What's the point in life?(20 Posts)
While of course sometimes good things can come out of tragedy I think anyone who has ever lost a child would take issue with suggesting that it could ever be for a good reason. Would it not make more sense to realise that, whatever we may or may not be spiritually, we are also biological creatures in a physical world, and are subject to the same diseases, accidents and catastrophes as any other animal? There does not have to be a reason.
As to the other bit of Crabbie's question re changing things eternally - I think so, to an extent. I absolutely don't think our personal eternity is changed by what we believe or what rituals we follow. I do think that the way we behave and respond to life's events may affect us on a spiritual level, and by affecting one affects all. I do not think where we go is changed by what we do or don't do, it just is what it is. What we have (I believe) is an awareness and perspective on our actions and life events that may be lacking while we are in the midst of it.
Head - I was trying to give an example of how the death of a child might have a reason and how it could possibly influence the world around it. (A very simplistic and idealistic example, I know). I understand what you're saying and agree with you, but as I said, I was thinking out loud - there could be any number of consequences for the death of any person. We all touch other lives one way or another, whether it's for good or bad. The OP wondered about the death of babies because it seems particularly cruel for all involved, so one would hope it would be for a good reason.
Scarface, the problem I would have with that theory is that since the discovery of medicine the infant mortality rate has dropped dramatically, in the west anyway. Countries that still have shocking IMR don't tend to be doing too well in other areas either i.e. education, human rights etc so the idea that IM somehow progresses us doesn't stack up with the facts, on the contrary countries that have low IMR produce top scientists in their field, not the other way around by any stretch of the imagination.
I'm sorry about this because it's a bit of a ramble, but I'm 'thinking out loud' IYSWIM. Reading it back, it sounds very simplistic, but it's just my thoughts. (BTW, I'm not religious in the sense that I go to church, but I do try to be a good and decent human being). Anyway...
I often wonder if we are here to learn things, and to experience different things, both of which might lead us to influence people. For instance, OP, you wondered about why babies die and how they haven't had a chance to better themselves. But what if their death is so that their parents/siblings can experience the frustration/sadness/grief and all the other things that bereaved parents feel. And what if that makes the sibling, for example, decide to become a scientist to try and find a cure for whatever made the baby die? And because the parents did a load of fundraising and made enough money to research the disease or whatever - that might have led to the scientist sibling finding a cure? Then that little baby dying has had an influence on the people that knew it and anyone else for the rest of time who might otherwise have died because of the disease or whatever the cause of death was.
Also, thinking about why there is so much bad in the world. Do we need to know what 'bad' is so that we can experience 'good'?
Was that your second question? Can we in the world influence things?
I think we do change things, I think we can influence people.
If you get a chance watch an inspector calls. Or read about it on dear old Wokipedia.....
It is about how we can negatively influence people's lives but you could just as easily write a play about how positive things could influence a life for good.
italian thanks for that, yes you're right I am asking two questions and I think similar things to you about the 'why do bad things happen' part of it. But I'd thought that sort of question before, it's not a new one. The other part of my question - which does overlap with the why do bad things happen question - is new to me I think.
Do we actually change things - eternally - through what happens here on earth and the choices we make?
Crabbiesnlime (great name), I thin life is a gift, a miracle, and it is great to enjoy it. I am a Christian and want to express my love of God and my fellow people by doing whatever good things I can do. I want to express my love of myself, because you can't “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself. without living yourself!
I think if I can read between the lines you are asking more than one question, and your question seems to be also why do bad things happen, or why do bad things happen to good people?
I agonise over that myself. I have found if there is an antidote to that poison of agonising over the sadness of life it is to do some good, to write protest letters, support charities, support friends etc, and also to enjoy the things of life. The good things.
I get emails from upworthy www.upworthy.com
I may not agree with all the messages on the site but I find some very inspiring.
This one is amazing ...
When I watch it, I feel so very sad that someone has such a hard start in life and it could easily make one feel desperate, yet the rest of the clip is inspiring!
What do I take from all this, to find the good, to pursue it, to cling onto it. To do our best to be the good in other people's lives. I have no answers about why bad things happen to people except this world is not perfect. For me God is part of all this and drives me on to live a better and more wonderful life.
All best wishes for this.
Thanks for your answers everyone. Still not sure what I think though, and maybe I've not really explained where I'm coming from enough.
What I don't get - newlark and home I think I would've said something similar to you, about loving God. But what about people who die really young and don't get the chance to do any of that? Babies who die go to heaven - but haven't done anything or bettered themselves, or served anyone, or anything? Which, (besides raising the questions of why that happens which are a different question) makes me wonder why any of us are here. Why do we not just skip this bit and go to heaven? If some people can? Why isn't judgment day already been and gone - I guess is another way of putting it?
As a Christian I look to e.g. Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.
and Ephesians 2:8-10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
so I guess for me it is to love, honour and serve God which works itself out on a day to day basis by loving and serving others
I think we're here to learn to make the right decisions, to not cause suffering, to put others first, to live life with a kind heart and good intentions. We're here to learn what matters, what bravery is, that what is beautiful is strength and kindness and happiness with what you have.
I agree with Orc, I don't think there has to be a reason or purpose for life in order for it to be fulfilling
The more I go to church (Catholic) the less I believe in God. I have got to the point where I believe more in nature and universe than God. Why we are here? Probably no reason, no fate. I don't like the say "things happen for a reason" I don't think they do. I try to live my life to the best human morals, that's the best I can do.
I don't believe we are here for any kind of predestined purpose in terms of what we are meant to do with our lives, that we are meant to have a particular career or have a particular relationship. I do think that if we have a purpose at all it is as a means of the universe trying to understand itself, through the experience of life and consciousness.
I have friends who spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to find their purpose in life and get themselves on what they perceive to be the right path - don't know if you've come across the enneagram but one friend has spent a small fortune exploring this as a way of finding her path, and I can't say she is any less lost as a result. I kind of think all paths lead to the same destination in the end.
Since we cannot know for sure, I agree with everyone who has said that the important thing is to make the most of the time we have here, try to do good, try not to do harm, and cherish those you love.
The reason for life is whatever you make it! For me it's friends and family. I try to be nice and a benefit to the world because it makes me feel a lot better than being horrible to people. It incredible that life has developed on this planet. Your atoms have made such an incredible journey to here.
Agree with Orc. It can be a liberating and fulfilling view of existence to realise that we are here for what is essentially no reason and have no predertmined purpose.
I'm not religious but actually find it comforting that I don't think we're here for any predetermined reason etc. As a result I think all you can do is make the most of the time you have, the family you might have, the friends you might have, the job you might have etc. Live it as well as you can. Have good morals because you get out what you put in & just enjoy. And if it's rough at that time then just wait. It probably won't stay so bad forever, even if it feels like it.
I don't mean that to sound as depressed as it might - I mean, what's it all for ? Why are we here?
I'm asking from a Christian perspective, but replies don't have to be.
I don't want to give details and out myself, but I've had some hard things happen recently, and they've got me thinking along these lines - and what should I be trying to do with my life, and does it matter, etc.
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