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

by gringojj 110 Replies latest jw friends

  • TopHat

    Only one thing is for-sure in my world today!


    However, I do wish that my loveable pet dog will be resurrected when the day comes to resurrect the dead, great and small.

  • gumby

    Weeeeeeel, I was gonna say somethin about the thread till I read Tetra gettin all psyco-ass on us.....ya little bastard!

    Bro, I get like you do sometimes about my idea of how to live life. I don't give a shit what anyone says....I think for most of us when we lost our religion, our spiritual ideas, and our drive to care enough as to why we exist and our drive to know if there is anyone who really cares about us up there......we can come to the conclusions your "pretending" to accept.

    Yeah, I said "pretending". I don't think for one freakin minute your happy as a clam that you know you just happened and that there are no real absolutes to life since there REALLY are/is no rulemakers other than man himself....and ones mans ideas are really no better than any idea we ourselves conclude with.....they just think their ideas are right. I don't think you like that....I could be wrong though. Yesterday my mood was like your.......cept for the nasty stuff you do...lol

    Here's a hug for you bro(((( )))). Ride out your mood you now have and it will change for the better. If you give up and do not, ... things will get worse. We need to spin one and talk some more.


    We have no greater purpose than any other animal.

    Humans MAKE UP greater purposes.

    You are looking at things from a humans viewpoint. You are putting yourself on a higher plane than other animals. You are forgetting relativety.

    I agree with the Gringobastard. Have you ever had/seen an ant farm? Do we humans KNOW what their thoughts and purpose are/is? How about honeybees? Ever seen a hive in action? Do we REALLY know what goes on in the lives of insects/animals to say we humans are special in that we can create different purposes in life for ourselves unlike the animals can? Animals/insect can do things humans can never accomplish the same as we can do things they cannot.

    I'll say one thing, we may have different abilities, but we're the ones who Fed up this planet, not insects and animals. Who's really better off?


  • Golf

    Good points Gumby, thanks for the laugh.


  • AuldSoul


    gringojj: Humans MAKE UP greater purposes.

    That is exactly what I told tetrapod.sapien and him. Humans only have greater purpose if they choose to. But, their "greater purposes" can far exceeds the greater purpose of anything dogs/honeybees/weaver birds/elephants can come up with.

    Better/worse is all a matter of relative perception. Greater can be determined by impacts.

    Witness pre-WWII Germany: Ever seen any correlation in the animal kingdom?

    A concerted, designed effort to exterminate an entire segment of their own species? Better/worse is relative to the observer, we must keep that in mind. But the sheer scale and scope is MUCH greater than any purpose discernible in the rest of the animal kingdom. Technologies developed as a result made space travel possible. What was previously the stuff of comic book artist's imagination became reality as a result of greater purposes spawning other greater purposes in a bubbling cauldron of innovation to accomplish nothing more than an imagined objective.

    How about the design of a long-range plan whereby the entire world could be controlled by one nation? Yeah, I know the U.S. has done the same thing now (see Project for the New American Century). But think about whether the scope allowed by imagination is greater or lesser than a honeybee hive is capable of.


  • gumby
    But, their "greater purposes" can far exceeds the greater purpose of anything dogs/honeybees/weaver birds/elephants can come up with.

    Better/worse is all a matter of relative perception

    According to who....us? Does the fact that we have an ability make us above them somehow? As I said, they do things we cannot. We can build/create things to copy them,eg; airplanes vs.birds, but can we fly without a vehicle? Can we use sonar like a bat without the use of devices? Do we have similar instincts animals do about people? ( a dog knows some guy is an untrustable ass before we do)


  • Golf

    One of the things I've learned about ageing and that is, being 'content.'I've come to learn to live with myself.


  • gumby
    being 'content.'I've come to learn to live with myself.

    Yea but.......do ya hafta drink a 5th of Jack Daniels everyday to do it boss?

    Hey Golf, I had 2 pars and a birdie yesterday on my 38 score for 9 holes. It ain't much, but it's gettin better!


  • gringojj

    Tetrapod I love you brother.

    I hope your current life makes you happy. There was a time when I was in your shoes. The great thing about us atheists is we are accountable for ourselves. We can do what we want, and any results are all our fault. I was a homeless drug addict 2 summers ago. But then I decidedI had enough of that and I changed. I do not regret one second of my past. You may stay in your current mentality for the rest of your life. You may not. Whatever you go through in your life, it will make you who you are.

    Atheism rules!!!!!!!!!!

  • AuldSoul
    gringojj: We can do what we want, and any results are all our fault.

    Gee whilickers, fellows! Golly! Maybe I'm an atheist after all.

    gringojj, just because believers BLAME God or the Devil for their choices doesn't make them right. Anymore than "atheists" BLAMING genetics for their choices makes them right.

    My point is, you get to choose.


    Genetics are responsible for wings on insects, bats developing and utilizing sonar, etc. Are genetics responsible for nuclear weapons? Genocide? Blowing up buildings to make a point? Writing? Art? Theism? Religion? Medicine?

    If so, why would atheists quibble with believers? If not, what is responsible other than human's exercising an ability to choose a greater purpose.

    In my opinion, "better/worse," "good/bad," "pretty/ugly," are all subjectively relative terms. Greater is also a subjective relative term, but it is not synonymous to those other terms. I am relating greatness to the impacts resulting from act, thought, or feeling (in this case: purpose). The impacts on the states of other elements of reality are greater, due to the various purposes of humans, relative to the impacts on the states caused by the intent and activities of other animals. That has been true at least since the last ice age.

    Following your reasoning I could postulate that asteroids and meteors may be sentient (for all that we've been able to test scientifically) and may intend to hit the earth. Comet's may be sentient in some way we are unaware of and fly by in the hopes of entertaining species on worlds like ours. If that is the case, perhaps their purposes are so much greater than ours that I have as much chance understanding their purposes as a worm or honeybee has of comprehending mine, or as much chance of understanding why they exist as a dog has of understanding the source of the laser-pointer light playing across the ground in his back yard.

    I'm not suggesting either of those postulations is true. However, from the standpoint of impacts, human purposes are much greater (by orders of magnitude) than that of other animals. Does that automatically make humans better or worse than other animals? No, it only establishes a difference in the greatness of their purposes.

    But since we humans develop our own beliefs regarding good/bad and we get to choose our purposes, we can individually choose a "better" purpose than an animal can choose. And any purpose we choose short of severe hermitage will have greater impacts than any single animal.


    In my opinion, opinions should be valued at the recipient's discretion.
  • Seeker4

    I've loved this discussion. Have been thinking a lot on these issues over the last few years. Great topic, gringojj, and I've immensley enjoyed tetrapods' posts. I agree with a lot of this, and just want to throw in my 2 cents.

    Some conclusions I've drawn about my life:

    There is no god. That having been said, I still found some of AuldSoul's points well taken.

    I see myself totally responsible for how I live my life - and only for my own life. Other people are responsible for living theirs. We should do as little as possible to fuck up each other's life.

    We create whatever sense of purpose there is in our life. I prefer to have some pretty specific ideas about the purpose I've chosen. It involves my work as a writer, and I've created a purpose for my existence because it makes my life a lot more enjoyable for me. It helps me decide how I'm going to spend my day, I accomplish things that I like doing. It adds a lot to my pleasure in life. Life has ups and downs, pleasure and pains. I use my time and intelligence to make sure that everything I can do is stacked on the ups and pleasures side of the scale.

    Alcohol is my drug of choice, and I try to be careful even with that partly because I've decided to live as physically fit as possible for as long as possible. I'm very careful about what I eat, I run and hike regularly, I lift weights. Why? They make my life more pleasureable. I love the feeling of being slim, muscled and very fit. I love the energy and ability it gives me to do things I want to do. Being in a fit body adds a huge amount of pleasure to my life everyday. For instance, yesterday my girlfriend and I had great fun on a quick 15km hike in some pretty rugged terrain. We did it in 3 hours, which included time sitting in the rather scant December sunshine for a nice glass of pinot grigio on the shore of a remote mountain lake.

    I love sex. I'm not sure if I'm addicted to sex and alcohol, I just know I really want to have sex a few times everyday, and I like 3 or 4 drinks most nights. And I don't want to stop either one long enough to see if I'm an addict! One other point in connection with being fit - my girlfriend is extremely fit, and being with someone who is so physically appealing adds a lot of sensuality and pleasure to our lives in general, not to mention what it does for our sex life.

    In harmony with having a stated purpose in life, I try to fill my time and living space with what I feel is important - friends, family, music, art, film, literature, good food and drink, cooking. I write everyday. I read everyday. I try to play guitar several times a week, and I'm learning to draw. I watch several films a week. Why? They all add to my enjoyment and pleasure in life. As I sit here typing, I can see, and just about touch, walls full of beautiful, original drawings and paintings, bookcases full of great books, hundreds of music CDs, guitars, racks full of wine bottles, my pans and pots and knives and stove and whatever else I need to cook. There is a fully equipped painting studio and at least two computers where I write. None of it's from god - we created all of this together in order for it to match our purposes in life.

    I'm not sure I believe in the great equality of all living things. Maybe a human is no different or better than a cow. I'll ponder that as I cook a couple of steaks for dinner tonight. I tend to view living things in a bit more hierarchical terms - and human intelligence, imagination, creativity and level of consciousness do more than keep us humans pretty much at the top of the food chain. I love my dogs and cats, but if we're all so equal, I sure as hell wish they'd do more to take care of their share of the living expenses around here.

    In the end, I agree that this life is it. It's all we've got, and I sure as hell am doing my best to make sure I enjoy as many of the days I've got here as much as possible. Do I feel I NEED a greater purpose? Not really. What I've decided to do is to live my own life with a specific purpose. I don't really feel that it's a "greater" purpose. Greater than what? Certainly greater than merely exisiting day to day without any focus, but certainly not greater in the sense of living for god's will or god's purpose.

    I'm living for my own will, my own purpose.I like that.


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