The Point of Life?

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Avatar image for Ovirew
#1 Posted by Ovirew (8287 posts) -

I want to start a discussion about life and its meaning here; what you think its meaning is and what this is all about.

The world has had a lot going on in it as of late and life really has its ups and downs. Things don't always make sense. I'm sure we all have our beliefs and thoughts about what the journey is about. It's probably much different depending on if you're religious and depending upon your religion.

I recall one time back in the fifth grade, I had my teacher tell us that the meaning of life is to procreate, and to be more successful in life than your parents were. That is probably the first time I heard of life having some set goal for all of us, and admittedly 10-year-old me felt a little upset because at the time (and for many years afterwards) I had no intention of ever being a father. Of course I realize not all of us are meant to be parents, and not all of us can ever outdo our parents, though we can strive to do some things better than they did. It still seems kind of like a decent rule of thumb to live by, all these years later.

You gradually become someone else over the years, you're not the same person who was born into this world I'd imagine. I think it could be kind of sad if you don't grow and change, and aren't impacted by this world in some way. Then again, if your life is already great, maybe it's a good thing if you didn't lose your innocence.

My thinking lately is that we are all here because we have things about ourselves that we need to improve, and it takes a lifetime to do that. It's really hard to say what the right and wrong way of anything is, or was intended to be. But we are intelligent, sentient creatures, so I guess we can take a pretty educated stab at it.

There are countless theories about life and the afterlife, but we don't always get the chance to express our own thoughts in this world. I'm interested in seeing what you all think.

TL;DR: I think we're here to improve ourselves in some way. What do you think the purpose of life is?

Avatar image for GTR12
#2 Posted by GTR12 (13106 posts) -

The purpose of life is to watch Monty Pythons the meaning of life.

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#3 Posted by ArchoNils2 (9903 posts) -

I'm going with my fav. movie of all time:

Loading Video...

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#4 Posted by Stranger_36 (610 posts) -

I don't think about what the purpose of life is or if there even is one. I just live.

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#5 Posted by PinkAnimal (2380 posts) -

@Ovirew: Find people you care about, care for them, be cared back. Everything else is secondary.

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#6 Posted by Jacanuk (14820 posts) -

The answer to everything is 42.

But there is no meaning with life, and we all will be dust in the wind.

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#7 Posted by korvus (11232 posts) -

In my religious years life was about earned a ticket to the "good afterlife". That never really clicked for me; since I've ditched religion it became a lot easier...the goal of life is whatever you want it to be.

Help creating a life and raising it into something you can be proud of; dedicate yourself to having fun and maybe seeing the world and sampling as many cultures as you possibly can; be a person of action and do your best to improve the life of the ones around you; be a man of (good) ideas and help building a better future with something extremely innovative; as long as you're not hurting others there are no wrong choices.

The meaning of life is to live to your full potential; the direction you choose to take in order to achieve it is up to you.

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#8 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (4338 posts) -

@Ovirew:

I've always felt that it was our duty to define that purpose for ourselves. Life is whatever you want it to be. To quote Sully from Uncharted 3:

"True greatness lies within what you do with the hand you're dealt."

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#9 Posted by uninspiredcup (27056 posts) -

No idea but I seem to be programmed to like sex and eating.

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#10 Edited by comp_atkins (34988 posts) -

from a strictly biological sense, the purpose of life is to make more copies of itself ( a human is DNA's way of making more DNA )

having accomplished that ( or if you choose to ignore that purpose ) everything else is gravy. do what makes you happy, just don't hurt others.

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#11 Posted by skipper847 (7179 posts) -

All most life does on planet earth is Shag.

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#12 Posted by WeebDragon (102 posts) -

Wow this is really deep... my head hurts... until the answer hit me. The point of living is to not die.

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#13 Posted by DaVillain- (30167 posts) -

A man once told me this. Life - we all come to have fun and we die when our playtime is over. We all come down to Earth to have fun and leave when our time is up. That's all I gotta say about LIFE!

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#14 Posted by indzman (27735 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

No idea but I seem to be programmed to like sex and eating.

Also include gaming and i'm same as you XD

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#15 Posted by thehig1 (6613 posts) -

@Ovirew: there isn't an objective purpose to life, we just live then die

Avatar image for SamusFreak
#16 Edited by SamusFreak (1932 posts) -

What is best in life?

To crush your enemies, See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!

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#17 Posted by mrbojangles25 (41066 posts) -

the point is to not think about it too hard.

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#18 Posted by LexLas (7284 posts) -

I think were all here to make the world a better place. To share love, and compassion, to be on the good side of the force, and out do the dark side.

But thats just what i think, who know what we are meant to do. If i started to figure that out, i'd go mad. I am just glad to wake up every day, and that i am able to make money to support my family. Out of that whats left i try to enjoy every minute, and seconds. I have this in my mind, but my father had a different scenario. I have outdone my parents, and i do hope my kids get farther in life then i did, that would be great. I am not super religious, so i don't go to church enough to have people tell me what life is supposed to be. I find that every person is different, and i hope they are all going down the right path is all.

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#19 Posted by foxhound_fox (97167 posts) -

The purpose of life is to enjoy life to it's fullest.

Death comes for us all, but we might as well enjoy the ride while we're here.

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#20 Edited by xdude85 (6364 posts) -

Life sucks and then you die.

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#21 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (16568 posts) -

I don't think there is a "meaning of life" or a "reason why we're here"... we are just like any other living creature on this orbiting rock in the Solar System (and most probably other life in the Universe). Instinctively, our aim is to survive and procreate. Simple.

And if you really think about it, humans are probably the one species that doesn't really contribute anything to this planet. We just destroy it, actually. So we definitely don't have a purpose that I can see.

Avatar image for Zensword
#22 Edited by Zensword (4509 posts) -

When I was a Catholic, my meaning of life was to be a good Catholic (at some point I even aspired to become a saint), now I'm an atheist, my purpose of life is contribute something to society, help others, improve myself to become wiser, stronger (physically, emotionally) so that I can help other people more effectively.

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#23 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

I don't think life has a point.

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#24 Posted by Byshop (18709 posts) -
@mrbojangles25 said:

the point is to not think about it too hard.

-Byshop

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#25 Edited by skipper847 (7179 posts) -

Every time I see this I want to put. There must be more to life then this though but it looks abit suicidal which I am not but does sound it. lol. But yeah there must be more to life then what I have at the moment. I haven't got it bad but it is boring and still live with mummy and daddy at 37 year old.

Avatar image for Ovirew
#26 Posted by Ovirew (8287 posts) -

Replies, incoming!

@GTR12@Jacanuk I knew Monty Python references were coming. I did not suspect they would arrive so soon. XD

The sort of nod to "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas also has its place in this discussion.

@ArchoNils2 I've never seen Equilibrium, but I think the scene makes a good point. However important or minor our feelings are in the grand scheme of life, they are a large part of the experience of life to us.

Last year I had some deep discussions with a buddy about men and women, and about the differences between them. One thing he noticed, that maybe I didn't realize all of these years, is that one of the things women in our world are raised to value are feelings - to seek out different feelings, even sad ones. I consider myself to be a fairly emotional guy, so I can't help wondering if women are a lot better at feeling subtle feelings than men are even capable of noticing. But that's just a random though, I digress.

@Stranger_36 It's not a bad way to be, either. Of course, I don't think I can be entirely honest and say I don't still question and wonder about things.

@pinkanimal I try my best to do this. It's difficult though, because I have had a really difficult time connecting with other people for most of my life. I actually had a conversation with my sister today, and that was nice - she opened up a lot more than usual, when over the past few years she would usually cut short our phone calls and explain that our parents were off somewhere and to try calling them on their cellphones. I think it takes two people many years and lots of effort to really get to know one another. And even then, most people don't give the same amount of effort as you do.

Up until a good 4 years ago I couldn't really say that I had friends, but now I think I can say for sure that I've found some worthwhile friendships in my life. I just think that approaching 30, it is going to remain difficult to cultivate meaningful relationships in my life because most people around my age group have started families and begun careers.

@korvus Potential is a good thought. I wish I were more motivated and had better life-management skills sometimes. I know my one friend is better at maintaining a pleasing lifestyle than myself, so maybe you need to really have a good job before you can think about improving your potential? Maybe my outlook or something isn't really as great as it should be, either. Maybe I'm just lazy, lol.

I've had a lot of big dreams and ideas about things I'd like to do in my life over the years. It just seems like they aren't really possible or practical. Something as simple as going on a trip to some other state becomes difficult, because you have to know what you will do when you get there, find out how long everything will take and what time you need to arrive at places, know where you will be staying, have money saved up for the trip, and prepare for it well in advance. It's a shame because you can't just hop in a car and go somewhere and meet the kind of people you'd like to meet, and feel the way you want to feel the entire trip. There are always real-world complications to things.

@nepu7supastar7 I don't think it is quite what you want it to be though. Life is full of uncontrollable variables. Just because you want something for yourself doesn't mean you can get it. I get that the point is doing the most you can, and making the best of what you have. And I guess that goes along with potential, making things better and pushing things further. But it's not like I can manage every aspect of my life and keep them all doing well. I can't just wear my hair how I want or dress how I want and have everyone like it because of societal opinions. I can't always get the girl I want because she might be hard to come by and even if I do find someone like her, she might not feel the same way as I do, or even find me the least bit attractive! I think ourselves, others and our environments are already restrictions on what is possible for us in our lives.

@uninspiredcup@indzman@skipper847 Lol, well yeah I guess those things all do make life much more worth living. For all the things that can get so screwed up in life - by the cosmos or by other people - it's amazing how so much about this world still works and connects us.

@comp_atkins Sometimes I think natural selection is skewed in some way. I guess it's comforting to know that I could maybe offer to be a surrogate, and help out a couple who is unable to reproduce otherwise. I don't know if I could do it, but it's a thought. I guess it wasn't until within the last 3 or 4 years I realized a part of me kind of wants to have children, but for me I think it's important to have the right mother. Is it wrong that I always cared more about romantic love than family though? I mean, what's the point of everything if the only part that matters is creating new life? Isn't the love part just as important?

@weebdragon So meta! XD

Yeah sometimes I think about if the point is to live longest, or live healthiest, or to live until the particular moment where things begin to go downhill and then to go away before the hard times set in. What if we are all desperately needed in the afterlife to turn the tides of some ongoing war, and those who die younger will be first to the front-lines? And does that mean this is important, for ensuring all souls get the chance to be born and die into the afterlife? Or are all souls already there and just get pulled aside here? Maybe this is some sideways world, a distraction by the Evil One to keep us away from the ongoing war! O.O;

But yeah, I would have to say living is something we want to do. Nobody easily wants to leave behind sentience, and this world we spend a lifetime in. The unknown of what awaits us after this is unnerving. We don't want to lose everything.

@thehig1 I just can't really buy the idea that this is all there will ever be, and everything ends at death. I know this discussion isn't so much about the afterlife, but I'm nevertheless at a loss if we cease all existence once we die here. We've kept living, I think we've decided that continuing to live is what we should do as a society, and I think every one of us can find at least one good thing to say about life. But to me life having zero point is odd, I don't get why life has thrived if that's the case.

@SamusFreak Our ancestors certainly did love conquering. It makes you wonder why, if we all came from the same place, we all ended up separating and eventually reuniting as bitter enemies for many ages. Perhaps violence and war is as necessary as everything else for us?

@davillain- Is it all just fun and games? And is life more like the board game LIFE than any other board game? lol

@mrbojangles25@Byshop Maybe that is the point, or maybe it helps not to. Either way, I guess I'm losing? : P

@LexLas Well said. I'm happy to hear you're one of those people who has topped their parents' successes in some way.

I think the complicated thing about making the world a better place is, we don't 100% know which choices better and worsen things for us. : D But at any rate, trying to better things is good for us here, the thought counts.

@foxhound_fox "The purpose of life is to enjoy life to it is fullest." Now I will spend eternity questioning what that would mean lol.

@xdude85 Hopefully it doesn't all suck. Try to be thankful for things, and to appreciate all that is amazing in this world. We are able to communicate with symbols, on electronic devices, from just about any place in the world - those things alone are quite a feat!

@hrt_rulz01 We completely changed this planet. We turned swamps and forests into cultivated farmlands, clusters of buildings and an intricate interstate system. We built bridges and found ways to explore areas few creatures can. We managed to escape the atmosphere. We've synthesized countless elements and have warped and modified natural resources in countless ways. We have contributed for sure. Maybe we have destroyed more than any other living thing here, but we've also created more than many of them.

@Zensword I've noticed a few of you here have mentioned once being religious, but now no longer are. You must have believed pretty strongly to have wanted to be a Saint. Can I ask what changed that? Either way, yeah, trying to help others and improve yourself is good. Which do you suspect is more important - improving or helping others?

@thegerg Have you thought about trying to give your own meaning to life, then?

@skipper847 I realize you're a few years older than me yet, but I can relate. I realize that you get out of life what you put into it, and maybe I need to take more action to find that next step. But at the same time, I just get the impression that success comes more easily to some of us than to others. Hopefully we can all find our calling in this world.

Thanks for the discussion thus far, everyone!

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#27 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (16568 posts) -

@Ovirew: We've created and achieved alot, but it's only really to benefit our species. None of it really helps the planet or the other creatures on it... accept maybe trying to fix some of the damage we've done.

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#28 Posted by Baconstrip78 (1011 posts) -

To enjoy it while you are here. There is no god and no afterlife.

Once you accept that, many things that people dedicate their entire lives to become seemingly pointless.

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#29 Posted by stuff238 (3084 posts) -

Why does life have to have a meaning? Or purpose?

Does it really matter why we are here?

Do we really need a answer?

Seriously man. There is no meaning of life. It just is.

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#30 Posted by LJS9502_basic (163994 posts) -

The point of life is for you to make lots of money and donate it to me..............

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#31 Posted by sailor232 (6876 posts) -

It was to populate, now that's been accomplished the only other purpose is to die, it's the most natural aspect of humanity, from birth we are dying.

Each person's free will dictates what they will do with the time they have but the ultimate goal every single person strives for is death.

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#32 Posted by 93BlackHawk93 (8523 posts) -

There's none.

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#33 Posted by omegaMaster (714 posts) -

The purpose of life is have fun and do whatever you want.

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#34 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -

Anything that you fancy it to be. Stare at the wall. Cure aids. Reproduce. Choose your destiny.

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#35 Posted by MrGeezer (59383 posts) -

@hrt_rulz01 said:

I don't think there is a "meaning of life" or a "reason why we're here"... we are just like any other living creature on this orbiting rock in the Solar System (and most probably other life in the Universe). Instinctively, our aim is to survive and procreate. Simple.

And if you really think about it, humans are probably the one species that doesn't really contribute anything to this planet. We just destroy it, actually. So we definitely don't have a purpose that I can see.

"Contributing to the planet" is sort of a B.S. anthropomorphic concept. That implies that there's some kind of ideal state that the planet is building towards. What exactly counts as a "contribution" to the planet?

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#36 Edited by WeebDragon (102 posts) -

I think because the concept of Death won't exist if the concept of Life is not existing. Like the two sides of the coin, the one needs the other for the other to survive?

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#37 Posted by comp_atkins (34988 posts) -

@Ovirew said:

Replies, incoming!

@comp_atkins Sometimes I think natural selection is skewed in some way. I guess it's comforting to know that I could maybe offer to be a surrogate, and help out a couple who is unable to reproduce otherwise. I don't know if I could do it, but it's a thought. I guess it wasn't until within the last 3 or 4 years I realized a part of me kind of wants to have children, but for me I think it's important to have the right mother. Is it wrong that I always cared more about romantic love than family though? I mean, what's the point of everything if the only part that matters is creating new life? Isn't the love part just as important?

again, i think from a strictly biological sense, love only important insofar it permits the creation ( and raising ) of a qualified offspring such that they themselves can then create qualified offspring.

love between partners is a means to that end imo.

beyond biology though, importance is up to you :)

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#38 Edited by Zensword (4509 posts) -

@Ovirew said:

@Zensword I've noticed a few of you here have mentioned once being religious, but now no longer are. You must have believed pretty strongly to have wanted to be a Saint. Can I ask what changed that? Either way, yeah, trying to help others and improve yourself is good. Which do you suspect is more important - improving or helping others?

Yeah I was a pretty devoted Catholic back then. I used to go to forums to defend my faith against Protestants, Buddhists as well as atheists. I'd been struggling with some serious problems for years, I prayed to God for help but my prayers fell on deaf ears so I decided my God actually doesn't exist. Besides, there is so much suffering and evil on earth, but he doesn't intervene, either he doesn't want to or doesn't have power to do anything, so even if he does exist, why should I worship a God who doesn't care about his creations ?

As for your last question, it's difficult to say which one is more important, I guess both are equally important. The ultimate purpose of [my] life is making contributions to society, but to do that effectively, I need to improve myself in every aspects everyday until the end of my life.

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#39 Posted by superbuuman (6204 posts) -

To live your life as you want - eat, live & have fun..stop seeking others's approval. :P

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#40 Edited by ToonLonk (360 posts) -

The point of life is to live truly, have fun, and contribute to society in a positive way. To make an impact (hopefully positive) on those other than you.

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#41 Posted by ToonLonk (360 posts) -

@xdude85: Wow, that's emo.

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#42 Edited by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@Ovirew:

"Have you thought about trying to give your own meaning to life, then?"

No, life is not something that I (or you, or anyone else) is capable of assigning meaning to. It would be ridiculously narcissistic for someone to think that they are capable of assigning a point to something like life.

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#43 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@Ovirew:

"Have you thought about trying to give your own meaning to life, then?"

No, life is not something that I (or you, or anyone else) is capable of assigning meaning to. It would be ridiculously narcissistic for someone to think that they are capable of assigning a point to something like life.

You are just doing the same thing by saying who can assign meaning to life.

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#44 Posted by artillery77 (24 posts) -

Jesus/thread

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#45 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

No I'm not. That doesn't even make sense.

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#46 Edited by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@schu:

No I'm not. That doesn't even make sense.

Yes, Yes it does. You said it is narcissistic to say who can assign meaning to life and then you said who could assign meaning to life.

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#47 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

No I didn't. I never said who can assign meaning to life. You seem to be very confused.

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#48 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@schu:

No I didn't. I never said who can assign meaning to life. You seem to be very confused.

Yes you did. You said that no one could. If you said that no one can determine the meaning of life for someone else then I would agree with you. They most certainly can decide what the meaning is for themselves.

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#49 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

"You said that no one could."

Right, I said who COULDN'T. I DIDN'T say who COULD.

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#50 Edited by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@schu:

"You said that no one could."

Right, I said who COULDN'T. I DIDN'T say who COULD.

Do you not see how the latter follows from the former?