# What Is the Purpose of Life?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by dumaurier, Jul 2, 1999.

1. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

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171
What Is the Purpose of Life?
Why is there a universe at all?

I don't believe in accidents (and i don't believe we are some "laboratory experiment", either).

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dumaurier

3. ### H-konRegistered Senior Member

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312
As for what my little peabrain can grasp of your questions, there seems to be little options left. You seem to rule out every possibillity but the creation.. So I think you allready have made up your mind..

At least. i cant think of anything else...

Now the purpose of life.. My idea of that would be to learn and experience everything you can before you die.. I feel that somewhere down the line you will need what you have learned after an uncertain number of re-incarnations..

my $0.02 ------------------ Just waiting for my peabrain to boot into English :\ [This message has been edited by H-kon (edited July 02, 1999).] 4. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 5. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member Messages: 1,052 Dumaurier: I'll answer your question with a question: Is it more satisfactory to proclaim that the source of the universe is known, that the purpose of life is ascertained, and that such is the final word on the matter -- or is it better to admit that those things are not known, and devote your energies to a search for answers? ------------------ I am; therefore I think. 6. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 7. ### FlashRegistered Senior Member Messages: 771 H-Kon, I totally agree with you!! And hey..as far as the hell thing goes...do not worry about it. Hell is a state of mind, ya know? Dumaurier, Ok, just what do you believe? I mean.. you asked...so let's hear your version. 8. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member Messages: 171 Flash: Great! I love what you say about hell being a state of mind. I fully agree with you! I might add that "paradise" is also a state of mind. What do you think? You asked me to express my belief in the purpose of life. Well, it is a reasonable request, but please understand that i am speaking strictly for myself here; my view is mine and i am not implying that you or anyone must think like me on this or on any other issue; it's just my humble opinion, as we say in cyberspace lingo Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! So, where do i stand on this issue? Easy: to me there can only be ONE purpose in life and no other. It is this: to acquire virtues! But this requires some elaboration, don't you think? So, please permit me... As you have probably already guessed, i am a firm believer in a Creator. I do not think in terms of "theory" with regards this opinion. In my mind there is no doubt that a Creator brought into existence the material universe. We have liberal choice to believe in whatever we wish. This is my choice. Now, to me the Creator is absolutely unknowable. No matter how far and deep, how extensive our endeavour to attempt understanding what, where and who He is, we will fail. He is beyond our comprehension. But in order to communicate between ourselves we must use labels. So some call Him "God" some "Dieu" some "Jehovah" etc. In essence, we are speaking about the same thing, regardles of the labels. Since He is the Unknowable, how do we know that He even exists? Big question! Well, how do we know that the sun exists? Through its effects, right? We can see the sun's rays, feel them, and observe their effects all around us. We can feel the sun's warmth, see it's light, and also observe how it provides life for the vegetable, animal and human kingdoms. So, how am i convinced that the Creator exists? If you were to examine most Holy Scripture (Buddhist, Jadaic, Christian, Islamic, etc.--and note that i make a great distinction between "cult"-"sect"-and "true religion") you will note that the Creator is always qualified. He is always the Compassionate, the Kind, the Charitable, the Tolerant, the Help-in-Peril, the Ever-Forgiving, the Wise, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, the All-Knowing, and so on and so forth. His qualifications are virtues since such concepts as compassion, kindness, charity, tolerance, assistance, forgiveness, knowledge, wisdom are all virtues. Of course, He is also given such qualifications as "The Wrathful God," the "Vengeful God," etc. which are not virtues. But this is another question irrelevent to my point. So, in my opinion, we can only know the Creator (or God) through His attributes. These attributes (or virtues) are a manifest outpouring of the Creator just as the sun's rays are a manifest outpouring of the goodness of the sun. Now, observe that of all created things on this planet man is the only life form able to manifest through his being virtue in their full splendour! The mineral, vegetable, animal kingdoms can manifest only an infinitely small number of these virtues through their appearance but man can manifest all of them. Thus, a cat is compassionate to its kittens, as is a dog to its puppies and most female animals are to their young. But this compassion is not of choice. It is ingrained in their nature; it is instinct. A perfume of a rose is wonderful and this fragrance is virtuous for it imparts joy and pleasantness to the one who inhales it. But this fragrance does not come about as a choice on the part of the rose. In man, on the other hand, virtue is something acquired. We must strive hard in order to become good. We can choose to be virtuous or we can choose to not be. We have a choice in the matter. The vegetable and animal kingdoms have not this choice. Is this not so? The highest goal of a human being, then, since he has this potential of manifesting through his being all virtues, is to attain and manifest them through his being. But why should we achieve this? Why should we even try to be good? Well, i think it is because evil doesn't even exist! But understand my meaning here. I mean that if you fill a glass with mud and then pour limpid water into it the mud will eventually empty out. The human being is like this glass (we have choices to either fill our being with mud or with pure, fresh and limpid water). An arguement in favour of the non-existence of evil is that of the analogy between darkness and light. When we speak of darkness in a metaphorical sense we always associated it with evil. Light represents good. So, my question is: can you bring darkness into a room? Can you switch on darkness, so to speak? No! But you can switch on light, right? If you switch off the light the room becomes dark. So, light has power whereas darkness is the absence of power. Light is goodness and darkness is the absence of goodness. Shadow depends on light, not darkness! An evil person lacks the goodness of virtue. Fill him with goodness and the bad vanishes. (Yes, i understand that this is debatable, but we can do this later). Humans are social creatures. To keep a society orderly virtues are essential. When you walk into a restaurant and sit down, there is virtue everywhere! The waitress is practising courtesy as you are. There is "service" and there is respect, kindness, etc. I'm not saying we are living in a perfect society, but virtues exist and are manifest to a greater or lesser degree in our societies worldwide. A smile is virtue! A friendly greeting is virtue. In society one must practise virtue, want it or not. The Creator is unknowable but we know His effects in that He created us. To paint a masterpiece requires love of the art. Love is a virtue. The Creator created this vast, infinite universe out of love. Could He have created it out of hate? Absurd! This love The Creator had for His creation is manifest everywhere in the fact that He created the universe. We witness how the solar system is perfectly balanced: the moon and stars do not fall on our heads, the sun heats the earth to the perfect degree to allow life to flourish, and so on. There is balance and perfect symmetry everywhere. Perfection is one of the attributes of the Creator. And "perfection" is a virtue. Likewise, "moderation" and "love" are virtues. Beauty is a virtue. Voila: to me the purpose of life is to acquire and manifest virtues in our lives to the best of our abilities. This is what i believe and the way i see things. As to my other questions, "Why is there a universe at all?" and "I don't believe in accidents," i won't touch these for this post is, i think, long enough as it is, don't you think? Oh, before i leave, i'd just like to add that to me "hell" is that state of being where there is an abnormal absence of virtue, and paradise is that state of being where there is ample presence of virtues in one's life Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! It's been nice talking to you, Flash. Be good. ------------------ dumaurier 9. ### H-konRegistered Senior Member Messages: 312 Uhm. Well. One thing is for sure. I get to learn more English while reading your post, and that was a pretty long one too Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! One thing i did get was the thing about the glass " if you have a glass with mud, and just add water all the time, eventually the mud will vanish" ( not quoting here ). I do not agree with that, because if you continue to pour water into the glass, there will always be a trace of mud in the glass no matter how long you do it. (homeopathic theory) It might not be physical, but the water will "know" that the mud is there in a sence, so the Good will know that Evil is there too, just that Good cant see Evil, but it knows its there. So MY conclusion is that Good and Evil is anti-materia, you cant touch it , or see it, you just know its there, and the same thing applies to Gods too. You cant see it, you cant touch it, but somehow you have a feeling its there, or maybe you just NEED it to be there... Because how can you have the good without evil? just like how can you have light without darkness? You need a little of both to be sane in this world to be honest. If you didnt, everything would have been boring, and we wouldn't have had this discussion .. . would we? Flash: I think Hell is a state of mind, but only if God is too Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! my$0.04 cents ( inflation)

To those who dont know me. I am Norwegian of origin, so if you dont understand me, let me know, and i'll hit the books

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Just waiting for my peabrain to boot into English :\

10. ### MaTToRegistered Senior Member

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54
Where are we promised that we are of any importance at all?

I personally think the meaning of life is about earning our purpose, rather than looking for one.

MaTTo

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53
The purpose of life is to enjoy and give fate a kick up the ass on the way.

12. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

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1,052
The purpose of life is the search for purpose.

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I am; therefore I think.

13. ### MaTToRegistered Senior Member

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lmao

Very good Boris, I was giving this topic a little more additional thought and I was going to edit my msg and put that idea as well, but I see someone beat me to it. Good job, hehe

MaTTo

[This message has been edited by MaTTo (edited July 07, 1999).]

14. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

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171
What if a person has already found his/her purpose?

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dumaurier

15. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

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171
H-Kon, you wrote:

"...how can you have the good without evil? just like how can you have light without darkness? You need a little of both..."

I think the concept of "good" and "evil" are really subjective states. They depend on the thoughts a person thinks which influence his way of looking at the world. Evil, or bad, exists as long as the good does not overcome it. But in itself "evil" has no power because it can be overcome by the good. Thus, for example, a lion in itself isn't evil. It needs its dangerous fangs to eat and carry on its life for with its fangs it tears meat and kills prey as nature has predestined. But if a man be stupid enough to infiltrate a lion's cage when it is hungry and the lion swipes off that man's arm and eats it, it is simply acting on instinct because it is hungry and needs to eat. Is the lion's nature evil? One should think that it is the man's lack of common sense which rendered the event possible. An animal cannot distinguish between good and evil but man can.

Usually in psychology class students are confronted with a simple experiment. The professor puts a glass filled half-way with clear water and asks students to tell him if the glass is "half empty" or "half full." Most students reply that it is "half empty." Now, "empty" has a negative connotation. When your bank account is empty you might think that you're in some trouble. If your stomach is empty you feel uncomfortable. If your automobile is empty of gas it won't go anywhere. And so on. So, "empty" has a negative connotation. It is the absence of something!

Now, if you say that your bank account is full you are certainly very happy. If your stomach is full you are comfortable because you've eaten. If your automobile is full of gas it will go places. And so on. So, "full" has a positive connotation.

The opinion of the individual who said that the glass was "half empty" is grounded on a personal moral foundation that gives more importance to the negative than to the positive; that is to say that the individual was brought up in an environment which encouraged him to place more emphasis on the negative aspects of events and relationships and thoughts than on the positive. The person who viewed the glass of water "half full" has a more positive outlook and is generally happier in life due to the more constructive patterns found within his moral education. For example, if a child is slapped, verbally abused, or disdained in some way everytime he fumbles and makes an error, that child will grow up seeing more negative than positive. It is not his fault that he is a child!!!

All things are subject to the interpretation of the observer and no two observers understand the same thing in the exact same way. This simply means that our interpretations of the exterior world are dependent on our innate capacities, our secular education, social influence, family influence, and other factors which to a degree are beyond our control.

All variations which a person sees in this world proceed from his own vision. For example, the sun, although it shines and bestows light on all things, yet in each place it becomes manifest and sheds its
bounty according to the potentialities of that place. For instance, in a mirror it reflects its own disk and shape, and this is due to the sensitivity of the mirror; in a crystal it makes fire to appear, and in other things it shows only the effect of its shining, but not its full disk. And yet, through that effect, it trains each thing according to the quality of that thing.

In like manner, colors become visible in every object according to the nature of that object. For instance, in a yellow globe, the rays shine yellow; in a white the rays are white; and in a red, the red rays are manifest. Then these variations are from the object, not from the shining light. And if a place be shut away from the light, as by walls or a roof, it will be entirely bereft of the splendor of the light, nor will the sun shine thereon.

When i say that "evil" does not exist, by this i mean that it can be eradicated by its replacement with good. If one is ignorant he could dispel this by acquiring knowledge. So, ignorance is really the absence of knowledge. Stupidity is the want of common sense, and so on. Negative thinking is really the incapacity to see the positive in things, events, etc. Thus, what will you gain in your anger? Nothing! You are only upsetting your own neurological system with negative consequences to the body and mind! You are not more loved because of this outburst. But one who realizes that there is wisdom even in situations that seemingly contradict us, will maintain his calm and search for the positive within that experience. We should see the good in all things.

War is evil. But why do we have war? Because there's a lack of love! Inject love in the hearts of men and war will no longer be!

In sum, evil does not exist save within the eye of the beholder. Where good is lacking, there is want. Evil is powerless and completely dependent on the lack of goodness for its existence. Darkness, depends on light for its existence. Bring in the light, and darkness is dispelled.

Salutations

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dumaurier

16. ### BorisSenior MemberRegistered Senior Member

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1,052
Dumaurier:

If you've already found a purpose, good for you. But if your search is over, and there is even a tiny chance that you are wrong about the purpose, then the rest of your life might be a total waste.

Evil does not exist in mere relation to good. Evil, plain and simple, is harm. And humans are rather inclined to harm each other, even as children. If you disagree, try to dig up the memories of your own childhood, and recall the taunting and sneering that was either directed at you, or you directed at others. It is a hopeless dream to 'inject good' into the hearts of all men. We wouldn't be individuals if we were all alike. Some of us are inclined toward harmony, but others are inclined toward harm. It has always been like this, and always will be, unless we change our biological constitution itself -- in which case we shall no longer be human as the word is to be understood today...

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I am; therefore I think.

17. ### MaTToRegistered Senior Member

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Dumarrier, if you are so certain on what the purpose of life is and why the universe is here, then why are you curious about everyone elses perspective even if it will disagree with yours?

I don't really see a purpose in this forum topic at all except a place to argue.

MaTTo

18. ### H-konRegistered Senior Member

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312
Dumarier:

A reply is coming your way soon. Gonna be away for some time, but i'll write as soon as i get home.

Matto: I agree with you on that, but maybe he is asking us because he is not really sure what to believe anymore.. Who knows. (though it doesnt sound that way

)

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Just waiting for my peabrain to boot into English :\

[This message has been edited by H-kon (edited July 09, 1999).]

19. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

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171
Hi Matto,

I appreciate your concern and it is certain that we all wish to advance in our discussions until the light breaks through.

You wrote,
"if you are so certain on what the purpose of life is and why the universe is here, then why are you curious about everyone else's perspective even if it will disagree with yours?"

Matto, i must, in return, ask you three questions which require deep reflection: First, if you've found something marvellous, wouldn't you wish to share it with others? Second, is not sharing a reciprocal action?Third, when you give someone a gift, do you change your mind and ask it back?

As for your comment on your complaint that on this forum topic we argue, i must admit i have been guilty of this. However, i have stated what i believe to be the purpose in life here.

Now that i've spoken, please, tell me what, according to you, is the purpose in life? Why is there a universe? Why is there life at all? For what purpose?

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dumaurier

20. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

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171
Boris, you wrote:

"If you've already found a purpose, good for you. But if your search is over, and there is even a tiny chance that you are wrong about the purpose, then the rest of your life might be a total waste."

My dearest friend, you can be assured that i have found. I know that there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that i am incorrect about the purpose. My life has been such a rich mixture of great things that i cannot begin to tell you about the myriad marvels. This is better than paradise!

With regards evil, we must not be naive. It does exist. Throughout my posts i use it only to emphasize that good has more power than evil, that when within your own heart you've decided to replace all "evil" thoughts with good ones, your entire life takes a turnaround and the days are brighter, the coffee is sweeter, the rose blossoms more beautiful, people's smiles more radiant. Troubles become repose, and one starts to see a profound wisdom in all things. But the greatest is that one acquires self-confidence, becomes more trustworthy, truthful, and fear is completely eradicated! What is also eradicated is this inner turmoil and dichotomous inner conflict that many experience. These, my friend, are some of the benefits of replacing that so called "evil" with goodness.

Note that when you were born, dear Boris, you weren't "bad" or "evil". No! You were a pure, gentle, tender baby. You were essentially good. It was only in growing up, and by the influence from the thoughts vehicled by those in your social environment,
which corrupted that initial purity. We humans are, in general, essentially good. In adulthood, it is my firm belief that our duty is to eradicate any "evil" thoughts and replace these with the good.

Now, you say that "it is a hopeless dream to 'inject good' into the hearts of all men. We wouldn't be individuals if we were all alike. Some of us are inclined toward harmony, but others are inclined toward harm."

Well, the only way you can inject goodness into the hearts of others is by being good yourself--and in the beginning of such lofty endeavour it is extremely difficult. Human beings influence each other be it even in the smallest subtle measure. Yet the influence is there (some call this "psychological suggestion"). Thus, if you keep company with thieves you will most likely be influenced into practising thievery. If you keep company with good people you will assuredly reflect this goodness. This is a plain fact, i think.

As to individual uniqueness, this is an undisputed fact. But goodness is very flexible and can be expressed in as many ways as there are people.

Truly the choice is ours between good and evil. In fact, this choice really determins the type of person we become. It is such an important choice, Boris, so crucial to our wellbeing that i cannot emphasize it enough.

Nice talking to you.

21. ### dumaurierRegistered Senior Member

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H-Kon,

Addressing Matto, you suggest that perhaps dumaurier "...is asking us because he is not really sure what to believe anymore...Who knows."

Believe me, H-Kon, this is not the case. I am interested in knowing other people's views (when they post them, of course). So, please tell us your views on this subject.

Have a good vacation and hope to see you back soon.

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dumaurier

22. ### H-konRegistered Senior Member

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312
Well.. i am no good in explaining things as you do due to that i am still learning English,.. but I am gonna try.

Dumarier:

I am not sure if this really matters, but i did understand your long post there better after i read your reply to MaTTo.

I think you are doing a good job in explaining it in a bigger view, but I am also thinking that since you are a man of light, you will have personal belief, and opinions ( maybe it was meant to be that ?)

First you say that "the concept of evil and good are really subjective states" when you wrote that, in my view you killed your own post by later trying to explain how things worked and all.. You did a good job, but since i am not sure if you tried making your post objective, or subjective, there is no "true" answer that i can give you.

The point is . Though I know that you are right in many ways, you are writing this from a subjective matter, but at the same time making a statement about it. . About that guy that went into the lions cave.. He deserves it if he did, and the Lion has all the right in the world to do in his territory, but that is not a good evil vs good analogy.

One thing that i believe is a good one.. Was Hitler Evil when invading Poland starting WWII? Or did he do it for a good cause? And were the Allies Good in launching a campaign against him and his allies? Think deep about that one.

The point is. Evil isnt defined by how the outcome is. If you end up doing something Evil, but have good intents about it, also knowing that it might go bad.. Is that Evil? No i would say, as long as you have good intents.
Lets say that someone does something that the outcome of is considered Evil. .Suppose the guy didnt know what he did was Evil, he had good intentions about it.. Is he Evil? Can the action be considered Evil?

All this comes down to is education.. Education today is rather a blue book. The base of what you learn today, is the same that your grandfather did when he was your age.. When education becomes so "in a box" there arent much room to explore the good and the bad things in life.. There is always a balance, but until we all can define good and bad through all cultures, that is never going to happen..

According to you Dumarier.. Since good and bad are not perceived the same by any persons, why are different people, with different views judging, the "bad" people?

So until we can "define" good and evil, write it down on a piece of paper to be the foundation for all cultures on this planet, this conversation will always be biased..

One last exapmple before i quit.

You in the USA are afraid and concerned of the Islamic terrorists that might attack US right?
Are those people Evil? No.. They are not. They are willing to do this for THEIR good cause, so for them the US are the terrorists.

US looks upon them as terrorists themselves, based on THEIR perspective of what is good.

An objective would view if this would be that one is as much terroristic and evil as the other guy..

Some will shake their heads at this i know, because they "know" the difference right?

So do you really know the difference? Or have you been "TOLD" to know this? *education*

Would the islamic terrorists do this if they thought what they did was wrong? I dont think so. They are doing this based on their religion, and their education. They are taught to hate the US and the West, so in their eyes, what they do is good.

So this discussion cant be settled until humans think alike i am afraid.

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Just waiting for my peabrain to boot into English :\

23. ### H-konRegistered Senior Member

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312
Hey .. that turbo keyboard worked LOL

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Just waiting for my peabrain to boot into English :\

[This message has been edited by H-kon (edited July 10, 1999).]