life one must contend that the first purpose is hardwired, not forged. Then acting on your hardwired purpose is what life intended. I suppose it could be the other way around also.

    Anyway it is much simpler to say that the purpose of life is to survive. Isn't that what the OP'er is getting at, even if it looks like something profoundly different?
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    Aristotle lived over 2,000 years ago. Our knowledge of human reality has increased many fold over the intervening time. Isn't it perhaps time to re-evaluate what society considers the purpose of life?
    I agree. I guess I didn't make myself clear. I only was speculating on the possibility he is right. Also, although Aristotle can often be outdated, he had remarkable foresight, and many of his ideas are still relevant today. Virtue ethics, for example, has had a comeback since the 1980's. These were Aristotle's ideas, still pondered in modern times.
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  17. #16  
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    sorry for quoting the whole thing!! :-D :-D
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  18. #17 The Fifth Revolution 
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    The Fifth Revolution

    I think it is time that I summarize my complete hypotheses into a few paragraphs. I have entitled my theories “The Fifth Revolution”; the first four revolutions being “Life”, “Intelligence”, “Agriculture”, and “Industry”. The fifth revolution I believe will be the acquisition of “Wisdom” by the majority of the human race. I believe “Wisdom” is the next step in the evolution of life on planet Earth.

    My basic premises are…

    1. Within the foreseeable future humanity faces some very difficult problems which could quite possibly lead the extinction of humanity; and which can only be solved by some very radical changes in the conduct of human affairs.

    2. I can find no proposals anywhere which even suggest the kind of radical change necessary.

    3. From my 50 year research and observation of the reality of the human condition (by which I include everything which in any way concerns humans) I have reached the conclusion that there are only 7 things (which I will present a little further on) which need to be radically changed for humans to solve the present daunting problems it faces.

    4. From my 50 year research and observation of the reality of the human condition I have reached the conclusion that the most difficult problems the human race faces is the abuse of children by parents who are ignorant of the proper way to raise their children. This abuse is what leads to almost all of the injustice and immorality found on the planet.

    5. This abuse of children through ignorance is one thing which can be radically changed through the simple expediency of teaching children, as a priority of human society, how to be parents before they become parents.

    6. Making this kind of radical change to the educational system (and the other 5 changes necessary) simply cannot be accomplished unless there is “stated national purpose” to make the changes necessary. It would require a majority vote of all American citizens to undertake such changes and this cannot occur without the acceptance of a common national purpose.

    7. Finally it is my belief that since most humans already accept the purpose (or responsibility if you like) of life as the unconditional love, care, nourishment and education of children. Stating this fact in law as the national purpose, right along with the Declaration of Independence, is the easiest way it can be accomplished. It is important to understand that having children is not a necessity for accepting this premise. There are many things people can do to support the premises beyond having children of their own.

    I believe and hope to be able to prove these seven things which humanity must change if it is to survive beyond the next 200 years are…

    1. The accepted human “Purpose of Life.”

    2. The public education system so that the priority of education is the teaching of parenting and the wisdom to choose and desire what is the best of human instincts as their purpose.

    3. The foolish notion that the purpose of government is to “rule”. The actual purpose of government is the facilitation of a public forum for the safe, just, moral and convenient conduct of all human intercourse.

    4. The elimination of crime through the simple expedience of eliminating “Cash” from society and using an all electronic monetary system as is the present monetary system used by the majority of Americans and the rest of the world.

    5. The reform of prisons systems so that they truly become rehabilitation centers rather than the breeding ground and educational centers of criminals to be criminals that they now are.

    6. The elimination of the public “debt”.

    7. The distribution of wealth into a more just system.

    It is my intention and hope that the book “The Fifth Revolution – The Understanding of Human Reality and the Beginning of Human Wisdom” will contain chapters addressing in specific details these 7 changes (and the reasons/justifications for them) I believe are necessary and easily accomplished. I will also try to show that the cost involved in accomplishing these changes are ridiculously small compared the the present cost to society.

    It is also my intention to publish each chapter on this and another forum as I write them. It is my fondest hope and dream that at least several people on these forums will actively support and help me in my effort to justify my premises. It seems that the most obvious things are usually the hardest to get across. Every thing I write is in fact supported by scientific evidence which I have read and researched on the internet or other places, I am just not smart enough or organized enough or educated enough to have kept all of the references I depend so heavily on.

    So if any of you run across any scientific reference, article or book which supports any of my premises on the internet or anywhere I would very greatly appreciate your sharing that reference with me. I would also especially appreciate any references (not opinions) which refute any of my premises.

    I realize I am asking you to do some of my research for me, but at age 74, I simply do not have the time left or the ability to do 60 years of research all over again.

    Besides I have thought about this for so long and with such effort that to me it is all utterly obvious because I cannot find any evidence refuting my hypotheses. I believe the reason for this is that these premises are so radical that very few have ever considered them in a practical manner before.[/list]
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  19. #18 Re: The Purpose of Life 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Then according to what I've just read in the 2nd paragraph, our primary purpose is to forge a purpose. The purpose that is forged, is secondary.
    I really cannot see how anyone could possibly get what you got from the second paragraph. It is not stated, or even implied, anywhere in my writing that any purpose is "secondary", or "only" or that our primary purpose is to forge a purpose.

    Everyone has many purposes which at times, hourly in fact, take priority over other purposes.

    I am surprised that after being a member of this forum for so long, that you would even consider publishing this and your other post, with such a misreading/misunderstanding (i.e. utter BS) of what I wrote.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  20. #19 Re: The Fifth Revolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose
    I think it is time that I summarize my complete hypotheses into a few paragraph.
    Yay. It was worth the effort for now i see that reading your lengthier posts won't be a waste of my time. I've read the first one so far; a couple of things...

    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose
    The fact is that mere instinct and chemical reactions are in fact choices (premeditated intentions) which all organisms experience.
    Not sure about this assertion. Actually not sure about the whole notion of 'free-will'. Depending on its exact definition, neuroscientists debate whether such a thing really exists at all.

    Have you read about meme theory? I think it may be pertinent to you, but is an unproven hypothesis as yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose
    The function of the hammer is to pound things and to pound things is also its purpose.
    This is Aristotelian. An objects final cause is it's meaning or purpose. Also its soul. Is this the source for this particular idea? It could be said the purpose of the hammer resides in the human mind, without which there would be no purpose for the hammer. We can choose to give it purpose, but that purpose is not inherent to the object (same for the fossil record). I personally don't think there is anything wrong with assigning purpose to things whilst acknowledging such as arbitrary. This is known as absurdism.


    This 5th revolution stuff reminds me of a philosopher who stated that at a certain threshold of knowledge held by individuals a 'quiet' revolution would occur. But i can't remember the philosopher's name - maybe you've come across him?
    The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas - Tao Te Ching

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  21. #20 Re: The Purpose of Life 
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    [quote="dickroose"]

    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Then according to what I've just read in the 2nd paragraph, our primary purpose is to forge a purpose. The purpose that is forged, is secondary.
    I really cannot see how anyone could possibly get what you got from the second paragraph. It is not stated, or even implied, anywhere in my writing that any purpose is "secondary", or "only" or that our primary purpose is to forge a purpose.
    From paragraph 2,
    The single common factor in all of these stories is that each of the people had, first and foremost, a set purpose toward which they directed all of primary efforts.
    No implication you say. Would you direct all primary efforts towards a purpose other than the first and foremost? First & foremost is primary in my book.

    I am surprised that after being a member of this forum for so long, that you would even consider publishing this and your other post, with such a misreading/misunderstanding (i.e. utter BS) of what I wrote.
    WTF does that have to do with it? I'm still trying to get past paragraph 2. I might require another 6 years just to get there.
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  22. #21 Preamble to the Purpose of Life 
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    Hi All,

    The following is one of the first essays I wrote many years ago concerning the purpose of life. I found it during the process of setting up a new blog dedicated to my hypotheses and entitled "A New Theory of the Purpose of Life." (http://therealpurposeoflife.blogspot.com/). It is totally my opinion without any justification. In it I state many things which are my opinion as given facts, a practice which I now criticize and try desperatly to avoid. That being said I have decided to publish it here as it is the most consise and complete essay on my premises. Although it is somewhat lengthy, it may answer some questions people have about my theories/opinions.

    I will be transfering all of my essays to the new blog and will no longer publish any new material on this forum. I will, of course, continue to read and reply to any post on this forum directed at me that I consider require a reply.

    Anyone who is interested in this thread is humbly invited to join and post in the new blog. As I will be the moderator of the blog, I reserve the right to delete anything I believe is BS or solely unsupported opinion. Therefore the noise clutter should be much less. I would rather only one or two people post to my blog as opposed to the number that do on this unmoderated forum.

    Preamble to The Fifth Revolution

    I would like to humbly suggest that if a given, factually provable, undeniable Purpose of Life were to be discovered, considering the vast amounts of human effort, and the vast amounts of wealth and resources that have been expended over the past 200,000 years by humanity in pursuit of the Purpose of Life, it would be the greatest discovery in all of human history. Such a discovery would give humanity something it has lacked for all of human history; a sound, rock solid foundation on which it could build a civilization which would be capable of lasting indefinitely; and a sound, rock solid foundation on which human morality could be based forever. I would also like to suggest even more humbly that I, through fortunate circumstances not of my own making, have made that discovery. I would like to very humbly present my finding in the following paragraphs for your consideration.

    Since Life first appeared on Earth approximately 3.8 billion years ago only a teeny, tiny fraction of all the life forms have exhibited any form of intelligence. Over the 3.8 billion year history of life on planet Earth the only truly intelligent life form appears during only the last 200,000 years, humans. Even during the 200,000 years of intelligent life, the ratio in population of intelligent life to non-intelligent life is on the order of 1 to a few trillion. The overwhelming mass of life on the planet consists of single celled organisms like viruses and bacteria. Even multi-celled organisms such as plants, insects, fish, reptiles and lower order mammals far, far outnumber the human population.

    It is extremely important to our understanding of the Purpose of Life to note that all life forms on Earth are made up of the same basic elements, hydrogen, carbon, iron, oxygen and a few other trace elements. The only differences between all life forms are the ways in which differing amounts of the basic raw materials are arranged. It is also extremely important to note that the way all different life forms function in order to survive is also entirely dependent on the arrangement of these same basic elements. All life forms, including humans for the first few months of life, function according to their built in, hardwired “instinct”. This arrangement of the basic elements dictates not only how an organism looks, its physical characteristics but also the ways in which the organism behaves. It determines how and what it takes into itself for nourishment. It determines how the organism senses itself and its surroundings, and how it reacts to its environment. Finally the arrangement of the basic raw elements determines how and when the organism will reproduce itself. It is this, sometimes final, act which defines life as we know it, the ability to reproduce one or more copies of itself.

    The single most important thing to realize is that all life forms on Earth, except one, function throughout their entire lives without any “choice” in any part of their life cycle. Their life history is written in the way the basic raw elements of life are arranged. Whether they survive to reproduce is purely a matter of ability and chance!

    Humans different from other life forms in the far greater abilities the arrangement of the basic raw elements gives us. A large part of these greater abilities is the intelligence which gives humans the ability to “choose” courses of action which give us a better probability of survival than pure chance would dictate.

    The function (i.e. arrangement of basic raw elements) of every life form on Earth is to survive to reproduce. Of this point there is absolutely no question, it is in fact the way we define life. As a matter of fact, the only function any life form on earth, save one, ever performed was to survive and reproduce. For most life forms the act of reproduction is the final act of the organism. The organism reproduces and dies.

    Now there is some debate about whether function and purpose is the same thing. But most people would agree that if a thing has but a single function, then that things purpose is the same as its function. My online dictionary defines “purpose” as “something set up as an object or end to be attained”. The same dictionary defines “function” in part as “the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used, or for which a thing exists”. The parts “specially fitted” and “for which a thing exists” very strongly imply “end to be obtained” so I believe it is no stretch to say that life, in performing it “function” over 3.8 billion years has also been fulfilling its “purpose”. All except one single life form on Earth simply has no option but to fulfill its purpose because it had no other capabilities. Humans are the only life form which can choose whether or not to reproduce.

    Many of you will see a flaw in this argument in that “something set up” implies the question “who set it up?” This question could lead us into the quagmire of religion and the question of “God”, but I am not going to go there yet. If you believe the universe and Planet Earth were created by a Creator, then the answer to the question “who set it up?” is that Creator. If you believe the Universe just happened or is just one of many Universes then you must fall back on the fact that intelligent life cannot exist without purpose. In either case I would hope that you read on to see if the Purpose of Life and the consequences that I propose make sense to you.

    To prove that intelligent life cannot exist without Purpose we need only glimpse at human history to see and realize that the extraordinary lengths humans have gone to could only have been accomplished if the end objective (i.e. “The Purpose of Life”) was absolutely necessary. The extraordinary cost humans have been willing to pay to support and enforce their faith in one of the many, many different Answers that have been proposed as the Answer to the Purpose of Life is astounding,

    Unless we are religious fanatics, in the quietness of our own soul each of us knows that the faith we have in what ever Higher Power our religion taught us to believe in is a power we use to avoid the stark reality that we do not know with any certainly what life is all about. We know we cannot prove the existence of our Higher Power any more than anyone else can prove that our Higher Power does not exist. We cling to our faith because it provides us with answers to otherwise unanswerable questions that have confounded mankind for as long as pre-humans and humans have walked upright on the face of the Earth some 2,000,000 years. Our faith shines a light into the dark, very scary jungle inhabited by Dragons, Beast and Devils that only our imagination can conger up; and where no other light can reach. It gives us hope for a better future where the woes which beset mankind are forbidden, and where peace, prosperity, contentment, happiness and love prevail. Our faith in our Higher Power’s strength to protect us from the Dragons, Beast and Devils is a necessary instinctual mechanism of our brains that prevents us from being overwhelmed by our fears, for there is no other protection possible from these aberrations, save our faith in a Higher Power.

    Our faith in a Higher Power’s ability to lead us to that better place where peace, prosperity, contentment, happiness and love prevail is also a necessary instinctual mechanism of our brains that allows us to face the stark reality of our mortality and the finality of our eventual journey into the Great Unknown we call Death. The tenants and teachings of our religion are the guidepost we use in our everyday life to give order and continuity to our life even in the midst of disorder and chaos, and this too is a necessary instinctual mechanism of our brains.

    According to Will and Amy Durant’s 11 volume “Story of Civilization” there have been over 2500 different religions practiced by past civilizations in all different parts of the world. In fact, to the best of my knowledge no human society or civilization except “communism” and “socialism” (and even these are religions of a sort in that they are based on the philosophy or scientific reasoning that the common good of humanity is the Purpose of Life.) has ever existed which did not have as its moral foundation a religion underpinning of some sort. Moreover, religion and its enforcement and/or propagation has been the major obsession and consumer of mankind’s wealth, resources, physical efforts and sacrifice of human life since pre-humans first walked upright on the savannas of Africa some 2 million years ago. Could humans have sacrificed so much for so long unless the objective was a basic, universal, instinctual need of humanity? I think not!

    The stark reality of human religion is that all religions are interchangeable! The God or Goddess or Gods and/or Goddesses of different religions are different; The Good Books, the tenants and teachings of different religions may be different from one another. But… all religions accomplish the same thing. Religion fulfills the basic, universal, instinctual need of all humans for a Higher Power, something beyond human capability, to protect us from our all too real, inescapable fear of the unknowable unknown.

    The absolute, unavoidable fact of “Death”, that realization of our inescapable mortality and the “finality” of our eventual end, is another reason that a Purpose of Life is necessary for human existence. The human Answer to Purpose has always been to allow humans to approach and accept the inevitable reality of Death with dignity, peace and even joy. Death according to the Laws of Nature is necessary and inevitable for all living things. It is the final sacrifice we humans make in the fulfillment of the Purpose of Life; we pass on to make room for the new generations of humans comfortable in the knowledge that we have, to the best of our abilities fulfilled the Purpose of Life. We need not have accomplished our life Purpose with perfection, we are after all only human and humans are never perfect. It is a fact that all human mistakes are, at there most basic cause, the result of ignorance the mistake maker is unaware of. There is no such thing as “Sin”, there is only ignorance. Nor should we fear punishment in the afterlife for such retribution for ignorance is illogical in the extreme and the Laws of Nature which ultimately define all aspects of life are not illogical in any way. Rather in our autumn years we should look forward to the end. Death is after all nothing but eternal peaceful sleep without care, responsibility or strife. Death is by definition that place where all human suffering and evil is forbidden; and where Peace reigns supreme for all eternity. Death is also the only possible way we will ever find out if a Creator exists or not. Death is the only possible escape from the boundaries and limitations the Laws of Nature impose on humans; and it may just possibly for us to enter that Greater Universe where the Creator resides and finally know the true Nature of the Creator.

    That the Purpose of Life is so crucial to human existence gives rise to the question… “why have human societies failed to live up to the promise of what is so fundamental to human existence; or to provide that most fundamental yearning of all human souls for peace, prosperity and happiness? Most human societies have been able to provide these things to part of the society most of the time, and to large parts of some societies for relatively long periods of time. But in the end, all past civilization, small and large, have failed and fallen into decay and al but vanished from the face of the Earth forever.

    The reason all civilizations have failed in the past is that the foundation on which they have been built was not a foundation based on any substantial human reality. All past civilizations and our present civilizations have been built on a foundation of religion. We can see clearly the fallacy of building a civilization on such an unstable foundation if we realize that there have been over 2,500 different religious foundations on which human’s civilizations have been built; civilizations which have lasted for hundreds and even thousands of years.

    All religions claim in some way to have a direct connection to some form of God, some as direct descendents from God, some by having been created in the image of God and some by divine inspiration and/or intervention by God. Are there indeed over 2,500 different Gods and Goddesses existing somewhere, looking over, inspiring and guiding human activity? I doubt any sane human will entertain this idea as even remotely possible. Is it possible there exists but one God who in its infinite wisdom has chosen to confound humans by inspiring so many different concepts of God in so many different places, with such dire consequences over such a long period time as humanity has existed? Again most sane humans would reject this notion as illogical at best. Such a God would need a twisted (in human sensibility) sense of humor, a sense of humor far, far beyond human comprehension. And thereby make any search for the true Purpose of Life pointless and doomed to failure by definition.

    Is it possible that the one and only God allowed all these other concepts of God to flourish, but did choose and inspire one and only one society as the Chosen People with the one and only “True” concept of God? I would point out that this notion is universal among all religions and in reality makes about as much sense as there actually existing 2,500 different Gods. Think about it, if God is good and just in the same sense as humans naturally and instinctively think of good and just; and if God intended humans to be good and just in this instinctive way, wouldn’t this be an illogical way for God to expect humans to achieve goodness and justice? No human society has ever proposed any other concept than a logical God which intends goodness and justice to prevail among human society (or at least among the chosen people), so we must logically reject this latter notion.

    Let us, as an exercise, take a blank slate and list what every human instinctively knows about God and see if we can create a concept of God and human reality which is based on human reality rather than human imagination; bearing in mind as we do so that our only understanding of human reality is based on our understanding of the Laws of Nature which are the definition of what is possible and what is not possible in this Universe.…

    1. We exist in a Universe which prior to about 14.5 billion years ago simply did not exist. Through our understanding of the Laws of Nature we know that the Universe was created 14.5 billion years ago in an event we call the “Big Bang”, where all of the matter/energy in the Universe was contained in an infinitesimally small point in space and then exploded and expanded over the intervening 14.5 billion into the glory we now see in our night sky.

    2. We do not know nor is it possible for humans to ever know what, if anything existed before the Big Bang. It may be possible (i.e. is not forbidden by the Laws of Nature) that human souls, but not human individuals, may possibly find out but this can occur only after death, for we are by definition, no longer human after death but simply a collection of simple elements which decay back into the dust we came from.

    3. Our solar system, along with the planet Earth, was formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago just as many, many solar systems have formed throughout the Universe. Over the intervening 4.6 billion years until now, Life arose and evolved according to the Laws of Nature into the wonderful proliferation of life we now experience.

    4. Everything which has happened, is happening or will ever happen in the Universe is according to the Laws of Nature. Everything, including the development of an intelligent life form like humans was preordained in at the moment of the Big Bang. What the Laws of Nature allow is possible, and given enough time, inevitable.

    5. There is nothing in the Laws of Nature which suggest or requires any human morality beyond the use of “logic” as a primary survival mechanism.

    6. Morality, God, any afterlife and even the Purpose of Life are the products of human imagination and as such are not any more real than we choose to make them. While intelligent life was preordained at the instant of the Big Bang, moral intelligent life was not. There is simply nothing in the Laws of Nature which require any morality as is demonstrated by the profusion of life on this planet which survives and propagates without any moral considerations what so ever.

    7. Morality and a Purpose of Life are a requirement for human existence, survival and propagation because of the greater capability bestowed upon us by the Laws of Nature. By being gifted (some may think cursed) with the ability to understand the Laws of Nature and the future they define for humanity puts upon us the responsibility to strive toward a Purpose in a moral way which allows every individual human to contribute to the very best of their capability toward the success of the human species ability to survive and propagate even beyond the life cycle of our solar system. No individual human can hope to succeed in the Purpose of Life unless the human species as a whole succeeds in the Purpose of Life.

    8. In order to be successful the only thing the Laws of Nature require of any living organism is that they, as a species, survive to propagate the species.

    From the foregoing it clear that for humans, as it is for all life forms, the only single, logical, provable and undeniable Purpose of Life is to reproduce and propagate the species!

    This being the case, Children are the human Purpose of Life. They are the only reason for our existence. Any other Purpose pales to insignificance when compared to our Children. We have absolutely no future without them. If we fail to raise them and teach them correctly, then we burden them with a task they are not prepared for and therefore not able to perform. We doom them as unworthy citizens of the next generation. We prevent them from ever realizing their full potential as humans.

    At this point some readers may figuratively be slapping their foreheads and exclaiming "I knew that!" but a great many other readers may be wanting to slap me up along side of my head and exclaim "I knew that Dummy, everybody knows that!". And both groups would be right. We all instinctively know that children are the purpose of life. Is there any joy in the world that can compare with the joy a new mother experiences when for the first time she holds her infant against her breast and feels that first instinctual life effort to survive by suckling. Can you picture an awe or wonder that can match the awe and wonder a new father feels as he first holds his infant in his arms and realizes that "This is mine, this is my responsibility for the rest of my life!".

    In every human society since the first pre-human walked up right on the savannas of Africa 2 million years ago, human infants have been welcomed into the world with unconditional love from almost all members of the society, be it tribal or city society.

    Unfortunately when mankind first started to settle into villages and towns; and began the first necessary efforts to go from savage to civility, Mankind some how forgot to include the children in these first efforts at finding "Peace and Goodwill" for all mankind. Humanity has never looked back on those humble beginnings, but instead has continually strived to improve mankind’s condition, always forgetting the importance of the children.

    Perhaps it is most important to our understanding of the Purpose of Life being to correctly raise and educate our children that this Purpose is the only Purpose for humans suggested by our understanding of the Laws of Nature. The Laws of Nature made it inevitable that that an intelligent being like humans would evolve somewhere in the Universe; and that the intelligent being would be able to and would question its existence in the Universe. If the Universe were indeed created by an all Powerful Being, a Creator if you will, then that Creator must have intended that humans be able to understand the Laws of Nature because we can and do understand the Laws of Nature. Since the Laws of Nature came into existence at the instant of Creation with the Big Bang; and if indeed the Creator exists and Created the Universe with some intended Purpose, then the Laws of Nature must be accepted as being directly from the Creator and any message the Creator intended for humans must be contained within the Laws of Nature. They are, after all, the only undeniable, constant, inviolate thing which exists in this Universe. Does it make any difference whether or not the Creator exists? It does not! The Laws of Nature exists whether created for some intended Purpose of not. The Laws of Nature are for all intents and purpose of humans, the “Word Of God” regardless of whether that God exist or not. They are the one and only “Higher Power”; that undeniable, constant and inviolate Power humanity has yearned for and sought for so long; and which humanity so desperately needs.

    It is interesting to note that this understanding of the Purpose of Life also leads us to some other answers to other questions which perplex humans. For instance the question debated by evolutionist and creationist about how such a complex thing such as intelligent life could arise from the chaos and disorder of the earlier Earth without divine intervention is answered once and for all by the fact that the Laws of Nature, which were instituted with the Big Band 14.5 billion years ago; and which control and/or limit every single aspect of the Universe since the beginning to the present; predict that, given the age of the Universe, intelligent life was inevitable and was preordained in the first instant of the Big Band. There never was any need for divine intervention. What ever the Laws of Nature allow will occur given enough time. The proof of that is that we exists even though there is not a single solitary shred of evidence anywhere to suggest divine intervention in our creation.

    Another question answered by this understanding of the Purpose of Life is “Why does a Good and Just Creator allow so much Evil and resulting suffering on Earth?” The answer is that the Creator neither allows nor forbids Evil. We Humans were given the capability for preventing Evil by our ability to understand the Purpose of Life and the suggestions therein as to the proper course of human activity required to prevent Evil. It must be clear to anyone interested that Evil is a human practice and that the Evil mankind practices impede mankind’s ability to obtain the True Purpose of Life.

    To appreciate the profundity of this Purpose of Life for humans you must appreciate how different this Purpose is from all of the other purposes on which human civilizations has been built.

    If we accept reproduction as the Purpose of Life then children become the single most important thing in any and all human activities. If we consider children as the fundamental and ultimate Purpose of Life, then the whole shape of human society changes in dramatic ways. In order to appreciate how drastically different things could be consider this…

    What if every human decision, every personal decision, every business decision, every government decision and every religious decision made by humans were based first on the single overriding criteria of “Is it good for the children of Earth?” Think about it for a while and then think about human history and take a long hard look at the society you now live in and ask yourself… How many truly historically significant human decisions have ever been made on the single overriding criteria of “Is it good for the children of Earth?” How many places in human history can you see where the good of all children has been ignored and even scorned? How many places in your society can you see where the good of the children is ignored. How many sermons have you ever heard telling you your primary Purpose in Life was the care of not just your children, but of all children? Has any human society ever set as the primary objective of the society as a whole, the nourishment, care, teaching and raising of all of the children?

    If we, as a society, understood that raising our children properly and making it possible for each one of them to reach their full potential as human beings was the highest calling a human could reach for, could we ever contemplate sending them out to fight and kill other children and be killed by other children in war? To me the thought is ludicrous in the extreme. And yet, human societies have been doing this over and over again since before the dawn of human civilization.

    When we apply the Purpose of Life to humans, it becomes so much more than just breeding and birthing children. Birth is just the beginning, the way children are raised sets the foundation on which tomorrow’s society will be built and we humans have been building crumbling foundations for society since the first cities were built.

    The Purpose of Life being the propagation of the species poses a special problem for humans that no other life form has. It presents humans with a task so Herculean that it may even be impossible. The fact is that life on the Planet Earth is “finite”! Life cannot continue forever on Planet Earth. Someday, perhaps in some far distant future or maybe not so far distant, the Earth will no longer be able to support life. This is a universally known in the human scientific community and this fact is undeniable. At some point the Earth will no longer be able to support life as we know it!

    There are many, many scenarios for how all life on Planer Earth could end. The possibility of each scenario is small but taken together and given enough time, the probability of one or more scenario actually happening is “ONE”! The end of Life on Planet Earth is inevitable, and there is nothing humans can do to prevent it.

    The only way for humans to insure the propagation of the species, the only way for humans to truly and ultimately fulfill the Purpose of Life is for humans to colonize other planets orbiting other stars. Mankind’s only sure future lies in outer space.

    The colonizing of another planet orbiting some far distant stat is a task so huge that it will take the organized efforts of the entire population of Erath, working together toward a single objective, coupled with the expenditure of a large portion of the resources of this solar system to achieve, if it is even possible at all.

    Here is a task for Heroes!

    If the human race is to fulfill the Purpose of Life, it must put aside all of its petty geopolitical, racial and religious squabbling and come together as a single society, with all individual citizens working together toward a single all consuming objective. For unless mankind does so, it will fail the Purpose of Life and disappear into the dust bin of history as just any another extinct species! A single world society, with a single world wide democratic political system is not an option for humanity, it is an absolute necessity!

    In the following posts I will examine the ways in which knowing, accepting and fulfilling the Purpose of Life can lead to a single, better human society and a far, far better future for the whole human race.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  23. #22 Re: The Purpose of Life 
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    Hi zinjanthropos,

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    No implication you say. Would you direct all primary efforts towards a purpose other than the first and foremost? First & foremost is primary in my book.
    There is nothing in the notion of "primary purpose" which forbids the existence of other less prioritized purposes. As a matter of fact the words "primary purpose" connote the existence of other lower priority purposes.

    WTF does that have to do with it? I'm still trying to get past paragraph 2. I might require another 6 years just to get there.
    What can I say, maybe you are just a slow reader?
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  24. #23 Re: The Fifth Revolution 
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    Hi Prometheus,

    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Yay. It was worth the effort for now i see that reading your lengthier posts won't be a waste of my time. I've read the first one so far; a couple of things...
    Thank you very much for the kind words. they are much appreciated. I hope you will read the rest of the thread and stick around long enough to contribute to the debate.

    Have you read about meme theory? I think it may be pertinent to you, but is an unproven hypothesis as yet.
    I haven't but I will look it up.

    This 5th revolution stuff reminds me of a philosopher who stated that at a certain threshold of knowledge held by individuals a 'quiet' revolution would occur. But i can't remember the philosopher's name - maybe you've come across him?
    I have been searching for over 40 years for something even similar to my hypotheses without success. If you or anyone else knows of some published article or book which is similar, I would much appreciate a reference to it.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  25. #24 Re: The Purpose of Life 
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    No implication you say. Would you direct all primary efforts towards a purpose other than the first and foremost? First & foremost is primary in my book.
    There is nothing in the notion of "primary purpose" which forbids the existence of other less prioritized purposes. As a matter of fact the words "primary purpose" connote the existence of other lower priority purposes.
    I'm not denying that. So are you saying there is no singular primary purpose but all the purposes forged in a lifetime constitute life's purpose? Could you please clarify so I can go on to paragraph 3?

    I may be a slow reader but I will tell you this: You won't ever know if I'm for you or against you. However critiquing is a privilege granted to members of this forum and I am simply taking of advantage of it. You can't really publish something without expecting naysayers or those who need clarification. I've been criticized endlessly over the years but that's the way it goes. Criticism is a great learning tool, besides humility it teaches you how to word sentences (spell also), tests your sensitivity, and most of all it teaches you when to respect your detractors or use them to your advantage.

    There's a lot from you to digest here. I simply take my time, paragraph by paragraph, word by word. If it doesn't sound as if you are making sense then I will say my bit. Take it any way you want because I'm not just talking to you. Anyway that's my soapbox rant of the day.
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  26. #25 Re: The Purpose of Life 
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    Hi, zinjanthropos

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I'm not denying that. So are you saying there is no singular primary purpose but all the purposes forged in a lifetime constitute life's purpose? Could you please clarify so I can go on to paragraph 3?
    What I am saying is that everyone has multiple purposes and multiple instincts which drive these purposes. No one does anything without a purpose whether that purpose is stated, implied or ignored. The purpose of work in to feed and house etc. one's self and family. The purpose of watching a football game is enjoyment. The purpose of sex is two fold, first is the enjoyment of the act and second is the reproduction of the species. The latter ofttimes being an undesired result of the first.

    I believe that since the dawn of human history there have been very few humans who have looked at the beautiful night sky and not wondered "Why am I here? - what does it all mean. The question of "what is the purpose of life?" is probably the most asked question throughout human existence and certainly the longest unanswered question.

    Through out human history the best answer anyone has ever come up with and the answer most acted upon have been the religious belief that the purpose of life was to "do God's will!" as God's will was described in the Law of the land, and usually in some kind of bible.

    As I look back on human history and the present condition of the world it is blatantly obvious to me that the common accepted "purpose of life" (i.e. to do God's will) has failed humanity almost completely in its attempt to create a more just and moral society. The most common purpose of society is now and has always been based on a foundation of God's will. With 2500 different religions and Deities that have been worshiped by humans through out history, this foundation has been a sea of rolling, shifting sand rather than the bed rock of reality. Everyone knows you cannot build anything of substance on a foundation of rolling, shifting sand.

    The primary reason this is true is that until about 200 years ago mankind simply did not have enough understanding of human reality and the Laws of Nature to have even guessed at the real purpose of life which I believe our understanding of the Laws of Nature can finally, for the first time ever, provide a scientifically provable answer to the age old question of "What is the purpose of life?" An answer that can provide a foundation of the bed rock of the Laws of Nature and the reality of the human condition on which humanity can build its societies.

    I hope this provides some clarification. BTW I like everything else you said in your post.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  27. #26  
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    Moreover, because of the way human instincts are implemented in the human brain, humans can not only pick and choose between different purposes for their lives, at a young age humans are forced to choose a purpose to which they will devote their lives. The most successful humans are those who pick a life purpose that is moral and contributes to society's success. The least successful humans are those who are incapable or unwilling to commit their lives to any purpose. Unfortunately the latter includes the majority of the human race.
    The way I understand those first few lines, and it isn't easy to read, is that some purposes are forced upon us and some we get to choose? Morality plays a big factor when measuring success. Unfortunately most of us relied on our instincts and lost. How am I doing so far?
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    Hi zinjanthropos.

    [quote="zinjanthropos"]
    Moreover, because of the way human instincts are implemented in the human brain, humans can not only pick and choose between different purposes for their lives, at a young age humans are forced to choose a purpose to which they will devote their lives. The most successful humans are those who pick a life purpose that is moral and contributes to society's success. The least successful humans are those who are incapable or unwilling to commit their lives to any purpose. Unfortunately the latter includes the majority of the human race.

    The way I understand those first few lines, and it isn't easy to read, is that some purposes are forced upon us and some we get to choose? Morality plays a big factor when measuring success. Unfortunately most of us relied on our instincts and lost. How am I doing so far?
    From my perspective, you are doing quite well.

    I apologize that my writing is sometimes hard to follow I know I have a lot to learn. Criticism such as yours I find very enlightening.

    When I say humans are forced to choose a purpose early in life I am talking about the choice of one's attitude toward school , learning, their peers and conformity. These choices are for each child, the basis of what they believe their purpose is in life is (i.e. How much effort they will devote to each choice). These choices/purposes determines the child "attitudes" and abilities for the rest of their lives. They are the foundations on which each child eventually builds their lives.

    Perhaps most importantly, I define "success" as the level of "justice, morality, productivity and happiness to which one achieves and demonstrates in their lives.

    The purpose of eating, drinking and defecating are indeed instinctual purposes forced on all of us as they are required to survive. People are not lost because they rely on their instincts, rather people are at least less successful and sometimes harmful to the well being of society as a whole, if they do not choose and practice at least some purposes that are beyond their own self interest.

    I hope this helps.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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    There is an assumption that life has a purpose.

    A purpose means something was brought into existence or use for a chosen reason/goal/aim.
    Humans weren't built by a god out of clay to achieve a certain goal, we build ourselves through self-organisation from an egg.
    Evolution tells us that we are who we are simply because the other forms we could have taken were less well suited to their environment.

    So everyone can find their own purpose in life.

    If you mean purpose in a less intentional way, e.g. the purpose of a river is to bring water to the sea, then that is better worded as 'what do we usually do?' (rivers usually bring water to the sea).
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    Hi all

    The following is copied verbatim from Dictionary.com

    pur·pose 
    –noun
    1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
    2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.

    It is clear from the primary definition that no "intention" is required or implied in the connotation of purpose.

    In the second definition intention is stated and implied. This , however does not negate the first/primary given meaning.

    If you look up the words "purpose" and "function" in the thesaurus, you will find the words are interchangeable.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose
    pur·pose 
    –noun
    1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
    2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.

    It is clear from the primary definition that no "intention" is required or implied in the connotation of purpose.
    The reverse is true. If something is made for a reason then there is an intent to use it in a particular way, or to specific ends.

    If you wish to delve further into the semantics of it, the very use of the word reason, which is associated with conscious thought processes, requires that there be intent.
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  32. #31 purpose and function 
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    Hi All,

    I was taught very early in school that many English words have multiple meanings depending on the context in which they are use; and that the first definition presented in the dictionary is generally the most commonly used. I in every English dictionary I have seen the first or most common connotation of the word purpose is (from Dictionary.com)…

    “Purpose –noun
    the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.”

    There is nothing in this first (i.e. most common) which implies any kind of intention. Are you all suggesting that we change all dictionaries to match your misconceived definition of the word purpose?

    Also the dictionary definition of “function” is quite definite in that function defines the function as the purpose…

    “function –noun
    the kind of action or activity proper to a person, thing, or institution; the purpose for which something is designed or exists; role.”

    How can so many reach the conclusions presented here and that have been reached in light of these dictionary definitions of the words “purpose” and “function”. Again, are you all suggesting that we change all dictionaries to match your misconceived definition of the word function?

    Why is it that so many keep insisting that the “purpose of life” lies exclusively in the domain of religion? Baring any factual evidence except what I have presented here, (according to my interpretation of the words function and purpose) there in no factual basis for any kind of “purpose of life” anywhere in human history. That is why human societies have never succeeded beyond where the US and a few other countries have arrived in the notion of a just, moral and productive society.

    With our “free will”, “intelligence” and logic is it not possible that we could collectively define a justifiable “purpose of life” that does not depend on the authority of any Deity but rather on the instinctual good will of the majority of humans? Would such a purpose not be better for all human society than just “to do God’s will” or “nothing” even though we have no factual evidence of what God’s will actually is? And especially since the “need” for a purpose seems to me to be a universal, instinctual need of every human?
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  33. #32 Instinct and reason 
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    Hi Time Lord,

    Would you deny that all living organisms have a built in instinct to survive and propagate?

    If so, why do all livings things do so with such tenacity?

    Do you deny the notion that the only function for any organism that science can prove from the study of the fossil record is the function of survival to reproduce?

    If so, why?

    Instinct is defined as a “tendency” toward survival and propagation. This is definition (I believe strongly) is wrong. I believe “instinct” is a biological dictator from which no lower evolved organisms can escape.

    Even though lower evolved organisms have no ability for will or intention, evolution selected for this instinct to insure propagation of the species. For all intents and purposes this instinctual urge is identical to what we humans call will or purpose. Probably the reason evolution selected for humans was that “intelligence” and “free will” were the best function possible for survival and propagation of the species. Although we have not yet fully evolved, we still lack the “wisdom” necessary to put our intelligence and free will toward its best possible outcome (i.e. a just, moral, happy and productive human society).

    The “reason” for this universal instinct tendency is in fact that evolution selected for this instinct universally among all living organisms. Again we have no proof of where evolution came from, it is as difficult a question as where did all of the Laws of Nature come from. We understand and accept the Laws of Nature to be true because science has tested them through their ability to predict future events or happenings. If it can predict the future error free, it must be true.

    BTW – Can anyone on this forum tell me why, specifically, they think teaching human children how to be parents before they become parents; and teaching them the art of wisdom and the self control necessary for wisdom, (so that they would have a sound, scientific foundation for what ever life style or purpose they choose), could in any way be harmful to society?

    The fact is that in order to teach human children in the public education system these arts, we would not need to teach the children anything that was not scientifically verified and verifiable. This is exactly the way Darwin’s evolution theory is now taught as fact regardless of whatever fantasies their parents want to teach them about where humans came from.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose
    Hi Time Lord,
    Would you deny that all living organisms have a built in instinct to survive and propagate?
    The vast majority of living organisms have such an instinct, or tendency. Any that do not would lack this instinct it because of a mutation.

    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose
    If so, why do all livings things do so with such tenacity?
    Natural selection. Any organisms that do not do so with tenacity are much less likely to have offspring. Those that are genetically predisposed to do so with tenacity are the ones that have more offspring, so that this genetic predisposition is passed on to their descendants. Simples.

    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose
    Do you deny the notion that the only function for any organism that science can prove from the study of the fossil record is the function of survival to reproduce?
    It is not clear what you mean here by function. Certainly from the fossil record we can deduce what organisms did within the biosphere, i.e. how they contributed to the ecology. Another way of putting that would be to say 'what their function was'. So in that sense, yes I deny what you are stating.

    Instinct is defined as a “tendency” toward survival and propagation.
    If you can find a single biology text book or research paper that defines instinct this way I shall be happy to discuss the matter further. Otherwise please stop making stuff up.

    I believe “instinct” is a biological dictator from which no lower evolved organisms can escape.
    Instinct exerts a powerful control over all organisms, low and high.

    In the rest of your post you seem to be mainly arguing with yourself, or some imagined position held by some imagined person, or persons. Your intention is not clear.
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  35. #34 Instinct 
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    Hi Time Lord,

    Your reply was like a breath of fresh air. You actually addressed specific points with reasonable logic.

    >> It is not clear what you mean here by function. Certainly from the fossil record we can deduce what organisms did within the biosphere, i.e. how they contributed to the ecology. Another way of putting that would be to say 'what their function was'. So in that sense, yes I deny what you are stating.<<

    By “function” I mean the totality of what lower evolved organisms accomplished with their lives. In the case of the fossil record the only accomplishment seems to have been survival and propagation.

    func•tion
    –noun
    1.
    the kind of action or activity proper to a person, thing, or institution; the purpose for which something is designed or exists; role.

    >> If you can find a single biology text book or research paper that defines instinct this way I shall be happy to discuss the matter further. Otherwise please stop making stuff up.<<

    The dictionary definition of instinct clearly states “tendency” as one of the primary words in the definition. Although I cannot give you a reference, there are many references which states function (usually the only function) of lower evolved organisms is to survive to propagate and these “functions” come from inate instinct..

    in•stinct  
    –noun
    1. an inborn pattern of activity or tendency to action common to a given biological species.
    2. a natural or innate impulse, inclination, or tendency.
    3. a natural aptitude or gift: an instinct for making money.
    4. natural intuitive power.

    >> Otherwise please stop making stuff up.<<

    In this thread I have not “made stuff up”. Everything I write, except the original hypotheses that life has a scientifically provable purpose, (I cannot find any writing which proposes such a hypotheses) is based on things I have read somewhere at some time. My biggest fault is that at this stage of my life I can no longer remerber the references to all I have read over the past 70 years.

    >> In the rest of your post you seem to be mainly arguing with yourself, or some imagined position held by some imagined person, or persons. Your intention is not clear.<<

    Have you not read my orginal post that started this thread; or any of the replies that have been posted? If you had (or do) I do not think you could make such a statement. If you will notice, all of my post are either in support of my orginal thesis or addressed to specific individual replies by name.
    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ... "Is it good for Earth's children?"

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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose

    The following is copied verbatim from Dictionary.com

    pur·pose 
    –noun
    1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
    Then the purpose of the universe, as it stands right now, is probably to ponder itself. Humans are not separate from the universe but are a minute portion of it. Our purpose is that of a tool that facilitates pondering. Whatever we learn through our existence is the universe's knowledge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos

    Then the purpose of the universe, as it stands right now, is probably to ponder itself.
    I remember reading an article by an American scientist (biochemist) called George Wald. I think, at the time, he was a Professor at a University in Indiana.
    In the article Wald stated that we (humans) are the attempt, or one attempt, of the universe to understand itself.
    I do believe that is our purpose, as a species, but that does not mean I believe we were actually "put" here, by God or some blind universe, for that purpose.
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    Personally I find that idea old fashioned.
    Firstly the vast vast majority of humans couldn't give a stuff about astronomy, the difference between stars and planets, the nature of atoms, the fluid equations or chemistry. Most humans are not scientists and don't want to be.
    Secondly, the idea that if you are finding out about the universe you are somehow better, more refined or fullfilling your purpose more than your neighbours who just go fishing or drive a tractor, is an elitist and presumably an idea that was invented by a scientist or philosopher.
    Thirdly, if you argue that fishing/driving a tractor IS finding out about the universe, then why make out humans to be special? Aren't all animals finding out about the universe?

    Again, I think it is over-the-top to call it a purpose. Just because a river brings water to the sea doesn't mean that is its purpose... it's just the thing that it usually does.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    Again, I think it is over-the-top to call it a purpose. Just because a river brings water to the sea doesn't mean that is its purpose... it's just the thing that it usually does.
    Is the universe alive? Does some of it fall into that category? If the living bits contemplate, then should the universe be recognized for being able to think?

    If not then perhaps this is one of those times where man starts to believe he's greater than the universe, an extra special addition to it. All of a sudden we're so damn important that we now have a purpose when in reality we are merely something that happens in a universe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    Personally I find that idea old fashioned.
    Excellent. Since it is old fashioned you will be able, readily, to cite where in the writings of the past the idea was first put forward. I look forward to learning when that was.

    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    Firstly the vast vast majority of humans couldn't give a stuff about astronomy, the difference between stars and planets, the nature of atoms, the fluid equations or chemistry. Most humans are not scientists and don't want to be.
    Completely irrelevant. As long as some humans want to learn about these things and to better understand the universe then Wald's speculation remains plausible.

    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    Secondly, the idea that if you are finding out about the universe you are somehow better, more refined or fullfilling your purpose more than your neighbours who just go fishing or drive a tractor, is an elitist and presumably an idea that was invented by a scientist or philosopher.
    Again, you seem to be able to miss the point with unerring inaccuracy. No one has suggested that finding out about the universe makes one superior to a tractor driver. It was specifically stated that the idea is the role of our species is to better understand the universe, not the role of any specific individual. Thus it is a concept of team work in which the tractor driver has just as large a part to play as the scientist.

    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    Thirdly, if you argue that fishing/driving a tractor IS finding out about the universe, then why make out humans to be special? Aren't all animals finding out about the universe?
    You are the only person calling it that.

    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    Again, I think it is over-the-top to call it a purpose. Just because a river brings water to the sea doesn't mean that is its purpose... it's just the thing that it usually does.
    It is a specualtive idea that Halliday has found it helpful to take on board. He does not claim it is true, merely that he believes it.
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    Thanks for your respectful reply.

    By the way, 'missing the point with unerring inaccuracy' is a very funny thing to say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    Thanks for your respectful reply.
    Will you be equally respectful and respond to my first point? What earlier examples are there of this thinking that justifies calling it 'old fashioned'?

    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    By the way, 'missing the point with unerring inaccuracy' is a very funny thing to say.
    Excellent. Humour is what I was aiming for. (If you meant funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha, then you are missing the point again.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    What earlier examples are there of this thinking that justifies calling it 'old fashioned'?
    George Wald could have said that quite a while ago, if indeed he did say it, thus making it old fashioned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370

    George Wald could have said that quite a while ago, if indeed he did say it.
    Have you any reason for thinking he did not say it?
    I am sure the exact phrase he used was "we are the attempt of the universe to understand itself".
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  45. #44  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    What earlier examples are there of this thinking that justifies calling it 'old fashioned'?
    George Wald could have said that quite a while ago, if indeed he did say it, thus making it old fashioned.
    so which fashion replaced it?
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  46. #45 The Meaning of Life: 
    Forum Freshman Emission Arc's Avatar
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    The "purpose" or "meaning of life" is perhaps the most simplistic question anyone could ask. As such, it has an equally simplistic answer. The meaning of life is to transpire.

    Transpire: To grow, evolve, develope, to become more then you already are.[/b]
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  47. #46 Re: The Meaning of Life: 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emission Arc
    The "purpose" or "meaning of life" is perhaps the most simplistic question anyone could ask. As such, it has an equally simplistic answer. The meaning of life is to transpire.

    Transpire: To grow, evolve, develope, to become more then you already are.[/b]
    I have to say I agreed with your post, in the Astronomy sub forum, on possible contact with aliens.
    On this post, I don't believe the above question to be "simplistic" or naive.
    Also, I don't agree with you definition of "transpire". For me, it means that if something has "transpired" it has "become known".
    Perhaps the word has other meanings?
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    I once thought the meaning of life was to train and test a soul for admission into an afterlife. Then I came to believe that afterlife is not probable.

    Then I read David Hull and realized that we are all parts of the same biological indivual. My purpose is very much like the purpose of a cell in my body. The cell will die, but it enables the body while it lives, and the body lives on composed of new cells. My body will die, and consciousness with it, but while alive all my actions affect future developments in my region of the genealogical nexus, of which I am one small perishable part.

    The meaning of life is to contribute in some way to a future with transcends self, otherwise there is no meaning
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  49. #48  
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    You are the cell but what purpose does the body serve?

    My philosophy is that there isn't a meaning to anything, no purpose, but we have to try to avoid that fact if we don't all want to get depessed.I get depressed whenever hear about a dead persons life, because I think "ok they spent 18 years preparing for work, 50 working and 10 livng off of the remains of the money they got from working. If they had kids all the kids are going to do is relive their parents lives in a slightly different way. Sure maybe one of the descendants will do something remotely interesting like find quantum gravity but even then what is the purpose of knowing more about our universe?
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  50. #49  
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    Sure maybe one of the descendants will do something remotely interesting like find quantum gravity but even then what is the purpose of knowing more about our universe?
    The end point of the search will not be know until we reach it.
    To travel is more important than to arrive.
    Along the way the beer can taste pretty good.
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    philosophically I would say that 'living' IS the purpose.

    psychologically I would say that we are born with in-built drive.
    these include:
    curiosity
    empathy
    sympathy

    each of these also has a male counterpart.

    its too bad we dont have a 'go to work and pay our bills' drive.
    work just seems to be an afterthought
    something we just do so we can then go and do the things we really enjoy.
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    this life is a test for those whom it is given

    and to others it is a test to whom they will fail

    (the potters hands)
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    It is better to be rich and happy than poor and miserable.
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  54. #53  
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    Also better to be pissed off than to be pissed on.
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  55. #54  
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    "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" reference?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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    Life is something to do when you can't get to sleep.
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  57. #56  
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    Life, it's in the cheese we eat. By the billions.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
    Cat's Cradle.
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  58. #57  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" reference?
    Lol. No, I'd heard it elsewhere. After a quick google, though, I suspect you're referring to this:


    Sheriff of Rottingham: I was angry at you before Locksley, but now I'm really pissed off!
    Ahchoo: Pissed off? If I was that close to a horse's wiener I'd be worrying about being pissed on!
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    Oh yeah, sounds about right.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    The meaning of life is to find meaning in life.
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  61. #60  
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    Serve God, serve others, serve yourself. You can pick and choose.
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  62. #61  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Serve God
    Which one?
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Serve God
    Which one?
    For me all three. Some people might just serve others and themselves. Others just themselves.
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  64. #63  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Serve God
    Which one?
    For me all three.
    Which three?
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  65. #64  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Serve God
    Which one?
    For me all three.
    Which three?
    God, other people, and myself.
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  66. #65  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Serve God
    Which one?
    For me all three.
    Which three?
    God, other people, and myself.
    You're clearly missing my point. Which god? You do realize there are tons of different ones in which people believe, right?
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  67. #66  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Serve God
    Which one?
    For me all three.
    Which three?
    God, other people, and myself.
    You're clearly missing my point. Which god? You do realize there are tons of different ones in which people believe, right?
    As of now the Christian Roman Catholic God. I am considering converting to Judaism though.
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  68. #67  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mmatt9876 View Post
    Serve God
    Which one?
    For me all three.
    Which three?
    God, other people, and myself.
    You're clearly missing my point. Which god? You do realize there are tons of different ones in which people believe, right?
    As of now the Christian Roman Catholic God. I am considering converting to Judaism though.
    Sorry I misunderstood you twice! Any God or Gods you want to believe in.
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  69. #68  
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    What if the answer to that is, "None?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    What if the answer to that is, "None?"
    Then you can only serve yourself or others.
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  71. #70  
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    Serve the god that takes the least effort and gives the most sensible commands - whether or not he/she should exist.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  72. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle View Post
    Serve the god that takes the least effort and gives the most sensible commands - whether or not he/she should exist.
    Always believ in a perfectly just God (even if we see so much evil in this world). Try to reach up to him with 100% faith. Don't ask who made him. Just believe that faith in God will make you like him ( all other human qualities will come automatically in you). This is the purpose of life.
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  73. #72  
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    Whenever, you(or I) see the word God appear in thread like this, it really gives me a royal pain in the ass...
    arezliszt.net
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    The meaning of life is for you to enjoy yourself
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose View Post
    There is probably no greater unknown aspect of human life than the "purpose of life". All living organisms begin life with a built in, hardwired purpose which drives them throughout their existence. We call this hardwired purpose "instinct". Except for humans all other organisms can avoid their purpose only by dying before their purpose is accomplished.

    While humans are born with the same built in, hardwired purpose as all other living organisms, humans, through the gift of intelligence can forge their own purpose and override the hardwired purpose they are born with. With intelligence, normal humans can write their own destiny regardless of the circumstance into which they are born. .
    Its called 'libido' and it isnt so much a matter of overriding it as it is a matter of channeling it into proper channels.
    You cannot choose to go against it.
    That would be damming up the libido which results in a neurosis.

    However, I am not qualified to comment on situations involving brain damage or bad genetics and will leave that for the professionals whose job it is to figure things like that out.
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    The meaning of life is most definitely for you to enjoyyourself
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    The real purpose of life is to get to know God, and serve him with a whole heart, with accuracy and truth.
    This statement covers all of man's thinking (philosophy), and make it obsolete.
    It's that simple.
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  78. #77  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ball View Post
    The meaning of life is for you to enjoy yourself
    That's as good as any definition. (I'm kind of fond of "42" though.)
    Last edited by PumaMan; September 24th, 2011 at 07:13 PM.
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  79. #78  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ball View Post
    The meaning of life is for you to enjoy yourself
    That's as good as any definition. (I'm kind of fond of "42" though.)
    Today many people say we are living in the information age. But if you look at it, we live in the misinformation age. People are very mistrusting of others.
    So is honesty , trustworthinesss old fashioned?
    We live in a world that people try to harm others.
    So when we get advice to treat others as you yourself would like to be treated, is that old fashioned?

    Or is that, if people listened to this advise, it would be much better?
    It is not that this kind of advice is old fashioned it is that this type of advice is ignored, by most. People want to do what they want to do, they don't want , advice. Or be accountable.
    All you have to do is look at the world today, without Gods advice, and you see the result.
    So what the world calls old fashioned, is really light years ahead of modern thinking. Todays thinking is really obsolete, it's just a matter of a little time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    We live in a world that people try to harm others.
    But I don't see any difference between now and 10,000 BC. And I don't see it ever changing if you extend the verb "harm".
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    We live in a world that people try to harm others.
    But I don't see any difference between now and 10,000 BC. And I don't see it ever changing if you extend the verb "harm".
    That is correct, it started then, with Adam, and been going down hill ever since. The more people you have the worst it gets.
    Man has been given the time to go his own way. We see the results of that.
    But that doesn't make the advice wrong, but it does show that when man ignore the advice and goes his own way, it does not work.
    The bible said thats the way it would be, and it has been. So the bible is correct about that.
    Scientists have not been able to make it any better, but they have given man better ways to kill each other. To be fair scientists have improved on some aspects of life for man, but it is no Saviour , and has really helped speed up the ruination of the world.

    The bible said there would be famine. And yet even today all the people alive could fit in state of Texas. ( about 6 feet around each one )
    So it is not the earth ability to produce the food it is mans mismanagement and greed. You know "it's all about me" the me generation. Modern thinking.
    Even people in the bible times, had their own 'modern thinking' and ignored bible advice. Most people don't learn from history.

    This also has proved true from the bible prophecy. The bible knew all about 'modern thinking'
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  82. #81  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose View Post
    There is probably no greater unknown aspect of human life than the "purpose of life".
    the purpose of life is to reproduce.

    we have known that for ages.
    DavidT likes this.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  83. #82  
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    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The bible knew all about 'modern thinking'
    Try it, you might like it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The bible knew all about 'modern thinking'
    Try it, you might like it.
    I wonder if you would say that if you were in a refuge camp in Africa starving to death. With war all around you.
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  85. #84  
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    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The bible knew all about 'modern thinking'
    Try it, you might like it.
    I wonder if you would say that if you were in a refuge camp in Africa starving to death. With war all around you.
    How has thinking changed since Biblical days? What is modern thinking if you consider that which was penned in the Bible was modern thinking?
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  86. #85  
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    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The bible knew all about 'modern thinking'
    Try it, you might like it.
    I wonder if you would say that if you were in a refuge camp in Africa starving to death. With war all around you.
    yay for non sequiturs o.O
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  87. #86  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The bible knew all about 'modern thinking'
    Try it, you might like it.
    I wonder if you would say that if you were in a refuge camp in Africa starving to death. With war all around you.
    How has thinking changed since Biblical days? What is modern thinking if you consider that which was penned in the Bible was modern thinking?

    One of the reasons the bible was written was to teach people how to live with one another. The writings were examples of what would happen if the Jews 'did their own thing' or if they followed God. Those writings were written about the people in those days, but really were for people that came after those times.
    People today are just further way from the council that was given then. People up until a hundred years or so had some respect for God's advice, but not now. Man's thinking now is just getting us into more peril at a faster rate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickroose View Post
    There is probably no greater unknown aspect of human life than the "purpose of life". All living organisms begin life with a built in, hardwired purpose which drives them throughout their existence. We call this hardwired purpose "instinct". Except for humans all other organisms can avoid their purpose only by dying before their purpose is accomplished.
    .
    You wrote many things in this post. In this 1st paragraph, the last 2 sentences are interesting.
    First this 'hardwired' can be eroded by misuse. People have turned away from God so that they do not know the purpose of life. They now do not get what life is about.
    Now have you ever thought that death in mankind is not natural. People morn when someone dies. It is such a waste. You spend your life learning, then it is lost. People will freeze themselves in the hopes of coming back to life. Death is unnatural for man.
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  89. #88  
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    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    One of the reasons the bible was written was to teach people how to live with one another.
    really ? have a look at this :

    Does the Bible advocate killing?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    One of the reasons the bible was written was to teach people how to live with one another.
    really ? have a look at this :

    Does the Bible advocate killing?
    Yes that is correct. Since the time of Adams disloyalty to God, man has never been able to live together in peace. During the time of the writing of the bible, the Jewish nation came in contact with other nations, and there was always conflicts. Even the Jewish nation amongst itself were always deviating, from God instructions.
    It was never Gods will that there would be bloodshed. The experiences of the people back then, were written down for the people that came after them. So we can learn ( but most don't) from their mistakes. But all that changed when Jesus came. One of the commands then, was that man not learn war anymore. So true followers of Jesus, do not participate in killing anymore. The example Jesus gave was that he was neutral as to mans governments. That was actually why the Jews ended up killing Jesus. They wanted him to lead them out of domination of the Romans.
    That means since, the time of Jesus any Christian that got involved in Governments or wars, were not following the example of Jesus. ( they are false Christians.) Actually the bible condemns Christendom for it's misrepresentation of Jesus and God.
    The reason for this neutrality, was that Satan is really the ruler of this earth. Which means all governments religions and the thinking of man, ( sciences, philosophy, religions etc) God actually gave Satan and man time to go their own way. It was a set length of time. So God will step in before everything is totally ruined. And then he will take this rule away from Satan.
    So all the killing we have seen over the generations, is a result of this disobedience of God.
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    It was never Gods will that there would be bloodshed.
    Please read the bible sometime.
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  92. #91  
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    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The example Jesus gave was that he was neutral as to mans governments. That was actually why the Jews ended up killing Jesus. They wanted him to lead them out of domination of the Romans.
    Awfully tough to expect a neutral man to lead you against an oppressor but even tougher when you kill the poor bastard.


    A heavily armed Muslim horde advances towards your residence. When they get to you they simply ask you to renounce your faith and accept Allah as your deity, or be killed outright on the spot. If your purpose in life is to spread Christian God's message then would you accept Islam's Allah and carry on? A couple of things: 1)Allah's the same god as the one you're currently endorsing. 2)Remember it's not God's will to advocate bloodshed.

    Can a person actually choose a purpose? I mean if God has given you a purpose then why do you ultimately have to choose it?
    Last edited by marnixR; September 28th, 2011 at 01:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The real purpose of life is to get to know God, and serve him with a whole heart, with accuracy and truth.
    This statement covers all of man's thinking (philosophy), and make it obsolete.
    It's that simple.
    ... Good Grief ... This is a Science forum built on facts, not a religious superstitious forum built on mumbo jumbo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ball View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The real purpose of life is to get to know God, and serve him with a whole heart, with accuracy and truth.
    This statement covers all of man's thinking (philosophy), and make it obsolete.
    It's that simple.
    ... Good Grief ... This is a Science forum built on facts, not a religious superstitious forum built on mumbo jumbo.
    Yes, it's a science forum but not all topics are scientific. I haven't seen a scientific answer yet on this thread. Do you think there is a scientific answer to "the purpose of life"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ball View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The real purpose of life is to get to know God, and serve him with a whole heart, with accuracy and truth.
    This statement covers all of man's thinking (philosophy), and make it obsolete.
    It's that simple.
    ... Good Grief ... This is a Science forum built on facts, not a religious superstitious forum built on mumbo jumbo.
    Yes, it's a science forum but not all topics are scientific. I haven't seen a scientific answer yet on this thread. Do you think there is a scientific answer to "the purpose of life"?
    There is a scientific trail to the purpose of life ... www.reversetheory.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ball View Post
    There is a scientific trail to the purpose of life ... www.reversetheory.com
    I believe I could be tolerant of someone self promoting their publications if those publications were of some value. I have not read your book and unless you choose to send me a free copy I have no intention of doing so. However, your illiterate, garbled, ignorant contributions to other threads on this forum leave me in little doubt that your book would be valueless. It is ironic that you condemn earlier posts on this thread as indulging in mumbo jumbo: pot, meet kettle.

    That said, I would be happy to discuss any aspect of your theory in this thread, but preferably in one started for that purpose. There you would have the opportunity to demonstrate to me and to others that my perception of the quality of your work is flawed and misguided. If you have confidence in your theory you should have no qualms about entering such a discussion. If, however, in your heart, you know you are something of a charlatan I fully expect you to walk, or run, away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ball View Post
    There is a scientific trail to the purpose of life ... www.reversetheory.com
    I hope you are joking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post

    That said, I would be happy to discuss any aspect of your theory in this thread, but preferably in one started for that purpose. There you would have the opportunity to demonstrate to me and to others that my perception of the quality of your work is flawed and misguided. If you have confidence in your theory you should have no qualms about entering such a discussion. If, however, in your heart, you know you are something of a charlatan I fully expect you to walk, or run, away.
    I’m certainly not a charlatan my work is of the best intention.
    I started a thread to discuss my theories, mankind wondered, but it was shut down before it even started, confirming my view that “scientists” are more faithful than the faithful
    And I’m sorry I am a hopeless speller and that my grammar sucks but we can’t all be perfect
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    The problem Christopher is that your hypothesis (it is certainly not a theory) was patent nonsense. At least those portions of it that you presented in that locked thread were demonstrably false. I'm sorry , that having devoted so much time to developing your hypothesis you feel an intense motivation to defend it, even when it is bollocks. I am not saying this because I am faithful to some scientific dogma, but because I am confident in the power of observation and experiment that confirms aspects of sediment formation and thus shows that your hypothesis is false.

    In the face of so much evidence, which is contrary to your position, it really is mere objectivity that leads to me calling your hypothesis bollocks. I don't intend to offend. I know I probably have, but frankly I don't care. If you are going to talk bollocks you must expect to have your work described as such. I can live with the bad spelling, though I don't know why you can't use a spellchecker, but I can't live with statements that fly in the face of thousands, indeed tens of thousands of observations.

    This is now seriously off-topic. If you ask to have the thread reopened I will support your request and will then address specific points there. I hope you do so. You can be rescued from this serious dementia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The example Jesus gave was that he was neutral as to mans governments. That was actually why the Jews ended up killing Jesus. They wanted him to lead them out of domination of the Romans.
    Awfully tough to expect a neutral man to lead you against an oppressor but even tougher when you kill the poor bastard.


    A heavily armed Muslim horde advances towards your residence. When they get to you they simply ask you to renounce your faith and accept Allah as your deity, or be killed outright on the spot. If your purpose in life is to spread Christian God's message then would you accept Islam's Allah and carry on? A couple of things: 1)Allah's the same god as the one you're currently endorsing. 2)Remember it's not God's will to advocate bloodshed.

    Can a person actually choose a purpose? I mean if God has given you a purpose then why do you ultimately have to choose it?
    The Muslims, considered Jesus as a prophet. Yet now follow Allah. And now many seem to be against Jesus teaching. How is that different, than Christians, being taught by Jesus and then years later, getting involved in wars with other nations , not just for religion but for any other reason.
    The flood account tells us that the earth was filled with violence. To the point where God stepped in. The flood account pictures our day. Noah choose who he would support. The other people didn't. So just like Noah we have a choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ball View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by epignosis View Post
    The real purpose of life is to get to know God, and serve him with a whole heart, with accuracy and truth.
    This statement covers all of man's thinking (philosophy), and make it obsolete.
    It's that simple.
    ... Good Grief ... This is a Science forum built on facts, not a religious superstitious forum built on mumbo jumbo.
    That is an assumption on some people part. That is really not scientific. You have to give evidence. The evidence says the bible is God's word. Science backs that up.
    So the bible is really much more reliable that the interpretation of the scientists. So.... who really is talking mumbo jumbo?

    and man's philosophy is of very little value, because look where we are going. Can it get us out of this.
    But the bible tells us God will. But before some can accept that they have to have proofs the bible is really Gods word.
    The reality is science and creation are the same thing.
    So when the bible tells us what the purpose to life is , it is much more credible than the ideas of man. Doesn't that make sense when you see that many people asking what the purpose to life , they are not getting it from the scientists. They say you live then die. There is no purpose if that were true. But that goes against everything that a human , understands. People morn a death. They will try to freeze themselves in the hopes to come back to life. That why many have some sort of religion. Even if they have to make it up. What happens when we die? all of this has nothing to do with 'evolution', but has everything to do with creation. There is hope for the future. That is why the purpose to life is to serve God.
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