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Why do we exist?

 
 
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 01:14 am
Why do we exist? That is something that I constantly ask myself. When I was fifteen I made the decision that I didn't want to be apart of a religion anymore. I was tired of people claiming that they were religious when it was nothing more than an act, as well as restrictions and expectations from others, especially my parents, were the reasons why I was through with religion, but even with my disdain for religion, or religious beliefs, I still fear that we were put on this earth for more than just pleasure and life in this world. Every night before I sleep I will think about things like life after death, or heaven and hell, even God. My parents are big on religion and this has been installed in me since I was really young, but I'm not sure if that's why I feel this way. Sometimes I even get overwhelmed with a sense of guilt for my actions of abandonment/disbelief of/in my faith. Without it I can do what I like without someone constantly reminding me that god is watching, or that I am committing a sin, or to act like a lady or to be reminded ever second that my personal beliefs are incorrect because they are opinions from this corrupted society of ours. My personality has also come out and I feel like my own person for once! But even with all of the joys of not being tied down to a religion, I feel sad and empty; like a piece of me is missing, or that I AM in fact, a sinner. I really just need someone to talk to me about this, I just feel confused and possibly earning myself a reserved spot in hell.
 
Setanta
 
  5  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 02:27 am
Life is not purposive--we exist because of a concatenation of events, largely chemical, which lead to the rise of life on this planet. We have a thick atmosphere which helps to protect us from the harmful effects of the radiation from our star, Sol. The center of our planet is a ball of iron, surrounded by a nickel-iron sphere which is liquid. The core spins at a higher speed than the liquid nickel-iron liquid which surrounds it, and both of them spin faster than the rest of the planet--it creates a magnetic field around our planet which further protects us from the radiation of our star. So life has a lot of advantages on this planet, and there is good evidence that there has been life here for more than four billion years. It's just an accident of physics. Mercury is too close to the star. Venus is not only close to the star, it has an atmosphere which is 90 times as dense as ours, so it's way too hot. Mars has very little atmosphere (either it never had enough or it lost what it had) so the surface of that planet is like living in a microwave, in a horribly cold deep freeze. Like Goldilocks, life found Venus too hot, and Mars too cold, but found Earth to be just right.

Life is relentlessly avid to reproduce and to exploit the resources it finds around itself. That means constant change, that means evolution. Evolution is just a name for what happens. It has no purpose, it has no goals, it is just relentlessly driven by physics and chemistry. One result was the rise of clever apes on the savannas of Africa. One huge advantage those apes had was a big brain and an insatiable curiosity. This lead those apes to want to know how things work, to want to know why. Sometimes that was an advantage. Our ancestors learned to control fire, and then to make and control fire. Big cats can kill you and eat you, but big cats can't control fire, and are afraid of fire, with good reason. So if you live in a cave, or even just a hole in the ground, and you build a fire at night, it is much less likely that big cats will kill you and eat you. That is, of course, a good thing from the point of view of the clever apes.

But always wanting to know why can lead to problems, too. Glib people with a powerful desire to control other people can create all manner of stories to answer the apes' insatiable curiosity, and exploit them if they are gullible or just insecure about their "place" in the cosmos. God stories are, of course, the easiest route for such efforts to control others. I don't know of any religion which has as its premise that you have a direct relationship with the god or gods, and don't need anyone's help to reap the spiritual benefits of such a relationship. Religions want to "guide your steps," and tell you what to think, what to eat, what to wear, whom to sleep with--it's about control.

I don't happen to believe that there is a god. I don't claim to know, i just find the proposition implausible. I don't know, and i don't care. I also don't feel a need to control anyone. If you wish to believe that there is a god, or even to say categorically that there is a god, that's OK by me. If you do believe, but you don't want to participate in anyone else's religion, you will always have the problem of figuring out for yourself what your relationship to the god or gods is or ought to be. Perhaps that won't be a problem for you. Perhaps you will embark on a journey of discovery about yourself and the cosmos which you inhabit which will be an ornament to your life. If you do believe in a god, and don't want to participate in someone else's religion, i hope for your sake that that is how it will work out for you.

For my part, such questions as why we exist don't apply. Life just is, life is its own justification. What a wonderful boon to have perceptive abilities and the ability to enjoy the wonders, and the strength and stamina survive the horrors of this life. I hope that your life will be one you can enjoy, with as little grief and sorrow as possible.

As for feeling empty, that's a tough one. Some people fill up their lives with insatiable endeavors. They want to make more and more money. They want to have sex with more and more people. They want to control others. They want to experience more and more drugs and alcohol (those jokers usually don't last very long, though). Some people, in a perversion of religion, or another type of devotion to an idea, constantly find that they are not worthy, and so spend their lives punishing themselves. Some find others unworthy, and spend their lives trying to punish them.

But some people fill up their lives helping others, even if it's just stray cats or dogs. Some people fill up their lives by trying to love others without being a burden to them. Some people just try to make the world a better place by being a better person--kinder, more considerate, more cheerful.

Sorry, there aren't any pat answers, no easy ways out of your sort of dilemma--no matter what the preachers or the philosophers or the politicians tell you.

Good luck to you. Try to be strong enough to endure, and kind enough to make it worth your while and worth while for those around you.
Smileyrius
 
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Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 03:35 am
@Setanta,
I have a huge amount of respect for your sentiments and tact In this post Set. Thankyou for sharing
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Setanta
 
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Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 03:39 am
You're very kind.
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fresco
 
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Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 05:53 am
@Maybebroken,
Some philosophers would say 'self' is a social construction, and much of the time 'you' as a unified entity does not 'exist'. From this point of view, your ' existence' is the sum of your purposeful relationships with others, but those 'others' can be also facets of your consciousness which hold internal conversations with each other. Whether you accept that view or not, it's worth considering that questions about 'existence' seem to be a by species specific product of that social phenomenon we call 'human language'.
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Leadfoot
 
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Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 07:22 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Glib people with a powerful desire to control other people can create all manner of stories to answer the apes' insatiable curiosity, and exploit them if they are gullible or just insecure about their "place" in the cosmos.
Lucky me. I was and am thankful that I didn't have religious parents or others around me to blame for my imaginary friend. I can enjoy my delusion secure in the knowledge that it was 'all me & him'.
farmerman
 
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Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 07:41 am
@Leadfoot,
obviously you have a flash of creativity
Leadfoot
 
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Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 07:47 am
@farmerman,
What Set said :-)
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mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 08:54 am
@Maybebroken,
Everyone, answering the OP, is projecting their, individual, ideal/s into their response/s.

1. 'why'? What is the reason for - ?
2. 'we'? You & I? All organisms? All energy-based lifeforms? All matter?
3. 'exist'? Occur, materialistically?

Question is self-relevant.........
Leadfoot
 
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Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 10:13 am
@mark noble,
Quote:
Everyone, answering the OP, is projecting their, individual, ideal/s into their response/s.
I would hope that would be the case. But it's not always that way. Some substitute the opinions of others who they think are more wise than themselves.
kency123
 
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Reply Mon 16 May, 2016 12:39 pm
@Maybebroken,
If your only sin is not worshiping, is this god the kind of jealous, self-obsessed and hypocritical god that you would want to praise?

We have no reason to think there is a reason. You're not a sinner, you seem inquisitive and intelligent. You should take more time to learn about the science behind life and the history of the universe. I'm no scientist, I hated science at school, but I have come to find it so fascinating the last few years. It pales religious books into insignificance and has made me much more appreciative of being here.
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jeremiahscheidt
 
  0  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 07:45 am
@Maybebroken,
this feeling of a purpose that you have is the Holy Spirit. God has given you this a sign so that you know and feel that there is something more than the meaningless collection of atoms. Without meaning or purpose why have laws? Where is our moral standard? The answer is God. once you accept this
you will be filled with a comfort and a peace like no other knowing that this life is only temporary and the pain of this world is nothing compared to the joy that awaits in heaven.
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jeremiahscheidt
 
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Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 07:47 am
@Setanta,
Life can not simply be a collocation of atoms and it is illogical to think such.
InfraBlue
 
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Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 09:49 am
@jeremiahscheidt,
jeremiahscheidt wrote:

Life can not simply be a collocation of atoms and it is illogical to think such.


Your simplistic paraphrasing notwithstanding, what's illogical about it?
Setanta
 
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Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 01:33 pm
@jeremiahscheidt,
Why cannot life be a "collocation of atoms?" It's illogical to make such a claim without at least offering a logical basis for such a denial--and preferably, some evidence that what you say is true. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that, however.
Chumly
 
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Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 08:16 pm
@Maybebroken,
Maybebroken wrote:
Why do we exist?
Because of the Weak Anthropic Principle (WAP): in that there is no other set of cosmological variables in which we could exist.
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mark noble
 
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Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 05:33 am
@Leadfoot,
I agree.
The immersion into prefabricated, subject-conditioning is moreso 'en masse' now than in 'less globalised' times - Yet...

Once incorporated into an organism - Becomes the organism...?
Are we 'organically' not the sum total of what we eat (consume/absorb)?
mark noble
 
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Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 05:36 am
@InfraBlue,
Ever seen an 'atom'?
Or do you simply accept 'THEORY' of base-structures, because it fits your 'logic'?
Leadfoot
 
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Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 07:39 am
@mark noble,
Quote:
Are we 'organically' not the sum total of what we eat (consume/absorb)?
That doesn't work literally or as a metaphor about the things we are taught.

Different bodies metabolize what we eat differently. I recall an interview with a 112 year old woman who said she ate sausage and drank every day.

Minds metabolize what they take in even more differently. The results are unpredictable because of the ability to infer and synthesize.
mark noble
 
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Reply Mon 23 May, 2016 08:04 am
@Leadfoot,
'Taught' = Consumed. Works perfectly when understood.
Rest of your post is bollux.
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