What is your ultimate goal in life?
I can remember two times in my life when I seriously asked my self the question “What are my plans for the future?”
The first time occurred about a year after high school when I decided I wanted to be an electrical engineer. I had been working as an apprentice electrician for many months and had several contacts with an engineer and this impression led me to decide to be an engineer.
I planned several proximate goals that were necessary to reach my goal of becoming an engineer. I had to go into the army so that I could go to school on the GI Bill and then I had to complete my college engineering education.
The second time that I seriously thought about a proximate goal occurred about 15 years into my career when I pondered just what I wanted for a long term goal for my self.
Life is filled with proximate goals and the decision of just what means is best followed to achieve those particular goals. Now I am pondering what my ultimate goal is. I suspect that I have always had some kind of unconscious ultimate goal but it was one that I had not consciously and seriously thought about nor consciously desired.
“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffer the loss of his soul?”
I was raised as a Catholic and taught by nuns; this question was often in the fore front of much of what the nuns taught me. I suspect that this was pretty much what most Christians, Jews, and Muslims were taught. It appears that the three major religions, and perhaps most all religions, taught that the ultimate goal for all men, women, and children must be “save your soul above all else”.
Have we mixed a very dangerous cocktail here because we have developed a technology that places great power into the hands of ordinary people; many, if not most, of whom have as their ultimate goal the “saving” of their soul rather than the saving of life on this planet?
Isn’t it easy to see why many people find that their ultimate goal in life, i.e. to save their soul, fits quite satisfactorily with the ultimate desire for eternal life? Isn’t it easy to see how such individuals might find that using WMDs is not the worst thing they might do if it will help them save their soul and have eternal life?
Can our species last much longer when we have such a dangerous cocktail ready mixed for instant drinking?