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Thread: Higher Purpose

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I think that by nature virtually everything we do is motivated by looking out for #1.
    I believe in enlightened self-interest. Cooperation is better for all parties, if all parties cooperate (and we can section of places where all parties cooperate if need be).

    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    It normally just means do/be awesome.
    I usually feel my sense of higher purpose under those circumstances too.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
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  2. #22
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I believe in enlightened self-interest. Cooperation is better for all parties, if all parties cooperate (and we can section of places where all parties cooperate if need be).
    That's exactly what I'm saying. The only thing that I can think about that puts someone else above yourself is dying for them.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaerne View Post
    My belief in heaven, a perfect paradise of pure bliss, gives me a higher purpose. It tells me that I am not doing this only for others, but myself, and a higher being who wishes that I be perfectly happy. I don't think I can believe in a world of pure science where I may be viewed as lacking any free will or just the same as animals. If that was so, I would rather die, but I don't want to die. Really I would rather believe a seemingly dreamy world of insanity which has no proof of itself, than a cold world which has equally no proof of itself or any to disprove the other.


    Your god is mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Why is it narcissistic to feel think or believe you have a higher purpose (if you believe everyone does)?
    Because all the little kids in africa who starved to death today had no higher purpose. All the people throughout history who lead short, painful, meaningless lives had no higher purpose and whoever is hypothetically handing out purposes did nothing to help them. So I think it's a little narcissistic of us well fed, immunized, safe, comfortable, (I'm assuming mostly) white people to sit around and talk about how each of us have been given a special higher purpose for our lives.

  4. #24
    Junior Member Zaerne's Avatar
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    Actually, no, He's not. It's not narcissistic of thinking of a higher purpose. It's more narcissistic and completely hopeless not to as now our purpose is only in this earth. It's also not that it's only we who have been given a higher purpose, but everyone else, and we are to help others know that. I'm sorry, but I'd hate to call any life meaningless just because it was short and painful. Each life has an impact, even if we don't know it. Also, whoever else if just "handing out purposes" but leaving them to starve are ignorant. We are to help everyone reach their full potential in this life, decrease suffering, and offer our suffering so that others would not have to also suffer. It is exactly this higher purpose that gives me enough strength to do anything I do. For if I do not have one, I am left with the theory that we are just a series of interacting atoms and that nothing is our fault because, we are just atoms who are reacting to each other in a completely scientific pattern and have no free will.

    My God is not mean. He allows suffering because He allows free will. Abuse of free will causes suffering, not Him. He cannot just interfere with everything or we will not come to Him in our own free will. People are dying because people have sinned and not only are we affecting us, but we affect the whole humanity which is mystically connected to each and everyone who is part of humanity.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaerne View Post
    Actually, no, He's not. It's not narcissistic of thinking of a higher purpose. It's more narcissistic and completely hopeless not to as now our purpose is only in this earth.
    Really? How is it narcissistic to consider myself a speck upon a speck among specks and so on?

    It's also not that it's only we who have been given a higher purpose, but everyone else, and we are to help others know that.
    My purpose is to submit to the will of God so that after I die I can spend all eternity telling him how great he is? No thanks, hell for the company as they say.

    I'm sorry, but I'd hate to call any life meaningless just because it was short and painful. Each life has an impact, even if we don't know it. Also, whoever else if just "handing out purposes" but leaving them to starve are ignorant.
    The dispenser of purposes (God) is ignorant (doesn't know the africans are starving)? Sounds blasphemous.

    We are to help everyone reach their full potential in this life, decrease suffering, and offer our suffering so that others would not have to also suffer. It is exactly this higher purpose that gives me enough strength to do anything I do. For if I do not have one, I am left with the theory that we are just a series of interacting atoms and that nothing is our fault because, we are just atoms who are reacting to each other in a completely scientific pattern and have no free will.
    You're emphasizing determinism a bit much. The red pill isn't that bad, I feel better now than I ever did when I was a christian. And don't tell me I was the wrong kind of christian because you can't prove which version is true. I've tried, it's impossible.

    My God is not mean.
    Read the book of Job lately?

    He allows suffering because He allows free will.
    Unless he is a Calvinist.

    Abuse of free will causes suffering, not Him.
    He has the power to end all this, that makes him an accessory at the very least.

    He cannot just interfere with everything or we will not come to Him in our own free will.
    So God is the narcissistic jerk here? All this pain and suffering is so that in the end a minority of human souls will make it to heaven and worship God for eternity? What did he do to deserve all this praise at our expense?

    People are dying because people have sinned and not only are we affecting us, but we affect the whole humanity which is mystically connected to each and everyone who is part of humanity.
    I never heard that in church.

  6. #26
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    My sense of higher purpose is in the process of transition, and of holding onto its original principles. I was raised in structured religion, but the greatest meaning in that experience were those moments i spent alone in nature, and when i found a way to give something of value to another human being. At this point in my life, my sense of purpose has been distilled to the principle of compassion.

    My purpose is to comprehend as clearly and fully as possible, and then to act with wisdom on those perceptions. The first step towards compassion is understanding. We cannot love what we cannot know. Love is in no way blind. Self-interest is blind. Love is the ability to see and to not let that stop you from embracing the person. Loving oneself and other human beings requires the ability to look blindness, arrogance, and cruelty square in the eyes. It's not possible to know what humanity is without viewing suffering head-on. I am driven to understand cruelty because without that, how can one understand compassion? I hope to take whatever life gives me, and distill it to its core meaning, and to express it back into the world with the force of compassion. This is to grapple with the blackness of fate and find a way to be a light. To me that is what it means to 'be'. It is what let's me know that i am alive. My impact that results from my understanding and choices is all that will be left of me when i am gone. In that way my imprint is 'me' in a deeper way than i can ever be 'me'.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  7. #27
    Junior Member Zaerne's Avatar
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    Ugh...I guess I should use the quote thing...

    Really? How is it narcissistic to consider myself a speck upon a speck among specks and so on?
    It's not. Actually doing this is a virtue called humility.

    My purpose is to submit to the will of God so that after I die I can spend all eternity telling him how great he is? No thanks, hell for the company as they say.
    Ummm...Sort of, kind of, not really. If you reach heaven you don't exactly just sit there with an old man spitting praises like a robot. I would agree, that would be torture. Heaven is often misunderstood as a place of forcefully praising God or you get thrown into hell. Heaven and hell are both choices and you freely choose one by your actions. Heaven is more rightly described as a place of pure bliss because each one in there knows the pure glory of God. It's not really a praise as a commandment, but a natural effect of awe, seeing the most beautiful thing in the world. Also heaven is a sense of completeness as God created us and He is our missing part.

    The dispenser of purposes (God) is ignorant (doesn't know the africans are starving)? Sounds blasphemous.
    Sorry, I guess I should have bolded the "just" part. I didn't say those who hand out purpose is ignorant, I said those who only "hand out purpose" is ignorant.

    You're emphasizing determinism a bit much. The red pill isn't that bad, I feel better now than I ever did when I was a christian. And don't tell me I was the wrong kind of christian because you can't prove which version is true. I've tried, it's impossible.
    Again sorry, I don't know what determinism is. I can't tell you that you are the "wrong kind of Christian" but I can kind of say that you didn't ever fully grasp the meaning of being a Christian. Maybe you did come to a point which fit you better as a person, but that maybe a point that you missed but exists in Christianity. I can't say because I unfortunately don't know you.

    Read the book of Job lately?
    Actually, no, but on the subject of suffering, it is allowed as a natural effect of sin. Suffering is also a means of good, not just bad. The world received salvation from suffering. Suffering is a means of purging, only bad in the sense that it only exists because evil exists.

    Unless he is a Calvinist.
    However, He is not. Though, the Church does allow a version of predestination which allows free will.

    He has the power to end all this, that makes him an accessory at the very least.
    Yes, He does, but He doesn't. Why? I don't know completely as it is a mystery. However, I do know that He allows suffering so that we ignorant beings don't suddenly decide that we are just alright by ourselves because we are not.

    So God is the narcissistic jerk here? All this pain and suffering is so that in the end a minority of human souls will make it to heaven and worship God for eternity? What did he do to deserve all this praise at our expense?
    God can't be said to be narcissistic because God is the definition of perfection and everything good. Yes in the end not everyone will make it to heaven, but that's not His fault, its ours. Yes He did know that some would disobey and it would bring around, but it is worth the happiness of His creatures. He deserves praise simply because He is, because He created us, and for our own happiness.

    I never heard that in church.
    That's a pity.

    ----

    Sorry, I can't say everything in here, and I'm not a theologian, but I'll answer what I can.
    One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.
    -G.K. Chesterton

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    My sense of higher purpose is in the process of transition, and of holding onto its original principles. I was raised in structured religion, but the greatest meaning in that experience were those moments i spent alone in nature, and when i found a way to give something of value to another human being. At this point in my life, my sense of purpose has been distilled to the principle of compassion.

    My purpose is to comprehend as clearly and fully as possible, and then to act with wisdom on those perceptions. The first step towards compassion is understanding. We cannot love what we cannot know. Love is in no way blind. Self-interest is blind. Love is the ability to see and to not let that stop you from embracing the person. Loving oneself and other human beings requires the ability to look blindness, arrogance, and cruelty square in the eyes. It's not possible to know what humanity is without viewing suffering head-on. I am driven to understand cruelty because without that, how can one understand compassion? I hope to take whatever life gives me, and distill it to its core meaning, and to express it back into the world with the force of compassion. This is to grapple with the blackness of fate and find a way to be a light. To me that is what it means to 'be'. It is what let's me know that i am alive. My impact that results from my understanding and choices is all that will be left of me when i am gone. In that way my imprint is 'me' in a deeper way than i can ever be 'me'.
    I agree with almost everything you said--everything except the self-interest part.

    There are many people in this world who have learned that no-one else is going to take care of their needs other than themselves. It is not because others are mean or intolerant or whatever, but simply because most of the world is struggling to survive, and most people aren't in a state to help others through particular avenues.

    IMO, trying to help others when you can't do so is a determent to both parties. It can make both people co-dependent.

    Still, if we are in a more fortunate position and are capable of providing some service (I say service instead of compassion, because not all of us are ready to provide compassion without causing harm) then I think we are purpose-bound to do so.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  9. #29
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I agree with almost everything you said--everything except the self-interest part.

    There are many people in this world who have learned that no-one else is going to take care of their needs other than themselves. It is not because others are mean or intolerant or whatever, but simply because most of the world is struggling to survive, and most people aren't in a state to help others through particular avenues.
    Yeah, that's true. 'Self-interest' is also a rather ambiguous term. I was thinking in terms of seeing others only for how they benefit oneself. Infatuations are usually about seeing someone for how they benefit or make a person feel. Like someone who is infatuated with a cheerleader because she makes them feel socially validated and will boost their status at their school, or a woman infatuated with a wealthy man because she will be seen as successful in the eyes of her friends and be able to buy anything she wants. Those types of self-interest perspectives towards others tend to be blind to who that person really is. The self-interested party doesn't care to know about the person except for the narrow way in which they provide them with something. This can occur with emotional validation needs as well. I've at times become infatuated with men who give me a fatherly vibe because that is something missing from my life. But that feeling in itself is not love, but self-interest to fulfill a personal need. Maybe it is better to say that love is not blind, but self-need is blind?

    Quote Originally Posted by sassafrassquatch View Post
    Because all the little kids in africa who starved to death today had no higher purpose. All the people throughout history who lead short, painful, meaningless lives had no higher purpose and whoever is hypothetically handing out purposes did nothing to help them. So I think it's a little narcissistic of us well fed, immunized, safe, comfortable, (I'm assuming mostly) white people to sit around and talk about how each of us have been given a special higher purpose for our lives.
    Your sentiment here is an important one. A higher purpose doesn't mean much if it is just self indulgent, empty pride. Consider if no one felt a sense of higher purpose, what would be the motivation for the Red Cross or other agencies that attempt to combat the violation and dismissal of human life? Maslow's hierarchy of needs addresses how humans progress from a state of raw survival to self actualization. I agree that a higher purpose means very little if it doesn't contribute to another human beings existence or potential for a higher purpose. The most important aspect though, is that the intrinsic value of a human life is the most distilled kind of higher purpose.

    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  10. #30
    Member Celtinfj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sassafrassquatch View Post

    Your god is mean.



    Because all the little kids in africa who starved to death today had no higher purpose. All the people throughout history who lead short, painful, meaningless lives had no higher purpose and whoever is hypothetically handing out purposes did nothing to help them. So I think it's a little narcissistic of us well fed, immunized, safe, comfortable, (I'm assuming mostly) white people to sit around and talk about how each of us have been given a special higher purpose for our lives.
    I think it's narcissistic to imagine that life is the end-all and be-all of existence. I also think it's narcissistic to think you have all the answers for everyone else. You don't. You only have answers for yourself.

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