Author Topic: A Life With No Purpose  (Read 3654 times)

Offline Solitary

A Life With No Purpose
« on: September 20, 2014, 11:34:08 AM »

http://www.monbiot.com/2005/08/16/a-life-with-no-purpose/


Quote



A Life With No Purpose

Darwin tells us that we are no more than assemblages of complex molecules. We should celebrate this.

“Happy the hare at morning,” WH Auden wrote, “for she cannot read / The Hunter’s waking thoughts. Lucky the leaf / Unable to predict the fall. … But what shall man do, who can whistle tunes by heart, / Know to the bar when death shall cut him short, like the cry of the shearwater?”

It seems to me that we are the happy ones. We, alone among organisms, who perceive eternity, and know that the world will carry on without us.

As G. Thomas Sharp, chairman of the Creation Truth Foundation, admitted to the Chicago Tribune, “if we lose Genesis as a legitimate scientific and historical explanation for man, then we lose the validity of Christianity. Period.”

We lose far more than that. Darwinian evolution tells us that we are incipient compost: assemblages of complex molecules that – for no greater purpose than to secure sources of energy against competing claims – have developed the ability to speculate. After a few score years, the molecules disaggregated and return whence they came. Period.

As a gardener and ecologist, I find this oddly comforting. I like the idea of literal reincarnation: that the molecules of which I am composed will, once I have rotted, be incorporated into other organisms. Bits of me will be pushing through the growing tips of trees, will creep over them as caterpillars, will hunt those caterpillars as birds. When I die, I would like to be buried in a fashion which ensures that no part of me is wasted. Then I can claim to have been of some use after all.

Is this not better than the awful lottery of judgement? Is a future we can predict not more comforting than one committed to the whims of inscrutable authority? Is eternal death not a happier prospect than eternal life? The atoms of which we are composed, which we have borrowed momentarily from the ecosphere, will be recycled until the universe collapses. This is our continuity, our eternity. Why should anyone want more?
Why indeed. Even the thought of an eternity of consciousness is troubling and disturbing to me.  :eek:  :think:   :jook: :pidu: :shifty: :doh: :biggrin2: Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2014, 11:52:20 AM »
I think as you do. I also think we return our physical substance to the universe--that all we are and see is recycled material. I think that's great.  On the flip side, I wonder where my recycled material came from?  Do I have an atom from Dawrin--Hitler--Babe Ruth--a dirt poor peasant  from China, or.......?????  That could be an imagination's field trip! :)

I like quite a lot from Joseph Campbell, and especially this.  He says that the purpose of life is life.  If you want more, then follow your bliss; that which makes your heart hum and soar; that which you want to do day and night; that which you like to do.  I see bliss as being more than doing what makes you happy (and nothing wrong with that), but that which also feeds you emotionally and makes you a better person.  A big container of ice cream and a good TV program (a Yankees ball game for example) is bliss.  But I don't think Campbell had that in mind.  For him, if you are an artist, the do art stuff; a painter, paints; a writer writes; a ball player plays ball; a wood chopper chops wood; well, you get the idea.  And only you know  what feeds you at that level; and I see bliss changing, or at least can.  So, I think I'll return to my bliss and continue on in Skyrim.............
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Solitary

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2014, 12:14:06 PM »
I read somewhere that when we breathe we intake molecules that Alexander the great breathed.  :eek: The only purpose I see in life is to perpetuate our species and provide food for other living things, after that it is trying to stay alive until we feed the microbes. I'm getting cremated, so I guess I'll enrich the soil like I did with my Uncle's ashes by mistake in our green house.  :doh: True story! Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 12:42:43 PM »
I read somewhere that when we breathe we intake molecules that Alexander the great breathed.  :eek: The only purpose I see in life is to perpetuate our species and provide food for other living things, after that it is trying to stay alive until we feed the microbes. I'm getting cremated, so I guess I'll enrich the soil like I did with my Uncle's ashes by mistake in our green house.  :doh: True story! Solitary
Yeah, I read the same thing about Alexander.  And I think Sagan used to say we are 'star stuff'--so I guess, we are at one with the universe. 
Great story about your uncle.  I can think of no better ending to my life--get some use of it--my body, that is.  My mom had it set up so that he body went straight to the University of Oregon medical school.  When they were finished, she was cremated and sent back to us.  She did not want a funeral, so we did not have one--had a sort of wake for her in her house with her children, neighbors and friends.  We used her good bridge china, baked her favorite cake, ate and told stories.  And cried.  It is probably what I will do when I die.  Or just stuff me into a gunny sack and throw me into the back yard. :)

 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Solitary

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2014, 12:49:25 PM »
I told my Catholic wife to flush my ashes down the toilet. She freaked out and said she couldn't do it. Why do people think a dead body or ashes are still a person? I told her if she didn't I would come back and haunt her. She said she wasn't that dumb to believe it. It's bad enough trying to understand woman, but religious ones are impossible to understand.  :lol:
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Offline AllPurposeAtheist

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2014, 12:59:14 PM »
I told my kids that when I kick off to stick me in an envelope and mail me to the US Naval yards to be booted overboard at sea so the little fishes can eat me then the big fishes eat the little fishes and eventually I'll end up as a Mrs Paul's fish stick and they can eat me. My message to the folks who think they'll spend eternity kissing gods royal ass? Eat me.  :naughty:
All hail my new signature!

Admit it. You're secretly green with envy.

Online Hydra009

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2014, 01:01:00 PM »
Throw me over the wall.
"But what about wild animals?"
Then give me a stick to shoo them away with.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_of_Sinope#Death

Offline Green Bottle

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2014, 08:31:50 PM »
I think id like a viking funeral when i go, mibbe on Loch Lomond or Loch Ness, that would do me....................
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 08:33:44 PM by Green Bottle »
God doesnt exist, but if he did id tell him to ''Fuck Off''

Offline stromboli

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2014, 09:06:53 PM »
You have exactly as much purpose as you prescribe for yourself. If we can as humans advance ourselves to become more moral and more purposeful, and seek to better ourselves as a whole, I think that is laudable. We have the nature of self sacrifice for the sake of others. If that is not to preserve the herd and the species, what's the point?

And why do we have an innate curiosity that drives us to learn more about ourselves and the universe? Whatever innate urge that drives us to move onward and upward is perhaps some biological imperative we don't truly understand, but I will always think that as humans we are more than just the sum of our parts.

Oh, and I'd like my ashes to go into the Snake River in Idaho because it goes through Hell's Canyon and into the Columbia River. And wind up as muck on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 09:10:26 PM by stromboli »

Offline MattMVS7

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2014, 12:25:58 PM »
So people would go bored or insane from living an eternal life of happiness, but not me since I am different and have no value towards hardships or suffering/despair for that matter.

Offline AllPurposeAtheist

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2014, 12:48:26 PM »
I'm not real philosophical about it. When I die I could really care less if I'm buried in a hermetically sealed box, tossed in the ocean or sent to the Oscar Meyer factory and end up as green meat in your lunch meat tray in your refrigerator behind the half rotten tomato and moldy cheese. Once it's over it's over and if I'm wrong and burn in H E double Lincoln logs then oh well.. Oops.
All hail my new signature!

Admit it. You're secretly green with envy.

Offline Mr.Obvious

  • Atheist Mantis
  • Jacuzzi Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3524
  • Total likes: 2049
  • The rules are made up, and the points don't matter
Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2014, 08:04:16 PM »
Purpose is found where you look for it. Only there and always there.

P.S. I always wanted to give my body to sience after I died. Or to like, the body farm and have it serve the good of humanity in a small way. I still do and don't believe I'll suffer for it after I've ceased to exist. However, I may need to reconcider. If I get outlived by my girlfriend, I'm pretty sure this decision would freak her out and she'd be afraid my soul couldn't find rest etc. She'd be wrong, of course, but I don't want her to worry.
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.

Atheist Mantis does not pray.

Offline stromboli

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2014, 08:42:18 PM »
My wife has it in her last wishes to giver her body (actually her brain) for research because of her MS. That will happen because we are members of the MS Society and she is registered as a potential donor. My ideal death is a suicide leap on a motorcycle off a high point I know into the Snake river just East of Hell's Gate Canyon in Idaho. Food for the fishies.

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2014, 10:01:28 PM »
My wife has it in her last wishes to giver her body (actually her brain) for research because of her MS. That will happen because we are members of the MS Society and she is registered as a potential donor. My ideal death is a suicide leap on a motorcycle off a high point I know into the Snake river just East of Hell's Gate Canyon in Idaho. Food for the fishies.
My mother did that--gave he body to the University of Oregon.  When she died she did not want a funeral; so her body was immediately shipped to UO.  A couple of months later they UO mailed us an urn with her ashes in it.  Seems like something I'd like to do. 

I remember riding a jet boat down the Snake a couple of decades ago.  That was quite a ride!  I love that type of country.  My folks retired to a small town in Oregon, named Hermiston.  Maybe you have heard of it.  It is right next to the Columbia, the most beautiful river in the country.  The Columbia River Gorge is beyond description.  I actually remember the river before McNary damn was built--remember seeing the indians fishing for salmon on the rocks at Silo Falls.  Can't do that anymore since the damn wiped out the falls. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline GrinningYMIR

Re: A Life With No Purpose
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2014, 10:11:29 PM »
I'd either like my ashes to be fired into space, or loaded into a cannon and fired in the general direction of Poland
"Human history is a litany of blood shed over differing ideals of rulership and afterlife"

Governor of the 32nd Province of the New Lunar Republic. Luna Nobis Custodit