Author Topic: No passion, no purpose, no meaning  (Read 20305 times)

arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #50 on: December 11, 2014, 09:37:42 AM »
Athiest as well. It bothers me that the trick is not to find actual meaning or purpose, but to distract yourself from the reality that there is none =/

I'd probably be considered an atheist as well (by most people's definitions of God, to explain a little but not totally sidetrack), but I don't think that means there is no meaning or purpose. 

Why does meaning or purpose require a God?
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Philociraptor

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #51 on: December 11, 2014, 09:43:09 AM »
Athiest as well. It bothers me that the trick is not to find actual meaning or purpose, but to distract yourself from the reality that there is none =/

I'd probably be considered an atheist as well (by most people's definitions of God, to explain a little but not totally sidetrack), but I don't think that means there is no meaning or purpose. 

Why does meaning or purpose require a God?

I don't suppose it does, though it seems that religious delusions tend to give one the distration that I was refering to. At the moment I certainly don't see a meaning or purpose. Doing the "envision your life at 70" exercise, I see myself as a bored old man. Happy with my wife and remaining friends, as long as I don't let my brain think too much.

arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #52 on: December 11, 2014, 10:20:55 AM »
What stops your life from being that way now? 
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Philociraptor

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #53 on: December 11, 2014, 10:25:48 AM »
What stops your life from being that way now?

Nothing. I'm a bored young man I guess. 100% happy when outside of work when I get to spend time with my wife or distract myself with Crossfit, gaming, friends, etc. Work is boring, I probably do about a half hour of work per day on average, but I have to be at my desk (very old-school, privately owned company). Too much time spent silently thinking is making me sad I think.

neo von retorch

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #54 on: December 11, 2014, 10:31:49 AM »
Have you read "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 12:21:34 PM by neogodless »

mak1277

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2014, 11:06:39 AM »

Why does meaning or purpose require a God?

There is purpose on an individual level and purpose on the level of humanity as a whole.

Certainly any individual person can choose to have a purpose or set of purposes for their life.  This in no way requires belief in a deity. 

On a macro level, though, I think you have to make a choice on your worldview.  Were we created by someone or something (God)?  Or are we here by accident, luck, etc.  If we are simply here by chance (i.e., not put here by God for a specific purpose -- whatever that may be), then there really is no purpose to our lives, beyond the perpetuation of our species.


arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2014, 11:14:10 AM »

Why does meaning or purpose require a God?

There is purpose on an individual level and purpose on the level of humanity as a whole.

Certainly any individual person can choose to have a purpose or set of purposes for their life.  This in no way requires belief in a deity. 

On a macro level, though, I think you have to make a choice on your worldview.  Were we created by someone or something (God)?  Or are we here by accident, luck, etc.  If we are simply here by chance (i.e., not put here by God for a specific purpose -- whatever that may be), then there really is no purpose to our lives, beyond the perpetuation of our species.

I disagree.

I don't think a God is necessary for things to exist, including purpose.

If your God gives you purpose, great.  But to then claim that there can't be purpose without him is pretty arrogant, IMO.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 11:35:44 AM by arebelspy »
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neo von retorch

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2014, 11:38:52 AM »
Purpose is simply "a reason for doing something" or "an intention or objective."

We can philosophically (or religiously) consider our "divine" or "innate" purpose, but we do not need that to decide upon a reason to do things, or to create for ourselves an objective in our lives.

zoltani

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2014, 11:47:15 AM »
I always enjoyed the story of Tralfamadore in Sirens of Titan, how it came to be a planet of machines.

Vonnegut invented the fictional alien race of the Tralfamadorians who originated from the fictitious planet of Tralfamadore.
Here is a excerpt detailing their creation legend:

Once upon a time on Tralfamadore there were creatures who weren’t anything like machines. They weren’t dependable. They weren’t efficient. They weren’t predictable. They weren’t durable. And these poor creatures were obsessed by the idea that everything that existed had to have a purpose, and that some purposes were higher than others.

These creatures spent most of their time trying to find out what their purpose was. And every time they found out what seemed to be a purpose of themselves, the purpose seemed so low that the creatures were filled with disgust and shame.

And, rather than serve such a low purpose, the creatures would make a machine to serve it. This left the creatures free to serve higher purposes. But whenever they found a higher purpose, the purpose still wasn’t high enough.

So machines were made to serve higher purposes, too.

And the machines did everything so expertly that they were finally given the job of finding out what the highest purpose of the creatures could be.

The machines reported in all honesty that the creatures couldn’t really be said to have any purpose at all.
 
The creatures thereupon began slaying each other, because they hated purposeless things above all else.
 
And they discovered that they weren’t even very good at slaying. So they turned that job over to the machines, too. And the machines finished up the job in less time than it takes to say, “Tralfamadore.”

mak1277

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2014, 12:11:56 PM »

Why does meaning or purpose require a God?

There is purpose on an individual level and purpose on the level of humanity as a whole.

Certainly any individual person can choose to have a purpose or set of purposes for their life.  This in no way requires belief in a deity. 

On a macro level, though, I think you have to make a choice on your worldview.  Were we created by someone or something (God)?  Or are we here by accident, luck, etc.  If we are simply here by chance (i.e., not put here by God for a specific purpose -- whatever that may be), then there really is no purpose to our lives, beyond the perpetuation of our species.

I disagree.

I don't think a God is necessary for things to exist, including purpose.

If your God gives you purpose, great.  But to then claim that there can't be purpose without him is pretty arrogant, IMO.

I never claimed that an individual couldn't have purpose without a god...I in fact believe the opposite.  Individually we definitely can define our own purpose and reasons for our actions.  The more difficult question to answer is on a macro level...if our species wasn't created by a god, then what could our purpose possibly be, aside from perpetuation of the species (and maybe that's more than enough purpose for all of us...I'm not making a value judgment).


arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #60 on: December 11, 2014, 12:16:30 PM »
Right, you said that the first time.

But just as I don't see a God necessary for the universe to exist, I don't see a God necessary for purpose to exist, even on a macro level.

And if it can exist on a micro level, why cannot those working together have it exist on a larger and larger macro level?
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Philociraptor

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #61 on: December 11, 2014, 12:20:05 PM »

Why does meaning or purpose require a God?

There is purpose on an individual level and purpose on the level of humanity as a whole.

Certainly any individual person can choose to have a purpose or set of purposes for their life.  This in no way requires belief in a deity. 

On a macro level, though, I think you have to make a choice on your worldview.  Were we created by someone or something (God)?  Or are we here by accident, luck, etc.  If we are simply here by chance (i.e., not put here by God for a specific purpose -- whatever that may be), then there really is no purpose to our lives, beyond the perpetuation of our species.

I disagree.

I don't think a God is necessary for things to exist, including purpose.

If your God gives you purpose, great.  But to then claim that there can't be purpose without him is pretty arrogant, IMO.

I never claimed that an individual couldn't have purpose without a god...I in fact believe the opposite.  Individually we definitely can define our own purpose and reasons for our actions.  The more difficult question to answer is on a macro level...if our species wasn't created by a god, then what could our purpose possibly be, aside from perpetuation of the species (and maybe that's more than enough purpose for all of us...I'm not making a value judgment).

The singular, unifying goal of most living things is reproduction, that is true. I (and many others on this forum) am yet to hear compelling evidence for the existence of a god.

Scooping some foam off this thread: I think the problem here is my job. It offers no fulfillment and the prospect of 15 more years of this is making me depressed. This thread has bolstered my reading list quite a bit, as well as inspired me to look for a new job. Thanks y'all!

arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #62 on: December 11, 2014, 12:36:42 PM »
I think the problem here is my job. It offers no fulfillment and the prospect of 15 more years of this is making me depressed. This thread has bolstered my reading list quite a bit, as well as inspired me to look for a new job. Thanks y'all!

I'm not sure I agree that the job is the problem.

(Though it might be a problem; Yes, if you aren't happy with it you should change jobs.)

But you mentioned earlier viewing yourself as a bored young man, and that later you'll be a bored old man.

That's not a problem with your job.

But it is something the reading might help with.
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mak1277

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #63 on: December 11, 2014, 12:40:43 PM »

And if it can exist on a micro level, why cannot those working together have it exist on a larger and larger macro level?

But it's not really a "macro" level if it doesn't encompass all of humanity (it's just a bigger and bigger micro level)....and I know you don't believe that all of humanity will ever work together towards a single purpose.

Philociraptor

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #64 on: December 11, 2014, 12:45:06 PM »

And if it can exist on a micro level, why cannot those working together have it exist on a larger and larger macro level?

But it's not really a "macro" level if it doesn't encompass all of humanity (it's just a bigger and bigger micro level)....and I know you don't believe that all of humanity will ever work together towards a single purpose.
I think it's possible, once the various religions fizzle out and we unite to explore space.

arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #65 on: December 11, 2014, 12:54:26 PM »

And if it can exist on a micro level, why cannot those working together have it exist on a larger and larger macro level?

But it's not really a "macro" level if it doesn't encompass all of humanity (it's just a bigger and bigger micro level)....and I know you don't believe that all of humanity will ever work together towards a single purpose.

Every macro level is just more and more micros.

What if the whole earth did? Then whole galaxy?

And even if they didn't, that doesn't mean there's no larger one to the whole universe itself.

I can see why someone who thinks a God is required for existence thinks a God is required for purpose.

What I am saying is that not everyone believes that.

Many think that God is required for ethics.  I don't, and many other people don't either.
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mak1277

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #66 on: December 11, 2014, 01:02:49 PM »

And if it can exist on a micro level, why cannot those working together have it exist on a larger and larger macro level?

But it's not really a "macro" level if it doesn't encompass all of humanity (it's just a bigger and bigger micro level)....and I know you don't believe that all of humanity will ever work together towards a single purpose.

Every macro level is just more and more micros.

What if the whole earth did? Then whole galaxy?

And even if they didn't, that doesn't mean there's no larger one to the whole universe itself.

I can see why someone who thinks a God is required for existence thinks a God is required for purpose.

What I am saying is that not everyone believes that.

Many think that God is required for ethics.  I don't, and many other people don't either.

I'm talking about humanity...so if the whole of humanity could agree on a purpose I would be convinced.

I'm also not talking about having a purpose for the things we do or lives we live or choices we make...I'm talking about whether or not there is a purpose for our existence in the first place.  "why are we here?", not "what are we here to do?".

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #67 on: December 11, 2014, 01:08:15 PM »
No passion
No purpose
No meaning

Hmm, except for the references to Vonnegut most responses seem to suggest that there is something wrong with this state of affairs.
I don't think so because to me it indicates the lack of any philosophical confusion, and that is a good thing.
Of course, one can turn this into a perception of lacking something that others enjoy but that is simply turning towards feelings of loss and depression.
If the OP is lacking anything, it is delusions, and that is a good starting point.
But chose he must - either he stands firm or he goes through life chasing the various Holy Grails of neverending passion, purpose and ultimate meaning.
Standing firm of course entails some discomfort, but that is to be expected as no one likes disillusionment. On the other hand, once disillusioned, the pressure is off and things look much better than before.
I would also recommend Albert Camus to anyone who has come to this point; and, for the more spiritually inclined, meditation is also something to consider.
Just don't commit suicide before having explored this a bit.




arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #68 on: December 11, 2014, 01:09:16 PM »
I'm talking about humanity...so if the whole of humanity could agree on a purpose I would be convinced.

I'm also not talking about having a purpose for the things we do or lives we live or choices we make...I'm talking about whether or not there is a purpose for our existence in the first place.  "why are we here?", not "what are we here to do?".

Yes, we are talking about the same purpose.

If the latter purpose doesn't exist, I don't see why the former would.

Also, I don't think we have to agree on it for it to exist.  The way things are is the way they are.  A consensus doesn't change that.
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mak1277

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #69 on: December 11, 2014, 01:25:44 PM »

Also, I don't think we have to agree on it for it to exist.  The way things are is the way they are.  A consensus doesn't change that.

We agree that the purpose must be generated from somewhere though, right?  It's either: (1) a purpose given by a creator, (2) a purpose inherent in our nature - namely, reproduce and sustain the species, or (3) a purpose determined by us individually. 

If it's #3, then there has to be a consensus, otherwise it's just cobbling together a bunch of individual goals and actions.  It would be beyond arrogant for any of us individually to claim they've found the purpose for everyone and that their idea is the right one.  Without consensus (I'd argue, without unanimity), then it's your idea vs. mine vs. his vs. hers.

Philociraptor

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #70 on: December 11, 2014, 01:29:39 PM »
It would be beyond arrogant for any of us individually to claim they've found the purpose for everyone and that their idea is the right one.

Take that, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad! Arrogance!

arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #71 on: December 11, 2014, 01:32:42 PM »
We agree that the purpose must be generated from somewhere though, right?  It's either: (1) a purpose given by a creator, (2) a purpose inherent in our nature - namely, reproduce and sustain the species, or (3) a purpose determined by us individually. 

If it's #3, then there has to be a consensus, otherwise it's just cobbling together a bunch of individual goals and actions.  It would be beyond arrogant for any of us individually to claim they've found the purpose for everyone and that their idea is the right one.  Without consensus (I'd argue, without unanimity), then it's your idea vs. mine vs. his vs. hers.

I don't know that I'd use the word "generated" but semantics.

Yes, I think purpose is inherent in nature.  No, I don't think reproduction is the only thing inherent in nature.
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mak1277

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #72 on: December 11, 2014, 01:33:48 PM »
It would be beyond arrogant for any of us individually to claim they've found the purpose for everyone and that their idea is the right one.

Take that, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad! Arrogance!

It's not arrogance if you're the creator.  Moses and other prophets are just relaying the message.

If Jesus isn't God, then he was absolutely the most arrogant human being off all time.

Philociraptor

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #73 on: December 11, 2014, 01:35:59 PM »
If Jesus isn't God, then he was absolutely the most arrogant human being off all time.

On this we sort-of agree. Delusional maybe, but he had a good message from what I can tell.

arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #74 on: December 11, 2014, 01:36:14 PM »
If Jesus isn't God, then he was absolutely the most arrogant human being off all time.

Jesus was as much God as you or I, and he was the most humble human of all time.
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mak1277

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #75 on: December 11, 2014, 01:40:28 PM »
We agree that the purpose must be generated from somewhere though, right?  It's either: (1) a purpose given by a creator, (2) a purpose inherent in our nature - namely, reproduce and sustain the species, or (3) a purpose determined by us individually. 

If it's #3, then there has to be a consensus, otherwise it's just cobbling together a bunch of individual goals and actions.  It would be beyond arrogant for any of us individually to claim they've found the purpose for everyone and that their idea is the right one.  Without consensus (I'd argue, without unanimity), then it's your idea vs. mine vs. his vs. hers.

I don't know that I'd use the word "generated" but semantics.

Yes, I think purpose is inherent in nature.  No, I don't think reproduction is the only thing inherent in nature.

It has to have an origin...I think that's more what I'm trying to say.  It's innate, though...and it seems like we agree on that.

It's tough to parse all of the various things that go into "survival" of our species.  It's clearly more than pure reproduction...and it changes over time and based on your environment.

arebelspy

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #76 on: December 11, 2014, 01:42:15 PM »
We agree that the purpose must be generated from somewhere though, right?  It's either: (1) a purpose given by a creator, (2) a purpose inherent in our nature - namely, reproduce and sustain the species, or (3) a purpose determined by us individually. 

If it's #3, then there has to be a consensus, otherwise it's just cobbling together a bunch of individual goals and actions.  It would be beyond arrogant for any of us individually to claim they've found the purpose for everyone and that their idea is the right one.  Without consensus (I'd argue, without unanimity), then it's your idea vs. mine vs. his vs. hers.

I don't know that I'd use the word "generated" but semantics.

Yes, I think purpose is inherent in nature.  No, I don't think reproduction is the only thing inherent in nature.

It has to have an origin...I think that's more what I'm trying to say.  It's innate, though...and it seems like we agree on that.

It's tough to parse all of the various things that go into "survival" of our species.  It's clearly more than pure reproduction...and it changes over time and based on your environment.

Looking just at our species is a narrow way to approach it.  Start big, then move small.
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mak1277

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #77 on: December 11, 2014, 01:42:41 PM »
If Jesus isn't God, then he was absolutely the most arrogant human being off all time.

On this we sort-of agree. Delusional maybe, but he had a good message from what I can tell.

Have you read or heard the "Liar, Lunatic or Lord" argument for Jesus' deity? 

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #78 on: December 11, 2014, 01:51:37 PM »
Have you read or heard the "Liar, Lunatic or Lord" argument for Jesus' deity?

False choice (why only 3 choices?), Jesus as legend (made to be divine by bible authors), ambiguous statements in bible, Jesus is divine as all of us are divine, etc., take your pick, it doesn't hold water.

zoltani

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #79 on: December 11, 2014, 01:53:12 PM »
Certainly purpose is inherent in nature, if you consider balancing the ecosystem a purpose.

example
Bees must pollinate plants to produce flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Salmon must return to the river to breed and die to feed other insects and animals.
 
If this is the purpose that is inherent in nature than what is the human's role in it?

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Re: No passion, no purpose, no meaning
« Reply #80 on: December 11, 2014, 02:41:42 PM »
When I read this thread, it seems that I have hung out with entirely different Islamic, Christian, and Jewish groups than a couple of posters have. Some of the ideas presented are absolutely foreign to my experience of these. They seem to assume non-thought, regurgitation, a party line, etc, which is not the case with those I hang out with.

There are many aspects, groups, and schools of thoughts under each massive religious umbrella. Let's not assume all aspects present a given belief, or paint all groups with the same brush. There are too many variables involved to be able to say, "This [broadstroke] religion is..." or, "Jesus thought..."

My favourite people to hang out with in any religion (or financial forum!) are those that are deeply thoughtful, while enjoying sharing in their words their own experiences, neither quickly accepting nor writing off any given first impression. There are lots of people in many religions like that.

No passion
No purpose
No meaning

Hmm, except for the references to Vonnegut most responses seem to suggest that there is something wrong with this state of affairs.

I don't see that. I, for one, and I tend to think several others, were responding to the OP's discomfort (not that there's anything wrong with discomfort, either) and his apparent desire to move to a place of decreased discomfort.

OP: It sounds like you've pinpointed what's getting in the way of you feeling joyful more hours of each week. That's awesome! Some jobs are indeed soul-sucking. On this forum, we often hear from people who are frustrated because their work requires that they "just sit there" all day. They acknowledge that if they were allowed to do other things -write their novel, research investing, become a yoyo master in time for their kid's birthday party- it would be at least tolerable. But the jobs that essentially require one to literally do nothing -no real work for most of the day, but no option to do anything else in those hours- just eat away at them. The other job-type that seems to do people in is that in which ethics are disregarded, and the workers are being asked to violate their own. Most of us can handle any job that engages our sense or mind while allowing us to honour our sense of ethics, but jobs that violate one or both are no-gos for a lot of us.