Why do so many people NEED to believe in a greater purpose?

by gringojj 110 Replies latest jw friends

  • Cognitive_Dissident

    You are not a dog. You are a god. - auldsoul

    that reminds of the one about the dislexic agnostic insomniac who laid awake at night wondering if there really is a dog.

    Why do so many NEED to believe in a higher purpose? I think people use the idea of some higher purpose to motivate themselves to do things that they don't otherwise want to do. Create an equation whose answer makes you feel better about your own situation. I think a lot of people simply aspire to some higher purpose because they're plagued with the question of "What if?" What if there is something more? What if this life isn't all there is? Will I get supremely f**ked if I don't try to live my life "better" than I am? That question used to bug me as Witness, only it was, "What if I'm striving to live life by this extremely rigid set of guidelines, and it turns out to be the wrong guidelines?"

    My philosophy for the time being is that there is no summum bonum(there's a joke waiting to be made there). The concept of God is a construct developed by humans to try to create order out of the chaos.

    My dog is happy when I get down on all fours and try to wrestle his toy squirrel from him. Maybe my dog is actually playing with me because his God has told him that selfless love is the highest canine aspiration. What better way for a dog to get to heaven than do what he knows will make me smile. Maybe dogs are the ones that really have it all figured out.


  • Carmel

    Strange indeed that after twenty years training in colleges and universities man should reach such a station wherein he will deny the existence of the ideal or that which is not perceptible to the senses. Have you ever stopped to think that the animal already has graduated from such a university? Have you ever realized that the cow is already a professor emeritus of that university? For the cow without hard labor and study is already a philosopher of the superlative degree in the school of nature. The cow denies everything that is not tangible, saying, "I can see! I can eat! Therefore, I believe only in that which is tangible!"

    Then why should we go to the colleges? Let us go to the cow.

    (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 361)

  • tetrapod.sapien

    he he...

    well, auldsoul, you know as well as anything that meaning is relative to the person seeking it, as gringo brought out. if you think that there is meaning *outside* of ourselves, then we are not going to get very far in a conversation at all.

    i mean, it's one thing to have an explanation. it's another thing to value that explanation as "meaningful".

    my ability to "choose", is not meaningful to me. it just is. of course i do not act like a dog. however, when all of the chips are cashed in, i do not see myself as "better" than my dog. i just am. so is he.



  • Scully

    Sorry for coming into the conversation late....

    Why do so many people need to have a greater purpose?

    Looking at the question from a psychological perspective, it is part of Maslow's humanistic theory on the heirarchy of needs called "Self Actualization".

    I notice this is a slightly different question from the one you asked in the topic title, though. So in answer to "Why do so many people NEED to believe in a greater purpose?", I'll say that perhaps they have never been taught to believe in themselves.

    Is it easier to have hope and faith that one day things will be better?
    When you have no confidence in your own abilities to make things better yourself, hope and faith is all some people have left. It's also easier than putting in the effort to learn how to do what you need to do to make your life better for yourself.
    Does it make it easier on the conscience?
    If you are stuck in the belief that you have no power and no way of becoming empowered, inertia and apathy about improving the situation sets in. I don't think conscience has anything to do with it. The attitude that "I can't ... " keeps people stuck in a rut.
    Is it easier than facing yourself and your life? Easier than holding yourself accountable?
    It's sad, but I know people who have lived almost 70 years who have never faced themselves, their lives or held themselves accountable for their choices. They would rather hang on to a faith that disempowers them, encouraged them to squander the most productive years of their lives, and ultimately alienated them from most of their children and grandchildren. If they ever faced themselves, their lives and held themselves accountable, I really think it would give them a stroke.
  • marsh

    Not everyone believed in Jesus the first time around.............

    60/70s,many were searching for the meaning of life................me too. did they find it?

    After JWS again I asked questions,did a short course at college ,met up with Bhudhists,Pentecostals,atheists,protestants.a mix.I thought I would be the only crazy one there............not so,some had to come off the course and have counselling,(counselling for beginners was my course).

    I learned alot here about myself/others.I talked about being a JW,got some interest from the Tutor who asked for more info so I gave her Jerry Bergmans book and the Panorama tape,also some bits and pieces.This helped them.In my assignments I was adamant that I was a Christian so I gave a good witness for Christ.This was readily accepted,we all accepted each other.

    The atheist and I became good pals,I told him I did not want to be the God of my own universe he said he did,he worked with down and outs/drug addicts/alcoholics etc:(Christians do also)This was his background.We shared many stories..............

    Who knows if he will later become a Christian? he certainly was showing interest,sowing seeds,this is what we Christians do.

    John 14:27,"Peace I leave with you,My peace I give to you,not as the world gives do i give to you .let not your heart be troubled,neither let it be afraid.

    I don't mind being ignored or laughed at.............I'll be a fool for Christ anyday.

  • tetrapod.sapien
    I'll be a fool for Christ anyday.

    at least you're honest...

  • Scully


    I was just wondering when you'd chime in....

  • marsh

    anyone read Robert Walkers Journey To Nirvana?

    anyone read about the Findhorn Garden?

  • marsh

    TS We all have to walk the walk.........

  • Golf

    tetrapod, you and I need to spend some time together. No need for me to go into details. pm me.

    grinsojj, your intial post you said, "I have no greater purpose. My purpose is here today and now." As I scrolled down to your next post you said, "As an atheist I decided this was my only life...Now I am married and have 3 wonderful kids. My heaven is right now. It couldn't get any better."

    Why ask the above question when you found YOUR greater purpose?


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