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Meaning?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Can someone explain to me why we, human beings, suffer through disease, poverty, starvation, war, injustices, unfairness in life, through years of it, and in the meantime acquiring great knowledge and wisdom only to die and have it vanish with us?

    I am serious here. What is the #@#@ purpose?
     
  2. jamming

    jamming Banned

    That is why we must pass knowledge on to others and listen to those who have gone before.
     
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Is that all, to pass info from one another?

    Not directed at you, Jim, just thinking out loud.
     
  4. BigDeputyDog

    BigDeputyDog Straight Shootin Admin Staff Member

    If we were to live forever, would we be so intent on making advances in medicine, technology, etc?? If you knew that you were invincible, would you be as careful and loving as you are now??

    Perhaps we are on this earth to learn and to teach... With every generation comes new discoveries, new horizons crossed...

    Perhaps we are on this earth such a short time to give reason and meaning to life...

    I don't know... I don't have the answers...

    BDD... :{)
     
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    You know, I've asked this question a million times and no one ever scratched a brilliant point above.
     
  6. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    In Heinlein's long life books the Howards adopted relationships knowing they would be temporary (as in decades) because of the inevitability of growth and growing apart.
     
  7. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives to hit it!

    Ok, ethics, maybe I can help. This is how I see life. The spirit life, after life, or what ever you want to call it, is like a blank canvas. You make it how you want. However, to do this you need something to build on. Thats what life is, an barrage of infinite random possibilities. You store the memory of these experiences in you sub-conscious mind (or soul, if you will). Every sight, touch, taste, sound, smell, the good and bad, are remembered. The friends, the enemies, the loved ones.

    Then when this mortal life is over, you use those memories to create your afterlife. You know what you like and what you don't like from your experiences in life. So like an artist that using a picture or a model, you paint your world.

    You will live many times, each time gaining more new experiences to build on. Kind of like an expansion pack for a game. ;)

    As for the bad things in life, I am not sure but I guess that the light shines brightest when it is the darkest.
     
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    That was beautiful, Frodo.
     
  9. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    A difficult question to answer, Leon. If we can stop staring with regret at the door that just shut and, instead, open the other door, we will become stronger and better people. I don't think it all disappears when we die. We leave behind an example that lives on in the memories of our family and friends.

    Adversity also teaches us to appreciate the good times in our lives. I remember an especially rough patch in my life when I was about 28 years old. I knew I'd finally recovered from that period while walking down a street in Boston. Suddenly I couldn't believe how beautiful the world looked. The grass was greener than I'd ever seen it in my life, and the flowers were just magnificent! :) About 20 years later, I came across a passage in <I>The Year of Living Dangerously</I> (the book--not the movie) in which the character played by Mel Gibson in the movie had just survived a mob attack on his car. He described the same phenomenon of heightened sensory appreciation for the world around him.

    Allene
     
  10. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Nope, but it is a major reason and you know what I wonder about what will the future think of this medium we created here as part of this Internet. When data-mining techniques are perfected, will what we say on the Internet now speak to future generations. Look at this place from a Historian's viewpoint, here is a place where people discussed the everyday issues. They can understand them better by what they posted about their personal issues. The Historian of the Future will love this place if it is preserved for them. What we say here could become the foundation for understanding the issues of our time or not.

    There are many reasons for life, some are scientific and some are just based upon faith. Life is about the struggle and journey, but the meaning has to be determined by the individual. We can share our own meanings, which is my belief about Christ's Mininstry, but each person decides for themselves. I can not give you a meaning, but I can assure you there is one. What it is, I only know through faith, which is not a gift I can give you.

    People talk about belief, if you believe you can't do something, as long as you believe that you cannot. Belief and faith hold power that can change the world for the better, but like any tool it can be used for evil. Faith and Belief are very powerful tools. Most of the time when I talk to people about Christianity, here included they talk about things the Church has done negatively, as it excuses their opinion of the Church.

    Most of the people that I see that discuss Christianity on a personal level, realize that a Christian is not the Church. There is a strength in the Christian message, just as other messages from other sources. Don't throw out the Baby, with the Bath Water. I also cannot stomach many of the things a Church says or stands for, but my Christian Faith is not based on anything but a personal relationship between my deity and me.

    In that relationship with my deity I know I am loved as a child is by the best parent which ever existed. Why as a parent and child, it is the closes analogy to the Infinite and the Finite. The infinite loves you and is involved with your daily struggles, that is where my faith comes from and my view of my meaning to life.
    Your milage may vary. :angel: ;)
     
  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Great answers so far, everyone.

    Many have already mentioned the afterlife. What if, if I can be a very sadist cynic, there is no afterlife? I know it's MUCH harder to live believing this, but what if?

    And Allene, I used to think about life being that you passed on your legacy, no matter what they were to your kids and family. I agree with that until I realize that everyone in my family who is passed three to four generations back are already forgotten. There are no pictures, videos, or memos. Just... well, just us.

    Believe me, my intent is not to depress anyone, but sort of knock a few ideas back and forth.

    So far, this is a great thread. :)
     
  12. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Leon,

    I think there is an afterlife, but if I'm wrong . . . well it'll be too late to worry about it by then.

    You could always start working on your family history. Then future generations will have something by which to remember you and your family. I am the genealogist in my family--a daunting task as they all came from Scotland to Cape Breton Island during the Highland Clearances, well before Scotland started keeping good records.

    Here is a quotation that I plan to include in my family history:

    <I>Remember me in the family tree--
    My name, my days, my strife;
    Then I'll ride upon the wings of time
    And live an endless life.---Goetsch</I>
     
  13. midranger4

    midranger4 Banned

    We humans are insignificant little creatures in the grand scheme of things I suspect.

    We do however fancy ourselves the center of the universe in many ways. I personally find such a mentality quite humorous.

    What is our purpose here? Every individual has been given the gift of life, and has opportunities throughout their life to either *give* or *take*.

    It is the choices we make in these situations that define our character. Karma and fate take over at that point :)

    Some people actually believe that this life IS hell and is a form of punishment for screwing up in a previous existence.

    I'm not so sure I buy into the whole re-incarnation deal. If re-incarnation is a reality and I were the almighty one I would be sure everyone came back as the thing they discriminated against or persecuted the most in their previous life.

    That would assure Haywire comes back gay, Ken comes back as an ultra right wing conservative, etc, etc. :)

    Me? My guess is I got a lock on coming back as a politician or lawyer because I hate most of them with a passion (Yaz is an obvious exception and the first lawyer I've come to know that I respect.)

    I'm unsure if I answered your query in any way but what the hell right?
     
  14. Perry Stroika

    Perry Stroika Member

    To live is not enough?

    Many people say life is hell. I think it is heaven which is why we strive for living not dying.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Nothing is learned

    I submit to you that those who "suffer through disease, poverty, starvation, war, injustices, unfairness in life" do not learn anything and acquire no knowledge or wisdom to pass on to anyone. They are, sadly, no better off than the dumb and mute beasts in the fields, doomed to be born, to live short lives, to breed, so that the cycle will repeat.

    Only within selected cultures, in certain places, at particular times, are any of us fortunate enough to rise above the level of lowliest of apes. Civilization may be grown upon the backs of the common folk. Its growth is directed, though, by those who have been born into circumstances better than "common".

    If there can be said to be any purpose to this, it is only the accidental purpose created by the desire of those "with" to keep what they have and pass it on, even at the expense of those "without".

    Put another way, God is not overly concerned with individuals, or even civilizations. We are on our own in most respects.
     
  16. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    Ok Ethics,

    Let's assume life is just that, life. There is no afterlife and there is nothing afterward.

    Why would there have to be a point? Why does man always assume things are done for a reason? Is there a need for this reassurance?

    Then what we define for our goals and aspirations sets the course we choose and for the most part the rewards we receive.

    A harder question to answer is what do we as individuals want. What will make us happy? How do we find this critical answer?

    We are granted a limited time here. Most of us think the time is too short and will fight like hell to make it longer. This is not right either in my opinion. I am not suggesting giving up but that acceptance of what will be is better that making our last bit of time here a disappointment.

    Is there an afterlife? I'll worry about that when I am faced with the challenge. The reality is we need to make this life whatever we think it should be within the boundaries of what we define it to be.

    What is wealth without love? Is it more important to acquire a fortune and not have true love in your life? What kind of a life would it be to have the finest food and no ability to taste it? What kind of life would it be to never have to worry about money but never be able to laugh? Each of us must choose what makes us happy.

    I wish you all luck!
    If I ever find the right combination I will be glad to share it.

    Great topic, by the way!
     
  17. bruzzes

    bruzzes Truthslayer

    I often wonder why do we dream?
    Where do we go when we dream?
    How is when a man is an invalid in this life, he dreams of running with reckless abandon, never tiring, forever youthful.

    Why are we curious?
    Why do we search for answers to questions that explains who we are and why we are here?

    Why do we ask, if there is a God,... then why war, old age and disease...?

    Who put these questions in our mind?

    Why is there Love and why is there Beauty and why is true beauty an inner beauty manifest only to the inner self?

    I wonder why we can believe in an abstract when most can relate only to the concrete.

    Why are lessons taught and if not heeded, why must those lessons be experianced before we learn?

    What is the purpose of these lessons if we take them to our grave and become no more?

    Perhaps this life we live is akin to a school house where all manner of children attend regardless of age, religion, color or creed. Each has their special need and it's attainment is flavored by past, present and future perspectives derived by parenting, ideas and past experiances learned and unlearned.

    What is common in all mankind?

    We have bodies, minds and some say souls...


    Many different bodies, many different minds but perhaps really only one soul.

    If so, what would be the common attribute of that one soul?

    That one soul must encompass all those different minds and bodies and being one cannot be divided for that would lessen it.

    Is soul the measure of man?

    Many questions to ask and perhaps many answers to be given.
    Maybe our purpose IS to ask those questions and search for those answers each in our own way gathering different flavors to blend into a whole.

    Maybe that in itself is the purpose of life.

    As for an afterlife...look around you, nothing is ever lost. Transformed perhaps but never lost. Oil was once plants and living material, planets may come and go broken into bits and pieces and re-formed to become whole again or converted into a different form of energy. Even mind itself, if James is to be believed, form a huge universal super-conscienceness where ideas may be found.

    How awesome is the MIGHT behind all these questions!

    Sometimes I wonder if the answers pale into insignificance from the power of the source...
     
  18. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Actually, Stevant I disagree. God is innately concerned with the individual, each one to the number of the hairs on their head. How that concern is understood by us (the finite) is what we don't understand, but to the infinite it all fits together. If even Chaos has a pattern, Chaos Theory, how can it be otherwise?
     
  19. btdude

    btdude Veteran Member

    I second what jamming says. We spend our lives from cradle to grave grasping for knowledge. Some, like myself choose to attain that higher level of knowledge in helping others along the way. Sometimes sharing that knowledge has costs attached to it that a person cannot really see. A person shares with the instinct I think) to help others. I find great benefit in listening and learning from older, wiser people and even animals. I find wisdom in children, becasue they really have no reason to lie, they tell it like it is to them. I am a deeply compassionate guy that tries to see a side of people that is inherantly good. That does not always work out, however, as can be seen in here, and in life. The reward comes along the way before we hit the earth in our final mortal stand. The key is that along that journey, we must stop and look aroud us, and be humble, be thankful, and find peace in the notion that we do not know everything, and that each person can teach us something, if we are willing to listen to them.
     
  20. jfcjrus

    jfcjrus Veteran Member

    I, for one, tend to believe just this.
    Sure, I don't KNOW it. I can't prove it.
    But, neither have I found anyone that can prove otherwise.
    And, I don't think it's MUCH harder living this way, at all.

    I try to live life as if this is all there is.
    I try to enjoy, and appreciate, the good parts of any relationship.
    I marvel at the natural world around me.
    I try not to intrude on anyone (anything) else trying to do the same.
    I try to ignore the daily pissing contests in the news.

    This is not easy;
    I voice my opinion...
    I sometimes get involved...
    I sometimes get rowdy...
    But, I often wonder, in this 'question of life', if it's just background noise.

    And, I'm having a pretty good time.

    Make no mistake. If there's something beyond this, I'd be one happy camper.
    But, meanwhile.....

    Regards,
     

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